Logs:A Bird In The Hand

From X-Men: rEvolution
Jump to navigationJump to search
A Bird In The Hand
Dramatis Personae

B, Daiki, Dusk, Flicker, Hive, Ion, Jax, Joshua, Matt, Polaris, Ryan, Scramble, Shane, Skye, Tag

a long two years

"-- just need more practice."


around new york

june, 2019

It's already been a long night but it's nowhere near over, with a horde of shellshocked refugees to get housed and clothed, patched up and settled down. The Mendel Clinic isn't exactly a hospital and it certainly isn't a home, but for the moment it will have to do, for the worst of their medical needs. Jax has left the wrangling of rescuees to others for now. Sluggish and pale and bruised and still in tac pants and a thin (and, though harder to see, inflammable) shirt, though he has at least lost the body armor, he's made his way to this basement level and the totally-not-a-patient-room that's been comfortably set up down here. He's slumped in a chair beside the bed, knuckles grinding at the sunken hollow of his missing eye. "-- known it's been bad for a while but --"

"Bad? Shit, friend, that boy full gone from reality back there." Ion has no chair. He's pacing, wringing a length of blood-speckled bandaging between his tightly clenched hands, a jitter-bounce in his restless steps back and forth past the foot of the bed. "Push and push and push something gonna break."

Ryan is propped up against a nest of pillows, looking considerably more haggard than he ought to be considering he's been tucked safe and sound here all night. "S'what we been telling him, but he --" he starts, but then shakes his head. "Fuck. Fine. You try getting him to take a vacation."


july, 2019

This particular training session probably did not need to take place in the Danger Room, but that -- or, more accurately, in the Danger Room's rendition of a landing platform on the Cloud City of Bespin -- is nevertheless where Matt is circling his sparring partner, dressed in a gray tank top and black athletic shorts, his hair touseled and spiked with sweat. He's insinuated his power firmly into Flicker's, keeping it dampened though not wholly suppressed, ready to turn it to his advantage. "{You're under plenty of pressure that's nothing to do with the raid at all,}" he's saying, his French irreverently casual, his voice soft with entreaty even as he darts in with an admirably sharp jab at Flicker's left shoulder. "And now is an excellent time to take a break from all this. It'll be a while yet before the next raid."

"{Med school is nothing. Training for a raid while we were in Thailand was pressure, have you tried to get private time from a mission companion? It's trickier than anything we've faced yet.}" The heavy bags under Flicker's eyes belie his casual tone. His grey tee shirt (pinned down at one sleeve) and black track pants aren't particularly damp, but he is moving considerably more sluggishly than usual. Than his usual, at any rate, which doesn't stop him rolling easily out of the way out the jab. "Don't need a break, I just need --" His jaw is tight as he looks for an opening -- shimmers out of place with a far more visible distortion than customary to make one instead, reappearing behind Matt --

-- and just a smidge too low, face blanching when he sets himself not on their platform but several inches into it. The injury might be illusory but the pain is real, and there's a second where he just weaves, pale and starting to slump in place before the firm grip of Matt's power extricates him. His hand clamps to his mouth, but drops away when the wave of nausea safely passes. "-- just need," he continues, a lot more shakily, "more practice."


august, 2019

Hive is sitting at one side of the chabudai, pale and hollow-eyed, the hunch of his shoulders making his baggy t-shirt seeming even bigger on his gaunt frame than it ought. His hands clutch tight at the cup he's been given, holding it up close enough to breathe in the scent of the tea though he's yet to take a sip -- yet to open his mouth at all, really, teeth clenched tight and slowly grinding. It hasn't impeded his conversational ability, at least, soft many-layered voice a gentle echo in the other man's head. << {-- no fucking self control. Not then, not now. Like what is he just gonna throw his life away for any goddamn asshole who --} >> His bony fingers are clenching just a little harder. Underneath his quiet words the boundaries between love and fury have long since blurred past recognition. << {If we -- when we -- he'll just keep doing this, if we let him.} >>

Daiki sips his tea where he sits -- quite deliberately -- cornerwise and not across from Hive. The dull ache for his brother is old and worn now, comforting in its own way, its intensity certainly no rival for more current troubles. His power is tucked neatly away, though not with the focused determination he usually exercises around even close friends and family. << {He believes it's the right thing. I don't think he's wrong, except for going it alone.} >> He finally lifts his eyes to Hive's face, and the fastidious ordering of his mind falters, just for an instant. << {But it's been hurting him even with the team's support, and Prometheus is growing wise to our strategy.} >> He closes his eyes, his fingers slowly unclenching around his own cup, with an attendant (controlled!) release of the careful hold he keeps on his love -- for Flicker, for Hive, for Mich, all inextricably entwined. His mental voice comes softer, now. << {If he keeps doing this, it will hurt more than him. If we let him (again).} >>


october, 2019

Skye finally relaxes back against the side of the couch she never seems to actually sit on. She has her giant not-so-lap-friendly laptop set up in front of her, a smaller, more sensible one beside it, and a tablet she's now tossing lightly aside. "All done." There's both relief and worry in her voice. "The supercomputer that I so want to meet will handle the remixing. If I've done this right, which I obviously have because I'm awesome, it'll be pre-tty brutal." She bites her lower lip. "Sorry, I shouldn't be flippant about it, especially..." Worry is overtaking relief now, an angry determination creeping up on both. "Look. Intel and mission support are important, and I'm down to keep doing all that, but maybe I could help you on the ground, too." She runs a hand through her tousled hair. "I'm not -- I haven't been where you were, but this just seems like a lot to keep putting on those of us who have."

