Good Plan III: To Save an Angel
Roleplaying Log: Good Plan III: To Save an Angel
IC Details

Moonstar, Gwen, Carolus and Scott chat about how to save Warren.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 22, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 24 Nov 2019 17:26
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: Archangel emitting Scott
Associated Plots

The mission to rescue Alison Blaire was a success.

They were able to get into the ship, get Ali and then get out.

However, like everything, there is always a price to pay and this one was paid with blood and tears.

That price is what sidelined Danielle Moonstar for so many hours, but now with her injury tended to the Cheyenne frees herself from the Blackbird's medical bay.

Now comes the time for planning and plotting. To figure out how they're going to capture Warren without losing another eye, or worse.

A life.

Even though the spectre of Death doesn't hang over anyone's head this particular day, Dani can feel its presence creeping ever closer. Ready to strike with its sickle or claws, or knife-like metallic feathers.

And it's her job to make sure they all survive.

It's why she now stands within the debriefing room of the Blackbird, some hours after the majority of the team was here. She's heard enough of people's plans to form her own ideas and with those comes the finalization of them. A message is sent off to Scott, or a comm call, whatever way Dani can contact him she does, "We have a plan. I'd like to discuss the who, what and where.", then she waits for the arrival of this particular world's Scott Summers.

While she waits she restlessly paces and as she passes a reflective surface the woman momentarily pauses. She turns her good eye to that reflection and automatically she gazes at the imperfection of her face. Gently Dani presses her fingertips to the skin below the temporary white bandage that covers said eye, but for the moment there is no pain thanks to a well-placed nerve block.

Scott is prompt. It seems to be a hallmark of all Scotts, across the multiverses, to be punctual when he is needed for some serious business. Dani doesn't have to wait more than thirty minutes — pretty good, when one considers that one's requesting the time of a major field commander who is busy with his own troops — before the door is sliding open, admitting the tall lean form of Cyclops.

It's always hard for people to track where exactly Scott is looking, given that visor. Here and now is no different, though the way his face turns towards her suggests that he's automatically checking on the condition of her injured eye.

He says nothing. But if anyone were to understand about difficulties with one's eyes, it would be Scott Summers.

"Moonstar," is his greeting. "You've finalized your plan of attack?"

The new reality of her eye is stared at for a moment longer before the woman makes a judicious retreat from that reflective surface.

Which brings her back to the mission room at large and just in time for Scott to enter.

At his arrival the woman automatically turns in the man's direction, but it's the wrong side. And while blackness greets her on that side her logical and illogical brain fights with one another - there should be something there! - there just should be, but eventually the woman pivots a bit more to bring Scott into view.

Her expression is flat and tight when she meets the man's 'gaze'. "Scott." She greets in return, "And yes, I believe we have." She steps over to the table but doesn't sit yet. "We need a good place to ambush Warren. A place where his bird's eye view -" And she sure does understand the irony there with saying that, " - is ineffective. I believe the forest would suit our purposes the best. Please tell me this creature named Genesis didn't raze all the forested areas in your world."

And while she didn't expect Scott to say much about her eye, there's an internal sense of relief that he doesn't bring it up with those first words of his.

It's easier for her to pretend like nothing is wrong.

Perhaps anyone else would have made their first greeting for Dani concerned words about her lost eye. After all, it's a grievous and life-changing injury to have happen to you — the literal loss of a major sensory organ. Certainly Warren might have started with a tactful but concerned inquiry as to how Dani was feeling.

Cyclops? He's rather more in the mold of Dani herself — which is to not want to talk about it at all until the job at hand is done. Or ever, really. Pretending nothing is wrong until it can't be held in anymore, after all, is something Scott Summers is a damn champion at.

As such, he doesn't say a thing. He doesn't sit, either, when Dani doesn't; he simply settles in, falling into parade rest with automatic ease, hands clasped at his back as he listens to Dani's initial remarks.

"You're in luck," he says. "The destruction has been concentrated around urban centers and on areas that support human civilization. Our agricultural infrastructure in the Midwest is a smoking ruin, but he hasn't really had any reason to touch true wilderness. There's still dense forests and national parks around DC that you could stage this in."

He leans forward, pulling up the holographic map over the table with a word. "Seneca Creek State Park would suit," he says, manipulating the image until it zooms in on the area between DC and New York. "You'll have to get your team together fast, though. Intel suggests he's en route to the area even as we speak. My own plan was to mobilize down there once our preparations are complete. No later than 0600 in the morning."

