Cyclops v Superman

April 27, 2018:

Cyclops meets Superman at the antique shop to discuss a threat to the X-Men.

Characters

NPCs: Abe

Mentions: Peggy Carter, Faora-Ul

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The arrangements for their meeting had been largely facilitated by Peggy Carter. Superman amicably offered to arrange a location for her contact if her contact didn’t have a location that he preferred.

A small antique shop nestled in the heart of the “City of Yesterday” had been selected for their meeting. Three years ago 72 year-old Abraham Geller was involved in a head-on collision during a terrifying blizzard. With life flight grounded and ambulances moving at a crawl it was Superman who had come to his rescue and provided him with transportation to the hospital. Since that day he has invited Superman to numerous dinners, sent cards on both Jewish and Christian holidays, and generally been overly appreciative.

Both Superman and Clark Kent check up on Mr. Geller from time to time. Two days ago, when Superman asked him for help, he was more than happy to oblige.

[INTERIOR – Vintage Vases – Metropolis]

The shop itself is small and chocked full of old world knick-knacks. The OPEN sign has been reversed so that it reads CLOSED despite the mid-day hour. However, the door is unlocked.

As Scott enters he would find Superman in full Man of Steel regalia leaning casually to one side so that his hip rests upon the edge of the counter as he swaps stories with a now seventy five year old man of declining health.

*

Scott was more than eager to take a trip away from Westchester county. New scenery is always welcome when you've spent the majority of your life 'homebased' in one place. Not that the X-Men don't get out. Especially Cyclops.

This time it is an all together different reason, the Man of Steel. Alongside the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Wonder Woman one of the most trended and popular heroes of Earth.

The deep red Mazda RX-8 parked several blocks away at this point, a short walk. The door's closed sign at first not paid any mind, the handle already being turned it stops upon seeing it.

"Hello?" He ventures in through the crack, prying it open enough to glance in.

Scott's attire nothing spectacular contrary to Superman, a grey suit, white button up and dress shoes. The most outstanding thing about him aside from being a very tall man, much like Superman is the rose hued shades.

*

“Superman,” Abraham exclaims loudly in his hoarse voice, “your friend is here!” The man moves as lively as his old frame will allow his steps small but rapid and fame a bit hunched, “Come in, come in, friend of Superman!” He is genuinely excited by all of this, “But do not tell me your name! I know that your meeting is secret..” He does not move to shake Scott’s hand but instead takes his arm to pull him in and then catches the door behind him.

Mr. Geller makes a bit of a show about poking his head outside and looking up and down the street before closing the door and turning the deadbolt, “There!” Then he looks Scott up and down, “I knew it was you because of the glasses! All of you, dress so strange.”

Superman has come off the counter so that he stands straight, “Thanks Abe,” When Superman speaks it’s a bit louder than is necessary and Man of Steel looks at Scott giving a slight tug on his ear and nods at Abe to signify his difficulty hearing. Then he moves with a casual stride towards Scott the hem of his cape rustling gently near his ankles, “I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me.” He asks reaching outward to shake Summer’s hand, “How was your trip?”

“Superman!” Abe Geller exclaims, “If you stand in the window everyone will /see/ that you’re here. Go on. To the back room. I will turn down my hearing aid.”

Kal-El gives Scott a wry smile then and nods towards the rear of the store leading the way but also looking over his shoulder to continue to engage in small-talk before they arrive at their ‘secure location’.

*

Scott opens his mouth in regards to Geller until hes being drawn in then closes it just smiling, "Well, lets just say these are perscription."

"Thank you for hosting and your discretion." Not that Scott is banking too much of it towards secrecy.

"Was good trip, patch of traffic but nothing too horrible." His cellphone lifts and he thumbs in a couple things before swiping it to off. The vibration of it going dead audible in trills.

"GPS likes to tell me to keep going to my destination afte I've already arrived."

He falls in behind Clark, despite himself he is grinning a little. He is actually meeting Superman. Somewhere inside of Slim there lurks a fanboy element, doesn't hurt that hes also an obsessive researcher of allies and enemies.

*

“You are quite welcome,” Abe says squeezing Scott’s arm and slapping him lightly on the back, “Any friend of Superman’s is a friend of mine.” Then he let’s go and doesn’t make movement to follow them.

