AvX: Aquaman vs X-Men

December 06, 2017:

Arthur of Atlantis finally meets with Cyclops about his lost subjects and Genosha. Tension to follow.

Characters

NPCs: Tula, Mera

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A small island off the northern coast of Scotland. Muir Island. The location of the world's most comprehensive and perhaps oldest official mutant research complex, the Mutant Research Center, founded by Doctor Moira MacTaggert. Over the years geneticists, scientists, doctors of all kinds have come to learn under the expertise of the MRC staff. Even the United State's National Metahuman Research Foundation employs it's databases where allowed, it's a famous location and a very guarded one. Its been almost a year since it was attacked last by the Darksiders, the mutant and Inhuman defectors who served Apocalypse. Security has greatly increased but the facility remains a scientific endeavor, not a military installation as such one can hardly see the defenses employed and most guards here look rather commonplace, casual button up shirts, slacks, nice shoes. No real official dress code beyond a laminated badge.

Xavier's 'mutant strike force' has free roam. They almost always have. Even at 2 AM with rain and weather in the mid to low 40s. It's as if the team is drawn to the rain anymore.

For the X-Men present it still feels like 9 at night. They're awake, alive, almost nervously eager if you're Scott Summers. He is standing outside near a the southern shoreline's light tower. The tall beacon on it shining out, casting it's bright torch out across the dark ocean waves where misted clouds and rain swallow it in to shadow, the crash of the Atlantic smashing against craggy rocks below. There is no heat generators near them and Scott is wearing a parka over his X-Men uniform. The visor visible with a shine from the small ground lights situated around to illuminate the area off the stones walkway, an area away from the facility proper, its housing and shy of anything that could be damaged should this meeting go a bad direction.

It's not as though this was an expected trek, a brief message to rendezvous, a place and time chosen. The place most fitting as its about that time. Some secrets shouldn't remain secrets.

Fingers flex and Cyclops looks at the two women with him, counsel and muscle. Just in case. He is hoping that doesn't have to be a considered 'case' but it's always an option. This situation could turn quite volatile.

"This is a peace accord, we're dealing with something new here and very delicate." Which seems to be an /expected/ for the X-Men, especially these past few years. At least 'new' not so much the delicate. Life for the X-Men is very much not.

*

Wet. cold. unhappy.

Rogue stands in the dark near to Scott at the base of this lighthouse. She's dressed in a hooded leather trenchcoat with a dark forest green bodysuit on beneath it, her hands stuffed into her leather longcoat's pockets and her eyes peering out from beneath the hood.

Rogue spared a look skyward at the beam of misty hazey light…. she watched the rain falling through the beam, and looked beyond it to the clouds. She very much wanted to fly up above them tonight, to see the stars… but, business, right?

Rogue's head lowered back down, water droplets dripping off of her pointed chin, she glanced over to Scott… eyeing him.

*

Aquaman is angry. Anyone that didn't know him wouldn't be able to tell, but it just so happens the two women that swim along side him know him better then perhaps any other people alive. Mera, angrier then even her husband, fumes from her place, and Tula, leader of Arthur's secret special forces strike teams radiates a certain calm from her spot. Putting him right in the middle. Which is likely the only reason he's not mobilized his military. That and after Orn's adventure in Metropolis a couple years back Arthur has sworn to never bring his forces into the air again if he can avoid it. That's why the half-breed king is for after all.

He doesn't bother to slow down as they near the island, usually he likes to allow the surfacers time to adjust to his presence, walk out of the surf up onto the beach, give their minds time to figure out what's happening and react accordingly. Not tonight. «Remain calm.» he thinks into the link of the three of them, a deep breath of cold sea water forcing him to take his own advice.

Newton's third law stipulates that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an opposing force, in this case it's almost three tons of Atlantean exploding from the water's surface a full fifty paces out, their speed taking them up into the air in a graceful arc that trails foaming ocean trails behind them. Gravity of course helps correct this by pulling them back to the earth, where they land hard enough to feel in one's feet. Mera's expression is shy of murderous, Tula's is calm and unreadable, and Arthur's is…. stoic. Somber. Though if he'd been going for unthreatening it might have been more politic of him to not have the trident in his hand. "Where are my people?" he asks straight forwardly, skipping all of the foreplay.

*

Psylocke is there, her trenchoat flaring apart, lapels reveal beneath the straps of deep purple attire that bleed upward like ribbons, show the ascension of thigh-high boots, the wrapping… shadows over the rest beneath.