His visored face turns towards Dani. "Are you good for it?" It's not meant as an offensive or coddling question. Simply a blunt inquiry of her honest personal assessment.

His answer to her question brings a look of relief to the unbandaged portions of her face.

"Good." Moonstar murmurs, "At least one thing is going our way."

Not that she dwells on those words of her for too long, not when Scott brings out the holographic map and possible forests they could use. As soon as the holographic map is there Moonstar turns her attention to it and all it shows. Slowly now the woman circles around the map, her gaze tracing the various points of interest and topography of Seneca Creek State Park. Finally she settles near the densest area of forest, "Here then. Where the canopy is thickest. We'll use it much like the squirrel and rabbit do when hiding from the hawk."

"Only when he comes down for the kill he'll find us."

And then comes that anticipated question and while it brings up some emotion within Dani she doesn't necessarily burst with it, not when Scott asks it in those blunt almost clinical tones. Such Scott Summers' tones. That familiarity is enough to keep her own response rather level.

Dani says in a similarly straight-forward voice, "Yes.", she has to be, there's no other way.

As such, when that answer is given Moonstar turns resolutely back to the map, "Carolus and .. Ali will draw Warren out and then when he's down on the ground we attack and subdue."

"Then we take him home." And with that said Moonstar looks back at Scott's visor'd face, "Before we leave do you want our help with your assault? We may only be a few but we can help."

The holographic map is familiar technology — springing from the same seed as the tech Moonstar would be versed in from home — and so it isn't hard for her to get the knack of asking it to show her what she needs to see. In fact, courtesy of this timeline being ahead of theirs, the tech's actually markedly better, boasting a few upgrades.

She can call up a fully topographical, 3D representation of the area she wants to see. Enough detail to quickly home in on an ideal staging ground: the densest part of the forest, where the canopy grows the thickest.

Scott nods at her assessment… and then at her stoic and matter-of-fact reply to his blunt question. Yes. She is good for it. She has to be; it is the lot of a leader. His mouth quirks slightly in what might almost be a look of approval.

"His dive is one of the deadliest things you can face," he moves on to say, asking no more of her in terms of her capability to carry the mission. "Certainly one of the fastest ways he has to get up to speed, and if you let him get up to speed, he'll kill you. Thick canopy like that will prevent him from stooping on you easily. And though Warren always trained hard to remain maneuverable even in close quarters like that, it'll still prevent him from pulling his most lethal moves… and give your team the advantage."

He is silent for a moment, regarding the map, his arms folded over his chest. "I've been watching your team," he says. "You've got a good one. You'll have a decent chance under these conditions. The terrain will be beneficial for Ghost Spider, to make the most of her vertical mobility — she wouldn't do well in a flat plain. Atlas has a significant maneuverability advantage in the air over Warren, in dense woods like that. There's not many who are better for defense or surprise attack options than Shadowcat. Jean, Dazzler, Iron Man, they're all diverse offensive and defensive heavy hitters — and they've got those deep personal connections to him you'll need."

He inclines his head to her. "Lead them well, and you'll succeed."

The offer of help, however, gives Scott brief pause to think. Not because it surprises him, but because he is considering the details of the answer. "Lay out for me the options you have for return to your own dimension," he says presently. "Because if you don't have many good ones, your only choice is through that ship anyway. I'd advise that it would be in your best interests to help us see that dimensional gate destroyed, anyway; so long as it's open, he will keep reaching into your world. One day, he may come all the way through."

"Well, you could always get a mask with one eye and an X over the other one. That shoots laser beams. That'd be pretty radical." Ghost Spider opines from the doorframe of the room, having SPIDER-SNUCK to the premium popcorning angle.

"But hey! Now you two are a matched set?"

Her words are punctuated by an honest raise of white-gloved hands in a 'okay, okay, I'll stop' gesture.

"I was thinking of those for easily an hour. Sorry. Are you two OK? The energy here is really…"

Her hands drop to waggle in an 'ehhhn' angle. "Well, I'm not a leader. I just have my own beat, and keep time pretty well."

To Scott - not Dani, but Scott - Gwen's eyes are level and without the usual cheery or comedic cock or twitch or narrowing of her mask's lenses.

