A Long Awaited Party

September 15, 2018:

Except there's no party. But there are gifts, when Scott, Betsy, and Nate visit Sage's warehouse.

Warehouse (Sage's Place) - New York City

Old, long since abandoned by the shipping company that had made use of it for their container storage. Every now and then, one might catch a whiff of motor oil or seat leather, olfactory ghosts of the cars which had once rested within the containers awaiting transport across international waters. Several of the containers remain still, derelict on the warehouse floor. The entirety of the warehouse expanse lacks all structural members, leaving the space with the impression of being vast, cavernous. The roof is mobile, able to be retracted to leave the length and breadth of the warehouse open to the environment. It appears, on all counts, an ideal location for a base of operations. And yet, no attempt seems to have been made to make use of the space. The only signs of occupation are left to the spare workman's washroom, and a single loveseat that sits in the center of what was once the warehouse's main office, a single pillow and thin blanket folded neatly on the left side.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Bruce Banner, Charles Xavier


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

This part of the docks had certainly seen better days. Most of the warehouses had laid abandoned for years, though, for a wonder, only a small number of them appeared to have been vandalized. Most of the buildings, those that had windows, one could count on a single hand the number that had lost their glass, or the doors which seemed to have been forced open. Now and then, it was possible to see where one building or another had been commandeered for other purposes. One even had a sign, alluding to some sort of dining event, those sort that had grown more popular in recent years, where chefs announced some pop-up dinner event or another where you had to know a person who knew a person to get an invite, and then spent a night, usually, eating some of the strangest or most avante garde food that the culinary underground of the city had to offer.

The building that had once housed Djarum Motors was one such building. It looked like a relic, which is certainly was, and yet, there was no spray paint, no damage, no chains binding the doors to their locks. It had the air of a great beast, now laid for to its final rest. A beast who, even in repose, was not one that begged approaching.


The reach outs from Sage are always subtle, which can be overlooked easy enough if someone like Scott Summers was not such a control freak. Hands in everything and eyes everywhere where he can apply it. That made the encrypted send stand out to him, not to mention hes been getting questioned about her once more and that has her on his radar once more. So - easily someone to be mindful of.

The destruction of his car has had him resorting to use of Xavier's school vehicles and loaners from other teachers, 3 cars in less than a year in a half is a bad trend…

The rather unmarked long van he is driving pulling to a stop at the unchained dock gates. No costumes, at least worn was his only instruction for people he invited along.

A long sleeve shirt, v necked and blue, slacks and dress shoes. He steps free of the driver seat spinning keys around his finger as the vehicle locks up behind passengers. Those ruby red shades on his nose looking the area over quickly, then at those with him.

"This is the place." A friend that can help. Help they need right now for several things is another tidbit he lets on.


Betsy steps out of the van. No costumes means a black leather riding jacket and pants, knee-high boots with just enough heel, and a deep magenta short sleeved sweater beneath the jacket. Her black plum hair is long and loose, hanging straight, down to her waist. "This is the place, eh?" she asks in her unusual lilt. "Well, I'll give you both points for creativity."


It feels has been a long time Nate Grey is in a mission with Betsy Braddock. Does Scott realize how little interaction they had after X-Force was disbanded. It is awkward. In truth Nate is not sure what happened. Maybe it was the only thing in common he has with the British mutant is a taste for excessive violence.

So he keeps uncharacteristically quiet. Only now, as he jumps out the van, he speaks. "Anything we should know about your friend, Scott?" It looks he is wearing jeans, a black shirt and a jacket. But appearances are deceiving. Some of it is telekinetic rearrangement, the rest is psychic illusion. He is rarely without his armored outfit nowadays.


The warehouse was unlit, or at least, it was not possible to see any light coming in through the windows, despite the fact that one could see through the glass into the empty building beyond, the windows angled so that it was the ceiling of the build and the structural members that allowed the roof to retract that was visible. As Scott approached the warehouse, the single door that had once upon a time, been used for general delivery swung open on silent hinges, allowing entry into the pale, late summer afternoon light illuminated room beyond. Hulks of cargo containers dotted the floor, some with doors peeled back, others apparently sealed.

