Brooding is the Summers Way

April 23, 2015:

Scott Summers is brooding over his actions during CADMUS' attempt to reclaim Ravager. Shadowcat provides some counter-insight.

Scott Summers' Office - Xavier Institute


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: 1000 People by Blackfield

Fade In…

Kitty has been out and about. What with the hacking attack on HYDRA and attempting to track down other leads, she hasn't actually been back to Xavier's in a few days. Her students are probably either worried or ecstatic that there has only been remote projects sent to them for their homework. What she wasn't expecting was the destruction she found as she approached the gates. Her leisurely walk turns into a run as she passes through the wrecked gates, the felled trees and the torn up grass until bursting in the front door.

Taking in the atmosphere and the lack of milling students in the halls doesn't make her unease any less. Lockheed remains by the front door, a small purple watch dragon as she makes her way immediately to Scott's office. There's a loud, rushed knock on his door and then barely a pause before she yanks the door open. She's breathless, a bit flushed and clearly distraught. "What happened?!"


When the door opens, Kitty will find Scott with his back faced to her, chair turned, staring out his window into the rear grounds. There are only a few people who could yank his door open like that today and not receive a mouthful of vitriol, but Kitty is one of them.

What he does not do, is give Kitty the respect of turning around to face her. He doesn't want to face anybody right now.

"CADMUS came for Rose." His answer comes quietly, drily, and with clear and unguarded remorse in his tone.


Scott could unleash quite a bit of vitriol at Kitty and while she'd be upset, she would stand her ground, because she needs to know what happened here. For the moment, the silence rings through the office as that sinks in.

"What did they do?" She knows Scott and what's more, she trusts him as she doesn't often trust people in authority. If this happened, there had to be a reason.


For a few moments, Scott isn't quite sure how to answer that question. He mulls over it for a long time, before finally turning around, though it's worth noting he doesn't make an effort to direct his glasses toward Kitty's face.

"They assaulted us from afar. They sent in people. Helicopters. We… did fight them off, and no one was killed."

And yet, the destruction to the front yard could only have been done by a few people, and the conical shape of the carnage suggests an optic blast. An extremely powerful, perhaps wholly uninhibited, and thus very lethal optic blast.

He reaches for a cell phone, pulls up a video, and turns it around for kitty. The video is an image of Jean Grey, shown jogging, focused. Then, there's a bright flash of light and the shoe, a lone Nike rocks a-flame. The video is played over and over again, until a single message scrawls across the screen.

'Sincerely, The Wall.'

"She survived," Scott explains. "But, we didn't think so at first."


Kitty remains in the doorway, hand still propped on the knob. When Scott turns around, she takes a step forward, allowing the door to shut behind her of its own accord. It does so with a soft click. Even when she saw the blast, she knew there were only a few people able to make such a pattern on their lawn, but for now she doesn't say much.

When she's close enough to see the video, her eyes narrow at it - especially the message. "Is she okay, though?" Just because someone survives something like that doesn't mean that they made it out completely unscathed. And, just as important of a question, "And this Wall just sent it to you?"

She hasn't even gotten to the state of front. That's after she gets all the facts.


"Jean is okay," answers Scott. It's a partial truth. She and Scott are both planning to go and see Dr. Richards, but for now… that's enough. "Whoever it is, it was sent to every phone in the institute."

There is a telltale grinding of the jaw; the strong features of Scott's face tightening and clenching.

"Even the students."


There's a brief, relieved nod when Jean's well being is confirmed. She's not about to press any further with Scott. Perhaps she'll take it up with Jean herself, but she doesn't care to get that sort of information second hand.

At the idea that the students were sent this, her eyebrows raise, shocked and appalled. "Did you make an announcement to let them know that Jean's okay? Or has everyone seen her?" Because if everyone has seen it, that means they're all going to be pretty upset and freaked out. They're just kids, after all.

Her eyes narrow, as she works through possibilities. "The message must have been localized to just the school, because I didn't get it. I know it's not exactly good news, but that means that this Wall doesn't have a list of us and the students, it was just a media carpet bomb of dickery."