"How many, do you think? Be honest."

As Scott speaks it's now Dani's turn to stand in something of parade rest, her hands held behind her back as she listens attentively.

The assessment of Warren's greatest ability prompts a nod of agreement from Dani, as well as understand. However, at those remarks of the lethality of that particular attack, that brings forth a quiet murmur from Moonstar, "All of him is deadly now it seems." Then it's back to Scott as he continues to give his assessment of this whole situation and the spot Dani has selected for the team and finally the team itself.

"They're some of the best we have back home. Good people. Good fighters. I will lead them to the best of my ability." And maybe that'll be enough. "We will succeed."

She dips hear head back at Scott, in acknowledgement of everything.

And as Scott asks his questions about how they're going to return home, Moonstar answers. "Dr. Strange is waiting on the other side for our signal. Once we give him the magical signal he'll open a portal and bring us home. I would prefer, however, not to leave that ship or the dimensional technology in that ship in one piece." And she'd prefer Genesis dead, but that isn't said. Not when Gwen suddenly pipes up and makes her presence known.

Moonstar swivels around with some surprise and that surprise might further echo on her face at Ghost Spider's jokes. 'Matched set'. While it's too early for Moonstar to respond with any sort of wry or dry humor to that, she at least doesn't react terribly to it. Just a widening of that uncovered eye of hers before that's tucked behind her typical stoic mask.

As for Gwen's question, that brings Dani back to Scott to see what he answers.

All of him is deadly now, it seems.

"He makes all his Horsemen into weapons," is Scott's brief reply. "But Death even more so than the rest. Death's primary directive is to test fitness and cull the weak. Those who are not strong enough must be killed… and everything about him now is geared towards that one purpose."

He speaks clinically. One would not know, without inside knowledge, that he speaks about someone who was his best friend.

As Moonstar likewise speaks positively of her team, however, Scott listens in silence — up until she says she will lead them to the best of her ability. That brings his visored, austere features to turn to her.

"You will lead them," he corrects, as gently as Cyclops ever can. It's not at first obvious where the correction is, until the pointedness of the ringing silence after he finishes those four words sinks in. "One thing I have learned, over the years: do not begin a mission with any thought of a ceiling to your ability."

He absorbs her response with regard to Doctor Strange, and might have said more — but that is when Gwen makes her presence known. Cyclops straightens up, his visor turning in her direction. He evinces no reaction to her quip about matched sets.

"We're fine," is all he says, in fact, in response to her inquiry whether they're really OK or whether they're suffering acute leadership stick-in-ass poisoning right now.

Her question, though?

Something almost like amusement threatens to animate his mouth. It's terrifying, really. "If you mean how many options do I think you have," he says, "I think you have two. I presumed that your arrival here was tied to a means to return — though my assumption was that the means was not reliable and that it could only be used once, judging by your interest in immediately asking Stark about options to travel back and forth. Two is of course Stark… though the reliabilityo of that method is also in question." Oh, he's sure Stark could get them back and forth… but with what sort of Starkly complications?

"No." Gwen continues to opine, at Scott's insistence that 'we're fine'. Dani's relative silence, and not a single real crack in the armor showing seals it for Ghost Spider.

"You're really not. And I didn't want to crack open this par-ticular can of feelings in front of everyone, in front of 'the team', but it needs to be said."

"This isn't fine. This isn't normal. Dani, I asked a lot of times, and you laughed or you nodded or you grimaced, but you never said 'no'. Normal is going to school, and going to parties, and having friends, and not living in complete fear, not swallowing it down and shouldering through. You can twist it around, and you can lie to yourself, but it's there. It's not about going 'no, this is normal' - it's about acknowledging the problem and working on fixing it. Finding how to get to normal. And that's…"

Gwen shifts, from foot to foot, from vaguely held hands in meaningless gesture to crossed arms. She shifts her vision, from Dani to Scott. "That's gonna be real hard for you guys. That's why I we need to leave this place better than when we got here. It's already gotten worse because of 'us'. But, sorry, no."

A breath pushes the mask away from her mouth ever-so-slightly. "That's really not what I asked."

Rising, shoulders straightening as she levels at Scott once more, Gwen re-braces herself for her question.

"How many do you think survive?"

Cyclops's back straightens. His stance, which had loosened slightly over the course of his conversation with Dani, tightens back up into perfect militance.