Like the attire, hair is stricken across the Asian features of the British woman, adhering to concaved surface and accenting it just as sharply as the gaze that no longer is a burnt amber, but a shocked violet. She is also, not happy with this situation, but she saw it from the 'Go', aided, and is accepting of the finality in it even if it caused argument on the way here.

"You waited… how LONG?! Scott…!!"

Poor Rogue!

"They are safe…" In comparison to the harsh yell upon their arrival and the sitrep, now she is speaking evenly, but in her tone, there is that calm, that…. Assurance, even as her feet remain steady despite wanting to be 'taken abakc' by the arrival.

*

Cyclops is mindful of the women with him who are both cold and drenched. They are in Scotland after all and more than familiar with Muir Island's usual weather. The chiding from Betsy Braddock in his mind gets a typical flat, "It was necessary." response through the telepathic link up. Typical X-Men procedure for these things to spring up when a psionic capable of doing so is present.

"Rogue. I can feel your eyes on me. Its this or sitting back in a trashed mansion trying to binge watch Netflix. This has got to be the better alternative."
"There." The X-Man manages before the Atlantean royals are upon them and demanding account for their people, understandable. Scott would be doing the same right now. Gloved hands fall to his sides and the hooded, red laser eyed mutant tips his chin up while Psylocke answers the question.

"They are here and in good hands. Some of our best doctors have been seeing to them. We've already released several who were capable and willing to leave… you know this though. Otherwise you wouldn't be here now." A light, tight smile at his own words and Scott's head doesn't move but his eyes beyond ruby skim over each Atlantean before them.

Rogue actually liked it here in Scotland, just being out of the United States made her happier… not that she didn't love 'Murica… she just, liked being out and traveling as that was kind of always a romantic idea to her since she was a child.

She'd just smirks at Scott and Betsy's words and then look away. "I bet it doesn't rain this much in Rogueland… the weather here is just like you… emo."

She too watched the arrival of the legendary sea people and it was both impressive and mysterious to the Mississippi native. She used to float around in her cousin's above ground swimming pool when she was a kid, dreaming about being a Mermaid… and these people were way closer to that dream than she was!

Oh, right. Business face.

Rogue let them all do their talking while she stared, her best coolgirl(stare) and it was super serious. Inwardly, however, Anna-Marie cursed herself for not being more attention during Scott's briefing… who were they talking about again? Ugh, she couldn't remember.

*

Aquaman begins walking in the direction Scott indicated and whoa be anyone between him and said direction, "My people have had this island under surveillance for weeks. I rule the seas Summers and you are currently standing on a tiny spit of a rock in the middle of them. I am here now because one of the surface mutants was kind to me and mine, twice, and she alone bought you time to come forward. Those you released-" he bites back the words with an audible click of his teeth coming together as if cutting himself off before he were to say something.

Mera steps forward and he turns his head slightly, glancing at her before continuing on. She turns to eye Scott, "I advised him to destroy this island's stone supports and to sink it in it's entirety beneath the waves." she admits freely before turning to follow her husband once more, "He is more merciful then I". Tula doesn't say anything, just walks, her long hair swaying in it's ponytail behind her. Oh yeah. The Royals are /not/ happy.

*

Psylocke's jaw quivers, despite the 'quirk' at Eogue's quip to Scott, someone she has not even bothered to look at since they disembarked to this long walk off a 'short pier', into the Abyss.

For once the other two are given a spared glance, one that flashes the viole(n)t butterfly around her eyes and in a flutter it dissipates. Beside Rogue, her hands that hung loosely beneath the hemlines of leather and matted ruff, dripping in chilled sleet, curl into fists. "This island seeks to save and help," A peel of gaze from Scott and Rogue, lingering then…snapping! To Aquaman and Mera, her shoulders squaring beneath the leather. "All of our people. It cannot be brought down, it would bring nothing…" /Good/…

Mera' and Tula are her focus now, as she shoulders Scott the 'King'! and aligns herself accordingly, a sweep of shoulder to Rogue's own.

Nod. Betsy knows the game here.

*

"Rogueland just sounds ridiculous. Emo?" Scott questions NOT outloud but through Betsy's 't-link', "You're the one who wouldn't even help me hang up Christmas decorations. Seriously. Game time you two. Stop with the joking around. This is the apparent King of Atlantis and his wife." A scowl forms behind gold-red visor and under cowl as they begin to walk towards the MRC complex.

A sidelong look is given to Aquaman, "We're not enemies here." His voice is firm and from Arthur to Mera, "And it's good he did or you would have killed not just your survivors we've been helping but also many innocent men, women and children, all of 'our' people as Psylocke points out. I've paid enough attention to your exploits and studied your track record to know thats not part of your praxis, Aquaman."

