The One With The Hologlobe
Roleplaying Log: The One With The Hologlobe
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

With the promise of mutant registration looming large over New York, a meeting of active X-Men is convened to discuss the best available options for fighting — or living with? — the new law of the land.

Other Characters Referenced: Scott Summers, Agent 13, Rictor, Charles Xavier
IC Date: January 03, 2019
IC Location: The X-Men's Secret Base
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 04 Jan 2019 05:09
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 (Language)
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's not a war, it's a rescue mission. The X-Men's bleeding edge stealth jet, holographic training suite, secret headquarters, planetary-scale tracking device, and collectively awe-inspiring destructive capabilities exist to serve two key goals:

  • Saving vulnerable posthumans from the cruelties of a world that doesn't understand them.
  • Saving a vulnerable world from the clutches of hate and fear.

So the big, round room decorated with old costumes in glass cases and built around a round, metallic table table cut with an vast 'X'? With enough plush, high-backed, icon-stamped chairs for a private army to assemble in comfort? The one with the holographic globe hovering inches above the 'X' in easy reach of whoever might assemble?

It isn't a War Room at all; it's the X-Men's Mission Room, and the X-Men have been summoned so that they might discuss plans for saving any and all who need saving, whether they know they do or not.

The polite but insistent throat-clearing doesn't come for a while, not 'til everyone's who's coming has had a chance to come— not 'til they've had their fill of snacks and drinks lining and underlining a long, flat counter set against a stretch of wall. Standing might help; the idle fluttering of vivid red hair and a gold sash on psychokinetic currents, too.

"My name is Jean Grey," says the woman who laid the geas just before the holidays entered their final, feverish throes, "and I think it's time we began."

There was a time when she wouldn't have had to introduce herself, but things change; why dwell?

She spares a couple ticks longer, then,

"Thirteen years ago, Professor Charles Xavier founded the X-Men because he knew that the world - not humans, not mutants, the world - needed them. Would continue to need them, for as long as fear's allowed the power to keep us from seeing each other. Not forever, because he dreamed - he knew - that there'd come a time when the rest of us would catch up to him, when we'd figure out how to see through fear and live together, instead of next to each other."

Her eyes fall towards the table and lid for another brief moment as she takes a breath.

"Now he's gone," she continues, quieter but no less staunch, "and that time feels further away than it ever did before. But:" both index fingers rise, "we are still here. We still carry that dream with us, and we are still responsible for protecting it, shepherding it. In a little less than two months,"

The globe shrinks down to make room for a constantly shifting, 3x3 grid of TV broadcasts concerning the impending legislation. News reports, arguing pundits, talk shows— all of it's silent, but hateful protest signs and dubious chyrons speak volumes about where human-posthuman relations stand just now.

"we're going to be staring down one of, if not the biggest threat to that dream we've ever faced, and we need to be ready. I have ideas; plans, even. But I know I'm not the only one, so before we move forward… we need to make sure we're on the same page about what that'll even look like. So:"

Gold opera gloves perch on her hips while green eyes carefully sweep the room.

"Questions, before we get started?"

* * *

Kitty Pryde is not in her Shadowcat uniform. Instead, she is in jeans, a black tank top and a leather jacket. Lockheed perches on her shoulder, watching with just as much intensity as she does. Arms cross over her chest as she listens to Jean and her eyebrows are furrowed. However, she does not seem to be angry at this called meeting. Instead, she is troubled and watching the others as they take in this information.

There is a lot to handle for this team, these people. Her hand raises, much like the good pupil that she was when she attended Xavier School. "Sorry to get right into it, but I have to ask: do these plans include mutants and the X-Men only? Or are these for how we help mutants as well as those who do not have the X-Gene but may be effected by these laws?"

Glancing about, she takes a breath and then refocuses on Jean, giving her a bit of a smile to show she's not here to fight, but to clarify. "Not to derail our plan talks and it seems like you were moving in that way anyway. I just…wanted to make sure. Clarify."

* * *

Bobby Drake. The first-classman moved back into the mansion just after Halloween and right before the students were shuttled to the satellite school in California. As the holiday approaches Bobby, in an uncharacteristic display is self-determination, opted to have the institute fly him to the west coast until the New Year.

It's fair to assume people thought that he might decide not to return. Robert Drake has never accepted a faculty position. At fifteen (15) years-old he fought Magneto to prevent a nuclear holocaust. At twenty-six (26) he has shucked responsibility wherever possible. To be fair he's barely old enough to have a teaching degree.

Nevertheless, as the New Year came to pass Bobby returned. Without fan fair.

As they all gather in the mountain base Bobby is amongst them. A small styrofoam plate with a mixture of meats, fruits, and dips, he makes light conversation before sitting in an open seat. He begins to snack. Plate empty within a few minutes as if more focused upon food than conversation.

When Kitty speaks he looks at her and seems to want to nod but does not actually nod. Quiet. Fly on the wall. Ice cold?

* * *

The Wolverine has been gone from the Mansion for a few months, more or less. He returned the day before Christmas, wearing a cheap Santa hat, smoking a cheap cigar, and carrying a bag of unwrapped gifts. It's dumped with some reverence under the tree and pinned with a note that says 'Take what you want; don't be an asshole'. Tools, electronics, survival gear, the gruff Canuck apparently robbed a Walmart truck or some shit.

Since then he's been at the woods and lake, and now, he creeps into the briefing room about two minutes from midnight, just enough time to find a seat— the one closest to the exit without leaving his back to it, for the record. Logan's greetings consist of nods to those who catch his eye coming in, and a monosyllabic grunt or two, and he just settles in to listen to the world-eater talk about not getting them eaten by great and terrible authorities; which gets a few nods of thoughtful agreement.

Wolverine, though, just lurks, and listens, runty and nondescript in -this- crowd, in worn denim and old flannel, a wide-brimmed brown hat (in the western style, of course) atop his Canucklehead. Lurks, listens, and /smirks/ so hard when Kitty pipes right up, glancing around with similar attention as others inevitable follow suit.

* * *

You may know Rachel Summers. Your memories of Rachel Summers may not be the best ones. Let's recap why.

2014: The X-Men rescue an emaciated teenager from noted ultra serial killer vampire shoggoth Selene. Said teenager identifies herself as Jean Grey's daughter and makes a lot of grim predictions about the apocalypse. Fortunately that's mostly bullshit because it turns out she's from a parallel reality that is closely related to this world's possible future, and not actually this world's future.

2015: Unfortunately said emaciated teenager upgrades her PTSD by somehow calling the Phoenix Force from space so she can 'help the team.' She helps. A little too much. Her fragile mental state is on display during the Chitauri invasion, even if it did help having a giant psychic space goddess fly around devouring ships. Her tendency toward catastrophic thinking and fears of rejection cause her to react to criticism by feeling the X-Men, taking a shot at trying to kill Selene, pissing off the Hellfire Club, and apparently staggering off to die from her wounds during the ensuing Hellfire Club/X-Men clash when people came to retrieve her.