Once the door closed behind them, the illumination rose in the building, though, if anyone had cause to look towards the windows, they might note that they looked the same as always, neither glossing over with reflected light or dimming in response to the change between light outside and light inside. In the far corner of the room, some small sign of habitation. A quartet of folding chairs, the sort that have the padding on seat and backrest, arrayed around a loveseat. In the office, which stood just beyond, a single pillow and blanket sat on what appeared to be a crate filled with military rations. Rather than sitting on the loveseat, Sage sat on one of the folding chairs, a halo of holographic screens arrayed around her. She rose as visitors arrived, the screens winking out as she walked, lively dots of colour winking out of existence.


"As far as I am aware." Scott smiles at the British Ninja, "Points in creativity. A new one for me… " He half-heartedly jokes as they approach.

"Not that I can think of. She's… different but then we all are. Just consider this low key, all things dealing with her generally are."

Entry through doors and Scott is picking his way between crates, racks and leading the way in until the illumination of the holoprojections gives better trail and lead for them, stopping near enough they're close range but not so much they're trampling her… personal set up.

"Sage." He says in greeting. "Nice place… "


If by nice, you mean…"Nice," Betsy echoes. "Very…containery." Her eyes scan the room wondering idly what is in the containers.

"So nice to meet you. We've heard so…very little about you…"


Nate stays a little back, studying the place with a critical eye not related to appearance. Entrances, ways out, security, defensibility, paranoia-worth level. "Looks safe, though," he decides. "Sage, uh. I am Nate. Or Scion if you like."

He paces around, looking at the high tech array and trying to figure out if it involves some kind of real super-tech or just clever application of Media-Markt and Starktech.


"It serves its purpose," is the dark clad woman's response as she moves to meet the visitors. "Thank you for coming Scott, Ms. Braddock, Mr. Grey." She seemed to take the pair who had come with Scott in her stride, her expression revealing nothing of whatever emotion she might be feeling. And at least enough knowledge to identify them by name. Proper names, despite the fact that at least one of them had offered his first. "There is not very much that is there for you to discover about me, I'm afraid." And that too, seemed a simple statement of fact, and not intentionally duplicitous. "I would not have called you here, except that I could not find you at the mansion, and that location is not optimal for me at the moment." She glances away, taking in the containers still scattered around the space, "They add a certain ambiance to the room. If you three would not mind walking with me to my station, I have a delivery to make." She turned, standing sideways to the group, a hand ushering them back towards where the seating was.


"I've been dealing with a handful of things." Scott explains as introductions are handed out and exchanged, "The usual."

The look over the room happening from him once more, all it really takes or interests him to do.

"Lead the way." He insists, giving a look to Nate and Betsy, just to check their state before he is moving in to take a seat in that 'station' as Sage wants to call it.

"You could probably find something more fitting I imagine, if we're to meet like this a place that requires less uh… story on our side."


Betsy walks along with the others, content to be led in whatever direction is needed. Her words, however, are mostly reserved. "Of course, a delivery was firmly planted on our schedule between 'entering a derelict building,' and 'sitting in someone's station.' She ticks off the imaginary list in midair as if it were one of the holographic screens that disappeared. Except that it isn't.


Nate looks a bit confused he can't find the devices projecting the holograms. Maybe that -is- Sage's power, or maybe there is some really fancy super-tech involved. Cool anyway. Again, he takes the rear guard, still wary.

Didn't like too much Sage knows who he is and he has no idea about her. But he is a public mutant vigilant. Just not a well-known one outside the mutant subculture. To which Sage probably belongs. "Why do you stay here?" He asks.

Not he is disapproving. He is more aware than most of the limitations of operating from Xavier's School, so far from the reality that is New York. But he is curious.


