Yo' Momma's So Politically Involved...

September 01, 2018:

Moms for Transparency! are at it again, this time in Albany, NY in front of the state capitol building. …And this time there's more trouble.

Albany, NY


NPCs: Cheryl Faber, Assemblyman Williams, Demonstrators (GM'd by Emma Frost)


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's not on the steps of the New York capitol building - security would never allow that. Nor is it on the sidewalk. However, on the public ground that is just beyond. Across the street, on the sidewalk, dozens of middle-aged women who have started marching up and down State Street in Albany, NY with signs in hand in the bright of a very warm, partly cloudy day.

Parents Need Transparency reads one poster-board sign. Very on-brand, if vague.

Do you know who your neighbors are? reads another, on cardboard.

Help parents protect kids! Support MPASS!

Violent mutants belong on registries!!!

We can do better than MPASS reads yet another sign. Awww, has someone found a heart?! Is she standing up to her soccer mom peers and beating her own drum? The dark haired woman with her headband, ponytail, and yoga pants twirls the wood post in her hand. TELL JAN & CARLOS WE NEED STRICTER BILLS THAN THIS.

Well, so much for that bit of optimism. Sorry.

Jan Hallifax and Carlos Antony, for those just tuning in, are the assemblymembers who sponsored the infamous MPASS bill that brings us here on a weekday afternoon while the assembly is in session. And the group gathered is none other than the Moms for Transparency.
They march in relative silence and order for the most part, past parking garages and a bus terminal near the state capitol.

The press has gathered, and there’s presently a camera in the face of one Cheryl Faber - the president of this advocacy group. They’ve positioned her so that the picket line moves past her, making all of the signs readily visible in frame.

The well-dressed young man with the microphone in his hand is in the middle of an interview with her, and he looks very serious. "…understood that a registry like this would violate the privacy of a number of citizens. How do you answer something like that?"

"I think it's important to remember that, despite the rhetoric, MPASS is commonsense legislation, much like gun laws that New York already has in place. In its present form, this bill is meant to only publicly identify those mutants who have already demonstrated violent behavior. To identify mutants among the violent population who might otherwise pass by unrecognized for the threat they really are."

"Would you still be here picketing if the proposed legislation was tighter?"
Cheryl smiles shrewdly, her teeth Invisalign perfect and a pearly white. "It's not, though, so that’s not really a question I think is worth answering. I will say that there is a wide range of opinion on that point within our group."

Given the signs? Yeah, that’s kinda already been demonstrated.
Well, if nothing else, Cheryl and her group of motherly activists seems to have learned something this time: making sure the cameras are rolling during picketing hours will make the likelihood of violence less, right?

This has gotten a little out-of-hand, for Caitlin's tastes.

She was told it was a simple petition signing. Show up, sign the list, put down your email. Maybe get a free hat or t-shirt. But this looks less like a rally and more like a … demonstration. She pulls down the brim of her cap a little, the gesture a fruitless attempt to hide her from the crowd. It's a trendy grey boxcap that looks vaguely military. She's wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and low wedge sandals; the slingpack adds to the 'casual attendee' look. Or it would, if Caitlin wasn't clearly a 'bruiser' in mutant parlance. She's taller than most and her flaming ginger hair makes her stand out a bit.

Slouching towards the pollsters, she tries to stay inconspicuous among the signs and chants. They're increasingly louder and more bellicose. She stoops to sign the petition, and her pen hesitates over the last line-item: Meta? y/n .

She pauses, then checks the box and tries to scurry out before anyone spots her.

Dr. Jean Grey was not present in Albany specifically to do anything about this particular demonstration. She is well aware of this 'Moms For Transparency' group and the fact it has been attacked before, and so it seemed safest to steer clear and stick with her own business, which was a speaking engagement at SUNY Albany, followed by a few meetings with more sympathetic legislators in order to lobby aggressively against the harsher points of the proposed registration act.

It is perhaps telling of the current atmosphere, however, that even the assemblymember with whom Jean is currently speaking did not meet with her within the capitol building itself. Perhaps due to his own fears, or perhaps due to the fears of security to allow a 'known mutant' like Jean Grey past their doors. Especially when said known mutant has company with her, people she has introduced as 'alumni of her Xavier Institute, concerned citizens all.' Whatever the reason, Jean took it with her usual aplomb and grace, accepting the alternate suggested meeting location at an open-air cafe a little way down State Street.
They've mostly finished their conversation by the time the picketing moms really start get going. Jean regards them in silence a moment, reading the signs.

"I'll leave you with a question, Assemblyman Williams," she says, rising to shake his hand farewell as he also stands to take his leave. "Two questions — " an apologetic smile, "pardon me. One… your voting record has shown a distinct opposition to discrimination and intolerance. Do you believe voting in favor of MPASS would be consistent with that? And two…"

Her gaze rests on the women and their signs. "What does this imagery remind you of?"

Alyse was neither a mother nor did she understand soccer at all. To Witchdoctor? It was another strange game not of her time nor her people. Still, the crowd was making an awful amount of noise. The Justice League's resident medical witch had simply been out and about as she often was, enjoying some downtime in the cultural mix that was New York when her path had brought her past what she was seeing now. Thankfully she'd forgone her usual 'sorceress gown' when out in public, instead having switched to the skirt and jacket of her 'street-practical' outfit. Given the 'hippy types'? She might not be the strangest dressed person in the space tonight!

Currently she walks, her hand currently occupied with an icecream cone she'd purchased from a street vendor at a slow pace while her gaze slips over the chanting and sign-baring crowd as well as those whom come to speak with them and the political types involved. She wasn't a mutant in the strictest sense, but even with her membership in the league the Witch very much doubted that she would be seen any different by those who rallied so enthusiastically against those different from themselves.

One Polaris, or rather Lorna Dane was certainly a well known and out mutant, no thanks to her father and the spectacle that was Genosha. She maintained some infamy from the destruction that was her wedding and the two (short) arrests since she'd returned stateside. Her green hair, which she wore proudly and obviously, stood out as a red-flag of a sorts to those that would otherwise have passed her off as simply a human. She followed along side Jean for once quiet and listening to the meeting. She didn't try to interrupt, though her disgust and utterly irritation at having to meet the man outside of the regular offices and chambers of law and order was apparent to everyone and anyone. Not just the telepaths.

Though she'd at least mostly, kept it to herself. The green haired woman had made the attempts to dress professionally, creamy white slacks and a purple blouse with a floral blazer somewhat softened her appearance. She followed along near the red head, frowning as they came across the protesting mothers. She clicked her phone off, which she'd been carefully tapping away on since they'd left the cafe and tucked it away. Her heels clicking against the pavement as she peered at the protesters over the rim of her sunglasses. Her frown deepened into a scowl.

"As if they're the only ones that have children.." She muttered under her breath.

Rachel, unlike Jean, is here to see the rally. She has a problem with emotional self-abuse like that. The meeting with the assemblymember went well enough, with Rachel sharing her experiences and ideology without ever once mentioning that she's from a terrible hellscape future where an increasingly xenophobic populist mandate seizes the executive and legislative branches, destroys the judicial branch, and then commits a little more genocide than they thought they signed up for.

Hate and fear are never precise instruments.