2016: Except almost a year later she somehow appears in London, still en-Phoenixed, and on a newly formed super-team called Excalibur and headed by Captain Britain. Captain Britain's deal is that he's Captain Britain, so the government seems fine with it.

2017: Rachel sends a very nice apology letter.

2018: Jean Grey does her resurrection thing and apparently the Phoenix splits in half between them. Rachel, who has been operating under the name 'Phoenix' in the public, returns to New York to figure things out. Spoilers: Rachel immediately gets caught up fighting the Brotherhood, taking down a company that was experimenting on mutants with Starktech, and cutting promos on the government for registration instead of figuring things out. At least she seems less crazy.

NOW: And that's why it may not be the most awkward thing that Rachel Summers is standing next to Kitty Pryde, but it's still pretty awkward. Rachel has also forgone her costume to wear civilian gear, but that's not saying much. Civilian gear for Rachel is a red leather miniskirt, knee-high boots, a black bandeau top and a cropped denim jacket with silver studs and a giant firebird patch sewn on the back. Her work gear is a skintight red bodysuit covered in spikes. It is difficult to say which would have been more appropriate, especially considering that her 'eerily looks like Jean Grey' factor has increased now that she's grown her hair out into a bob and is standing in the same room with the other woman.

(Hint: it's still not the spike suit.)

* * *

While Moonstar may be an agent of SHIELD her loyalty is always with the X-Men.

Much like she told Dazzler and Warren earlier.

As such, she can likewise be found within this room, casually leaning against a wall as she listens to what Jean has to say. Then to what Kitty has to add, and the Cheyenne can't help but nod in agreement.

"Or those who want to help, even if they themselves aren't mutants."

"And we'll need to consider just how far we want to take actions against law enforcement." She adds, her tone carefully neutral. "Escalations can happen pretty quickly in tense situations like these."

* * *

In full uniform, like a good X-Man, Colossus is there, but not in metal form, it's not that serious. Yet. But his yellow, red and black sleeveless top and pants are his latest uniform, as befits a meeting in the Mission Room. He is seated with some of the other more senior X-Men, quietly listening as Jean introduces herself and the topic at hand. Her introduction draws a raised eyebrow, slight surprise that anyone wouldn't recognize a founding X-Man newly returned from the dead, but oh right clones and futures-past and nevermind. Introductions are good.

Nodding as Kitty raises the question of exactly who they are setting out to protect, Piotr adds in a booming voice, "And sadly this is not a problem we can punch away." Yes, there is real disappointment in not being able to punch legislation. "But are we planning to shuttle those unwilling to register away? Surely taking them in is not tenable." Much as Piotr would love to throw open doors to any and all who need it, the regret here is just as obvious.

* * *

Laura doesn't take a chair.

She does aim to take food, seeking out the long refreshment table after her eyes do a darting check around the room and a sniff of the air reveals nothing suspicious. Just delicious aromas! Even then, the overabundance of choices and options seems to trouble or confuse her a bit. She walks down the table, picking up this and that. Smelling, licking, nibbling. Sometimes she puts things back! Still, she's able to find a few things she likes, piles them up in her hand and arm, and then walks to stand near the table.

Behind Wolverine, because of course she does.

She has nothing to add. However, she looks fairly grim. Or no, that's her normal face? She does have the particular honor of still being one of the most wanted fugitives in the world, and presumably that mixes very poorly with government registration lists.

* * *

Meggan Puceanu showed up in her uniform. The green one with the swoopy M on it. It looks a little ridiculous but the cold doesn't bother her and it reassures her because she got it in another dimension, and she came back from that entire caper without dying or being too horribly mutated or mutilated.

Also, if she hangs it up overnight it comes out sparkling clean and smelling very faintly of lavender and soap, and this, she has confirmed, is not due to house elves.

Meggan's own life story has mostly taken place in England and she has not always been forthcoming, but it has not been a very happy story, all things considered. Even so she is here, arms folded; she is on the other side of Kitty, although from how she is holding herself this is not an aggressive group positioning.

"If only, right?" she says to Piotr quietly, half smiling at the topic.

She takes a deep breath and lets it out, looking ahead. "No, Miss Grey," she answers Jean, straightening up afterwards. It seems the one big potential one already got covered.

The thought however is clear in her mind for people who can peek, feel, read, sense or otherwise scan it: ' This (meaning the American legislation, not the meeting) is '

* * *

Psylocke is lounging in a chair with a sort of casual grace, in knee high black boots over gray leggings and a dark purple tunic sweater. There's a cup of tea in front of her, idly being stirred telekinetically as she tries to focus on what Jean is saying. Violet eyes that are expertly shadowed and lined glance at Kitty, a smile hovering around her mouth, just teasing the corner up a bit. They then travel to Rachel, flashing her favorite redheaded shopping partner a smile.

"I think most of you may know, I think the law is complete and utter shite." The british accent is in full force as she tosses her hair back from her face. "As a dual citizen of the US and Britain, I plan on challenging the law by not registering at all. I am no expert in international law, let alone the beginnings of a fascist law, but I think I can proably get away with it legally, try to slide under the radar. It may come in handly at some later point." It appears the model does think ahead, at least as of late.

* * *

It feels almost like old times, to Warren Worthington. Not because of the setting, not because of the call to assemble for a mission — both things have happened recently enough to not exactly be nostalgic — but because of the slim figure even now introducing herself, at the center of all attention. Seven years gone, and all of a sudden it feels like no time at all.

Warren is seated a little to Jean's right, in a chair that does not have a back. Easier on his wings. It may even have been initially designed for him to begin with. His attention is, for the moment, focused on the spinning grid of broadcasts. He is in uniform, perhaps in solidarity with Jean, or perhaps just because it feels right to be in uniform while here. Old habits die hard. He leans forward periodically to page through the broadcasts, skimming through the images of public hatred, his wings fanning slightly in counterbalance behind him each time.

The question finally brings his head to lift. "My assumption's the latter, Kitty," he replies, to her first question. "'Only mutants' doesn't quite have the right ring to it, does it?" His gaze turns to Piotr. "Our students and others unwilling to register have already been sent to satellite campuses. We'll need a system to provide for future refugees."

* * *

So one of the newer members of the team, and a fairly recent graduate of the school, has decided to go to the meeting. He doesn't have much to add, cause frankly he is just a follower mostly. But the big rocky guy shows up wearing just a pair of jeans, hey consider yourself lucky that he actually decided to put on pants.

Of course before showing up for the meeting he decided to grab a snack, and so his rocky fingers are covered in Cheeto dust, not to mention several parts of his rocky torso as well. "There is no problem we can't just punch away! Punching is always the best solution." And with that line Rockslide shows why he is a better follower than a leader or anything.

Of course he never bothered to register, even though he can't actually hide what he is in anyway shape or form. Cause unlike the other strong guy present, he doesn't have a human form, just the rocks. But rocks are friends according to a great movie!

* * *

Neither in costume, nor standing, is Roberto da Costa, the X-Men's second Bobby.

Instead, he is in a suit.