“I think we’ve all done that,” Superman says with a warm humility, “The only thing more embarrassing than your phone ringing in a professional setting is your GPS informing you that you still need to turn right.” He steps behind the curtain into the back and then stops holding the fabric away as if to hold the door for his guest.

The backroom is well swept and the orderly in a testament to the old man’s compulsion and numerous grandchildren.

“I had the hardest time convincing him he didn’t need to serve us lunch,” Superman says of Abe as they get into the back room. An antique dining room table and chairs are at the center of the room though it’s not immediately clear whether the setup was arranged for them or the furniture is stored here to await sale, “Have a seat if you want.” The Man of Steel says as he lets the fabric down and seems to stand still for a moment as if surveying the room, “Let’s see..,” he says gently to himself.

Then he moves forward towards one of the shelves and plucks a garish lamp from one of the shelves. Holding its base in one hand he reaches beneath the shade and begins to unscrew the light bulb. Pulling the bulb out he reaches into the light’s socket and pulls out a small device. He screws the bulb back in.

Walking to Scott then he holds the device up for a moment so that it rests in the space between his thumb and pointer. With seemingly gentle effort his fingers collapse and the device is atomized between the strength of his digits, “The problem with letting SHIELD arrange anything,” Superman says with good humor, “is that they always want to be a party to the discussion even if they weren’t invited.”

“I think we’re good now,” Superman says, “They’ve got eyes on the building but that’s it. As far as I can tell.” A bit ago Superman visited the agent who was running surveillance and confiscated his parabolic microphone, ‘I’ll bring it back when we’re done,’ he had assured the man.

*

"Yes, exactly, this particular program likes to tell me to turn right while I'm in the middle of the Queensboro bridge so… there is zero trust it's not out to get me. Best its just entirely off."

"Eager to do his part. Even if it's something like this, I rather like seeing that in people." Scott admits, "Says there not all horrible." A light smile there to convey hes joking. The mutant angst many suffer isn't overly heavy with Scott. He got out of that phase many years ago.

"Glad you came prepared, I may have won in to Agent Carter's charm a bit too easily and expected this would be an honest meet up without the worry of extra ears." A rookie move on Cyclop's part but then, hes been doing well at winging it lately and wearing just about as much as he can on his sleeves for the DEO and SHIELD.

*

“Agent Carter and I had a productive meeting,” Superman says a slight movement of his hand waving off the notion that trust may have been gained too easily, “I suspect that given the gravity of the situation that there is a concern that – just due to human nature – I may provide you with information that varies slightly from what I gave them.”

The Man of Steel’s calm blue eyes hold upon Scott’s brown the connection of their gazes unmistakable as Superman looks past the glasses and beyond the raging crimson torrent beneath.

“So,” he says chest swelling a touch, “the reason why I’ve asked you here is that I’ve learned of a threat to any organization that would have cause to encounter radical groups who promote mutant supremacy.”

“I don’t know how much you know about me,” Superman says, “My home planet, Krypton, experienced a catastrophic event approximately thirty-five years ago. For many years I believed that I was the only surviving member of my race – or at least the only one in this region of the galaxy.”

“However, I have recently discovered that this is not the case and that in addition to Supergirl there is another woman, Faora-Ul, who seeks to ensure that humanity does not suppress its natural evolution and will do so violently.”

“As a Kryptonian she shares my biology and its advantages on your planet,” his gaze softens a bit in apology.

*

"Only what the news and contacts I can reach to will allow me." Scott informs, "You're Earth's favorite orphan and refugee."

A squint behind those shades at mention of others like himself, Cyclops' lips quirk a little considering the power displayed by the Kryptonian. Televised feats and stories.

"Does not supress it's natural evolution… why would she even care? Is this a past time for your species?" He may be teasing with the dry tone and set of his mouth but it is hard to tell. The gravity of it is there though, a knit of his brows. Facing a Kryptonian in addition to the Brotherhood is not something Scott even wants to consider going in to underprepared.

*

Superman’s lips press togethers at Scott’s question his response to it neutral for his inability to determine whether or not Summers possesses a sardonic wit given how briefly they’ve gotten to know one another, “Not for our species,” he answers honestly, “Living begins tend to paint other cultures with a broad brush. All Khandaqi, all mutants, all Kryptonians possessing certain inherent qualities due to stereotype. Cyclops, we’re both victims of that and where as I have been fortunate that my duty to protect my adopted home and my charitable works have been ascribed to Kryptonians; the truth of the matter is that who I am doesn’t have anything to do with what I am.”