When the marchers come nearer — and Rachel can feel them coming for quite some time — she begins to center herself. Focus on where you're sitting. Focus on being a person. She has been quiet for portions of this conversation, so it's not unusual. She has graciously dressed with tact, favoring a black lightweight sweater with a bateau neckline, a red knee-length skirt, and tall boots that for once do not look exceedingly stompy. When Jean stands, she stands a moment later.

She can't help it. Her gaze drifts over the neatly arranged signs, catching for a long moment on Do you know who your neighbors are? She squeezes her eyes shut, trying in futility to shut out the memories that she know will come anyway.

The sound of rallies on television. The men and women at podiums. Some voices angry, some merely sure. For a few years, she was too young to understand. She learned.

Do you know what your children are?

Rachel still remembers the first time she saw her own picture on the internet. She was ten. That word was written across her face. Dr. Jean Grey's own daughter.

Rachel always thought it was pretty stupid by slur standards. Most are, the more Rachel has thought about it.

Sitting on the steps of the Capitol Building, there is a bit of a different sight, especially with the soccer moms protesting nearby: A fish.

Sort of.

With a hot to-go cup of tea set on the steps just beneath her, Sloane Albright is fidgeting with a pair of sugar packets and a stirring straw sticking out from the corner of her mouth. Though an Agent of SHIELD, she's there to be as unimposing and disarming as possible: A Foo Fighters concert t-shirt, jeans, and boots, long ginger hair tied up and back in a messy bun. Aviator sunglasses sit perched on her face, keeping those fiery orange eyes at least partially hidden.

Stirring her sugary boost into the drink before fitting the lid back on, she blows a bit of steam off the top while easing her pose a bit and just watching. The loudness, the attitudes, the chanting…

Every so often, a cop walks by to usher her on— some claim she's loitering but a few undoubtedly feel like it'll cause trouble by even being here— and she's at the point where she's started preemptively holding up her SHIELD badge without even looking up.

Having switched back to her outfit that people know (well, a few people), Maxima comes floating down to the steps of the New York Capitol Building, cape fluttering out behind her. She looks at the building, one foot on a step up with the other on a step below and then looks back across to the people protesting. She considers all of this and hmms, "Rachel had mentioned those that dislike and distrust."

She nods her head slowly and then takes a step down the steps slowly to look at those people and then around at those who pass by. She considers all of this a moment before she notes the presence of Rachel and then she thinks she spots the presence of Caitlin. She considers all of this but spots instead Sloane Albright at the top of the steps.

Walking up to her, Maxima puts her hands on her hips and looks at the building again, "Excuse me, Fish Woman who is not from the sea." She turns her gaze back to Sloane, "Is this where they are making the law involving discrimination against those who are different?" She hmms and tilts her head now down to Sloane, "I wish to speak with those in charge that I might offer them insight into how Almerac deals with such issues. Differences should be celebrated as all are part of the Almeracean Empire and add to its distinctiveness. Should not the same be said for your America and further your Earth?"

"I can spot at least six pretty good vantage points for a sniper's nest. Maybe seven? Dunno. Do you think it's seven?"
This is the prime topic of concern for the youngest of the trio of redheaded women currently making themselves comfortable at a quaint little cafe; the cafe is especially quaint for her, considering she never even knew cafes were a thing that existed until she got here, but…
It's hard for Hope Summers to live in the mindset of past-days convenience when she's spent her whole life living the future-days of wondering when the next armed maniacs were going to come to try to collect on your head.

Even with an affogato.

And so, dressed in a simple green tank top and brown jacket with jeans possessed of appropriately worn down knees (that's a fashion thing in the past, she is never not amazed by how things work here), Hope just stays towards the back of that little meet up, offering friendly smiles without commentary. This isn't her world. She doesn't really get the politics here, except for what they cause down the line.

And she's pretty sure if she spoke up, she'd just end up talking about how screwy it is that people are willing to murder everything they love just to protect their egos.

So she doesn't. She just waits until the meeting is done, stands, offers little waves goodbye, and then offers that small aside to Rachel Summers, because of all her weird, extended family, she's the one that reminds her of Nathan the most. Maybe it's a future thing. Regardless. She just watches the demonstrators demonstrate as she lifts her affogato to her lips, and brows crawl slowly up her forehead.

"I could maybe make myself comfortable at one of those spots in case they all keep talking," she suggests. She's kidding of course. Mostly. Sippp.

"- holy crap, this is good! Why didn't anyone ever tell me the past had things like afrogators??"

She — probably meant affogato. Listen, she's trying.

She still has a lot to learn.

Assemblyman Williams clears his throat in response to Dr. Grey's questions, although his throat flushes as he withdraws his hand from hers. He's a man who has gotten something of a reputation for his honesty, and it's probably because he's a terrible liar. "Dr. Grey, I appreciate the conversation this afternoon. But citizens are allowed to peaceably gather when things bother them. They parade, they launch phone blitzes against small campaign field offices. Part and parcel of the political circuit. I know you don't see much of it, but it's true." He glances between the four women, and then he snorts at Lorna's outward disgust. He's taken risks doing this much, and the lack of appreciation for it doesn't sit well. "I'll consider what you said today when the bill comes up for debate." And then he's gone, slipping warily past Sloane on the steps and not all that reassured for the badge she holds up for an officer as he passes.

Caitlin, for the part of those pollsters and petitioners gathered, seems to slide beneath notice. There's something to be said for a face - however familiar - taken out of the context in which you might be used to seeing it. She tugs her baseball cap lower, and she becomes little more than a signature on a page.

Sloane, for now, seems to have gotten very little attention. But there's whispering in the picket line. A subtle pointing of a finger. The not-fish's luck may not hold.

The cameras roll on. "The mutant population is unpredictable," Cheryl continues, her voice smooth and sure. Talking points from somewhere, she's got them polished to a shine. "I don't hate mutants, but we have to look at this as risk mitigation. Let's look at what we do to non-mutants who commit violent crimes. We remove their ability to procure and hold weapons. We obviously can't remove an X-gene… so… what's really left but to be aware of where they are? Don't you think that this is really the least we can ask?"

The reporter arches an eyebrow and then clears his throat. "I'm not the one in the interview, Mrs. Faber," he replies at last.

Hope's aside makes Rachel choke on a laugh before she lets it out fully. It's not the kind of thing one would expect Rachel to find funny, given the consequences, but there's something about living through an apocalypse that gives you a lasting appreciation for grim humor. People can get used to anything.

"You ever have gelato?," she says. "Like, real gelato. The kind that an old guy who only speaks Italian and serves you while glaring."

The conversation between Jean and Williams starts to get a bit more heated. Well, Williams sounds heated. Rachel turns back to them, folding her hands together.

"Mr. Williams," she says, raising her voice as he's about to turn away. "Thank you for your time. This means a lot to us."

More than he knows.

Unnoticed, but not exactly as confronting as the others, Witchdoctor's ice-cream approach continues quietly. The ranting and raving woman however? That can't help but bring a little soft snort of the woman's own not all the dissimilar for the Assemblyman's. "Would you ask the same of yourself, I wonder?" she muses almost indirectly, even if her presence may well continue to go unnoticed. "Would you and all your 'like-minded' volunteer all of your information? Would you feel safe if every man, woman and child were known? Human or mutant?"