"Brutal, that'll be a nice change from the breezy pace we been keeping till now." Ryan is nodding approvingly, head tipping down to look at Skye from where he's actually sprawled himself across the couch. "Seriously, though, thanks, rather get brutalized in there than --" He sits up, brows hiking as his casual tone shifts its timbre. "Oh hell no. I don't actually want more people getting brutalized. And besides, you think me or Jax knows how to make this computer do magic? I kind of need you alive."


january, 2020

It's not so very unusual to see Tag managing, sorting, or otherwise in close proximity to seemingly excessive amounts of first aid supplies, but this time the sterilite bins he's filling up do not bear the NYCAM seal. He pauses with a box of 4x4s in one hand and looks around at the three bins they've already loaded. "This is--kind of a lot of stuff," he hedges, glancing at his buddy with one arched purple eyebrow. "I got the impression training has been rough..." His words come faster, his very faint and heavily suppressed Mandarin accent creeping into his speech. "I mean. That's what training is for. But also like, better to have it and not need it?" He bites his lower lip, his colors blanche ever so slightly.. "And it'll get better, right? When it's summer and Jax is stronger."

Joshua has a tablet in one hand, a roll of masking tape over one wrist, a Sharpie in the other hand with which he's been neatly labeling the bins after inventorying them. His quiet hums at regular intervals have been acknowledgement enough that he is in fact attending Tag's chatter, even if his eyes don't lift from his task -- until this last question. His dark eyes pull upward slowly, brows lifting at a slight delay. His mouth twitches, slight and quick, to one side, in time with a short-sharp huff, shoulders a touch more squared as he drags another bin near.


april, 2020

Slumped in his armchair, Matt is presently a sniffling mess under a heap of blankets that, for all their softness, look more substantial than he is. He has both hands, pale and thin, wrapped around his mug for warmth, and the aroma of coffee is rich in the air. "It was exhausting work -- moreso for Leo, to be sure." Despite this, his smile is ever so faintly smug. "Worth it, though." This is soft. Then, still soft but with a certain wry edge that matches the skewing of his smile, "Might be worth letting him have a crack at the next lab, no?" The gleam in his eyes may not wholly be from the fever wracking his beleaguered immune system, but it cannot be helping matters, either. Just as quickly as it came, it is gone, his expression lapsing back into a weary concern as he looks over his guest's emaciated frame. "Gods, but I do hope this thing is as contagious as he meant it. I keep forgetting to not cover my cough."

Draped languidly across the adjacent couch, Dusk has no cushioning of blankets to pad out his frame. His frame is all prominent bones and too-loose sallow skin, though his wings look soft as ever as they shift to prop him up enough for his next sip of coffee. His eyes shoot to Matt at the question, lingering there a few beats too long before a twitch of smile -- smaller, a little delayed -- answers the other man's. "Pfft. My immune system's currently in a mood to open the door and let in any bug who gives it a wink." He settles back down, coffee mug resting on his chest and head cushioned against the arm of the sofa. "Dunno if I'm in any rush to see him diversify."


june, 2020

Despite the relief brought by his fifth cup of tea, Daiki is starting to look just a little frazzled. He keeps adjusting his glasses needlessly and the compelling tug of his power flutters every time his attention strays. There is a crude diagram holographically projected from his laptop: a tunnel, complete with stick figures, leading to the basement level of a large and heavily fortified compound. "Half of these sound like heist films waiting to happen." With a vague gesture at the drawing, he adds, "Or heist films that have already happened." He takes off his glasses, rubs at the bridge of his nose, and swats the cartoon raid idea away, leaving a report about Prometheus network activity that he had opened earlier. "At least our IT department is still able to reliably infiltrate them. Too bad they can't just break people out..." He puts the glasses back on, brows furrowing.

"Hhh." Jax is grinding his knuckles against his empty eye socket, laugh a little hollow as he flicks a finger somewhat mechanically at the diagram of the compound in front of him. "'least if we got a heist to pull off we know Joshua's gonna have our witty banter covered." His brows knit, and he sits up a little straighter, teeth clicking against his lips ring. "... they been boosting their digital security so much, why can't our fighting shift to match."


july, 2020

It's a mercy the Danger Room is largely immune to all manner of power-related mishaps because the scene it has concocted for them today is a mess, char and smoke and smelling heavily of electrical burning. In the middle of this Ion is looking entirely unapologetic, wild-eyed and still sparking. "Aiite shit," he's surveying the wreckage with a bright baring of teeth and a clap that sends jitters of blue-white showering down from his hands, "that didn't fuckin' work damn but it be a lot easier if someone could make us a different fucking entrance."