"The job of a leader isn't to be fine, or normal," he eventually says. "It's to make the choices others cannot, so that those who don't have the capability to fight — as we do — can have all those trappings of normality you mention."

His head turns away, his gaze presumably resting on the map where it still gently glows. "After that, we can think of ourselves."

Ah — but Gwen clarifies her question. How many of us do you think survive?

"I think all of you will survive," is his simple answer. "Whenever I take my team into the field, I believe I will bring all of them back. To start out the gate believing any less is a disservice to them."

'You will lead them'.

What he says Dani can only take those words into her to be considered for later.

It's something she understands to some extent, but does she realize just what Scott means precisely? Perhaps not entirely, but possibly after this mission she will. There is no try, or attempt, there is only do. Whether they survive or not.

It's, however, at Gwen's next words that Moonstar returns her attention to the Spider. Throughout all of what Gwen says Moonstar's expression tries to stay relatively flat, relatively placcid, but cracks can be seen and her expression shows some of the strain of *everything* that has happened in such a relatively short timeframe.

"None of this is normal." Agrees Moonstar to everything Gwen has said, "But our lives, whether here in this world or in our own, are rarely normal. All we can do is face it together and do what we do best, fight against evil and help those in need."

"And be there for one another when needed." And here Moonstar walks over to Ghost Spider and if able to, the Cheyenne woman will place a hand on the other woman's shoulder in a gesture of support.

When Scott speaks up Moonstar shifts her gaze over to the man momentarily, in agreement with what he says, and for the last, Moonstar dips her head - now finally in full understanding of his earlier remark.

To both, she adds, "All of us will be going home."

"Women and children first, I guess… But don't forget to secure your mask before assisting others, too." Ghost Spider shrugs. Her tone is conversational, and nonflippant.

As for her true question…

"That's a pretty good answer."

A breath she didn't know she had been holding slips from her nose, and her arms unfurl from their tight cross to shrug broadly. "Both of 'em. Alright. Sorry for leaning in on the monocular meeting of minds. I heard you talking and…"

She thumbs back down the hall of the Blackbird. "I could feel it from all the way in the lounge. You practically wear danger, Cyclops."

"Later, you two. Good luck, Cyclops."

Ghost Spider turns to leave with a wave of the hand. "I'm going to grab a nap until we're heading out. Hate fighting tired."

"Objectively," Carolus says as he follows the various scents into the meeting room from wherever he had been meditating at that exact moment, "our team is pretty squishy. Assuming a scenario of success with average expected complications with this team composition, I would expect incapacitating injuries on at least three of us, with at least one being potentially fatal."

"Probably me, by the way, until the spiritual fragment's out of me. Then it's whoever upset Death the most at the time."

He meanders back into the corner he'd been using during the prior meeting, waving dully towards Danielle with both of his left hands before collapsing onto the floor wearily, crossing his legs underneath one another.

"I'm not going to do an individual run-down, it would be depressing."

Another loose wave with two hands follows, "Above-average engagement and response to complications, everybody ssssshould live."

Carolus jabs two fingers in Scott's general direction, "Being fine in the moment is absolutely your job as a leader, and it's better to learn to be fine in general too. Same idea as putting on an oxygen mask yourself before helping anybody else. That's what makes people fall in with /you/. It sure isn't your charisma or emotional healthiness."

"It won't be you. You pulled me through the Worst Wizard Dimension all to make sure you're not the first one to die. That's offensive! You're the *worst*, Carolus." Gwen snorts, lightly punching Carolus on one of his FOUR biceps. Just one.

"By the way, you're taking me out for…"

Stopping short, Ghost Spider freezes mid-step on her way out.


She laughs. "Not saying it. That's absolutely for-sure going to get me killed. Making survival plans. Nope! Nope. Nap first, fruit snacks after, then whatever happens past that."

"Objectively. Perhaps," Cyclops replies. "But as a leader, your task is not to frighten your team pre-mission with casualty forecasts. Your job is to know their capabilities, and manage those concerns for them.

"A team doesn't want their leader to join them in mulling over their chances of death. It wants their leader to know how to help them live."

The subsequent talk about what is 'better' or not for him to do, emotionally, bounces right off his featureless visor.

"Get rest," is his reply, about-facing. "We're deploying at 0600. Consult me with any other last-minute inquiries, Moonstar."

And he leaves the room.

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