The Witch's tones were calm, but there was a chill behind her eyes. Much like the Summer's girls, she'd come from a world far worse that easily could find its foundations in places and people like this.

Next to Rachel Summers, Kitty sits quietly. When she was told that Rachel intended to witness the march, she had her reservations and her doubts. However, seeing how determined her friend was to attend, she insisted that she would come, too. However, she is not in the meeting with the trio of redheads. She is, instead, just outside the cafe, almost like a petite secret serviceman that is not at all intimidating, but more well meaning.

Though she knows, instinctively, that this is probably a bad idea, she's also invited Peter Quill along with her. When she's going to be surrounded by this much hate and anger about her and her friends and family…well, sometimes it helps to have a flippant spaceman as her own backup.

As the voices outside and inside the cafe get a little more heated, Kitty turns her attention first one way and then the other, a distinct frown on her face.

“Then it is fortunate," Jean says, slow and patient, "that I did not mention anything about forbidding the right to peaceful protest. The intolerance and refusal to understand one's fellow man that drives people to engage in such protests… that is what concerns me. Legislation to automatically codify a person as a threat before they have ever committed any crime… that concerns me."

He doesn't appreciate Lorna's attitude. «Careful, Lorna,» swims across the psychic airwaves. Outwardly, Jean rises, performs the niceties — thank you for your time and willingness to listen — and watches Williams go.

Jean slants Lorna a glance. In her green gaze is a reminder of her recent public… incidents. "They fear for their children as much as we do for our own," she says. "But they cannot protect them by sacrificing our rights. We will fight this — in the ways it was meant to be fought. In the ways that will prove that we are not to be feared and hated."

Jean takes a deep breath, and then she turns fully back towards her company, resting a hand on Rachel's shoulder and squeezing in mute support. Hope's commentary draws her eye a moment later.

"Enjoy the affogato," she says. "No sniping today."

Lorna kept her eyes trained on the protesters for the most part, green eyes narrowed and chilling in their sharpness. Even as she shoved her hands into her pockets and swallowed the first, second, and third comments that came to mind in regards to what Mr. Williams could do with his political niceties. Jean's gentle warning earned a mental snort, and eye roll. But she didn't say anything. She waited until Williams was gone, her expression sour. Though Hope's joy and wonder at the drink from the cafe eased some of the tension in the line of her shoulders. It didn't entirely bring a smile to her features either.

Her gaze fell on the reporters there, and she hummed under her breath. "I could fry their equipment." She offered, her voice only half joking, and mostly voicing her honest desires. She very much wanted to dry the soccer mom's expensive cell phones.

Her hands twitched in her coat pockets, before she dragged out her cell phone and flicked the camera on to film the protests from her position.

It seems there's a small army of gingers out and about today, and Caitlin is far from the most prominent among them. She's momentarily caught up in the surging crowd; chants form around her and the increasingly uncomfortable woman is swept up in them, unable to break free without stepping on a few toes.

It takes her several minutes to break free of the crowd and be ejected into the sidelines. Caitlin dithers there, not far from Jean and her "children", uncertain what to do—a mob, a march, a riot, a panic? She puts a few fingers into her jeans pockets, creating an imbalanced shrug, and sidelines herself for a few minutes. It's an uncomfortable position to be in, stretched between the eddies of passivity and the fervored chanting of the protestors. Cait glances at Jean, Rachel, and the others, and pulls the brim of her cap just a little lower out of some reflexive desire to be inconspicuous.

Though her best friend and her Sokovian family welcomed her with open arms, treated her like a fairytale creature, though she has coworkers that accept her, she's become used to the stares, the whispers, the occasional points in her direction. Too subtle to notice from a distance, sure, but she's familiar with the behavior.

Sometimes, as the Assemblyman passes by her, she wonders what it would be like if she could actually 'pass.'

Suddenly, before she gets too far in her thoughts, Maxima.

Sloane looks up from where she sits, sucking in a breath between her teeth and trying to hold onto her poker face. Being here is rolling the dice, but having someone fly down to talk to her directly is … a thing.

Rising up to her feet with tractioned rubber-sole boots grinding dust on the steps, she does her best to put on the polite SHIELD agent routine: "Agent Albright, ma'am." Looking toward the picket line, she glances back at the tall alien lady after a moment. "Um. … I wouldn't advise trying to stir up trouble with them. This is … kind of a hot issue around here, and you … literally just flew in."

She sips the hot tea, looking across the landscape of the picket line.

"The law is a tricky thing around here."

Behind the rim of her cup, Hope's smile blossoms into a full blown grin at the sound of her (sort of) aunt's laughter and Lorna's suggestion of convenient electronics-frying. No sniping, declares Jean.

"Yes ma'am," chirps Hope, and resumes enjoying her affogato as requested. "Affogato. So it's not… huh."

She looks a little disappointed that the name is not, in fact, afrogator.

"… well, it's still good."

And with this, she tips back her drink to take a long and indulgent sip of the kind she was never really afforded growing up, taking a moment to just enjoy the fact that she can stop to enjoy things with a smile pleased as punch despite everything going on all around her. She never lets the soccer moms out of her peripherals — especially that one, Cheryl Faber, at the lead. Her lips purse mildly at all the chanting, all the rhetoric. It all seems so… small, for something that could damn all of them. She has a hard time really wrapping her head around it.

"-Wait, real gelato?" Hope asks, eyes widening just a touch at Rachel's amazing insight. "That's a thing?" It takes her a moment to soak in the imagery of some cantankerous old Italian mean-muggingly serving her gelato.

"No I haven't but yes I do need to."

She needs this. In her life.

As Maxima floats - FLOATS - down onto the steps of the capitol, there are other people moving. Namely, the capitol security team. They move, quietly, under the covered entrance, convening near near the top of the steps as they prepare for something.

And Cheryl and her gathered moms seem to have noticed it, too. Her body language changes immediately, stiffer and the anxiety already begins to rise. Well, why wouldn't it? How does she know a criminal from a saint? But she knows what she can't do. Fly.

The women who paraded behind her were silent before, not in a hurry to overpower Cheryl's voice as she spoke with the reporter. But now they've stopped their steady churn past his cameraman and have begun to murmur nervously. Cheryl tries to regain her footing. "I'm not asking the world. I just want to know if someone who has already done something violent has the possibility to do more." She pauses, and then shrugs under her black hoodie. She tries to keep her gaze locked on the reporter, but… her eyes keep flitting to the pair talking on the capitol steps in easy view. "If someone else wants to do something about all of the rest of the risks out there, that's on them. I-I am pretty focused on just the ones who've already given us reason to doubt them."

When someone dares to actually intrude onto her interview space, though, it emboldens Faber. "I haven't committed a violent crime, so I wouldn't be impacted by the legislation," she says, flatly, to Witchdoctor. "Get your facts straight before you start hurling accusations about what I'm championing."

"Well," Peter Quill's voice is low, but there is a squint to his eyes as he looks at the interview going on. "Good thing that people didn't just suddenly get smart over the past decade I've been in space."

One flippant spaceman ordered and received.

Dressed in his usual Ravager finest, he by far isn't the strangest dressed here. But he /is/ here, because A) Kitty asked him and B)…well wait that was it really.

He is a simple man. Plus zealots usually don't have anything good to rob. They spend it all being zealots.