A stop in their walk, Cyclops turns and extends his hand to Arthur, "I'm sorry. The cold has me forgetting manners, I'm Scott Summers otherwise known as Cyclops." No need to spare his identity, its not been secret for some time after all. Maybe this will curb some of the tension.
Maybe.

*

Rogue eyed the group that they were here to meet approach and speak and she heard the talking inside of her head from the others…

"You mean its the Queen of Atlantis and her husband?" Rogue couldn't help but 'think' that little jab for womanly pride back at their team leader, and crack a slight grin after doing it.

But when it was time to be all diplomatic in this dramatic setting, Rogue just glanced over at Betsy and would follow along on the opposite side of Scott from that of the Psylocke.

Rogue wasn't a big fan of doom-and-gloom behavior though, so she just raised her left gloved hand out of her longcoat's pocket and waved it at the Atlantians, offering them a smile too… though it was pretty dark and nasty out, smiles probably would go unseen.

*

Aquaman returns the sidelong look with one of his own, "Not being enemies does not make us friends Mr. Summers," he points out, "and I find it somewhat entertaining that you think being in the water would have killed my people." Mera pipes up a little bit from where she stands, "Aquaman is a hero, a member of the Justice League in reserve. This man is Sovereign of the Seven Seas, First Born of Atlana, Blood of the First King, Bearer of the Trident of Posideon, King of Posideonus and Emperor of Atlantis. Do not mistake the one for the other."

Aquaman pauses and lets out a long slow breath, "I hate that." he mutters softly to himself and he turns to eye his wife. Something passes between them in a moment and she smiles just a bit before nodding her head and falling silent once more, "I am Arthur Curry, Aquaman, and," heavy sigh, "all that other stuff she called me. I'm trying to decide which of me has arrived on your little rock. The hero in me is angry, torn, but grateful for all you've done. The ruler in me sees the petty protectionist politicing you did keeping my people here and not informing me of it while you dealt with your little battles in Genosha and wishes greatly to marshal my military against you and declare a new war against your kind for your short sighted insult. The surface deweller knows the battle your kind fight here in the air however and has always been sympathetic towards it." he raises a hand and waffles it side to side, "I've not yet decided where I stand. Finding my people in short order will expidite the decision I'm sure, though dependign on their condition I'm not sure that's something you want."

*

Psylocke is stepping forward instead of backwards, the exchnge between her and Rogue is enough to 'tell' that they have an understanding. Bets is the 'mouth', Rogue is the 'meat', Slim is the 'cheese between' that makes this whole(some!). Or rightfully brought together and total from the beginning.

Which is what causes one path…

Every step is muted by the rainfall when Tula and Mera land, heading forward towards the mutants while Mera speaks, a dominant voice to Aquaman's own proclamation. They are to be Scott's Queen and Knight, and Betsy has no qualms moving in a sudden bent pattern! The edges of matted and soaked ruff arond her hands begins to recoi like singedbeneath an unlit flame. "Meet … Cyclops. Forgive the name and the panthenon, but it makes sense, bottom line." The British accent riding high… Showing the line of tension.

"Belle…." As she gave no introduction and Betsy is not one to intrude -for- her. "She waved hello already." A tilt of head and Psylocke smiles slowly.

But it wilts at the further mention of Their People. "I assure you, on my own … They are safe." Roght there, Psylocke stops.

She took a risk, on Wing and Pra—-

*

"She does have some bite doesn't she." Scott responds to Rogue's plug about the Queen.

Along the lit up walkway towards the entry of the MRC they'll traverse. The guards bundled up say nothing and simply queue doors to open for them with a button mash and a nod to a camera.

Cyclops doesn't pay them any attention, the psychological nudge at using the moniker of Aquaman was intentional. "I don't consider us friends in the least. I have very few of those and it's not a word I use freely." A smile remains even as Scott retracts his offer of a handshake.

"The condition some of them are in, it likely would have but I won't presume to know much about your people. We took them here because they were in need of immediate medical attention and would do the same for anyone, Atlantean or otherwise."

An exhale from Scott, "We have worked at Genosha for years. I cannot exactly give you a history lesson there in the limited amount of time we have tonight nor do I feel I need to. It's been a battle. An ongoing war we have never had the upper hand in and we had the opportunity to finally strike a crippling blow. We took it. I didn't toy with the lives of your people, we kept them safe and saved many of them, as much as we humanly could. I even let information leak to give you this lead here whether necessary or not, so, you'll understand despite my manipulations to steer this in our favor… I trust you understand and would have likely done the same had it been mutant lives and not Atlanteans. I acted as a leader and I made a judgment call. You want to take it out on someone come the end of this meeting. I'll be right here." Cyclops doesn't move through the door despite it being open. The insides are rather white with the lighting, bright to encourage a sense of ;sterilization; and an elevator awaits them already to take them to the modified lab that houses what remains of the Atlanteans.