Now the suit is artfully disheveled, because of who he is as a person, having long since shed his tie if he was ever wearing one, and with the top two buttons of his pristine white dress shirt undone as he lounges in one of the comfortable chairs like he owns the place. That's just how he sits everywhere, these days: Lazy and possibly unearned confidence has replaced a lot of the Brazilian's famous hot temper now that he's an old man in his mid-20s.

"'Mutants first' is the other guys' battle cry, and all," the dark-skinned New Mutant agrees with his fellow super rich guy, when Warren speaks up on the subject. "Can't just be covering our own butts, here."

* * *

The prodigal disco queen has also returned home.

Mostly against her will, most could tell; Alison Blaire has always been one of the more tepid members of the X-Men, joined a couple years after the formation by its old guard — but never one to stick around too much. Torn between wanting a normal life, and coming to terms with her mutant status, Dazzler has come and gone throughout the years, and in the interim, sometimes managed to balance fighting for the Professor's goals with her own rising, international stardom.

Until now: until one of the most recent, polarizing stories in the mutant community has been the reveal of the celebrity Dazzler to be one of them. A mutant in hiding for the near-decade of her career. Revealed, and now registered, there is no part of Alison Blaire left a secret — save for this, here and now.

Back in early November, it destroyed the Dazzler professionally, and still reeling from worldwide rejection from her endorsements, label, and worst of all, fans — here she retreats. To ask Alison, she still thinks it cowardice on her own part. But within it, is an insistence to try to embrace what she's always kept at arm's length.

Starting at first: her costume. It's been updated from the white bodysuit — one of her old singers' costumes she once wore into battle and let the habit stick — to a blue number, tight-fitted, efficient, and overlaid with a cropped, blue leather coat.

She similarly chooses to sit, not too far from the old guard, and for the most part, does so in a pensive silence (also with a look originally at Rogue's direction, and nothing more after that.) "The Professor wouldn't want our efforts to leave anyone out. This may be where we need to begin active outreach to other groups — other efforts. They have to be going on, and just as underground as we are."

* * *

"Anyone who needs them," Jean clarifies while returning Kitty's smile. "This' always been bigger than the X-Gene itself, and now… I mean, it's the 'Metahuman' Registration and Public Safety Act." Finger quotes.

Dani and Piotr both graze agenda items. Psylocke, too; Psylocke gets a brief but warm smile and an unspoken response, a wordless impression scribed across the surface of her psyche:

Same.

"I've had some contact with an agent of SHIELD who might be willing to help us with that," she says after Warren draws her attention. Towards the end, it drifts towards Dani and she continues, "A woman named 'Agent 13'," finger quotes, "who brought me to her house when I collapsed after the Brotherhood's courthouse attack. She's… well, she's a spy," and Jean, who grew up with SHIELD as a bogeyman, a potential obstacle to the then-clandestine X-Men's vigilante efforts still sounds a little subconsciously dubious, "but she seems like a nice one. One who gets that the law's bullshit, anyway. She said she wants to make sure there's a responsible, posthuman voice out there to counter all the rest, and I agree… but."

Her lips quirk a little, contemplative.

"We'll still need to figure out a system for her to facilitate, of course. We've got some of the resources, but manpower, and, just— bandwidth, not so much. We'll probably need to invest in coming up with something ourselves, and see where - if anywhere - we can reach out for help from the community. As far as Agent 13 goes… if we do take her help, I think we'll want to talk with her directly, so we can set some expectations a little more formally."

A precious beat.

"As for other LEOs, Dani, I agree: whatever we can do to minimize violence, we ought to. There's no point in getting people out of here if we're just gonna be convincing every other governor that ours has the right idea."

* * *

Rogue had waited to enter.

She might have entered prior. There was a very nice peach cobbler among the snacks. But she wasn't there when snack time started. She waits until the talking starts. And then she slips into the back of the room and finds a corner well away from the table, one where she hopes she won't be noticed. In ratty jeans, with a cerulean t-shirt for some band or another, bare feet, her riotous brown curls tumbling down her shoulders and the streak of white falling into her face, she almost looks like some vagabond who got lost.

She can see the pensive look from Dazzler thwarting her efforts to stay unnoticed shortly after that, and that's the moment she mostly studies the floor instead. Listening keenly, but not really looking at anyone. Except Jean, every time she speaks.

* * *

Jean's and Warren's answer are enough that Kitty does not need further clarification on that point, as far as she is concerned. A look is given to Wolverine's smirk. She can feel his look almost even as he tosses it toward her.

Instinctively and protectively, Kitty places herself a step in front of Rachel, even if she does not block the other woman from the group. It is a subliminal show of who the will have to go through - perhaps literally - in order to get at Rachel. Even if it only may be verbally. The same goes for Meggan, on her other side. She knows that even if everyone in this room is a mutant, that doesn't mean they all see eye to eye on everything. As if to punctuate her thought, Rogue enters with her peach cobbler. An eyebrow is raised as she watches the brown haired mutant move toward the table, but she does not stop nor hinder her.

Instead, her attention is quickly brought back toward Jean. "SHIELD?" Her tone is incredulous, loud. Then, she says, softer, not to disrupt again. "You can't trust SHIELD. This is a play to get information on the X-Men."

* * *

Dani's attention drifts to those that speak, stand and sit alongside her.

She looks at Piotr, Warren, Roberto, Dazzler and the rest housed within this room of discussion and planning.

It's only as Jean addresses her points that her brown eyes swing back to the red-head. The mention of Agent 13 brings a slight raise to the Cheyenne's black eyebrows. Her head cants slightly to the side as she offers, "I know the Agent and I trust her. If acceptable I can act as some type of go-between to keep it as off the books as we can." After all it's not crazy to see agents speaking with agents.

The mention of the other agencies and setting a bad precedence brings a nod of agreement from Moonstar.

At Kitty's incredulous tone, Moonstar can't help but look over to the phaser. A slight quirk curves Dani's lips upward as she says, "Some of us you can trust."

* * *

Turning his large neck to see the new entries to the room, Piotr greets each, yes including Rogue with the same warm smile and nod. He even chuckles at Rocky's counterpoint that punching always makes it better. There was a time when he would have been the young bull stating that loudly, and it is good to see that somethings don't change even if he has matured from his early days on the team.

"SHIELD? This feels like bad trap, nyet?" He looks over to Dani and offers a semi-apologetic shrug, "No offense. I understand-… you-.." He falters and trails off, with an awkward throat clear as Kitty takes up the cry with more fervor.

"I also will be working in the moonlight with Rictor. Julio, is known to some of us, and is going to be working to funnel people out of New York who need to avoid questions." He means moonlighting as a bouncer, the translation just makes it more poetic. "There are many in mutant town who will be targets soon."

* * *

Betsy sips at her tea, a drum of manicured mauve nails against the table as she stares down - seeing nothing. "I don't think so, Kitty." There's a glance at Dani, a smile for the Native woman. "After all, SHIELD, unless I am mistaken, has metahumans in their employ."

