Harrison, Texas

January 15, 2015: Two estranged X-Men have a chance encounter at a safehouse in rural Texas.

Harrison, Texas

Just a small town powered by Big Oil.



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Mood Music:

It should have been so easy.

Cerebro would track down the missing students, and the X-Men would be dispatched to rescue them. Unfortunately, some power or force, or perhaps a technological creation, was blocking the device. Charles was blind to them. They were truly gone.

It's never been that easy.

Scott disappeared that day, maintaining contact with no one but the Professor and Elizabeth. Eventually, he cut off Betsy, as well. She'd wanted him to come home, but he wouldn't. He couldn't. After all, they'd grown… simply too distant.

Around the world he's traveled, using ever bit of wit and clever sleuthery in an effort to find the institute's abducted children. Sadly, like his own emotional reserves, he'd come up dry.

Harrison is a small town in Texas, pretty far from everything. A small refinery fuels the economy there, but Harrison wields an unimpressive population of 500. It's a great place for one of the X-Men's safehouses.

The sun sets red against the western horizon, glimmering far into the grand distance of the Lone Star state's vast expanse. From its thick redness, a motorcycle comes riding into town. Upon it, hidden from the world by a black leather jacket and sunglasses, Scott Summers rides into this small village; but while the garb hides him from the world, nothing can hide him from his own demons.

From his own failures.


It's never that easy. Lunair's so used to murdering goons by the score, blowing up their vehicle… always so easy. But when they made her slowed, uncoordinated and wrenched the door off her car, when they smashed its engine with an SUV. Well. It was all a lot more serious. She'd never been targeted by metahuman hunters quite so skilled or coordinated. It's thrown her through a loop. They're serious. 2.5 million dollars worth of serious at minimum.

It's scary now. It's a lingering fear she'd had that lived in a phobia of white vans and doctors. Now it's very much real, a reminder that she's something very lethal. A useful weapon. And that a normal life is probably never going to happen.

Nevertheless, there are bits of joy to be had here and there. Lunair relishes every moment not in a lab or hospital that she can! And now is one of those moments. She's visiting to leave a note on the metaphorical fridge. She does like earth well enough. And she's even dressing somewhat normally to fit in. She's coming out of a store, with few cool drinks just in time to see - waitaminute. Wave!


Scott has some time to kill before this small town rolls up the proverbial carpeting, so he parks the motorcycle nearby that very same store. The kickstand drops, but the ruby sunglasses remain on his face. He's coming around the front end of the motorcycle when he spies Lunair, and it nearly takes him a moment alone to recognize her.

A curious look comes next, for why else would another of the X-Men be all the way out here, in Harrison, TX, if it weren't for the safehouse? The tall, slender fellow comers over, a smile forming upon his face, though it seems guarded. "What on earth," he starts to ask, before stopping himself and simply looking at Lunair with an expectant look about him.

The man may have a lot of internal turmoil going on, but he'll always be Scott Summers, and he'll always be looking for answers.


Lunair smiles over his way. She looks a little bit stressed. But there's sort of a fear, uneasiness and exhaustion beneath it. She has a hard time remembering to show emotion on her face, so it's a conscious effort. She tilts her head. Ruby sunglasses. And that's not Elton John. Must be Scott! She seems quietly amused. And there's a curious look in turn.

"Hello. How are you?" His question makes her look curious. "It's me, Mario." Pause. "Nevermind." She goes silent for a moment. "It's kind of a long story. Did you want any thing to eat or drink?" She asks. She seems curious in turn. "I'm surprised to see you here." Just not so great at communication. Maybe.


"I'm… surprised to see you here, too." Scott continues to give Lunair a quizzical look, before motioning toward his motorcycle. "Should be food and drink at the house. And, uh, by the look on your face, something tells me you'd rather be off the street." That part was spoken quietly, while sparing a glance about in case there are any unsavory figures about. "Come on," he says, and gestures toward the bike. "You can put your bag in the storage compartment back here."


Lunair is equally quizzical, peering at him. She tilts her head. "And I you," She admits. "Thanks. Did you want some?" She offers. Lunair looks to the motorcycle. "It's a motorcycle. You rode it." She can be seriously literal sometimes. Or she has a sense of humor. Hard to say. Nevertheless, Lunair glances around, even looking up. "Yeah, I'm not supposed to be standing outside," She admits. "And sure!" Beam. "That'd be fun. I got my license for motorcycles a few weeks ago," And so she can totally be a passenger. "How - what - have you been up to?" She seems a bit out of it, but struggling against it.