"It should totally be called afrogator." He gives his opinions on drinks then. "Afrogator sounds like some amazing drink you have to fight to get ahold of." A longer pause. "What the heck is a gelato though?"

…look, they don't have gelato in space.

It’s a crime.

A pause though, keeping is voice pitched lower as he squints slightly again. "You know. Correct me if I'm wrong here. But pretty sure flying people are not really helping this whole friendly chat here. I mean everyone seems wrapped tighter than a damn drive core already."

Glancing back at the people chanting and marching, Maxima considers them a moment before saying, "I am not deeply concerned with them unless they are the ones that will be making the decision." SHe nods her head and then looks back, "Agent Albright." She then considers that a moment and gestures with a finger at Sloane, "Are all those who ally themselves with SHIELD required to have Agent before their name? I am not certain I will allow for this." She nods her head and then looks back, "A discussion for later but certainly not acceptable." She shakes her head.

She then redirects her own line, "Nonetheless, I am thinking it wiser for I to speak with those that will directly vote on this to attempt to sway them in the right direction." She nods her head before looking back at the people below, "One does not rule over a people by forcing them to reveal their entire lives. If one truly wishes to rule, than it should be because the people follow not because you make them." She nods her head and smiles a little, "They see your strength and act." She might be a bit delusional given that her people have conquered many other races but she is an idealist at least.

She looks then to the people all staring and their pause. She tilts her head a little and then looks to Sloane, "See, they recognize me for what I am." She then steps down the steps a few steps, smiles and raises her hand to wave at them with a nod but then hmms, "They…are giving off fear." She looks concerned suddenly, "They should not be so nervous. A healthy respect but not this…" She hmms.

Rachel radiates psychic warmth when Jean touches her shoulder. Some things are easier felt than said. "I know a place in the city," she says to Hope. "I'll take you sometime and we can both show off our immunity to old hardasses glaring."

«This isn't so bad,» Rachel sends to Kitty on their private line. It's a bit of a reassurance for them both. «I feel that alien woman I mentioned nearby. Soooo, maybe might get bad.»
This is actually the first time Rachel has met Peter Quill. They haven't had time to talk. It's still been… illuminating. Luckily for Kitty, Rachel's roommate judgment test is being delayed by the sheer potential for drama here today. Across the psi-link, Kitty can feel the knot of tension inside Rachel that wants to micromanage this entire situation.

"You could," Jean replies Lorna placidly. "But you won't. That would be feeding right into their rhetoric. Proving their point. I mean to make it out of Albany without engaging them even once. Our best approach is to govern our own behavior rather than trying to publicly confront…"
She trails off as she perceives a woman floating out of the sky and down towards Sloane. All eyes turn nervously towards her. A sigh escapes Jean.

"It doesn't help, no," she replies Quill, as he makes his observation. Her gaze tracks back across the assembled X-Men (and Quill). "Eyes open," she warns.

For all her general awareness, Kitty totally missed the woman floating down from the sky toward the demonstration. Her attention has been far too focused with worry in Rachel's direction. The approach of Lorna and the Grey/Summerses is met with a bit of relief that the meeting is over and hasn't ended in explosions or fire.

"Gelato's kind of like ice cream. It's Italian. And why do we want to wrestle or drinks?" Kitty asks the Ravager at her side. The flippancy is actually helping keep her mind from spinning to fast and tilting like a washing machine with too much in the tub.

Rachel's mental reassurance is met with a relieved sigh. Enough that she isn't even nervous for Rachel to meet Quill for the first time. His first meeting with Jean did not, exactly, go the best. It's only when Quill points out Maxima that she blinks a few times and then looks up. Blinking a few times, she shakes her head and agrees with Jean, yes they should definitely keep their eyes open.

"And yet," Alyse answers the woman who'd spoke to her so flattly, "your 'facts' are that you would ask others whom have done no wrong to be lumped in with the rest?" The Witch speaks calmly, lowering her sweet to her side and then tilting her head to the side. "Or is that not what 'stricter legislation' refers to? Forgive me, but all the shouting nonsence doesn't make it as easy to follow as say…a calm discussion that others are trying to have?" The Fae woman was no politician, but then someone who was would probably have known not to bother!

Floating Maxima? She doesn't really earn a blink from the Witchdoctor. Weird was sort of the norm around her.

A purse her lips followed Jean's words, and a grumble. Lorna sighed, clicking her phone off as she stopped the video recording she'd been taking and tucked the electronic from Daddy dearest away into her blazer's pocket again. "Yeah because that worked so well historically speaking.." She grumbled, her lips twisting. Perhaps she'd been listening to Magneto's stories about the Holocaust a bit too closely since her last visit, perhaps not. Still, she glanced toward Hope at the mention of gelato and the alike.

"Go out with Logan for ice cream sometime. He knows the places that look sketchy but are actually pretty good." She offered, some what distractedly. Her main focus remaining on the drama going on with the flying woman on the steps of the building nearby. She didn't know Quill beyond a vague, hey something something Kity, he's cool too. Thing. A lot of people like that around the Mansion these days.

"If things go south, I am totally roasting those cell phones.." She added as only partly an afterthought.

"Lorna," Rachel says, her tone dropping to a kind of neutrality that, relative to the liveliness it had just moments about, probably comes off as more serious than it would otherwise.
"You've been on gossip sites for throwing people around recently. We're all getting videoed here. They'll put together it was you."

Rachel glances back to the mom mob. The confrontation puts her on edge. Another thing she can't control.
They're drawing attention— she had a feeling it would go this way. Dang it.

Sloane's quick to lift her hand a little toward the security team— palm down, arm low, trying to be at least a little subtle about it. The crowd's attitude seems to have changed a bit, too, what with the woman in costume and cape being this bold. Her gaze, however, stays on Maxima. "It's my title, ma'am, that's all."

The Inhuman's head tips back a little, slipping off her aviators and hooking them into the collar of her t-shirt, the day's light adding sheen to the iridescent blue scales in swaths under her eyes and across her cheeks. "If you want to lobby or petition the Assembly, you'll have to make an appointment ahead of time, on this planet you can't just drop out of the sky and ask to see the people in charge. Today isn't a good day for that, what with all of this going on."

Her head turns toward the crowd, and Maxima's response to it.

'They… are giving off fear.' Sloane's vertical-slit eyes shift down and to the side, coming down off the steps to stand by the alien's side. "It's… complicated. Earth is complicated. I'm not saying you can't make an appointment, and I'm not saying you can't plead your case. All I'm saying is that it's probably not a good idea today to just fly in and pull the 'take me to your leader' thing. Fair?"

"Yeah, I think that's something I could go for." A day of gelato and cranky glaring. Hope Summers stares out at the throngs with a pensive frown. "… Especially after today."
Still, it's illuminating, in its own way. Hope isn't sure if it's reassuring or not to be able to personally know even the past has its problems. Like soccer moms.

At least the dystopian future didn't have soccer moms. Or—

"Wait. Logan's an ice cream connoisseur guy?" This revelation from Lorna has green eyes widening. Hope takes a moment from her affogato to just kind of scratch the side of her head and squint, like she was just trying to… picture that. Ice cream doesn't have a whole lot to do with murder, after all. "… huh."

The More You Know.

