Rebuilding 101

November 15, 2018:

Lorna and Nate talk as they work to help rebuild Mutant Town. Perhaps someone should teach a class on how to rebuild things back the school.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

here are still some soldiers in the streets, and certainly the police presence is quite noticeable in Manhattan. Traffic is still blocked in many of the major avenues, as an army of constructor workers coming from all over the East Coast is clearing debris and repairing the most important infrastructures. Damage Control is taking care of the East Side using their unique brand of mad skills and crazy engineering.

Mutant Town is different. To the surprise of anyone few city hall workers appeared to help. Although to their credit the cops of the 11th Precinct are doing their jobs. Many of them refused to abandon the neighborhood and bleed for it.

All in all the casualty list is hardly as bad as the one after the Purifiers attacks three years ago. But it is not short. And many of the neighbors are already packing to travel to Genosha. But many more are working in the reconstruction.

It is dawning, and the mutants are gathering in groups for another day of hard work to restore Mutant Town to what passes by normal. Heavy coats and hats make them look more normal than the average day. But it is cold, snowing lightly. No one wants December to arrive without heating or power in all the houses. Last year was bad enough for a lifetime.

*

The air was cold in Lorna's lungs as she inhaled and raised her arms above her to direct the scrap metal that had once made the protective bunker she'd lived in for weeks. She's taken it down, but now? Now she was putting it back up. Into steel beams and supports for the parts of buildings that had fallen down. That had suffered the most. She could do this much, she could help to rebuild. She'd learned those skills back in Genosha and she used them once more here.

Of course, doing such shows of power gained attention. More than a few phones had come out as she floated this way and that, stuck steel back into places it belonged.. Bundled up or not in winter gear, her green hair and her powers were distinct. And people that wanted to go to Genosha? They came to her, who better than Magneto's youngest to secure their futures? Who better than the public face of that terrorist family that was raised by the X-men?

Even as Lorna floated down to the street level again, shaking her hands out to try to warm her finger tips in their gloves a few people stepped up to her, questions ready on their lips.

*

A fair number of mutants with powers are also helping, but most are just using their hands and backs like any other human being would. Cleaning, hammering, changing broken pipes, scavenging from valuables in those business and homes that got invaded and occupied by malicious alien beings.

The news, and the politicians, are not talking about 'demons', but about D-Beings, or Breachers. Aliens from another dimension. It sound more… sanitized. At least they are no longer maligning the mutants every day. Just like it happened during the alien invasion of Metropolis a few years ago. But now everyone knows it will be just a brief respite.

The grey light of the snowy dawn brings out also Nate Grey. At his command thousands, maybe millions of glass shards rise up slowly from the dirty street, slowly gathering together into brand new glass panels that float towards the shatter windows of the street. It is slow work, but he manages to fix a city block or two every day. Steel is too tough for this kind of telekinetic wizardry, so that is Lorna's job. But he can handle glass and many other substances just fine. "Hey Lorna," he greets. "Looks like we got some nice snowfall today, see anyone from the school?" he probably has already forgotten what Lorna thinks about cold weather.

*

Lorna turned her focus away from scribbling down directions to a ship willing to take another family to Genosha and caught sight of Nate's approach, she made her excuses and stepped away. She flashed the telepath a smile, "Hey, nice work on the glass. I was just saying I wish I had more to help with other than structural things." She sighed, shoving her hands into the pockets of her thick woolen coat. She shivered faintly, kicking away some of the fresh snow.

"Some of the kids wanted to come down and see if their families needed help in the area. But not really." She fought the urge to sigh.

"Anyways, thanks for not throwing a snowball at me. The kids kept trying after we parked."

*

"It is early yet," comments Nate, grinning. "I am sure a few will come today too," to do whatever they can. Most of school mutants have major powers, but little on building skills. At least they keep bringing food and supplies. "And no snowballs until lunch break, hmm?" Because of course.

He loses his smile when he sees the family leaving for Genosha, deflating visibly. "They have been here five years," he comments quietly. His opinion on Genosha unchanged.

*

Lorna glanced over her shoulder, and nodded down the streets still dusted with snow. "Yeah, well, to be fair we really need to include a construction class back at the school. How to rebuild a city, or the school 101." She joked, though her brows pinched faintly in concern as she shifted on her feet to keep her toes warm inside her boots.