Though Scott is facing her now, she can tell he's avoiding looking at her. "And you? It sounds like a dumb question, but I've gotta ask, how are you?"


"Charles did," answers Scott. "He… already spoke to your class. Yesterday." He's not reacting otherwise to anything Kitty is saying. It's almost like talking to a wall.


It's not until Kitty directs something at him, pointedly, that he seems to look in her direction. Whether or not he actually is, well. She'll never know. He doesn't want to answer the question. In fact, Kitty's demeanor is, for the first time, working like a fingernail against his chalkboard soul.

"You saw the front lawn," he answers. "Use your brain, Kitty. It's a good one."


"Hence why I said it was a dumb question, Scott," Kitty tells him with no lack of snark of her own. "I come back from trying to investigate Hydra and the lawn is blown to hell and you're doing a really good impression of a robot. Asking 'how are you' was more of a jumping off point." She gives Scott a pointed look as she adds, "It's called the polite question."

She crosses her arms in front of her, but the woman holds her ground, nodding at the information that Xavier spoke to her class about what happened. She sighs, shaking her head and idly tugs at the ends of her long hair as it's not tied back today. "Is there a story I should know about to explain what happened? In case I get more detailed questions from my students than they might've asked the Professor?"


Perhaps a bit too abruptly, Scott stands from his chair. He turns and walks toward the window again, framing it just off to the side, arms crossed. "After they delivered the message, we sent the students to the bunkers. Those of us who were here went outside to prepare for whatever came next. Apparently, this… CADMUS is an organization that created, or helped to create, our friend Rose Wilson. I'm not sure which it was." He's a little ashamed of that, truth be told.

"They didn't get her back, in spite of all the muscle they threw at us, because we weren't going to let them take her back."

He uncrosses his arms and leans upon the windowsill now, sternness finally fading in favor of something Scott doesn't often show; vulnerability.

"I lost my cool," he admits, still while staring at the rear grounds.

For such a beautiful day, it's far too quiet out there.


Again, Kitty listens without interrupting as Scott explains more about what happened. Finally, she moves forward, saying softly, "I don't know much about them. Or Rose Wilson, to be honest." After a short pause, she adds, "Is she okay?" Again, she knows that no one died, but that doesn't mean Rose is unharmed.

Her approach is slow, but she moves toward the opposite side of the room, standing next to Scott without trying to crowd him. Instead of looking out the window, she leans her back against the wall next to it. Her eyes are now focused on the door and not him. Maybe that'll make it easier to talk to him.

"Was it them attacking the school? The video? All of the above?" The question is asked with a soft voice, somehow sounding more curious than anything else.


"From what the security cameras show, their first strike was with some kind of missile." That was the one that hit Jean.

"They brought in choppers. Landed armed soldiers. And they had metahumans in company. Mutants, perhaps? One of them was a teleporter."

Scott doesn't recount what happened when they learned that Jean was alive. That teleporter had been found beating up Jean after she rose from the earth. When Scott had engaged him, the teleporter had ripped off his visor, so he called upon his martial arts training and fought him blind. Scott had eventually won.

Finally, the man sighs. "When the first wave came, I just… took off my visor and stared at them. That's all it took. They were dead when the blast hit them. I doubt they suffered. Charles, he's been gone all day, answering depositions and trying to deal with this… this mess."

Scott finally turns to Kitty, seeming to look her in the eye. "With the President's assassination, the government hammering down on the JL:A, I can't help but wonder, what's next?" He scoffs. "Calvin has gone so far as to recommend we consider relocating the institute to Canada. I haven't even answered his message, because I don't know what to think."

Or what to do.


"They attacked us," Kitty tells Scott firmly. "And it was clear that they were ready to use lethal force against anyone here." While she's not saying what he did was right, she's implying that she understands. Her arms remain crossed, but when Scott turns to her, she turns as well.

No longer watching the door with fake concern that someone may walk in, her attention is squarely on Scott. He may or may not be looking at her - it's hard to tell with the glasses, but she will meet his gaze. "It's either they're too busy investigating the JL:A to take an interest in us, or they'll use what happened against us." She sighs, not wanting to bring up the fact that having some pretty damning proof of how dangerous mutants can be when provoked might not help matters, either. Instead, she moves on with: "Having the X-Men here is a blessing and a curse. It protects the kids…but I also worry that just us being here puts them in more danger than it is protecting them."