The man can't help but grin a little. He never knew why Lunair had such an odd way about her, but then again, he's never asked. Still, he always liked the odd ones. Sort of reminded Scott of his younger self.

Then, of course, she has to go and ask him what he's been up to. He falters, the grin fades, and for a moment he stares down at the dusty ground. "I've… been on a very long mission." Totally, utterly, brutally noncommittal. He looks up without warning, nods his head to the bike, and climbs on.


Lunair has some problems. And some of it is that she's just odd to start with. Who knows? But his grin cheers her up a little. She seems to have problems expressing emotion on her face properly. It lends her an odd, blank look when she's at rest. She seems quietly fond of Scott in her own way. He's an interesting dude. With EYE LASERS.

At his falter, she peers at him. "I see. I'm sorry," She doesn't seem sure what to think. She picks up at least that it makes him unhappy. "Well, it's good to see you." She really is. "I promise I'll explain, just like - maybe not now."


Silent agreement. Not now, not until they're at the safehouse. Scott fires the engine as soon as she's onboard, then safely drives her to the safehouse. Not a word is spoken until they're inside, the door is locked, and a few security devices courtesy of Hank McCoy are switched on to assure that their words will remain secret.

Scott heads for the kitchen first. "You're hiding," he guesses, while going to work getting a couple mugs of tea ready. "Got to be something pretty heavy if you're all the way out here. Texas is a pretty place, but this town is sort of like the ass end of Big Oil."


She's a quiet passenger for now, and lingers in the silent agreement. Lunair listens to the sounds around her, peering to their sides and above. Even riding, have to pay attention. She's quietly impressed by the place, looking around.

She follows, bringing the cold drinks and a couple of snacks along. "Yup," She nods at him. "I was shocked to see you here, too," Lunair admits. "And yeah… it's kind of bad this time. Not the usual vans of gun toting grunts I usually drive off. I'm disappointed in the hats. I didn't get a single one," She's being a smart ass. "It is kind of warm. And it seems very … quiet here," She murmurs. "Do you know much about it?"


There is a brief moment where Scott pauses in his work, leveling a ruby-lensed look at Lunair when she alludes to her predicament. "Whole town revolves around an Exxon refinery. Drives the local economy, keeps the place from becoming a cesspool of government assistance. Good, old fashioned folk here. Makes it easier to spot people who don't belong. Don't worry, though. I think you fit in well."

Once the tea is ready, he offers a mug to Lunair before leaning up against the kitchen counter. He's not quite ready to sink into a relaxing couch or rocking chair. No, Scott's far too on edge to relax in that way. Brows furrow, and he asks, "Someone who wants you for your talents?"


Lunair looks back to him. "I see," She goes quiet. "I can pass a lot better than others. Though, I feel kind of bad for that, too." She seems uncertain on what to think about that. "The lady in the store was really nice," She considers it a moment. "You do look pretty cool driving a motorcycle though." It's a sort of awe. Because hey, they do look up to Scott.

She accepts the mug. "Thanks." She gently sips it. Lunair looks thoughtful, pained. She smiles sadly. "They want me back. The medical trial I was in was apparently a HYDRA front. I don't wanna go back." No more labs, no HYDRAing. Lunair wants 0 of it. "They want more of us back. I don't know."


"Medical trial?" Scott is understandably grateful that the conversation is not centered upon himself, or where he's been, or why he's been gone. He'd come here for some peace and quiet, sure… but deep down, as much as he doesn't want to be seen anywhere near Westchester County, he can't help but he attracted to the idea of a mission. An operation, something that isn't the dead end street he's been following for so many months. "Is this something you signed up for willingly? And how long ago were these trials?"


Lunair is okay with him being grateful for that. She's not really thrilled by the idea of talking about her past. She shakes her head at his questions. "When I was really young, I was was very sick all the time. I lived in a room with this big air thing. People couldn't hold my hand and I couldn't go outside. I even remember being hooked up to a lot of machines," In other words, her immune system was toast and/or not existant. "I was supposed to be dead by the time I was 6, so my parents tried something that was offered. I think." She considers it. "I remember they looked sad a lot." She is trying to remember it. "It went on for years, and I guess they told them we had died. Since we all had cancer, contagious illnesses or something like that, our bodies would've been burned." So no one would know they were still alive.


Scott remains positively tuned in. He can understand how difficult it is to tell unpleasant stories, especially when such things involve your childhood. After all, people don't often, if ever, catch him doing the same. "But it was a HYDRA thing all along?" he asks. It makes sense. Whoever wants her has been throwing some heavy opposition her way; HYDRA has the means to do just that.