After that, though, her attention is back on the crowds. And on the woman flying down in the middle of what seems like basically a giant euphemism for a loaded gun. Her brows crinkle. Tension settles into her jaw, mild and subtle, the way a survivor instinctively makes preparations for the inevitable. Like how an animal knows the storm before it hits.

"… Yeah. Keeping an eye out." Sometimes you just know when shit is about to hit the fan. It helps, of course when it comes with bright, neon signs. Just a little.

The reporter chimes in now, after a murmured 'yessir' in his ear piece, silently and out of view. He's making hand signals to one of the the film crew, and they're moving up to start getting Alyse out of frame. Away from the boom. "Our people aren't the ones shouting, if you haven't noticed," Cheryl snaps at last, clearly agitated. "There are other people here, and now you're the one lumping folks together."

But she's losing the cameraman's attention to a pan of the street as the reporter makes more hand gestures. The capitol steps are a far shot from where they're standing nearer a corner, but fortunately there's this thing called 'zoom' button.

"Hey," calls the dark haired ringleader. "You said a full interview. I was expecting more than four questions."

The reporter glances at her, and then raises his own dark eyebrows. "Sorry. Interview's over. You aren't the orange-eyed thing that was… Hey, wasn't that the chick at the SHIELD denouncement of registration?" They can edit the anti-woman talk later, and he knows it. Thank God it's not live. There's a cluck of his tongue, and then more pointing. "Make sure you get plenty of footage of her being here, huh? Maybe a connection? SHIELD trying to make a political statement again? Who's she talking to?"

It's at this point that Caitlin Does Something.

She's tried to remain inconspicuous, sure. The tall ginger heroine doesn't want to get goat-roped in with the racists and the bigots hiding behind this rally. But when the camera fixates on Sloane— the reporting asking hushed, lurid questions of the camera— she can't help but act.

So she does what she does best. Caitlin stumbles.

Pushed, even! By the swelling mob! And that push *happens* to stumble her into the report, and in her flailing incompetence, she *happens* to smack down that camera while it's working to get focus on Sloane. It'd be a caricature in motion if anyone watched the whole thing, as the powerhouse heroine stumbles through the reporter and knocks the camera down.

"Ohmigosh! I'm so sorry!" Caitlin yelps, loudly, and helps both parties aloft. "Someone bumped me!"

A huff and Lorna continued to watch the events unfold, for once not the cause of them. A greenette in surrounded by a sea of redheads. It was like Christmas decorations in hair form. Green eyes angled toward Rachel as she lofted an eyebrow upwards at the young woman's comment about her recent exploits. "I've been on gossip sites for almost a year." She shrugged, it wasn't like she'd allowed the cameras or phones to get a picture of her. There was no physical evidence to her rampages.. Besides the charges were dropped after all.

Still, Hope was a good distraction. And even earned a smile. "Yes, well, he took me out for ice cream the other day and it wasn't horrible. So yeah.. Logan likes ice cream."

"If Rocket were here he would be betting on the over/under of something exploding," Quill says quietly as he eyes the mob, the mutants slowly moving away from the interview. The reporter trying to get a good view of a fish and the redhead that stumbles into him. "Of course if Rocket were here a miniature talking tree and a trash panda with more weapons that most armies would totally be getting most of the press."

A beatpause.

"Groot would totally win them all over though, little guy is adorable."

Still for all of his banter, his silliness, he's still tense. This is just a hostile situation and he really hates those. Somehow he always ends up getting shot. Or tasered. Or slapped. He's really hoping none of those happen.

A blink at Sloane and she stands up straighter, "An appointment? This world and its appointments! I am a Queen and a guest on your world. Your people are terrible at treating guests correctly." She nods her head, "I mean honestly." Maxima waves a hand in the air, "One would think that a visiting queen of a Galactic Empire might get some kind of better treatment. They should be making appointments to see me." She sighs and rolls her eyes before looking then back at the dust up happening below.

"Is that the one known as Caitlin Fairchild?" She smiles and then starts that way, "Excellent." She nods her head and then looks at the mess that is being made as she walks, "I know, I will help that man with his broken camera. Surely they will be pleased by that." She nods her head, "A goodwill gesture always wins over the hearts and minds."

Rachel exhales in what is not quite a sigh. Almost.

"Yeah. I guess nothing happens if there's no evidence."

The middle redhead looks out across the crowd again, split as she is between wanting to watch the possible trainwreck and wanting to get away. Her face becomes carefully, carefully controlled when she sees Maxima making her way over to the crowd.

"I want to go over there and stop this but it'll just make it worse," she says in a dire monotone to no one in specific.

Watching the entire thing unfold, Kitty glances at Peter and then to the others. Maybe she should get in position to do something? "I can phase through the camera and break it," she offers in tandem to the idea that if there's no evidence, it helps their case. Of course, her phasing through someone might end up on someone's phone. That doesn't really help them on the no evidence front.

Instead, she gives Peter a quirked smile. "Yeah, I wish Groot was here. One small dance and he'd have everyone charmed." He is quite an adorable little tree. Even these racist mothers would have to agree to that.

As Maxima speaks, she glances at the others and then back. "At least she's an alien and not a mutant? That's good at changing the story?" Much like Rachel she wants to stop this but feels as if anything she may do will only inflame everything else.

The camera goes down and the lens cracks. There's shouting. Do you know how much these things cost?!

And then there's more shouting, distant at first as a new crowd makes its way down the sidewalk. Vehemently anti-registration.

No X-Gene, No Say.

The Way to Hell is Paved with Registration Efforts!
The crowd is certainly more diverse, not just a bunch of middle class mothers with an axe to grind. It's a group of about the same size, but there are definitely more hair colors and creative piercings.

They've got a chant going, too! Because, of course, they do. "We hate bigots, yes, we do! We hate bigots, how 'bout you?" One half of the group, then the other. Back and forth, back and forth, as they come up the other side of State Street.

Oh! Well. This'll go well.

Lorna shot Rachel a 'what?' look, shrugging as she tossed her hands up. "What, you'd prefer that I let them film everything?" She tilted her head, and glanced back at the chaos that was unfolding. Her lips pursed as she glanced at Kitty, "My EMF pulse is way more effective. I mean.. it'll even wipe their credit cards. Phones.." She tilted her head, her lips twitching faintly in amusement that Kitty's commentary matched her thought process pretty closely in regards to the floating woman. "Huh. Alien.. Yeah? I mean.. that's only so useful? A person can tell the difference between a mutant and an alien. People are dumb.. good luck telling them there's a difference.." She muttered.

Which of course ended with the counter-protestors appearance and her shoulders stiffening. They did not need more bodies on the field. "Well shit. This can only go well…" She muttered.

"Wait, she's an Alien?" Peter pauses a moment. "Is that why she was shouting about Almerac? I remember an empire with a name—" A pause. "I don't /think/ I'm wanted there." A longer pause. "I mean Yondu might be. And I might be listed as an accomplice somewhere…but that was way long ago I'm sure it's fine."

It’s fine. Totally fine.

He keeps up the chatter, being the distraction he is so very good at doing.

And then the chanting starts and he just lets his head sag for a moment. "Great. More idiots."

"You could try not throwing down with randos," Rachel shoots back, maybe just a little too eager to have a conversation to distract her.

No such luck. The scene demands her attention. She crosses her arms, glancing between the growing camera incident and the oncoming counter-protestors.

