Summary: The X-Men discuss a dire situation, just as it becomes more dire
Location: X-Men War Room
The day after Betsy and Scott interegated and extracted delicate information from the prisoner known as Lucas Bishop, Scott has been inviting members of the X-Men into the sub-levels of the mansion to debrief them on what they found. He's nearing the end of the day, and he saved this group for last: Jean for being his most trusted partner, Kitty for her technological know-how and Rachel for her knowledge of dystopian politics.
As he waits, Scott sets up a series of six pictures on the war room screen. Some are familiar:two senators and a high-ranking military officer as well as a widely watched but controversial TV news personality, wherein the word news is used very liberally. The other two pictures are most likely unknown to anyone who enters the room: a young man and woman who are shining brightly for the camera. Scott waits for his team to arrive, typing in a few notes from the past few rounds of meetings.
It's probably a good thing Scott called the meeting. Kitty was so desperate for something to do she was considering hacking godhatesmutants.com... again. Amazing how easy a simple URL direct can be, and how entertaining it is to know that those seeking the hate site will find themselves logging on to a site claiming to provide the HOTTEST LIVE MUTANT ACTION on the Internet. With something somewhat more productive to do, though, that gets filed away in the "later" file. Now, she makes her way into the War Room, in uniform for formality's sake (also, she hasn't gotten around to doing this week's laundry).
Someone hasn't been given a uniform yet and hasn't designed one... it's been a long time since the X-Men that Rachel knows back home wore spandex. Since Jean took her shopping, at least she's wearing something decent and clean. A few of the details are different as she makes her way to the briefing room, but the overall gist is the same. As she enters the room, she gives a passing glance at the pictures on the screen, her expression not really shifting all that much. Either she knows those faces as the same as back home, or she doesn't know any of them. She musters a slight smile for Scott as she picks a chair to sit in and then stares at Shadowcat, her jaw dropping for just a few seconds before she snaps her mouth shut and pretends she didn't just do that.
"Sorry, sorry." Jean apologizes in a rush as she hurries into the room. "I got sidetracked." She's got a lab coat on over a summery white silk blouse and bright red a-line skirt. "Hi, sweetie." Pulling off the red-rimmed reading glasses she wears when, well, reading, she gives Rachel a quick hug. "Honey." Scott gets a quick kiss on the head. "Kitty." She gets her hair ruffled. And then Jean drops herself into a chair and smoothes out her skirt. "I'm not too late?"
Scott nods to each in turn, though Kitty might be feeling a bit like she's the third...well, fourth well, as each Rachel and Jean do get a wide smile. He returns the kiss before shaking his head. "No worry, we've all been busy with student orientation on top of our regular duties." Scott would usually be a little be more of a stickler for punctuality, but...well, his priorities have shifted over the last 24 hours.
"However, excuse me if I pass over small talk. Last night, Betsy and I interviewed our house guest Lucas Bishop. For those who don't know, Mr. Bishop comes from the future. He also is very upset to be held here." He turns and stands, gesturing toward the screen. "We got these six names out of his mind. According to Lucas Bishop, each of these six people are involved in the Friends of Humanity party. He also claims that in his future, these people will be intrustrmental in the creation of a militaristic police state, dedicated to detetaining and, in extreme cases, culling mutants." He pauses for a moment before turning towards the team with a grave look across his face. "According to Betsy's report, he was sent back to assassinate these six people. And he wasn't sent alone."
"Hi, I'm-" Kitty starts to say to Rachel in her most friendly voice, but stops when Jean comes in. She puts two and two together when Jean shows some obvious, motherly affection to the girl. This must be the newly arrived Summers child. "What she said. Kitty," she says after Jean is done speaking. Pleasantries later, she decides. Superhero business now. She looks at the screens again, and makes a bit of a face at the 'news' personality. "Ugh, so those rumours circulating in the mutant rights blogs are true? Color me surprised." The guy had never confirmed or denied his involvement with the party, but she was never sure if that was for publicity reasons or not. She frowns a little as Scott talks more. "So, what? We save them from their assassins thus making them think that gee, maybe mutants aren't so bad after all, thus peacefully avoiding the Orwellian future?"
"Or you wind up causing the very future you want to avoid..." Rachel remarks after Kitty introduces herself. "Rachel, by the way. Or Ray, however y'want. We should talk later," she adds before resuming her attention on the screens. "It's the same old thing," she says with a shake of her head, putting her chin in her hand as she leans forward, elbows on the table like her mom always told her to stop doing. "Where I come from, that sort of nasty future already happened... except it wasn't the future."
"If their minds can even be changed?" Jean remarks, more of a voicing of a thought than an outright question. Leaning back in her chair, Jean folds her hands primly in her lap, linking her fingers together. "Which of those six targets was at the rally that we happened into, Scott?" Absently, she adds, "Rachel, elbows off of the table, please." Just like /her/ mother was always telling her to stop doing.
Scott turns, making a general gesture with his hand. The advanced camera system installed in the screen allows him to manipulate pictures with simple gestures, bringing the picture of one of the younger two: a young blonde man with black-rimmed glasses. "Anton Furrow, organizer for the New York arm of the Friends. He seems to be a young up and comer, very dedicated to the cause but fresh out of college. We're currently assuming he was early on the list because of easier access. No security detail, and very eager to make a public figure of himself." He looks towards Kitty and Rachel, shaking his head slightly. "We're...not sure what our ultimate goal is..." he admits, not sounding too happy about that. "But we do need to move quickly, because a horde of time-traveling mutant assassins could be very bad for the species PR team. I would say first step would be to find out if Bishop's claims are true." He gestures towards Kitty. "Think you can do some digital snooping?"