The X-Men's leader won't move until of course Arthur and Mera encourage as much though. Their people do await though, those who remained and are awaiting transport or audience with the Royalty of Atlantis.

*

Rogue would mostly just keep quiet and walk along where directed. She was the muscle on most trips… they'd decided a long time ago not to let her do a whole lot of diplomatic negotiations… since it usually ended with her anger over boiling and her fists there-by being thrown around.

One thing was certain though, she was happy to go inside and happy to walk toward the Lift. She'd reach her hands up and push her hood back so it'd stop dripping down onto her face, a black gloved hand would roll through her dark brown hair and pull her white bangs back out of her face to drape her hair across her left side.

Rogue just sighed, not overly loud… but enough to make it clear she had a lot of internal discontent at the present moment.

*

Aquaman walks through the security with hardly a glance, though Tula, for her part, is tearing it apart with a practiced and heavy eye, missing nothing and making very clear mental notes in the way a career soldier would. Of the trio she's the hardest to read, the stiffest, the most ready to explode into violence but also the least likely. For the first time since they got here she frowns slightly at the level of security, but says nothing aloud.

Arthur turns to eye Cyclops and he shakes his head, "That's where you're wrong." he says simply, "Whatever issues you have with your governments, mine has been nothing but supportive of your cause. Had I found your people damaged and injured in the lair of my arch nemesis, a man of unknown wealth and with a private military all his own, I would have offered them medical aid and immediately had you contacted to ask you how you wished the situation handled. Because I had no /right/," the trident's butt thumps down on to the floor of the room and the impact echoes as if a bell had been struck, a sound a simple bit of metal shouldn't be able to make in such a place, "to unilaterally decide otherwise. Because I might have found an ally against my foe in another he had wronged, or an avenue to peace I had not previously considered in a similarly haunted and wounded people." he looks at Scott and the corner of his jaw works for a bit, "My people have been hunted for more then three thousand years, used as sport for the surface dwellers, /your/ ancestors. We have mutations among us, magical, genetic, we have built a society that embraces them none the less. There is no other people on the face of this planet who better understand your plight then the Atlanteans, then /my/ people. I'm angry at you, but not because you decided to keep my people here, but because you allowed fear to effect your judgment so much you sacrificed what could have been a long term alliance between our peoples for a short term gain and a fight you'd been longing for for years. I'm disappointed. The others of your kind I've met were kinder, more trusting, generous of spirit."

He eyes the elevator, "That's a bad idea. Do you have stairs?" three Atlanteans are well over the weight limit for your average elevator and he doesn't fancy destroying the big time military bases internal workings. He can just imagine that would be the sort of thing that makes people start shooting.

*

"They weren't rulers." Psylocke states towards Aquaman, in regards to the 'others' he had met, and his own stance on his people.

A sweep past Rogue and she leans with a bruh of hi while they exit the torrent of icy rain into a pristine 'white-washed' alley. A tilt of eyes upward and sylocke sighs, shaking he chill from her bones with a sudden 'slap' outward of trenchcoat tails, although her hands are scraping through the frozen trails of hair, peeling them from her face while tiny shard fall under heels.

"Circumstances." A pause as she looks from Aquaman, to his liege, to Scott, Belle…. "Put a knife to my throat, too, I may be no one, but I am someone, somewhere,"

"… and worth it."
"Psylocke exhales and looks down, her lips thinning in the undeclared silence she chooses to take.

*

"We're not exactly a government or a recognized authority of any kind and I as I mentioned. I've studied you enough to know what I may have been dealing with. To be frank you're quite mercurial straight to the side of unpredictable. Not exactly an easy one to automatically count as an ally."
"The thought of drowning this tiny little rock has already been clearly discussed by your council and now threatened. What I have done is vastly under the bar of what Genosha has done to your people and mine. It wasn't fear, it was a calculated risk and I'm going to pay for it the rest of my life but it's the call I made and stand by." Scott frowns once again, the red beam of light on his visor fixing forward but hes looking at Tula, Mera and Arthur. Cyclops has got an analytical mind. He doesn't lack there what he lacks is in the heart department, empathic ability and connecting with people on a proper wavelength.
"I'm doing what I can to rectify my actions. People still suffer and will suffer but they've been given choice and freedom which is better than slavery or outright death at the hands of an outraged Undersea empire. " A tidal wave, a volcano, a giant sea monster, an entire Atlantean legion. No. Cyclops wasn't going to gamble with those odds.