As for Canada, she shakes her head. "And what makes him think Canada will take us? Or that the US will allow us to go? We can't just have all these kids immigrate with us." She's been through international customs quite a few times. It's not a picnic even for one person. "Maybe the answer is we move the base. Just….maybe not that far."


No, because what he did was wrong. Terribly wrong. One could barely argue that he had the power to defend the innocent, and went to the greatest measure to do so; but the truth is, he did it out of anger. Out of vengeance.

And look at the cost it may incur.

"It will be like watching the dominos fall," Scott answers ruefully. "We don't have a choice but to protect them, Kitty. Think of what they'll do if the government begins to etch away at their liberties. I'll burn in hell before I let these students - or any of us - become unwilling lab mice."

Calvin has seen the alternative, and he knows how terrible it can be. Scott doesn't remark on it yet. Nor does he remark on the X-Men base, a place which has yet to be compromised. Holy ground, as it were.

"They did attack us," he echoes, but somehow, it feels like a lame answer. He knows the truth, what he did; perhaps he should become like Nick Fury and all but disappear.

Scott pinches the bridge of his nose, then walks back over to his desk, opting to sit on its edge. "Jericho gave me a copy of the information you guys helped to suck out of HYDRA's vaults. Good work."


"I know that, but there is a choice in how we protect them," Kitty says, the soft edge in her tone now having more of a bite. "I'm not about to let the government take any one of them, but having us here? How much easier would it be for the Senate to say that we're simply using this school as a front and that makes every one of them complicit to…" her hand waves, "…whatever they've decided to investigate us on."

Kitty doesn't have the power to see the future, but she has a pretty good imagination. She can guess at what will happen when they start giving inches and miles are taken instead. While Scott moves to sit on the edge of his desk, the phasing mutant shifts, her back is flush against it again. "They did," she agrees, the passion slowly seeping out of her voice.

At the change of subject, she looks down at the floor again and nods. "Yeah, he gave me a copy, as we all uploaded it to Skye. There's a lot to unpack. I started to chase some leads. I was actually coming back to talk to you about that."


"Well… sorry you had to come back to this." Scott gestures a bit, indicatively of the drama as a whole. He quietly glosses over the name 'Skye'; it will become relevant when it does to him. "I'm going to call a meeting of the senior members to discuss our options. Perhaps you should be there."

So much for that vacation.

"What have you found?"


"I'd like to," Kitty replies quickly, not asking if she's wanted or needed there. She has opinions, she would like to vocalize them, even if she's not a senior member of the team.

Hacking HYDRA from a Wal-Mart parking lot counts as a vacation? Actually, for Kitty, it sort of does.

At the question, she shrugs her shoulders just slightly. "A whole lot of messed up crap," she tells Scott honestly. "Talking in code about Smooth and a bird. We've got plenty of information about how things are getting around Tri City. It sounds like things'll be going down in Metropolis." She frowns, a quick translation running through her head. "There's also a ton of data on an 'Agent Septum' who, looking at all that I found on him before, I'm almost positive is the Shift guy I was looking for before. Right down to the link to Dackleman's murder. Some really nasty magical control stuff to keep him in line." She pauses, adding another shrug to the mix, "And I don't know if this means anything, but, uh, 'Septum' also means Wall in Latin."


At that bit of news, Scott lifts an eyebrow. "I sent my brother Alex to New York with the data packet. He's going to go over it with Lux." Of course, Scott made a backup of it here. Requires a Level 8 to access. "Go meet with them and formulate a strategy. From what I understand, we now have supply line details for the smooth network. We need to move fast before HYDRA changes things up. If we have to coordinate efforts with SHIELD and the JL:A, we will."

Could it be that Asset Septum has something to do with the mysterious Wall who attempted to kill Jean? A dark look crosses Scott's face; more demons coming to the surface.

"I'll make sure you're back here for the meeting."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License