"I don't know," she says. "I think protest versus protest is for the best."

And then she turns to give Quill a genuine what-the-fuck look because come on, seriously, what the fuck.

With no other option, Sloane starts trying to think like she's in a sci-fi movie for politics and logic. "But uh, rules and decorum are … important things to consider when you visit another planet. And honoring the rules, and— stuff— like that— uh—"

A tall redhead bumps the reporter, and the camera goes down. Maxima decries bureaucracy, calls herself a Queen, then goes to help the cameraman. It's days like this where Atli Wodinsdottir and her friendly pet goat would be welcome intrusions in her life.

Sloane's head tips back, eyes closing as she wishes the clouds would part and fix this entire mess in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, in reality, she's stuck taking a few steps after the flying space queen, further into the open, closer to the picket line.

"Maybe we should head over there and talk about this? I'm not — like, one of my bosses could probably talk this over with you, but—"

And then, counter-protesters arrive; Sloane sets down the tea on one of the numerous concrete posts in the plaza, firing a glance back at the security detail to make sure they're keeping up and aware of what's going on, leaning forward to look out and make sure those on the street are taking position to make sure both sides are looked out for…


There is now a group of righteously inflamed moms looking to protect their kids by forcing convicts to undergo genetic testing and public registration of mutancy on one side of a sidewalk. On the other, the righteously inflamed mostly-youth who are siding on the side of said mutant convicts and fighting against a slippery slope. The counter protestors are not stopping, however, as they continue to drive forward with seemingly every intention of bulling the Moms for Transparency off the sidewalk.

There is a flying meta here, as well as a publicly outed SHIELD agent with a distinctive look.
There is a broken camera on the ground, and one PISSED OFF camera man who is going to have to explain it to his supervisor. The reporter is immediately in a tizzy, and starts screaming at Caitlin. "WHAT DID YOU DO?! Oh my gawd!" He tugs at his camera man's vest collar, trying to shove him towards the truck. "We need footage! Get the spare! GET THE SPARE!"

And Cheryl just looks at the scene, enraged. "Really?! After I spent hours with that—" She was prepped. She spent hours prepping for the interviews with someone, and now it's all gone. "This is ridiculous! WHY ARE PEOPLE DEFENDING CONVICTS?!"

At the top of the steps of the capitol, there is a growing assortment of security who is nervously fingering their firearms. But there is one who catches Sloane's glance and nods to his readiness.

For what it's worth, Assemblyman Williams practically runs the rest of the way up the large set of stairs and disappears inside.

"I'm so sorry!" Caitlin gushes. Sincerely, even! It was, totally, mostly, an accident! Mostly!

"Someone shoved me, and—" she jostled again by the surging mob, and steps back a few paces. She doesn't disappear into the maelstrom but she does fade into the body of protestors, putting her near Sloane. "Are you OK?" she inquires of the amphibious fish-agent, concern in her tones.

Looking back at Sloane, Maxima raises a hand, "Calm down, Agent. I am merely going to help." Maxima states as she notes the incoming protestors who seem to be screaming the opposite of what the others are saying. She looks at them and then hmms before shaking her head a little and she starts approaching the downed camera. She idly reaches out toward the camera as she approaches and unless someone stops the camera from doing so, it'll float up off the ground toward Maxima.

Upon nearing her, she'll idly look at the device and a small bit of light flows around it a moment as the lense fixes and rights itself and a few internal components correct. She nods her head and then offers it towared the cameraman, "I am not completely familiar with this device but the lense is fixed and what I could see as a broken piece is fixed as well." She nods her head. Maxima then looks to the others here and states, "All of you should be commended for your capacity for caring about what happens upon your world however, I believe this chaos is not serving your people at all."

Protesting, not something Hope Summers is overly familiar with. This, though?

"Huh, is this gonna turn into a riot?" This is more easily recognizable for her particular life experiences.

Some counter-protesting, some light scuffling, she doesn't have a problem with that particularly. But she sees the way people are starting to react. She sees the disturbances unfolding and causing more than a little anxiety. And more than that — she knows that look she spots in a few of the security guards. She sets her unfinished affogato aside; her green eyes silently slide Rachel's way, as if to ask an unspoken question. Should they do something?
She also takes one single look at Peter Quill and frowns. The frown of Judgment.

That's the jerk that ruined her hotdog. You can't hide from her, Quill!

Lorna's frown deepened. "If we don't do something we'll get blamed for whatever happens. If we do something we'll get blamed for what happens. We can sit here and watch shit go down or try to do something about it." She offered, her voice dry and flat. "Damned if we do, damned if we don't." She shrugged, gaze flickering briefly toward Hope as she asked if it would turn into a riot.

"Likely. Want to help me separate people if it comes to that? If we throw everyone in the air.. well, it should shock them enough and keep people from trampling on each other that maybe.. no one will get hurt." She glanced toward Rachel. "Crowd control is gonna get rough here if the cops and security start wading into this mess. Someone in that crowd has got to be carrying weapons or mace or something.. it's gonna get ugly regardless."

"What?" He hisses. "I was like 16 at the time! I mean it wasn't like I was gonna say no to people who threatened to eat me three days out of any given week!"

But things are getting worse. A lot worse at this point as both sides seem driven to clash.
"…I don't suppose any of you have mystical 'chill people the hell out' powers?"

It happens in a moment. 'It comes to that.' It's one of those moments where it feels like an eternity and nothing at all, wrapped into the same space.

The tail end of a line made up of a bunch of moms meets the front end of a the line filled with the forward thinking of the future. Well, mostly forward thinking anyway. We'll let actions show the flaw in their self-perception: the future throws a punch when a sweatpants mom with her hair wrapped up tells them to back up and go back to their part of the sidewalk.

In an instant, there's a rush of cotton and microfiber as her friends come rushing to her defense and the pink-haired counter-protestor with the America's Sweetheart face kicks out to get her on the way down. "NOT YOUR SIDEWALK," is her shrill battle cry.


Well, security is definitely watching now, and they're phoning in to police officers nearby who can policy off the capitol grounds. A few are starting to come down the stairs tentatively, anyway. And they're looking for where the SHIELD agent got to. She shouldn't be easy to lose, but… where did she go?

The cameraman who Maxima hands the camera lens back to? Yeah, Caitlin's apologies are missed and he nearly breaks it again as he freaks out at the display of repairing it. He hits it with his hand as it flails, turning to go running for the news van. The reporter goes racing behind. We're clearly dealing with a wartime lot here.

She's got you, one guard keeping their head on a swivel.

The camera… starts getting fixed? Maybe, kind of — whatever Maxima's doing, she's not shy about showing it off. Sloane frowns, walking a few more steps to get a good eye on the counter-protest crowd, looking back Caitlin's way. She's a little clipped in her tone, if only because things are clearly tense. "We're fine, thanks, sorry about that. Just a bit of /a day/," the Agent says, mouth in a flat line.

A dozen bad ideas start running through her head for what to do.

Walking at a brisk pace to get herself near the middle of the mix, her arms lift a little bit. She wants to be that voice of reason, she wants to /try/ to stop this from going farther than it already has. "Hey, hey, whoa, let's keep this civili—"

And then the punch happens, and it all goes out the window.