“Once, Krypton too began to have divergent evolution. At that time the leaders of our world felt that the future success of our people lied in a caste structure. Scientists. Soldiers. Artists and Artisans. The role of an individual was determined before their birth and so genetic variation beyond approved templates was thought to be an unacceptable aberration upon the grand design and so that variation was extinguished ensuring the longevity of our castes.”

“Faora is a soldier. Her ancestors were called to cull the people who had developed beyond our strict design. I think that she rightly views that act as genocide and I believe that she feels not only the shame that brought to her ancestors but also that it ensured that those before her and that those after her – had Krypton not been destroyed – would have been locked forever into violence and a slavery of ideals.”

“She cannot save Krypton. Even if it were to still exist such rebellions have failed many times. But here, on Earth, she possesses tremendous power and so I think that she feels she can save her own soul and those of her ancestors by ensuring that humanity does not repeat those mistakes.” He lifts his chin a bit, "And she will do so violently. She has very nearly killed me already because she recognizes that in addition to being an individual who can match her physical power that I am the only person on this planet who can contradict her version of Krypton's past."

*

Scott releases a noise from his throat at the explanation. The smile he is wearing fades. "Nothing more dangerous than someone dedicated to a cause that is close to home, redemption is a powerful thing. Even if it's just in her own eyes."

A long sigh and Scott reaches a hand up to adjust his glasses, fingers pinching down on the thin rims. "As much as I would like to delve in to your people's history and culture, Faora's reasoning behind her actions… I doubt that is why we are meeting right now."

"So far what you're telling me, Superman… is there is a devoted, god-like soldier born of violence who has now aligned herself with some of our worlds most dangerous terrorists? People deadset on undoing my team past decade of peacekeeping efforts."

"Is there a plan or some sort of tactic you can give me to prepare for her?"

*

“Yes,” Superman affirms with a slow nod, “That’s right.”

“The cells of an adult Kryptonian will become highly resistant to physical trauma within hours of exposure to the atmosphere of this world,” Kal-El says earnestly, “Within weeks I don’t know of any military weapon native to this world which would be more than a temporary inconvenience. However, our gifts are only physical in nature. The irony of this situation is the genetic diversity she fights to protect is the very thing which poses her the greatest risk. She can muster no more mental resistance than any other human soldier might.”

“That is her weak point native to this world,” Superman informs him, “but she’s not likely to fall prey to the same tactic twice. Not if she can predict when it would be used again.”

“You also have me,” the Man of Steel says, “I’ll provide you with a means to contact me. I’ve searched all of Genosha for her without result and I suspect given the events of the royal wedding if she had been present for an assault she would have made herself known.”

“I’ve asked SHIELD to help me locate her but I have reason to believe that your mission may have cause to uncover her as quickly as they. I leave it up to you as to whether you want to involve me but I consider this to be a personal matter and want to be an asset.”

He blinks, “Oh,” he adds suddenly and then extends his hand outward a generic USB drive sitting on the flat of his palm, “I drew a sketch for Agent Carter and had her scan it for me. It’s her device.” The last bit added not as a warning but as a potential precaution. Earlier actions not withstanding he doesn’t believe has an elaborate conspiracy here but he wouldn’t plug the drive into anything Clark Kent owned.

*

"Fire with fire as they say." Scott murmurs and extends his hand, he is listening to everything Superman is saying in detail, the usb drive taken, looked at and tucked in a front pocket. They have a system specifically for outside and third party possible security threats.

"You'll be our first line if she shows up. I'd rather have you present.

"I appreciate this."

A pause, a look at Superman's face, "Kryptonians have much knowledge on telepaths and psychic assault?" It's on the table, share and share alike. Even modern science and medical newspapers talk about such things now though. One of the biggest fears in the world is the psychic threat. There are tons of scams out there that have made bank off of it.

Shield and DEO have their own specialized units these days. Smartly so.

*

“Thank you,” the Man of Steel says, “It’s the very least I could do.” Superman gives an apologetic smile his eyes betraying his relief for having this whole situation handled so professionally.

“Not formally,” then Superman responds, “Telepathy was not one of the traits that was selected for incorporation to our society. I’m certain she received training in psychological warfare, resisting torture, that sort of thing,” he says without specific detail which might seem to indicate that those topics are not something that /he/ was trained in, “and forgive me because I’m not a telepath so I’m not certain how that training combats what it is they do,” Kal-El pauses there and looks down his brow furrowing in thought, “I can say that when I know such tactics have been used against me,” he looks at Scott, “that I’ve found it’s important I quickly evacuate from the situation because the times I have not, well," he sighs, "lessons learned.”