"It is a place to sleep, I have food, water, and the supplies I need. That seems, to me, to make this place serviceable." She answered both men's comments in that. Sage paused, as they reached the area, "Feel free to take the loveseat, if that is your preference." It wasn't quite a loveseat, but not fully a couch, and likely large enough to fit the three of them, seated. Or one person as tall as Sage lying down. And she had also, they would note, as they approached, also pulled over a small folding table, on which she had placed four bottles of water and two rectangular boxes. "Just so, Ms. Braddock." Sage laid claim to one of the boxes, walking over to offer it to Scott, "In the future, I will make certain to schedule meetings in a place that is more fitting for the X-Men."


Accepting the box from his fold out chair, not the loveseat offered. He apparently also takes her explanation as well, the 'gift' opened up with a thumb flick so he is gazing inside, looking at a new visor. Maybe she knew Faora had demolished his last….

"You managed to get this shaped and put together somehow?" Curious as he lifts it up, looking it over. His fingers balancing the weight at first.

"Be a good idea. For your sake largely, we'd rather not have you wrapped up directly with us." Scott explains, still intent on the new 'toy'.

"This brings us to another issue, something you can likely help us with… We misplaced one of our members. Far south, I know you keep a lot of data from various outputs stored up and monitored. We cannot find him just yet by the telepathic means, something may be blocking it or Cerebro is having issues, which, following recent damages have been frequent."

"A Doctor Bruce Banner… "


At this admission, Betsy's demeanor shifts, visibly. She looks from Scott to Sage and back again. On one hand it makes her uncomfortable for anyone to tell a stranger that Bruce is missing, therefore insinuating 'vulnerable.' On the other hand, she wonders if Sage could possibly have technology that could assist in locating him. She sits up straighter in her chair, but says nothing. It is clear that her attention, now, is focused on the stranger.


Nate stays on his feet, staying behind the loveseat; he took a water bottle, though. "Banner is still missing?" He asks, frowning. Shows how little time he spends at the school. Then again he has met the good doctor maybe three times. Not enough to help with a telepathic search. "Hmm, I usually live in Mutant Town, not the school. I am sure you know the place."


"Your parameters have not changed in many years, Scott." Puberty had not been a thing for Scott Summers in many a long year. "It was not difficult to take the data and adjust it for my needs." The visor was meticulously crafted, and seemed to have been designed with his current uniform in mind. So she was at least current and up-to-date on that. Sage selected the second box and handed that over as well. "But this might prove more useful, given your current attire." The box was identical, but inside, rather than a visor, was a pair of sunglasses. Still ruby quartz, as the ones he wore, was wearing right now, but a pattern both fashionable and discrete.

Sage offered only a nod, at the mention of the missing Banner. "Yes, I've read the reports and begin some initial data-mining." Her attention shifted to Nate, as he settled behind the loveseat, still on his feet, "I am, but my line of work rarely takes me there unless it is under some form of cover." And then back to Scott, though she did pause, studying Betsy's posture, the guarded way she held herself. "If you would not mind trying them on, Scott, we can begin."


"We have a lot going on and more heat yet. Preparing a search and rescue mission for Doctor Banner has come together as quickly as can be managed." Scott explains to Nate, looking from him to Betsy, while he talks.

"No, I suppose not. I like to stick with what works the most efficiently. How do these help with… " A pause as she hands him the second box, one he doesn't open at this point in time. "I'll take your word for it. Might take me some getting accustomed to on my own terms." Away from others when he's back in the privacy of the subrooms alone.

"Now?" He looks at Sage with a frown, one that becomes closed eyes and he is exchanging his glasses for a visor. Taking his time to open his eyes just so they don't… not function and he blasts a new rip through the warehouse or a teammate.

"Okay… they are on."

Betsy nearest he hopes will hold his glasses for him, as they dangle there in his hand between them. For Nate, if he does peel off a shot, TK may come to be the best defense here.