"You don't consider yourself safe at the Institute?" he asks. Scott suspects that, in truth, she may not want to put anyone else at risk, which is why she isn't embracing Xavier's protection in such a direct manner. However, he's not about to be so brash as to suggest that out loud.


Deep breath. "Well, considering the other day they managed to do something to me - my body wouldn't respond properly. I was slow, clumsy and everything was wrong. They sent metahuman hunters after me," Lunair furrows her eyebrows. And really, she lived in a hospital or lab pretty much her entire life. It might explain her phobia at the least. "It seems it was. Yes. We found files." Lunair seems uneasy. "So I am a weapon." That's all.

"And it's less me and more others, I guess. I'd feel pretty bad if others were hurt for my sake. Especially considering who already came after me with some weird disably power."


Theres a nod of understanding and quiet acceptance. Scott finds himself appreciative of her discretion, especially considering the revelation she just made. Still, there's something else she said that bothers him.

"Someone intended to make you into a weapon. That doesn't mean you are a weapon, Lunair. You simply create them." Scott has been mentoring younger mutants for years, and his words come with a mixture of empathy and matter-of-factness, as if to suggest that Lunair's existence is something to be treasured, rather than accepted.

"So." He adopts a more relaxed stance. "These bastards who came after you were able to slow you down. They might be able to do that to others. Thing is, we're X-Men. There's no reason for you to be alone. We look out for each other, and you can take my word that Professor Xavier would tell you the same thing."


It's hard not to feel that way. But she lets it be, looking to Scott and shrugs. "I don't know," She admits. "I like existing though." Lunair has trouble connecting to people, but she does try. "I'm not really entirely alone. I know. But I just - they have specialized hunters and I would feel terrible if people got hurt on my account. That's all. I'm sure if I keep hiding and chasing them off, they'll give up like usual." A forced half-smile. "You guys help me, so do my friends. Even Skaar. He's really big and green and looks like the Hulk. He's grumpy but actually really nice. I'm not supposed to say that, though." Ponder.

"SoI do feel lucky. But I feel worried, too. I have no doubt lots of us are awesome fighters. I guess it feels awkward to /need/ help, too. That must sound odd." She considers. "Mostly, thank you guys. I figure if I kind of keep moving and bothering them when they pop up, it'll - maybe they'll leave a trail. Still, the people they hired. They paid apparently a TON."


"Money talks," Scott answers. "Just don't be afraid to call for help, and make sure you do it before they slow you to the point where you can't. We've already lost too many…"

At that, he goes eerily silent. His lips press together tightly for a moment.

"We've already lost too much."


"Yeah, I think he said over a million," Sadface. "That's so gonna bring out the mercs." Sigh. Lunair looks bummed. She looks to Scott and peers at him. "I know, I appreciate it. And I didn't want anyone else to get hurt or caught because of me, you know?" She rubs the back of her head. "It'll be - okay, I bet." She's totally not gonna get reprogrammed or vivisected, right?!

She looks concerned. "I'd ask, but - if I remember, that's the don't ask face." Life's a little different when you play catch up on social interactions, let alone her own in born problems. "I hope you're holding up okay, though."


To be honest, Scott didn't expect to be made. That's what he gets for underestimating Lunair's social skills. The irony isn't lost on him, and for a moment or two he looks away, distracting himself with sips from the mug of tea. "I'm not," he finally admits, without a shred of warmth in his voice. "And… you know, I think that's why I came here, rather than going home." He looks back toward Lunair, stubbornly unwilling to tell her exactly why. However, he's said enough. Deflection is one of his strong suits, however, and he promptly pushes himself away from the kitchen counter. "I'm going to catch up on news and get some shut eye." The mug is brought with, and he makes to depart for one of the bedrooms. However, before he's gone, he turns partly back to look at his counterpart.

"Thanks, Lunair."


She's got more social problems than at least half a subreddit. Really. But Lunair looks concerned. She's trying. Most of the time, he'd be right on the money. But she can catch on now and then. "I didn't think so. Sometimes we need to go somewhere else and just be," She considers. She peers up at him again. "Well, I'm not going to duct tape you to the ceiling fan and compel you to talk, Mr. Bond. But I'll do my best to listen. I don't know what happened, so I can't claim to understand," She admits. And really, she seems to grasp that this is a pretty good start. "I'll keep an eye out while you rest then," She says. "Rest well."

Pause. "You are welcome. Thank you, too."

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