“She’s sure to seek out the knowledge once she realizes her vulnerability," he says, "I have and its been helpful but whereas I'm prone to escape she's just as likely to disintigrate whomever she believes is responsible." Ah, the failings of morality.

*

Scott's shaded crimson eyes drift past Superman, considering the options, "Understood. She'll adapt and eliminate the threat so it doesn't happen again. A soldier."

"I know what you're admitting here is fairly heavy, you can trust me with this. I find it unlikely we would have have to use such things on you but it is good to know we have options."

"I can forward all information we have about her new allies. SHIELD has a rather extensive index of them, if Carter and you get along well enough I imagine she can update you where we can't. If this Faora, i she has made their cause her own… " Scott shrugs his shoulders, a frown wanting to reapply itself to his forehead but it doesn't. "It is very likely we'll have more chances to talk. I should probably not keep you. If I have any more questions, you are fine with a fair exchange of a direct line?"

Scott pulls out a rounded device, it looks like a tiny black hearing aid with an X on it. Just as Clark had offered his open palm earlier the same is presented.

"Won't be hearing from us in space but you're good just about anywhere else with it." Not that Summers has any clue what sort of sensory abilties Superman possesses.

*

Superman takes to device from Scott and holds it just slightly above his eyeline to give it a very human inspection. Invisible to Scott, his eyes peel back the layers of the device and over a thousanth of a second he inspects its circuitry and capabilities to get a rough idea on its exact specifications.

He simply nods his head and closes his fist around it, “Thanks,” he replies for the gift, “I prefer a direct exchange. I imagine free time is not a resource either of us have in abundance and I’d prefer things not get lost in translation. You can also call me,” he says which may seem like an odd statement for someone who had SHIELD setup this initial meeting, “There’s a text file on the thumb drive with a phone number. It’ll ring through the Hall of Justice but it’s my private line. It’s good as long as I’m in near-Earth orbit,” the Man of Steel winks there.

“I trust you,” Clark says, “I appreciate what you are trying to do. If we’re to have peace on earth our loyalties must transcend our race, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective,” he gestures slightly there and starts towards the curtain leading to the front of the shop, “Its as true today as when Martin Luther King said it.”

“I’m looking forward to the day the biggest crisis I have on my hands are cats in trees.”

*

"No better words." Scott agrees, "You're a beacon this world needs, the kind of icon the X-Men want to see ourselves beside. Not to be bound by starless midnights, right?" A smile from Scott and he walks towards the front of the store, "I'd also like to talk sometime about asking you or another of your team to sponsor one of my X-Men in to the League, a public design there but with changes we're about to undergo, not just my own ideas on some infrastructure but what I'm seeing with our world, I think it might be a good step for both of our 'teams'."

"Anyways, we'll be in touch, Superman. Thank you, again." He extends his hand for a shake.

*

Exiting to the front of the store Abe Geller putters about the store idly arranging the knick-knacks for his excitement won’t allow him focus enough to do much else.

“I’d be happy to talk that over with you,” Superman replies earnestly, “and I agree. One consistent criticism of the League has been that we’ve got a more aliens, mystical beings, and intergalactic guardians than we do heroes who work within the actual communities on Earth. The best thing for all of us is to have a little more contact with one another so that in situations just like this one we’re not functioning through intermediaries and in the back of antique shops.”

Kal-El grins warmly there and then he reaches outward to take Scott’s hand. Warm skin and nothing particularly notable about his grip except that it seems to mirror his amiable demeanor, “I’ll walk you out.”

As the move to exit Superman pauses within the open door, “Abe,” he calls back into the store, “I’ve got to go. Can I buy you lunch next Tuesday?”

The old man starts a bit his confusion and his disappointment in Superman exiting is quickly subdued by the offer of lunch, “Of course!” Geller says, “Pastrami? From that place in Turkey?”

“You got it.” Superman replies.

*

"Sounds like you're overdue a mutant. Once again helping eachother… " Scott accepts the Kryptonians grip and retracts, hands finding his keys as hey walks. The shop keep and host getting a polite wave from Scott before the X-Man is gone.

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