We're Not at War

March 06, 2015: Scott talks with Hank about recent developments before seeking out Professor Xavier.

Hank's Lab - X-Men Base



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Mood Music:

« Don't go out there alone. »

At first, Jean's message had hurt. Even though he knew she didn't mean it that way, Scott couldn't help but take it that way for a short while. Yet, as the dried blood and grime swirled through the water and down the shower's drain, Scott couldn't help but feel as if he were making something symbolic out of washing himself. What happened out west made him feel somehow dirty. As if those deaths were his fault. Clearly, the United States had found a way to defend their own assets against hostile metahumans. They didn't need the X-Men's help.

Nor did they want it.

Half an hour later, Scott knocks on the door to Hank's lab. He's dressed in a pair of slacks and a light green shirt sans tie. He'd made himself look decent, combed his hair and all; but he couldn't wipe the frown from his face.

It's not rare to find Hank in his lab — when he's not teaching, he's back in it, for the most part. Any attempts at socialization outside of the Institute has slowed down to almost nothing at this point. Besides, so much has been happening in the world that he's trying to find out as much about it all as possible.

Of course, at the moment, he's also still stewing a bit about the other night.

Soothing Mozart is playing softly as he perches on a chair, reading a tablet and slowly scrolling upwith a clawed finger. While inside the Institute, he hasn't been taking the serum. It's for the outside world only, but at the rate things are going, it may no longer make a difference. As it is, half of SHIELD knows who he is and who knows who'll they'll tell!

The scent at the other side of the door tells Hank who is there so he calls out, "Come in, Scott."

After stepping in, Scott closes the door behind him. There is a slight pause as he considers, for a moment, whether to lock it. Stifling a sigh, he leaves the door unlocked and turns around to walk in, running a hand through his freshly combed hair. Somehow, it felt too damned neat.

"You get the reports yet?" he asks, no shortage of distaste in his tone. By and large, the X-Men had performed admirably, but that does little to stave the bad news uncovered on the west coast.

"I read the basics," Hank offers as he turns from the tablet. It's set down and he gestures for Scott to take a seat if he'd like. "But did you really expect otherwise? We're not Superman. We're…odd. We're unpredictable. We're unallied and mysterious. Frankly, I'm rather concerned about these robots and what could happen if the -government- itself decided to invest in things like that."

No, Scott's not going to sit. In fact, for a few moments, he chooses to pace the lab with a 'look, don't touch' mentality.

"I didn't expect them to fire advanced, biological weapons on us," he answers, cooly, with a touch of ire for the weapons themselves. "Neutralization Warheads." He turns to look meaningfully toward Hank after repeating the weapons' name.

"This might change the whole game for us, Hank." Putting the pacing for rest, he stops nearby and leans a hand upon an innocent-looking surface. "Someone sponsored and funded this operation. We need to find out who. How deep it goes. I… was on my way to speak with Charles about it."

"Yes, I read about that in the report," Hank sighs and pulls off his glasses to look at the other. "We knew that someome was working on ways to neutralize us. We know that HYDRA has their claws everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if they were neck-deep with the Government." There's a heavy sigh then. "What do you intend on doing when you find them, hmm? Convince them that we're harmless? That we can't hurt anyone? Or wouldn't? You and I both know that it's not true and you know that they won't listen."

There's a pause then before he continues, "We can't even convince people that two women or two men marrying each other isn't going to destroy the Pillar of Humanity. How are you going to convince them that a man who can shoot dangerous beams of energy from his eyes…or a woman that can read minds…or a man who looks like something out of a miscolored Disney Movie is doing everything for the greater good?" There's a shake of his head, "By all means, we should talk to Charles about this, but…think, Scott. When you find them…if you find them, and you disable these weapons, what are these people going to see by those actions?"

"Maybe we're going about this the entirely wrong way." Hank gives Scott a lot to think about, even though many of his words are akin to thoughts that have been in his own mind for some time. "Maybe we need to have lobbyists out there, people in congress, people in power, speaking for us. Maybe we don't need to be answering fire with fire, like a band of well funded and well trained vigilantes."

Which is what, today, the X-Men are.

Still not choosing to sit, Scott glances down at the floor for a long moment. Behind the glasses, his eyes are screwed shut; his mouth contorted into a troubled frown.

When he looks up, his voice is quieter. "We can't just keep fighting. It's like being backed into a corner, and every fist we block, every missile we shut down, only makes matters worse. We're not at war yet, Hank, and I don't want us to be at war." But, if they keep going down this path, war is what they'll have. Scott doesn't need to say it, but it's there.

"What we've got to do is find a way to get ahead of this. All of this. Before all we have is war."

And Scott gives Hank a bit to think about. Placing his glasses back on his face, he also scowls some. "If you're going to do that, have lobbyists and campaigns about how mutants -aren't- the stuff of nightmares, then we can't be hiding. We can't be pretending like we're just like everyone else except here and in the field. It's going to mean exposure. And then people will fear us because of what we can do and what we look like."

There's another pause, "It's going to take more than a couple of billboards and someone standing up in Congress saying 'Mutants do NOT want to take over the world.' Because there are some that probably do."

Scott nods his head. "I know." A pause. "Nobody ever said it would be easy." There may be no answers, but there may be direction.

"I know your concerns, Hank, and I share them. So, look. I'm going to go and find Charles, and then, we're going to figure out how to do this. As family."

Scott rises, leaves the table, and heads toward the door. There, he stops for a moment, glancing back toward Hank. There's something on his mind, clearly, but it goes unspoken.

Beast looks back up at Scott, "I can go with you if you'd like," is offered before he watches the other make his way to the door. When Scott pauses, however, he hops off of his seat and takes a few steps closer, "If we're a family, I'd prefer to be kept in the loop of things. I know you're the leader, Scott, and I agree with that, but I'm not going to blindly follow every word." If the other needs clarification, he'll give it. As it is, he's trying to get his pointacross without making it into a confrontation.

Sometimes, Scott doesn't feel like a leader. A smirk forms on his face, and he jerks his head toward the door. "Come on."

They'll speak with the Professor, together.

Beast nods and moves to follow the other, locking the door behind him. "Remind me to figure out some sort of Bamf alarm. They can get through the door…" and the walls. He's tired of having things go missing on occasion only to find a contrite one returning whatever it was that was taken.

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