A hand lifts to push through her hair. "So, my next line of thinking. We have a contact who works for the city, and I could see him working with us - information, maybe even more. Databases, at least give us heads up? I can reach out to Sam and find out, at the least." There's a pause. "Has anyone spoken to anyone in the Asgardian Embassy? I can say the Atlantean King is not exactly enthused with the law, though it has no effect on him. We could use the allies."

* * *

Bobby leans back his plate now empty as the others discuss.

As others speak he focuses upon them though Warren, in particular, would seem to get more intense scrutiny. 'Teacher's Pet', or perhaps something not quite so nice, is what the telepaths might perceive. It's not animosity but rather a sort-of predictably tired observation. Those who are particularly intuitive might detect that he's trying to determine whether he should register and 'get it over with' or fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of them.

It's too bad Charles isn't here to mind-trick him into the correct course of action. Would Jean unconsciously do the same if his belief hesitated?

"Sorry," he says first, "I'm not rich," he looks to Roberto, "or famous," then to Alison, "but if I lose my license then I guess I have nowhere to go but with Xavier — except I don't have a space ship."

Pause.

"So how do we punch our way out of this?" He looks at Piotr then at Rachel then at Jean, "It's one thing to fight terrorists but you're talking about punching our our state …," pause, "our state representatives. Do we just write them a check?" Bobby looks at Warren and then when Kitty speaks out he nods, "No kidding."

Bobby shifts in his seat and looks at Logan for a fleeting second and then says, "The government has a /really bad/ track record for working with metas. Right?" He implores the Wolverine to speak up.

* * *

Another voice joins in the objection when a SHIELD contact is brought up, albeit more curt and abrupt: "SHIELD is the primary agency looking for me."

The comment could very briefly seem like Wolverine's… other than being in an obviously less gravely and female voice. It's Laura of course, talking from just behind the chair, where she kind of vanishes. Because apple doesn't fall far: she's short!

And then… the rapid-fire precise speech that amounts to her version of an 'argument': "Even if you trust this 'Agent 13' on a personal level, that is insufficient and indeed a tactical mistake. If the Agent is disloyal, there is a high probability that her own superiors are aware of her status. Probable course of action: allow the rogue agent to continue her activities, while monitoring. Collect information and gather a target list. Isolate targets of opportunity and capture/eliminate. Then move on remaining targets with massive force using all gathered intelligence."

A beat.

"It is a mistake to deal with her."

* * *

Rachel catches sight of Psylocke out of the corner of her eye and flashes the other woman a muted but sincere smile in reply. She is more serious in this moment than typically seen of her.

Other than that, Rachel remains quiet while the conversation proceeds. Her gaze slides to Wolverine more than once, but she is careful not to look at him when he is paying attention to anything in her general area.

A warm thought pops up somewhere unobtrusive near Kitty's feelings when she repositions herself. Rachel says thanks in silent ways most of the time.

"It does seem like a lot of the registered metas on the enforcement side are hoping something stops them," she says, finally breaking her silence. "I got the impression from Stark that the Avengers were registering for lipservice."

Her tone grows darker as she knits her brow, her gaze turning away. "Not that it means much whether people are running the machine slow or fast."

* * *

Meggan takes a deep breath and lets it out. She blinks several times at this news of a spy, but then the topic moves into a system, manpower, resources. These are things not usually in Meggan's orbit of life. She looks towards Rogue as she slips in. To Rogue Meggan emanates a warm little burst of support. Yes, the mental hug. And you wonder how Excalibur got new people with their primary location being a cold lighthouse.

Meggan shifts as if she's about to give in her bit when Laura speaks in a crisp and coldly efficient way that gets a startled look from Meggan. Her eyes widen, and then she looks to Jean, her idea coming out in globby form: "I mean I could meet her if you want but they're all right, you know? Even if Laura's saying capture slash eliminate like that."

* * *

"I am not suggesting any action against the Agent," Laura clarifies, no less abruptly but also with no sense of annoyance at being labeled with murderous intent. "I am detailing a probable course of action for SHIELD. They are professional intelligence agency and it is stupid to believe they would be unaware of one of their own agents going rogue. Therefore, /they/ will conduct surveillance on the rogue agent. Record everyone she meets with. Those people- /we/, become the target list, to be detained or eliminated. Do not meet with her, it is an error. Sever all ties and avoid contact."

* * *

"Very rich," Roberto corrects his fellow Bobby, index finger raised, though any offense in the Brazilian's tone is purely feigned. "But you know, it seems to me like this business with SHIELD is an opportunity as much as it is a risk. If Dani knows this Agent 13, then she makes a good primary contact, just like she offered. Keep her exposure to our side to a minimum so they don't get much of a, er, target list," there's a mildly discomfited look towards Laura as he says this, before he shrugs his shoulders, apparently just rolling with it. "See if we can't get useful information out of her without giving anything away. Heck, if we can wind up giving SHIELD fake intel then we could get two birds with one stone."

* * *

Warren catches Bobby's glance. It's a familiar one to him, judging by the neutral way he looks back, maintaining eye contact. There is a brief and similar flicker of tired familiarity from the winged mutant, though from him it's salted with something a little like impatience, too.

His attention diverts a moment later, his brows lifting as Jean explains the existence of an 'Agent 13,' with whom she has had contact and who seems willing to help them. "That's counter to SHIELD's public stance on the matter. I'm curious what motivates her to risk so much," he begins, his feathers ruffling as he visibly shares Kitty's suspicion, though Danielle's assurance causes him to settle again. Slightly. He isn't exactly dismissing Laura's much more clinical take out of hand. "If you vouch for her, Danielle, that's something… but I'd like to meet this woman myself."

He pauses a moment, on the topic of interaction with law enforcement. "I'm registered," he finally says. Made a spectacle of it too, not too long ago: a public press conference that might have been, in its own small way, a release of the repression that has governed his life ever since wings began to spring from his back. "I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. So is Alison, because neither did she."

He glances to Jean, then across the room. His eyes linger briefly on Rogue's entrance, before they move on and find Dazzler. "When it comes to dealing with law enforcement, handling anything that requires public appearances or interfacing with the legalities, the two of us can do it." A wry half-smile crosses his features. "I believe there's even a provision in the law itself that grants registered metahumans authority to direct law enforcement efforts, if they're the first to engage an active incident scene."

Warren's wings tighten at his back when Bobby looks at him again, and talks about writing checks at the problem. "Perhaps, actually," he says calmly. "Though the reality of it is much more protracted than that. Alison and I have an appointment with Matthew Murdock — the lawyer from the Winter Soldier trial. He seems intent to challenge the law. If he's going to start a legal defense fund, I will back it."

* * *

Moonstar's gaze shifts from Kitty to Piotr, when the large man echoes similar thoughts.

Then it's over to Laura Kinney and for a minute, Dani simply looks at the young woman.

Then her gaze swings back to the room at large - she opens her mouth to say 'then you should cut ties with me', but before those words can leave her mouth Roberto speaks. THere's a flash of gratefulness from the Cheyenne to her fellow New Mutant, before it's quickly hidden away as her attention shifts back to the room at large.