Betsy takes Scott's glasses in a familiar and natural movement, watching carefully as he seats the visor. "Aye, sooner than later, preferably. I am certain that Banner is in capable hands, so to speak, but it would be preferable to see that he does not fall into other…capable hands." She continues to focus on Scott as he prepares to try out the visor, and she shifts almost imperceptibly so that Nate is in the periphery of her vision.


Wait a second. Sage is the one that makes Scott's visors and glasses? That must be why they are in first name basis. "How long have you known each other, anyway?"

And Psylocke was the closest to Banner. If someone can find him telepathically it is her. So what is -he- doing here? He steps back and looks at the older man as he tries the new visor so carefully. As if it could fail. Then again maybe it can. "Everything okay?" He adds.


"I would have preferred to give you a breaking in period, but I think that the current situation requires speed." It was not quite an apology, but there was a hint of it in her tone, as close as she'd come this entire encounter to actually showing a shred of emotion. A nod, to Betsy, as the other woman made the same argument.

For the others, Betsy and Nate, there is really no difference between Scott before the visor and Scott after, save for fact that he had to hold one and not the other. No light leaks, no optic blasts. Not so for Scott. As soon as the visor is settled on his face, an internal HUD appears in his visual field, but not disrupting his view of the world around him, even when he focuses on what the display is showing him.

"I've keyed both the visor and the sunglasses," here she indicated the second box with a slight nod of her head, which he had not opened, "to your neural network and visual cortex." Because it would be stupid to let just anyone use them. "And granted you full access to my network. The interface should be seamless. Think of what you want to look at, and the display will bring it up for you. You have full projection capability, and an internal as well as kinetic interface." Which sounds precisely like what they saw before Sage switched off her 'monitors'.

"I run updates on a rolling basis and you have access to everything I have access to." Which, Scott would know, but certainly not the others, was, well, everything. Being a human Cerebro had its perks. "I've also included full audio and visual recording capability, as well as an uplink so that you can send data back to your team." Nate's question turned her head, her eyes studying him for a moment before she replied, "Since before there were X-Men."


Betsy nods as she watches Scott fiddle with his new toy, seemingly lost in all of its functions. "And why is it you choose to stay here, seemingly in hiding, rather than join up with the X-Men, or at least the school?" Betsy's expression is one of both keen interest and suspicion.


Nate glances at Sage, then back to Scott. Access to networks. He is not unfamiliar with the idea; he dated for years a girl with a bionic eye for a long time. He snickers, "you got upgraded, I see."

Sage statement makes him arch an eyebrow. A brief calculation puts Sage at mid to late 30s then. She looks much younger, but that are mutant genes for you. Or maybe she met Scott when she was a child, which is interesting. Way before his time. How many alumni he knows nothing about could Xavier's have? Well, dozens, of course. "Okay, so… are you returning to the school now, Sage?"


"Roughly. I suppose… " Scott says about them knowing each other. "Long story there." He takes a moment looking around then nods towards Sage, "I appreciate it, these will come in useful. We can't linger though, not just yet. I wanted to touch base and see what you had, if you can help. Proven you can." He smiles. The other questions for now he'll let her answer, preparing to stand up and give them a new angle to gaze from. It's clear as usual Scott's meeting is going to be a brief one, a passing through to the next big step for them. Right now, finding Bruce Banner.


Sage, for her part, did not seemed phased by either the curiosity or the suspicion, her voice as unfaltering as it had been since they arrived, that almost regret disappearing as quickly as it had appeared, "Because the path that Charles set me on when he made me, in more ways than he realizes, I think, even now, was not one that led towards the X-Men. He had other work for me. On some rare occasions, those paths converge, and I do what I can to facilitate the mission of the X-Men, but I was not made to be one of you." Nate's question brought a shake of her head, "Though I did live there once, a very long time ago, the Mansion and the School will never be my home. Nor the X-Men my 'family'." She took Scott's rise in her stride, "Begin with the antarctic satellite feeds. I have performed some adjustments to the orbital systems to allow you more specificity in your search."

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