"How about no snowballs until after lunch? If I'm having something hot I do not want it getting ruined with ice." She muttered, making a face as she gestured down the street and started to walk. A thoughtful expression on her features as she waved her hands this way and that, pulling metal scrap and nails and the alike along in a magnetic sweep.

In regards to the family leaving, she frowned, her brows pinched. "Genosha is safer. How many times has this city been attacked or destroyed? How many threats have people here had to live through? And I'm not just talking about Mutant Town, though that is my main concern."

*

"That is not a bad idea," comments Nate about Rebuild City 101 as a class. He has good handyman skills since forever. Forge taught him some useful skills besides fighting. A lot of American kids seem unable to change a light bulb.

"Genosha is not safer, though," comments Nate. "Yeah, New York sees a lot of super-crime, but many of the greatest heroes of the world live here. A full invasion had never happened before. And still was not a big deal compared with the Genosha Civil War. This reminds me, I need to find out what happened to the Avengers. I hope they are okay."

*

Lorna huffed a breath, arching a brow. "I'm not teaching that, so don't go telling Scott it was my idea. I'm not teaching anyone anything." She muttered, and concentrated to assemble the metal scrap into neat steel bars along the road side to use for later. She turned her focus back toward Nate and shook her head.

"Last year it was the deep freeze, this year the demons. You can hate my father all you want Nate, but he's done well for the people there. They have stability. They have freedom. No mutant ghettos. They don't need to be scared for their safety walking down the street… What does Mutant Town offer them? What does America or any other country have to offer them?" She arched a brow and gestured around her.

"Genosha has free education, medical care, housing promised to new arrivals…" She sighed, dropping her gaze and her tucking her hands back into her pockets.

"I know that my father isn't ideal for leading anyone. But Genosha is something people need."

*

"They don't have freedom. Magneto does not even believe in freedom," counters Nate, grunting in disapproval. "They have human ghettos, too. They have lost their citizenship right. Discrimination by genetics institutionalized, Lorna. Just what you hate that could happen here. That humans are the target does not make it right. No one should be a second class citizen or have legal privileges. I will fight against it here as I will fight against it in Genosha."

*

Lorna rolled her eyes, shaking her head as she listened to Nate's words. "Nate, humans have the world. If they wanted to leave Genosha, one tiny island.. They could have. They can. No one is forcing them to stay there in the city. Mutants? Here in the states? Most people can't live elsewhere." She made a face, "Renters don't renew contracts to mutants. People don't rent to people that might destroy their apartment." She muttered, a heavy sigh escaping her.

"I'm not arguing for the rest of the world to change. Just that you respect the idea that Genosha gives us. It gives people an option where they don't have to be feared for who they are."

*

"Uh, why would someone -have- to leave his home? How is that fair or just?" Retorts the young man. "That most countries in the world discriminate against mutants does not make fair that in Genosha mutants are the ruling elite and humans will have to suffer. It is not even necessary. If Magneto was a decent person he would make Genosha an example of equality and freedom for all. But he is not interested in justice or fairness. Your dad is a control freak desperate to have an illusion of control around him. Freedom stands on his way and it is the first thing that he will destroy. He is also bitter and angry about his past experiences and lashing out against anything and anyone that dares stand in his way. Well, fuck him. Hitler's Germany was a pleasant joke compared with my world. You saw what happened here because some assholes wanted to be on the top and oppress the so-called weak."

At this point some of the mutants have stopped working and looks rather embarrassed. It is like watching mom and dad arguing. "Less talk, more work," dares an old man with purple skin carrying a large box of carpentry supplies.

*

Lorna frowned, her lips thinning into a line and her hands clenched into tight fists. She seethed as it seemed Nate had hit a nerve. "I'm sorry, I think I missed the part where the humans on Genosha enslaved mutates for their own pleasure. I don't want to live side by side with those people. You can't tell me that those people deserved to stay, to live alongside those that they tormented? Because no, I won't stand for that. Because you want to bring in Nazis into this? How about the fact that only 58 Nazis were ever held accountable for the deaths of millions? Held accountable for taking away my family, and my right to have a father that wasn't fucked up or have grandparents or an aunt." Her voice was thick and carried heavy emotion.