"It's best to have an ear on the ground there. Listening, learning, and while there's risk with anything, we must use all potential resources that we can find."

Warren's words, all of them, pulls another nod from the black-haired woman. She looks to Alison as well and offers a brief smile.

* * *

Rogue arrives and Jean notices. She doesn't track for too long, so as not to make the reclusive mutant uncomfortable, but she notices; wherever she is in her spiel, she finds space for a smile.

"Yeah, maybe," Jean readily says to Kitty's objection, "which is why I didn't tell her much more than I figured she already knew. But, still, I talked to her—"

More objections.

"Her CO gets it, Bobby, which is a good start. It's not all of SHIELD, not even close, but—

And more.

"I…"

"… we're not eliminating—" starts after a pensive moment, only to falter when Laura gives her a little relief "Dani's an agent too; like she said, she can give us a buffer by liaising where necessary, if we do this. I'd… continue meeting with her personally, besides, but I can handle myself okay." She finds a smile for Laura, too.

"Even SHIELD only knows so much."

"I— I didn't read her," she then says more broadly, "and I'm not gonna tell her my deepest, darkests, let alone anyone else's; I'm not gonna trust SHIELD… but her?" Her eyes flick towards Dani. "And the handful of others who have their hearts in the right place… I mean, what are we doing here, if we can't at least try to trust the people who deserve it?"

"Please do," she then says, turning towards Piotr, "and tell him that I said 'hello'. I… haven't had a chance to reach out, yet, but I remember him. What's his operation like? Do you know anything yet, or is he still working things out?"
And finally, back to Bobby:

"We're gonna have the punching for the people who deserve it, too. Past that, it's… we're going to have to show everyone, remind them that we're not that different from them. We're gonna need to look into PR, definitely, and there are all kinds of things we can do in the courts…"

But Warren has the legal angle covered, clearly, not to mention the public side, so she faces his way and listens when he steps in.

* * *

A warm smile and nod from Piotr does get noticed. It produces a warm one from Rogue, as if she is totally comfortable being here! Why do you ask! She goes back to her incredible trying-not-to-be noticed act soon after, gravitating to a corner in fact, at the far end of the room. But a sign of friendliness from anyone here is not to be ignored or thrown away.

Of equal surprise, Meggan's warm mental hug. Rogue's head snaps up in response to that, surprise coloring her features. But that gets a warm smile as well. Quick, fast like a bunny, but there. The arms uncoil from around her, the defensive stance relaxing, just a little, as she slides her hands into her pockets instead.

And then she surprises herself by not only having an idea, but letting it come out of her mouth.

"I don't know a whole lot about a whole lot," she says. "I sure don't know about havin' money, or the law, or what-all. But I know about people who got a whole lot of nothin'. People who are getting crushed under all this stuff."

She shrugs a shoulder. She hadn't meant to draw any attention to herself. She'd come because of Jean, that was it. Because Jean deserved that respect. But a little bit of friendliness has made her bolder.

"You got a fat lot of nothing, and then you've got even less because one person has to go and throw another person through a building to knock an alien down or whatever…"

Her eyes tighten. She slaps on the dazzling smile, and her eyes tighten. She crosses her arms again. It occurs to her she sounds like a moron.

"Anyway, people with money, their insurance rebuilds their lives. People without no money, they now get to deal with the hole. All I'm saying is maybe if we got out and patched some holes, maybe that would get somewhere. With someone."

* * *

In his thick Russian accent, Colossus replies to Jean, "Officially I will be working at his club, to keep people safe there. Less officially I will be helping his efforts in mutant town, but no I do not have more details about his operation. I am sure he would welcome any involvement from those here though, particularly of the uhm, financial kind." Well that's awkward, but Piotr did say he would pass along the need for funding.

Looking at Angel as he brings up his registered status, Piotr grimaces and asks, "And that brings up another question. SHIELD already knows some of us, an agent reached out to you presumably Jean? If there is nothing to lose for some us, does it make sense for those to register? Have a public, happy face team? And then perhaps a…" He glances at Wolverine and Laura, "Less so team." He shrugs and says, "Not that I want to agree with Tony Stark, but if we are playing the ball, does it make it easier if there is nothing lost?"

Glancing over at Rogue, he nods and says, "This is true. Doing good to combat the pain caused by meta-villains may in fact be more effective than punching, particularly if we are making things look worse." It's not just that's it's a good idea that causes the big man to agree in his deep tenor. He knows others might be less generous in listening to her opinions, it is early days yet.

* * *

Kitty gives Dani a bit of a sheepish smile at the reprimand. "Of course. Sorry." To her, Dani is trustworthy. SHIELD as a whole, though? Not so much.

Betsy's mention of SHIELD having mutants and metahumans in their employ is, however, met with a quick response and bitter response, "Just because you have metahumans in your employ does not mean you actually respect them! Asking them to work for an agency that is actively attempting to round up people like them? That does not scream life, liberty and happiness to me." Then, quickly, she winces and gives an apologetic look to Dani, again. "Sorry Dani!"

Realizing she is getting heated, she takes a deep breath and reaches up a hand to place it on Lockheed's side. Registration is a hot button issue of everyone involved, she shouldn't let it trample her nerves as much as it is. Instead, she closes her eyes and let's Rachel's mental reassurance wash over her in an attempt to calm her own emotions on the subject down.

Letting Piotr be the more responsible voice, she nods, "Working with certain members of SHIELD is one thing, but we must look out for each other. I think making sure we can get those most vulnerable to the registration out of New York is a good start. Hopefully Piotr could be a contact there."

She looks to Jean again. "If we have to show people, remind them who we are…maybe we make some of us public and do just that. And then we have others who work with Pitor and get others out. Is that hypocritical?"

* * *

"I think you're right," Jean briskly says, nodding after Rogue's proposal. "Warren and Alison can do miracles, PR-wise, but the rest of us… we're the X-Men."

Now there's a smile for eveyone, resolute and pearly.

"And everyone knows it, now. Which means that, yeah, we can go out and roll up our sleeves and try to fix some messes." She turns a glance towards Rogue and her smile brightens a notch.

And she hesitates,

for a second,

maybe two,

before dropping her gaze to the table as she continues, "It's… almost certainly gonna mean we'll have to be even more active in confronting the Brotherhood, and the MLF, and any other anti-human groups out there. And whoever else wants to wear a costume, or beekeeper uniform, or whatever else while they terrorize the world. We've gotta show the world that we're fighting for them as much as we are for us." The smile's shrunk considerably by now, but she gives it a little quirk as she adds, "We've gotta make 'em love us."

To Pitor's point, she then says, "That's definitely something to consider, but part of the reason we moved all the way out here was to make ourselves that much harder to pin down once things started getting dicey. I'm not registering," ever, she says without saying, "and nobody's going to be compelled to do one thing or the other, so we might have the numbers for it, but… it might not hurt to let them see all of us, while we can. Just say 'fuck it, try it, arrest us for helping you', while we can get away with it."