Shadowcat takes on a posture eerily similar to Rachel's, but straightens up when Jean scolds her. Augh, automatic reactions. "Have these people not seen the Twilight Zone? You can't go back in time to kill Hitler, it just doesn't end well," Kitty says with a sad shake of her head. "And I'm on it. Whatever the Friends are stupid enough to send into the digital ether, I'll get it."
Rachel Summers grimaces, but automatically obeys the instruction from her not-really-mother even faster than Kitty does. "Just by jumping to the past, they've already altered things so that their timestream won't happen." And then, before anyone thinks anything odd of her, she adds, "I saw that Star Trek movie last year... same basic idea, yeah?"
"Was Betsy able to get any information regarding the identities of the other people that Bishop is working with?" Jean inquires, frowning. "Though... Ugh, I don't even know if she would remember if she did, if they are still active and not /here/, presently." That's a whole other headache, and Jean reaches up to pinch the bridge of her nose.
Scott nods his thanks to Kitty before looking to Rachel, making a slight face. "We have...some evidence of that. Both Jean and Kitty saw Lucas earlier, and when he disappeared back into his future, the human brain corrects the temporal anamoly by creating a hole, as if he was never actually there." His head starts to hurt a bit as well. "But yes, technically going back in time should create a divergent time line. In a sense, that's the point anyway." He stops then glances towards Jean, shaking his head slightly. "Betsy didn't stay in there long, she gave the impression it was...unpleasant. Once she got the list, she left. Immediately."
"Is that what caused that? I really didn't like that," Kitty can't help but comment. "Too bad there isn't some way to just 'scan for temporal anamolies' like they do on Star Trek.'" She pauses. "Or..." she pauses, and thinks for a few minutes. "We can't do that, but Jean or the Professor could use Cerebro to look for people with similar memory gaps to ours? That sorta thing's gotta leave a psychic footprint."
"It did back in my own world," Rachel says with a nod of her chin. "But it's possible some of the laws of the universe are different. I mean... sorry, Kitty, but the Cubbies won the World Series last year back home. But that's history rather than 'how things work'." And then she frowns. "I wonder..." And then she falls silent as she considers what she might be about to suggest.
At the mention of Cerebro, Jean makes a face. Sore spot. Poked. "Well, I'm sure the Professor wouldn't mind scanning for those sorts of psychic anomalies," the telepath coolly remarks. Glancing over at Rachel, she arches a brow. "Wonder what, sweetie?"
Scott isn't sure what to make of the cerebro reference, to frown or grin slightly. "That isn't a bad idea, see if we have any similar cases. I think that we," he says, before a noise pings from behind on the war room screen. A pop-in flashes a news report from the Daily Planet.
IOWAN SENATOR HENRY IPSON FOUND DEAD IN HOME; POLICE SUSPECT MURDER, BEGIN INVESTIGATION."
Scott stares at the screen for a few seconds, clinching his fist slightly as his whole body starts to tense up. "Okay...this just got more urgent than I expected."
Shadowcat groans. "Things never run smooth," she mutters. "Okay. Permission to link up some systems to the Danger Room to use as a workstation? I can get more snooping done that way than on my computer." A pause. "Also, I'll need a case of Red Bull."
Rachel Summers continues thinking for a bit, quirking a grin at the mention of Red Bull. "In my world, Peter S. Beagle sued them successfully for the misuse of his trademark." But her smirk fades and she says to Scott, "I... have an ability that may help. I'm not sure, though. You see... I've got all of mom's powers," she says, gesturing to Jean lazily. "But I have one of my own. I can go out of body and send my astral self through time. I've never actually tried to use it since I found out I was here... too much to get used to to settle down and prepare for it, cos it's not easy at all. And I've never actually used it to peek into the future...."
Scott nods his head towards Kitty as he starts to go through the process in his head. "You got whatever you need, though your project just changed. We got five people we need to figure out how to secure, so think like a ninja and try to find the easiest way to get to them. Then figure out a way to stop that." He then glances towards Rachel, and nods his head. "That could be very helpful in us figuring out the truth. Right now, though, I need names for our killers." He pauses before continuing. "We'll one of the more experienced telepaths to go diving for that," he says, standing from his chair. "I'm going to see what I can learn about Ipson's murder, and if any information about his supposed relationship with the Friends is going to leak. We're on double-time people, so take any resources you need.
Scott nods his head towards Kitty as he starts to go through the process in his head. "You got whatever you need, though your project just changed. We got five people we need to figure out how to secure, so think like a ninja and try to find the easiest way to get to them. Then figure out a way to stop that." He then glances towards Rachel, and nods his head. "That could be very helpful in us figuring out the truth. Right now, though, I need names for our killers." He pauses before continuing. "We'll one of the more experienced telepaths to go diving for that," he says, standing from his chair. "I'm going to see what I can learn about Ipson's murder, and if any information about his supposed relationship with the Friends is going to leak. We're on double-time people, so take any resources you need." He starts to move towards the door, almost forgetting to add, "Meeting dismissed."
Shadowcat stands up. "Right. Ninja. On it, Boss." She looks to Rachel. "Probably not a great idea to get too risky with your powers til we really know for sure. You wanna help me get some stuff set up?" Okay, so she's a little curious about the possibility of another her.
Rachel Summers hauls herself to her feet and nods to Scott sharply, a motion best left to a semi-trained X-Man... which she is. "We'll do what we can," she assures the elder X-Man with a steady tone of voice. Kitty's words have her nodding again. "It takes a whole day's meditation before I can even try, so anything we can do first would be best..."