"My father has left those that didn't enslave our people alone. Those that didn't got what they deserved. Mutants deserve to have a place of our own where we can be free to use our powers and be who we are without hatred or fear. And that's not the world Nate, that's not going to be the world. We deserve a homeland. A place of our own." She exhaled a shaky breath, her throat tight as she shivered and shot the other mutant a heated look for telling them to get back to work. Her steps picked up as she moved to walk faster down the street, pushing hollowed scraps of metal like cars and the alike out of the way for supplies to get through.

*

Nate sighs. "No, Lorna. Mutants don't 'deserve' a place where they are free to do whatever. It shouldn't even be an issue." He nods to the old guy, "yes, work. But work to keep our rights. We don't need a 'homeland' we need to have our rights protected like the laws of this country supposedly would guarantee. We don't need to go to another continent to kick other people out of their homes. It is irrelevant if that other people did wrong to someone else or not. The people of Mutant Town have much more in common with the people of Brooklyn than with the people of Genosha. You know why? Because they are Americans. Being a mutant is not a culture, I don't think it is even a race, it is not something you choose, it is not something that makes you like someone else because mutants have very diverse traits. I am sick of hearing people like Graydon Creed or Magneto trying to use it to divide us from humans to fulfill their political agendas of power schemes. So what if some of us have powers? There are a lot of humans with powers, too."

*

Lorna shook her head, her frustration mounting in the way she broke down metal, the steel screaming as it twisted and reshaped itself into small, neat piles that could be reused from the trash and scrap that it was. Her lips twisted into a deep scowl as she moved with a sharp movement of anger. "It shouldn't be an issue Nate but it is. People hate. It's ingrained in our nature. I might be hated because I'm a mutant these days but hell, I'm also Jewish. People hate me because of that. The problem is that ignoring hate doesn't make it go away. It doesn't stop them from killing us for who we are. There hasn't been a single civil rights step taken forward here in this country without fighting for it. And I'm not just talking politically." She turned green eyes toward the telepath as she smoothed her hands out before her and the metal scraps on the side of the road stacked themselves out neatly to be used later.

"I can't change their hate, it will always be there. But I can at least make sure that those that around me, that are victims of it, are safe. That's what Genosha is. That's why we need it. Because equality is nice on paper, but it never turns out that way."

*

"Well, then lets fight for our rights," replies Nate. Not really disagreeing with Lorna in this point. "Because in Genosha mutants will end up with even less rights than here," he adds. "I am a mutant, but I am also an alien from other dimension, I have seen what a crazy angry Magneto ends up doing. But yeah, freedom needs to be fought for, bleed for it. It shouldn't be so, but it is. There is always someone that benefits from keeping part of the population oppressed, so it is an easy idea to sell. But is it is also an easy idea to fight against. You think hatred comes easy? Well, righteousness does too. And as a telepath I can tell you most human beings, mutants or not, do not want to hurt anyone and like the idea of justice and freedom."

*

A rough exhale followed Lorna's actions as she listened to Nate's words, her expression pinched. "I can't read people's minds, so all I have is what's in front of me. And all I read day after day is people's hatred. Someone murdered because they looked different. People arrested for just being mutant. Kids shot because they were running around using their powers. All I do is look at history and the mark it's left on my family and I see their corpses… Because of hate, I lost my ability to ever know my family. My father was lost to me before I was even born. I should've had that." Her voice pinched thick with hurt. At what was lost decades before she was even a thought.

"Your world was reborn out of the ashes of hatred. And people were forced to work together or die." She swallowed hard, as she let her hands fall and tuck back into her coat pocket. "Sometimes I wish I had stayed there."

*

Nate shakes his head, "you focus too much in the dark," comments Nate. He draws breath sharply, and all the glass in the air that had been still for several mites goes back to slide back to the windows, like a steam of ice bit.

"Every day I see a human mother kissing a mutant baby, every day I see a human-mutant couple very much in love, every day I see a mutants helping humans and the other way around," he looks back to Lorna. "We have lost some, but we can win some too. And maybe leave your daughter a better world, uh? Your father is not offering a better world. He offers more of the same. Hatred, discrimination, separation. We gotta do better."

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