* * *

Laura Kinney stands impassively through whatever looks in her direction, unappreciative or otherwise. She does not appear bothered. "Those of you who are already registered can act without concern for additional exposure," this seems to acknowledge Warren's position. "Or those who have already exposed themselves to the Agent. And while I am aware of her, I am uncofmortable with the idea of a SHIELD agent here in our ranks. I assume she was scanned carefully for surveillaince devices before being allowed onto the premises." A further glance, lacking in any degree of concern for what insult the suggestion might carry, is nonetheless directed toward Dani.

"Trust is a weapon," she echoes Jean. "The creation of rapport with a target is a fundamental tennet of both infiltration and interrogation technique. Anyone who appears to act merely from the good of their heart, without logical justification, should be treated with caution." Yeah, Laura is never going to be swayed by hearts full of rainbows, that much is obvious.

However, when Piotr speaks up, she appears a bit more thoughtful. "This could be beneficial from a public relations perspective. However, the terms of registration involve the analysis of your abilities. Are we aware of the full details of what this involves?" And again, she glances at Warren, and at Dazzler, as they might be familiar with the processes. "By providing this information, you may arm the enemy with the necessary data to develop countermeasures." Needless to say, she does agree with one part of his suggestion: "I am willing to serve on a more covert team."

* * *

A furrow tics briefly between Alison's eyebrows, at mention of SHIELD — there and gone again.

Contrary to the vivacious showmanship of the Dazzer, Ms. Blaire beneath it seems a quiet creature beneath those layers — even now, far more inclined to hold her tongue, and listen, as others speak their opinions. Her body language is open, but her expression is a studied neutral, just enough that she doesn't react outwardly to Warren announcing them both as registered. It's still a sting to hear it aloud, to know that's the planned future for all mutants. As conversation shifts to SHIELD, she uncrosses her arms, exhaling. Similarly paranoid about SHIELD finding their way into the X-Men, but at the same time —

"Isolation and protectionism are the reasons all of this legislation is happening," she offers, her voice measured. "SHIELD is — a lot. But I think we need to do more than fear for the worst."

She returns Moonstar's smile, and the message in that: she trusts Danielle can handle SHIELD's end of it.

Then Rogue speaks. Dazzler doesn't quite look at the other woman, but it's clear she's listening. Her expression is stone. Rogue speaks of helping, and to all her own words of hope and offering unity — Alison does not seem to believe her own dogma totally.

Returning Warren's glance, she is silent as he segues into their recent work; Alison looks on him with her steady blue eyes. "Warren and I decided we're going to use our registrations as an advantage," she continues. "We're starting the Aegis Foundation. As named, we're intending to use our profiles as a shield — it'll deflect attention off the Institute and onto the foundation. We're going to try to invest into local charities and education initiatives — from then — well, that's long down the road. If you find worthy persons, organizations, anything — send them our way, and we can vet the rest. We're going to be as open and transparent as possible, because it's the only way it'll work. We have to be careful that it has no connection back to the X-Men, but consider it a resource to you all."

* * *

Rachel has once again fallen into silence as the conversation continues. Despite every other hint to her personality suggesting an outgoing nature, she seems content to close herself off here: remaining behind Kitty, crossing her arms, lowering her gaze and looking away. Her expression has regained some of its neutrality, but the shadow of the grim thoughts that visited her moments ago remain in the curves of her lip and brow.

* * *

Psylocke gives Kitty a languid look, one brow arching in a peak over her eye. "I do not think Dani would work for those that would disrespect her. They have to also function in a world of politics, Katherine. I assure you, it would not be the first time a government entity publicly towed the line, while working against the same agenda undercover. I think if tread carefully, it could be a line with potential for help."

She will turn her head to look at Jean, her expression bland. "I've made my suggestions on using someone we can already trust that can tap into the city and what they know or may suspect, what they can keep on databases, and I will reach out to him. I've made my suggestions as for potential allies with Embassies from other countries and such. Everyone here has their own ideas, those are mine and what I will act on. I will help and pitch in with Warren for Murdock's fees. I may approach Murdock to start preparing a defense if I am discovered and outed, since I will not be registering, and see what I can find out about the international laws and how they can possibly be used to advantage." She will sip her tea, signalling she intends to sit back at this point.

* * *

"Trust individuals, not organizations." Logan slips it in tersely, but authoritatively, gruff and projected. It's easy to assume the stout fellow extends it to this group, as well. "Everyone's in the shit because of this, including people with moral obligations on the 'other' side."

He's not vouching for or against the agents and operations in question— Wolverine either doesn't know enough, or isn't going to tell anyone which way to blow on those decisions. "Anyone with real ones will be lookin' out when they should be damn well lookin' out." He dutifully avoids stepping into the middle of any of the debates or objecting to the plans on the table; most of the people presenting them know their business a lot better than Logan does. All he knows is /his/ business.

"Anyone not puttin' a friendly face on this fiasco is best keepin' their head down, and being nice 'n quiet about what needs doin'." He has a reputation for being somewhat good at things that need doing, even if they are not particularly nice. It might be ominous to the people who don't fully grasp just /how/ quiet and precise the snarly little berserker actually knows how to be when he's not tanking for more vulnerable teammates.

* * *

Nodding to Wolverine about his points, both about SHIELD agents with responsibilities and either playing nice, or playing quiet Piotr agrees with a soft, "Da Logan." He knows that Wolverine is not one to play nice, but he's long come to appreciate the small angry ball of Canadian hair and claws.

However, the other Wolverine behind him gets a glare at her questioning of Dani. He frowns, all the power of a thousand disappointed older brothers focused on his furrowed brow as he intones, "Danielle is one of us. She does not deserve your questioning. And we are no amateurs that you need dictate procedures." It's not quite 'the adults are talking' but it's close for the big guy.

* * *

"Oh, certainly, right," Meggan echoes to Laura quietly, gripping herself internally to not die of embarrassment. The feeling passes; the room's mood is one of determined tension, which is an easy feeling to tune in on.

Rogue's brightened up. Her idea is something Meggan can put her hand on, metaphorically. Her literal hand pats Rachel's arm for a moment, around the wrist, but everyone else seems to be speaking sensibly if with some loggerheads.

"I've got no idea what to do with the registration honestly," Meggan continues, "but I'm also not an American at all, so there is that." She folds her hands behind her back, sucking in a breath through her teeth.

She has the strong feeling she ought to have an idea, and she knows enough of herself to realize she's wobbling. "Is there any way you can convince them they were wrong? About the law, I mean, then they can get rid of it, or pass another law that says 'no that's all wrong. Right? I hope this isn't completely naive. I want to think everyone's just being anxious, you know, not…"

After an awkward pause, she says to Kitty, "I don't think it's hypocritical. People have their reasons, right? They change their names all the time even without meta-activity."

* * *

Kitty's apologies are waved aside by Danielle; she understands.

She really does.

She's sat on this fence for several years now, striving for a balance between family and work. It's still a struggle at times.

Laura's words bring a sharp look from the Cheyenne as she considers the other dark-haired woman. "There's a saying here I think that fits - don't throw stones at glass houses." And while that reference might be oblique to the other woman, Dani still says it.