This is getting bad. The protesters, the counter protesters, Maxima, SHIELD, and this small group of people in the middle. Kitty gives a look. This is turning into a clash where people could seriously get hurt and there are certain things that X-Men do when that happens.

Kitty looks to the others and then to Peter. "We've got help break it up." It doesn't matter if they're going to get blamed for it. They're here they have to do something. Unfortunately, unlike Peter asks, she has nothing in the way of 'chill the hell out powers'. She has phasing powers. She can run her way through a crowd, but that doesn't mean she can do much else other than that. Glancing to Lorna, she bites her lip. "I'm not sure tossing everyone in the air will calm the situation down. That'll probably just scare everyone."

She gives a look to Rachel and then sets her shoulders. "I'm going to try and keep people from hitting each other." That's, really, all she can do. And with that, she makes her way for the crowd, intent on phasing her way through whatever is necessary to do so and phasing other people who are intent on causing violence on someone else.

Rachel retracts her what-the-fuck look from Quill. For now.

"Soccer moms don't really riot," Rachel says to Hope. She falls silent as Lorna adds in, eventually lowering her gaze. "Yeah. If it gets ugly, we stop it. I could just calm everyone, but that's overkill right now."

And then people start throwing hands. Rachel tilts her head back and lets out a long "uugggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh." She's read like a dozen of those 'is it ethical to punch a nazi?' articles and still doesn't know what the right answer is.

Along with Kitty, Rachel is making her way across the street. Unlike Kitty, Rachel has to walk. She doesn't have to, technically, but it's polite.

"Hey," she shouts, trying to draw attention to herself. "You want to talk about mutants? I'm a mutant! I'm like a triple mutant, I've got so much discourse!"

A frown and Maxima looks around at this. This…chaos. She can feel it. She can feel their fear. Their rage. Their righteous indignation. It's coming from all sides. They all believe themselves right. All believe they are the ones who are correct. Maxima begins to twitch. Her eyes closing as she feels all the emotions flowing in and then finally she silences it all. Blocking it all out. The power of her mind simply cutting herself off from all of that as she looks up and frowns.

She frees herself easily from the chaos. Letting the cameraman flee, letting the fight happen as she floats up above the crowd and slowly she focuses. It's not mind control. Not like something Rachel, Jean, or perhaps the vaunted Professor Xavier would use. It's something different. It's more like an aura. Empathy in a way. She's upping her intimidation factor. Of course, there's something else to it, too. There's the sheer stature of a queen. Then her breath sucks in sharply and, well, the only word for it is she intones.

"SILENCE!!!" She yells out in a voice that only someone with intense super strength could muster. Loud and demanding as she yells, "You are all acting like CHILDREN!" She floats above the crowd and looks around at the chaos below and plants her arms on her hips, "Have all of you lost your minds?! Are you not from the same country?! Are you not of the same people?! Why do you fight amongst yourselves when you are all of the same place? Do you not wish to make this world better? Do you not wish for a brighter future? Have you nothing in common?!"

Lorna exhaled a breath as chaos hit … just as she'd said it would. When hatred was involved Lorna knew that it was only a matter of time before it exploded, personal experience and all. When it came down to the 'Punch a Nazi or not?' Lorna had very, very strong feelings. The answer to her was, always punch the Nazi. Or in this case racist bigots that hated her not for her religion but rather for her genes.

Of course there was sure to be some strong feelings for her, after all, most of her family had been murdered by Nazis on her father's side.

She might've been a bit biased.

Still, as the riot started up, Lorna glanced side long at the others. "I have magnetic powers. Those don't typically calm anyone down."

It was a good way of getting people's attention though. There were reasons why Magneto wore a cloak and was the charismatic leader that he was. He knew how to make an entrance. With a shrug, and a sigh, Lorna tucked her sunglasses away into her purse. "Are we seriously doing this.." And Rachel stepped out into the chaos, trying to gain attention.

Anything further planned was put to a screeching halt though as the alien shouted and started in on couple therapy for the two hominid species of planet Earth.


Of all the people in the crowd, Caitlin has been trying to be most incognito. But a punch is thrown, and suddenly the big ginger is back in the middle of it. She helps the mom back to her feet, and glowering fiercely at the counter-protestors. Cait's tall enough that it'd get her some traction, but her sheer /mass/ gives the counter protestors a bit of pause as she snaps at them.

"Back off! You don't need to—"

She breaks off when Maxima starts bellowing, but keeps an arm braced in front of her as if single-handedly trying to stave off the surging tide.

Rachel's pace quickens as she sees Maxima go into full bad choices mode. Stopping the floating and the yelling isn't in her mind, but when she feels that empathic manipulation spreading across the astral plane, one thought occurs to her:


Rachel throws her telepathic might into psi-shielding the area from the empathic manipulation. Not like it's going to help too much with Maxima super yelling. Of course she has super yelling powers.

One fist fight becomes several, except that it doesn't? Kitty delays the worsening for a moment, but there is serious intent.

There are fists thrown every which way, and at some point it is worth noting how difficult to tell who is who in the close quarters.

Except that now there's a flying person shouting, besides. Oh, and the fish. And someone boasting on how mutant they are.

It's the latter, when someone on the anti-reg side of things turns and says of Rachel, "Heeeeeeeeey, you look familiar…"

Cue police sirens in the distance. too.

And then? There is a spilling over into the street, coming closer to that invisible divide. The security team reacts, and moves forwards a little more, too.

About this time, the cameraman reaches the van and starts scrambling to get the new camera up and running with the reporter barking orders in his ear.

It becomes something of a mess; the fighting breaks out, and Sloane finds herself right in the middle of it. This might get her in trouble, but trying to stop the fighting is, at least in her mind, more important than the rules and the orders. She wants to stop it from escalating. She wants to stop someone from getting killed because of all of this.

On the plus side, she's strong— she isn't titanically so, but certainly strong enough that putting herself between people is not too much of a bother, pulling the most rowdy the closest to her apart. Somewhere in the mix, she feels a stiff left hook catch her across the temple— and her footing shifts to keep her steady and balanced, but she still has to /try/.

Maxima ascends and begins to yell— and for a moment, there's a tickling twinge at the back of her senses as her mood starts to shift through mental influence. Then, weirdly enough, it stops— but then her face scrunches a little. Was Maxima doing something to them? Is there someone hiding in the crowd doing this? Wait— psi-shielding?

It feels … warm, familiar, almost comfortable. Of course she remembers Rachel— the events at the doorstep of the Triskelion were her first face-to-face brush with mental abilities and what they can bring to the doorstep. She stands a bit straighter, though even with those shiny blue scales, even with that ginger head of hair, she's not the tallest person in the world… and there are a lot of angry people she's trying to /gently/— at least for someone that can deadlift two thousand pounds— push back from getting too crazy.

Peter Quill's /usual/ first response to a riot is to book it out of there. …ok maybe it is his second. The first is usually to look around for easily portable furniture or valuables that no one will miss /then/ run for it. However he'll forgo that step in present company.

…but really it is a great way to get a couch.

He really loves that couch.

Anyway, running is definitely out of the question when Kitty goes running /towards/ the problem. "Oh hell," And Quill for…once. Is at a touch of a loss at what to do. I mean his usual problem solving tactics of 'shooting it' 'running from it' 'blowing it up' or 'dancing as a distraction' seem not really appropriate for this sort of thing. "Oh /hell/!" Now he hears sirens. "This is what I get for trying to be respectable!"