Scott spares a look to Betsy and her display of loyalty as well as Rogue who, no doubt is ready to throw herself in to a fray if she needs to but it is unlikely to happen. Hopefully. The X-Man is banking on it not as they will lose that brawl, this entire island would lose.

"We can take the service lift. We've prepped them and Doctor MacTaggert has gone out of her way to make sure they're all comfortable and at home. She is another who due to my decisions has decided she doesn't like me very much right now." Scott smiles just a little at that and they enter. The whites of the MRC blinding at first from the darkness outside but its temperate, dry and very clean.

*

Talking, talking, talking, talking.

Rogue has her cell phone out in her gloved hands (special gloves designed by Hank McCoy) and she's thumbing around on the screen of it while they all talk about their talking points.

"Yes!" Rogue uttered outloud, at whatever she saw on her phone. She glanced up at the others then, a look of 'oop's on her face.

A second later and she showed her phone's screen to everyone and pointed at it with her right gloved index finger. "I won a bid on some new boots…" She softly said to them. "They're pretty…" She quietly added.

The southern belle cleared her throat then and turned her phone back and slipped it back into her coat's side pocket. "Half price…" She added, her voice barely above a muttering-level.

*

Aquaman eyes Psylocke evenly, "Neither are any of you." he points out simply, "There are only two rulers in this building and neither of them think much of the leadership they've seen so far. I'm not perfect and I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I've managed to rule three quarters of our planet for a decade and a half without leading my people to war despite the provication I've been given." he points out. When Scott mention his unpredictability Arthur just shakes his head, "See? Fear." he says simply, "I assume in all of your research you didn't bother to ask anyone who actually knew me? Members of the Justice League perhaps, or your own people who've dealt with me. Ms. Gray for instance," he uses that name purposefully, "who came to me asking for safe haven for some of your people who were hunted, safe haven I helped supply." he tilts his head to the side, "Must have been very in depth study you did." Ooo. The King has sarcasm.

Tula is the worse for wear in so far as the light is concerned, Arthur's eyes adjust almost instantly, causing him merely to blink a couple of times to be okay, Mera slightly less comfortable, but Tula actively has to shield her eyes with a hand, as if blocking out the sun, until she can adjust, squinting a bit like a tall sexy lady Clint Eastwood. The elevator ride at least is acceptable, once it's been made clear it's more for freight then for people. Body density is a real pain on occasion.

Rogue's sudden out burst about boots has him staring at her for a moment, then slowly shaking his head and offering the smallest of grins, "Dolphin would like you." he says flatly. Tula snorts in amusement but quickly schools her face once more. "Show Tula and Mera to my people, and me to Dr. MacTaggert please." Arthur's not a physician, but between Tula's knowledge and Mera's magic they'll get a far better appraisal on the condition of the Atlanteans then he could just staring at them.

*

"I've come forward with my deception and am owning up to it. Color it all how you wish to percieve it, your highness. We are where we stand now." Scott says dryly, massive contrast to the heavy downpour going on with Muir Island right now.

"Yes, you rule a massive portion of the planet most have no eyes on but your own, you busy yourself up here when it pleases you."
"I really wasn't seeking your resume when I did my research nor are we here to measure the length of our… egos." A forced smile appears.

"I wanted to meet with you to apologize and return your refugees but I also wish to speak to you about Genosha and what you plan after this." No comments about Ms. Grey, Scott has no memory of this and Jean has never mentioned it. Maybe it's part of something shes kept hidden from him as well or prior to the Apocalypse scandal and Omega Shift and this man retains memory. Those are there. It makes the question of reality a scary thing in the grand scope.

"Psylocke, Rogue, if the two of you want to accompany the Queen and Tula? I'll go with the King to talk with Moira." Scott has grown weary but he expected as much and has been preparing for this, even the failure in diplomacy. He actually anticipated it and possible conflict but thats not happened and that there is the silver lining. So far.

*

Rogue grinned at their guests, a light grin on her pink hued lips. "I like Dolphins." She said back at them softly, trying to be charming in her own little way because Rogue WAS diplomatic in a completely different way from the Talking-Talking-Talking approach… she liked to try to cut through the BS and just be personable.

The southern gal would reach a hand up to move some of her damp hair out of her face and she'd nod to Scott's words. "We'll show'em t'where they need t'go. It'll be like a party. I got a whoooole box'a booze hidden away in this place, if'n ya'll wanna warm up from the outside."

With that said, the X-Men Tank would lead Mera and Tula with Betsy!

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