Piotr's defense to her honor brings another quick flash of a smile from the Cheyenne, before she drops the talk of SHIELD.

A look is spared for Dazzler and Warren again. "I think Aegis will help a great deal. Both as protection and distraction for those that need it."

* * *

"Could always try bribing some politicians," Roberto muses when Meggan asks about ways to convince the lawmakers that they made a bad law. It doesn't sound like it's really an idea he's pursuing, but you know how rich people are. "Though probably it'll be more effective to find a way to challenge the law in the courts, make the whole concept unworkable."

See? He pays attention, sometimes.

"Anyway, if you need any help with this 'Aegis Foundation,'" the Brazilian directs to Warren and Alison. "It just so happens I know a mysterious and handsome foreign investor with deep pockets. You don't need to shoulder the whole burden, hey?"

* * *

"With due respect, you /are/ amateurs," Laura answers Piotr, again without any sense of… even internalizing that she is being scolded. "By any even remotely rational measure. Some of you may possess military or intelligence backgrounds. But most of you do not. The majority of individuals in this room came from civillian backgrounds. Since then, you have learned a… chaotic mix of ad-hoc paramilitary procedures in a facility that until recently doubled as a school for children. Among the eldest of you, that amounts to at most a decade of experience." There's an obvious exception sitting in front of her, but she doesn't bother pointing it out.

"The procedures observed in dealing with a potentially hostile or compromised enemy agent is proof enough of lax protocols. If you think suggesting that someone who spends time in an enemy facility should not be monitored for tracking or surveillance devices merely because you are fond of her? Then you are, again, demonstrating just how much of an amateur operation it is."

She glances aside at Dani, then, and her look is still the same impassive, almost expressionless cool. "I am already ashamed of my past, if you are attempting to embarass me. Your organization would put me right back to work, killing for them. That is why I take this very seriously."

Finally, after all of that, she merely turns and asks Jean: "Obviously I have upset everyone. May I be dismissed?"

* * *

"Miracles, Jean?" Warren drawls, and for a moment there's finally a hint of his old insouciance peeking through the seriousness. "You're a flatterer." Not that he really denies her assertion.

The moment passes quickly. Especially when Warren catches sight of Rachel. He studies her for a long few moments, something pensive in his eyes, before his gaze moves on to Laura and Logan as they — predictably — express similar views and concerns. "Registration does involve a full power analysis," he says. He does not look like he enjoyed the experience. "For that reason, I'd say that we should not offer up more of us than we need to."

He is quiet as Alison speaks on the other half of their plans; she says all that needs to be said in that regard.

Betsy's offer to pitch in draws a thoughtful look from Warren. Roberto's not about to be left behind, either. "You should both be aware anything that flows into the foundation will be fully transparent and subject to public accounting. Don't pull out anything your mysterious and handsome friend doesn't want getting seen, 'beto," he says, half a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth. "It'd also be best if our public-facing endeavors are as divorced from association with this group as possible. Because where we're going with this is, in fact — politics."

He starts to brush absently at a wing, preening the feathers without thinking. Habit. "Regardless of how much we choose to trust them or not, I do think it's still to our advantage to look for allies outside the mutant community, if you have leads, Elizabeth."

His attention turns back to Jean. "As you said — we're fighting for them, too. We always have."

The tension between Laura and Dani ramps up. "I think that's enough," Warren interjects, though his voice remains mild and his attention remains primarily on Jean.

* * *

"That is what LLCs are for, Warren." Betsy puts in. "And with running the social gamut lately, it would be folly to not take into account those newly forged bonds." Violet eyes will turn to look at Laura and Logan, and there's just a hint of a roll to them a moment. There's a faint flush along the model's cheeks, and poor Megan will get the edge of Betsy's temper for a taste if she feels out that way.

* * *

It's not an Excalibur scene if Rachel and Meggan aren't touching each other reassuringly at least once. The redhead (technically no longer the redhead) shoots the other woman an appreciative look and then returns her attention to what's going on.

It's a good time to pay more attention. Rachel's gaze flicks between Laura, Dani, and Warren. Meggan and Kitty feel the familiar presence of Rachel's psi-link at the edges of their minds, waiting permission to blossom into a full connection.

«Neither of you are allowed to roll your eyes when I say that I think we should talk later to the angry lady who doesn't fit in.»

* * *

"Trust is a tool," Jean gently protests to Laura. "It's a privilege— it's a gift. If we're gonna convince other people that they can trust us…"

She doesn't lead too sharply; doesn't push, psychically or otherwise. Laura's still young; the connections may still be able to be built.

"We can't give it out frivolously, but we've gotta do what we can to share it." Now the other Wolverine gets a look.

"I don't plan on hiding more than I absolutely must, but I'm not gonna push anyone else to expose themselves in ways that tehy aren't comfortable with. I hid for long enough, hoping they'd trust me enough that I wouldn't have to; we all did. Screw that; I want them to see me, now. Need them to."

Another warm, friendly psyche brushes Meggan's for a moment after she offers her suggestion. Less of a hug, more of a reassurance: she's not completely naive, just missing a few steps.

"Tha Aegis Foundation ought to help a lot," she offers Alison. "Another angle for the PR assau"

Laura, again, drawing Jean's features towards neutrality— tugging on a brow until it's sharply arched.

"You're right," she evenly says. "We aren't soldiers, and we aren't spies. We aren't a paramilitary organization; we aren't police. We're a bunch of people with powers and good intentions doing the best we can for the people who need us to."

"We're the X-Men, and nobody on Earth is better at it than we are. If she comes anywhere near anything we own, she'll be handled safely… but she won't be coming anywhere near anything we own, any time soon, because she's still a spy, and I still have Scott Summers' seventeen minute long Powerpoint on the importance of opsec seared into my memory. Dani and I are fond of her; neither of us are stupid." The smile that finally comes is small, tight, but genuine.

"You can go, if you like, but I'd rather you stay. You're allowed to disagree, here; we don't all have to agree on everything to have each other's backs when it matters."

* * *

Rogue had given Piotr this quick, grateful look when he'd backed her up, and at that point the hands had come out of her pockets. Her lean had become more casual. And the realization that there is some tension even between more long-standing members, that it isn't say, her and Alison that got Warren's 'that's enough' tonight, reassures her too.

And for the most part she's been content to let the debate flow. She's said her little ole piece and really, she'll do what she can and go where she's sent. She's still kind of learning how to do things without bombing or mindwiping or leaving bodies in states of comas-or-worse.

But when this latest revelation is offered, she looks up to Piotr and mouths one thing. It's an important thing. 'Seventeen-minutes-long?'

Definitely focused on the big takeaways of this meeting now.

* * *

As Psylocke and Meggan both express their foreign citizenships, Alison weighs in. "It's not likely they'll target foreign citizens. The legislation would be dense to hurt diplomatic relations, so long as one's here legally. Just don't get convicted of any crimes — which is to say, stay masked and stay frosty."