And then he starts forwards, trying to pull people apart as gently as he can. "HEY! FISH! SHOULDN'T YOU CALL BACKUP OR SOMETHING!"

"Yeah, I've been around," Rachel replies to the protestor. She glares upward at Maxima, shooting her a psychic message:

«Get out of here before the cops show up. You're not helping anything trying to be a bludgeon.»

She hears someone calling out for a fish. Rachel initially gives Quill another glare, but as her mind jumps to the next implication, she turns to scan the crowd. It takes her no time to zero in on Sloane on account of the whole psychic cheating mess.

"Hey, Sloane, right?" she calls.

A rush of air escaped from Lorna as she stared at the crowd, felt the intrusion of the alien's… telepathy? Empathy? She wasn't sure, but she could feel it as some sort of vague sense at the back of her mind until Rachel threw out her psi-shielding over the crowd and them. A sigh of relief followed from the green haired mutant as she rushed in after the rest of the X-men. Unsure exactly what she was doing, and feeling vaguely on par with Quil's sentiments about the sound of sirens, Lorna stuck nearest to the gaggle of redheads she'd arrived with.

A glance was spared to Rachel,"Are we sticking around for damage control, or do you want me to get the car? I can separate everyone real quick if you'd prefer." Mostly by knocking them down or tugging them into the air.. She was pretty certain she could handle it.

Eyes whip around to Rachel and there's a squinting of eyes. For a moment Rachel might be able to feel that mental anger, not something forced upon her, just a woman upset. Maxima stares at her for a long moment before replying.

«And you are doing no good protecting these people in such a way. I was merely going to calm them down and give them something else to focus on.»

She sucks in a breath and looks around at them below before she shakes her head and then floats upward. SHe looks back to Rachel before she shakes her head once and simply turns to fly upward.

«Your people are insane. They have many enemies and they would focus upon this?»
She shakes her head and flies straight upward for about a hundred feet before she simply turns and bursts off. The sound of it follows her exit, a quick sonic boom as she breaks the speed barrier again.

Rachel holds Maxima's gaze. Though no words are audibly exchanged between the two, the staredown is real obvious.

Eventually, however, Maxima backs off. Rachel offers no parting words. Instead, she exhales, and then gives a glance to Lorna while trying to keep most of her attention on the crowd. "Yeah, time to get in the car and leave. I'm taking the minor victory here because I need one."

Rachel sends out a ping to the gathered X-minds in the area. It's not words so much as the psychic impression of 'get ready to get on the bus.'

Quill starts yelling for her. Head lifting up, it takes a second for the recognition to kick in: They've met before, but it was both under duress, and… honestly, it was only for a short time.

"BOAT GUY!" she calls back. "Yeah there IS security here!! AND COPS COMING."

Navigating a few more pushers and shovers and giving the most fierce glare and authoritative point of the finger she can muster to both concerned soccer moms and forward-thinking counterprotesters possible, she finds herself a little closer to the mutant side of things, and
"Rachel!! Hi! Sorry we keep meeting like this! I
" An elbow dodged, she picks up two folks by the collars of their shirts and sets them down on their feet at opposite sides, holding them back from getting more swings in.

"Hey!! Come on! Knock it off!!"

The jarring sound of a sonic boom causes the agent to cringe hard— looking up, it takes just a moment to get that Maxima's flying away. Frowning, she brings her gaze back down to Earth, waiting for the security officers to start handling things, especially with how much she doesn't want to bring powers into this.

And so everything seems to get very worse.

Having detached from the members of Xavier's gathered here, Hope has taken it upon herself to quietly loop to a better vantage point near those security guards. She doesn't really say or do anything — she just quietly takes Lorna Dane's powers as her own as violence breaks out amongst the protestors, and watches. She knows what itchy trigger fingers look like. You don't live long where she comes not knowing. And some of those guards looked like said fingers were itching something fierce.
So, she just waits there, brows furrowed and hands in the pockets of her jacket as she leans her back into a nearby wall and just… watches those guards. Discreetly. Magnetic powers prepped to jam weapons if she has to…

… at least, until she feels that psychic ping. Hope blinks, brows lifting faintly. She tilts her head in Rachel's vague direction in a questioning manner that carries that far only in the sentiment of her thoughts.

«Are we bailing out?»

There's a camera emerging from the van, and it's filming now. As Maxima blasts off, it's caught. And more notably, the sonic boom is caught. There's a mass startle effect, everyone momentarily shaken out of their state of pushing as they try to figure out what's going on.
And now, there are sirens drawing closer as police start to arrive on scene, ready to handle the policing of humans. Several of the counter-protestors make a run for it, not ready to stand up to a possible booking.

But in all of the shuffle, Cheryl Faber - president of the Moms for Transparency - seems to have gotten clocked by something. A sign or a fist, it's hard to tell. She definitely has gotten knocked over and into the street, however, and has the start of a black eye. Fortunately, she's not going to get run over, because the cops are already cordoning off the ends of the road.

Grim faced Lorna nodded, breaking back and away from the crowd as she made to follow Rachel's call on getting out of the mess. They'd be blamed for whatever they did and the cops were never a good mix when there were mutants involved. Sure, bullets didn't mean much to her.. but she'd rather not end up in jail for another night with a collar wrapped around her neck.
"Roger that, car is on the way." She murmured, her gaze swinging in Hope's direction as she felt the magnetic buzz as the woman borrowed her powers.

Any plans to ditch though ground to a halt as the cop cars cordoned off the road. "Rachel— we've got issues!" She called, backing up toward the red heads again. "Can't get the car through the blockades. Unless you want a flying car?"

"One day we'll get to have a normal conversation," says Rachel to Sloane, before the chaos around them pushes them apart. Rachel gives the SHIELD agent a final look, then commits to being elsewhere.

«Yeah,» she sends back to Hope. «We already did what we came here to do.»

Lorna reports more bad news, but it only causes Rachel to make another annoyed noise and rub the sides of her head. "Okay, fine."

Rachel stops in her tracks for a moment. Nothing changes. Then, she continues walking on.
"There. No one will notice us now. Good thing you're wearing wedges."

Because now they walk to the car.

And at this point is when Quill comes trotting back from the edge of the mob as it slowly gets worse, with Kitty in his arms. "She wouldn't let me rocket boots us out, so we compromised." He says easily as he sets the other X-men down and looks around.

"Car? Right? Car. Lets get the hell out of here."

«Nothing for it, huh? Oh well.»

She doesn't leave immediately. Hope lingers for a moment, to watch humans fight humans. People strike down people. People try to police people. She watches Cheryl Faber fall as people war with words and fists around her. She watches, until it all becomes a directionless mass of hatred she's intimately familiar with.

And Hope bites the inside of her cheek before releasing it with the softest sigh.

«At least the affogato was wonderful.»

At least people can still make things that good.

With that, she breaks into a light jog to catch up with the others, to get to their car and fly off, like it was the most normal thing in the world.

She might kind of elbow nudge Peter Quill out of the way as she goes.

"On your left, Star-Pirate!"

Hope has a hard time letting go of grudges.

Plus, someone said Quill was dating Dani Moonstar or something and she also can't abide cheaters.

Double whammy.

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