Leaning back in her seat, she is quiet as Warren provides more explanation, her eyes on him. She cannot disguise her good-natured cringe at the end destination of the dreaded p-word — politics. That is going to be a migraine for years to come, and she doesn't think she could have it any other way.

"What Warren said, though the offers to fund are appreciated," she adds. "We're going beyond what the laws or tax codes ask in terms of transparency, considering it's a private foundation. Even through LLCs, we want to publish names to same. There will be initiatives out there out to help ensure personal privacy; Aegis won't be that way. No secrets going in."

Then Laura chimes in — and firmly dresses down the X-Men's protocols in some short words. It's enough to arrest anything more Dazzler would say, her head turned to her, eyebrows raised. She stays silent: this is best fielded by the old guard, and Jean. Her lips thin, though not in derision; part of her gets the caution. Most of her can barely sleep at night, these days, for that paranoia.

* * *

The response to Rogue's mouthed question is a small but easily perceptible shudder. That presentation is the reason he started going to all briefings by Scott in metallic form, he needed every ounce of super human durability to be able to withstand the mind seering pain that is a focused Scott Summers. Not that he would tell Scott that, and yes much of that information has been useful in saving countless lives, but vaccine shots still hurt and ain't nobody loves a droning powerpoint presentation … except maybe Scott.

Content with Jean dealing with the younger Wolverine, Piotr merely nods his assent as she makes the points more kindly and capably than he otherwise could. But it doesn't escape his notice that the younger X-Men appears to have understandings far above the average student or trainee. He may not agree with her, but he won't write her off either.

* * *

"Huzzah!" Kitty raises a fist at Jean's fiery - no pun intended - speech about trust and the duties of the X-Men. Lockheed even almost falls off the shoulder she raises her arm from and gives an almost parrot like dragon squawk before shifting to the other shoulder.

She looks to Rachel and Meggan at that and then gives a look to Rachel. «You're going to have to be more specific about angry ladies that don't fit in here, Rach.» However, it's clear that she is not rolling her eyes at the notion.

* * *

Meggan accepts Rachel as she has many times before and her reply is immediate and heartfelt despite its content. «Which? Oh, you mean—» Meggan clearly indicates Laura even if she has not yet learned the young woman's name.

She seems to accept the critique of her background, mildly crestfallen at most. Back to Roberto, unto whom she says, "Right - I just didn't expect to have to deal with lawsuits…" Jean is smiled at at the mental touch, which does not upset Meggan. What does slightly upset her is the prospect of a seventeen minute powerpoint.

Then back to Warren. Her brow furrows at the idea of a full power workup. "Well that's awful," she says. "And if you find out you can do something else later, what, do they make you go back in? Even without all the bad bits that's hideous!" Editorial content thus expressed, she tells Dazzler, "Right. Jewel thefts cancelled, I understand."

It is to Rachel, and perhaps through her to Kitty, that Meggan asks, «She means they're going to start a good business, right? Or is it a charity?»

* * *

Laura Kinney suddenly has boundless respect for Scott Summers! What a strange, strange world. "I am glad to know you have implemented some of the necessary procedures." And here, strangely, briefly helpful, she even offers: "If you like, I could help review them." Here's the question: does she make the power point presentation longer and more boring, or punch it up with a few juicy slides about waterboarding?

The fact that Jean lets her go but /asks/ her to stay looks like it perplexes or even annoys her, though. Orders are easy. Free choice is tough. She looks down briefly, then back up, and… well, continues standing there. Silently, now.

* * *

Kitty and Meggan are briefly left with only the conversational timing for context, because Rachel doesn't reply while Jean makes her reply. This is uncommon; speaking on psi-links is like second nature to her, especially with her fellow Excaliburlings.

EDITORIAL NOTE: 'Excaliburlings' was firmly rejected during the customary post-breakfast bathrobe kitchen table argument at the Lighthouse eight months ago. It has not died yet. It will never die, much like Jamie Braddock. The word itself may be Jamie Braddock. No one can put it past him.

But Rachel is entranced. It's a hard word, but Kitty and Meggan both have seen her entranced before and the telltale softening of her expression is there. It is a good thing that it is only words this time and not — well, see the editorial note.

«…yeah, more like a charity, I think,» Rachel finally replies to Meggan. She looks away, reaching up to tug at the lapel of her jacket.

* * *

Briefly Moonstar returns her attention back to Laura. There is both a frown on her lips and a narrowing of her eyes, at what the other Wolverine has to say.

Thankfully, however, with Warren's 'cut it out' statement and the conversation continuing to move onward, Moonstar returns to silence.

* * *

And therein is the reason that Warren paused after his mild admonishment, and waited for Jean:

She always has — and he thinks always will have — a way with words for this kind of thing. She always was the team's heart.

He doesn't seem to realize he's smiling faintly as he listens and watches Jean, though the expression does fade when a question is directed to him. Meggan's inquiry draws a nod. "Full wing examination and blood draw. And that was the beginning; they really look for everything you've got," he says dryly. "Usually I'm having a lot more fun if there's that few clothes involved." There is a brief and terrible silence.

"I'd imagine there are penalties for not disclosing further ability developments," he concludes. "So again — it's not a course I would recommend."

His wings arch a little, a gesture that most who know him well enough would recognize as a reflection of determination. "It seems to me we, each of us, have a number of avenues to pursue for the foreseeable future," he says, with a musing sort of look at Jean Grey.

* * *

Laura stays. Jean's smile grows a touch wider.

"Any time you like. We could do it together, sometime."

She lets the littler Wolverine think it over while she sweeps her gaze across the team at large.

"You've all raised some excellent points and brought forward some helpful ideas. Piotr's in with Rictor will be a huge help for moving anyone who needs moving. Getting Asgard, Atlantis, and any other major powers on the right side of this thing is gonna be instrumental. They're obviously not nearly as susceptible to, y'know," she circles a hand a little and the sash twirls with it, "giving in to the zeigeist and passing a bunch of racist laws as most countries might be, but having friends in unconventional places helps, and they are tied to hero teams who might otherwise be in a difficult position after March. I'd like to maintain a list of who is or might be registering, so we can coordinate as needed; I'm still not entirely convinced that we need to segregate ourselves to keep functioning, but… there might come a time when we don't have a choice. I'm open to exploring options, if only so we've got them when we need them. Either way… we've got plenty of manpower for public works and stepping up our hero game, so now that we're past the holidays - now that this thing is— it's coming, soon— we have to start hitting the Danger Room, hard, so we're ready to show them exactly who we are. As for SHIELD…"

Laura, Logan, Dani, and Kitty all get glances, but she's bracing more than she's considering.

Reiterating, "We need all the friends we can get," just about suffices, "but I agree that we need to be careful. Dani and I, and anyone else who's comfortable with it… we can set up a sit-down with 13, any other friendly agents. Somewhere neutral."

The older redhead exhales and claps her hands together as her smile widens.

"Thank you all for coming. What's coming next won't be easy, but we wouldn't be here if any of this was. That you are here, willing to stick this thing out, together… I think that means we at least have a shot of making Him proud."

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