Scramble is levering herself slowly off the floor, not completely uncharred but still hurting from her simulated injuries. "You said it, brother." She dusts herself off and looks around. "Ain't no one good for that but Jax and Ryan, which..." She gives a shrug. "Can't always be dragging Jax in here, man's got six jobs and he do get tired. And Ryan's too busy bein' a rock star to bother with the peasants." Wanders over to Ion and looks him over appraisingly. "How 'bout we clean up and go grab some beers?"


september, 2020

It's late and Daiki is slumped in front of his computer, its screen displaying the same set of spreadsheets he's been working on since a barely-remembered supper hours ago. "No, it's mostly a lot of small expenses adding up," he tells his Bluetooth headset, voice frazzled and exhausted even across the vast distance it travels. "Which I might have noticed earlier if everyone gave me their receipts in a timely fashion and not all at once when they finally remember." The call cannot exactly pick up his crooked, rueful smile, but his dry sardonic tone and the sharp flare of irritation beneath it come through loud and clear. "I appreciate their faith in me, but I am not a wizard. You, on the other hand..."

"Hell yeah." Ryan's voice on the other end just sounds wryyyy, "harnessing the magic of capitalism over here. Who would have fuckin' thought." A text message pings Daiki's phone in the middle of this call -- the notification tells of a sizable transfer of funds. "Well." This time he sounds buoyant, the energy thrumming through the call carrying a vibrant exhilaration even across the miles, "next run will go out to all my wonderful fans, we really couldn't have done it without them."


october, 2020

Evolve isn't yet open but the tables are overflowing, already, with condolence cards, flowers, stuffed toys, packages opened and un-, an outpouring of appreciation that Shane is perched in the middle of still sorting through what to send along to Geekhaus and what to leave. "Shit," he's saying softly, turning one card over in his hand, "Brendan's still alive? Good, I thought that motherfucker was doomed when he peaced out of here -- you keep in touch with all these people?" He's lifting the card and his eyebrows questioningly. His dark eyes sweep the piles of mail with a slow flutter of gills, a slow tightening of his shoulders. "Fuck. Plucked all these bastards from cages it's hard to believe after all this it wasn't Prometheus that killed him."

"Do my best to." Dusk has his wings folded close around himself, neatly collecting the cards and trinkets from those Prometheans they've seen fit to send along to Hive. The growl that rises in his chest in reply is low. His head shakes, thumbclaws twitching. "After all this? They sure fucking did."


november, 2020

Scramble is pacing the Geekhaus living room, arms folded tightly across her chest. She's recently shorn off her hair, clearly without assistance and possibly without a mirror. Inside her mind all is chaos, a discordant jangling of grief and rage and despair that diminish but do not utterly destroy her rigorously honed skill at ignoring the cavalcade of delusions beneath them. "...can't do it I can't do it," she's muttering so quietly it might well be to herself, though she fully intends them for her host. "I ain't even mean how we gon' pull it off without him I just. Can't." She stops as abruptly as she started and collapses down onto the couch. Stares at her coffee -- so heavily spiked it's really more like whiskey with some coffee in it -- uncomprehendingly. << (not real not real not real) >> Her power stretches out hungrily but she takes a deep breath and shoves it back down. "I know it ain't fair to the rest of y'all. I know it's important, Jesus fucking Christ it's important. But I can't."

Hive is making up for the hair that Scramble is missing, his mop of hair even shaggier than usual around his raccoon-eyed face. He's already on the couch, sunk into a corner in a heap of bones and blankets and whiskey bottle (he's skipped past the coffee entirely.) At the stretch of Scramble's power there's an answering press of his own, twining greedily down around her mind with a discordant echo (<< can't can't can't >>) before he pulls it back. "Yeah," he answers, gruff and low. "Yeah, it's -- no. You should. Should do what you gotta do." He lifts his whisky bottle for another long swig. "Believe me, I fucking understand."


january, 2021

It's quiet in the neighborhood tonight, crisp and clear in Ryan's backyard where he's been sitting for some time by a crackling fire in the backyard. He pulls his eyes up from Jax's wrists -- there may be no scars there but the bright tattoos have recent warping in their ink -- to his friend's face. "Do you see another way around it? Who else are we gonna lose, then? You want to keep throwing lives away on this, I can't stop you, but I sure don't have to be responsible for it either."

"Don't rightly know how we'd keep pullin' this off, anyway," Jax says with a heavy reluctance. "Not with..." His head bows. He pokes a stick into the fire, watching the embers pop and sizzle at the movement. "You gonna tell the others, or should I?"


june, 2021

It's not generally polite to barge into Jax's studio when the door is closed, but B isn't a very polite kind of shark. Hir eyes are wide, her voice urgent; a pair of jewel-bright beetle-like drones hover in her wake. "Look," she's telling hir father, already flicking one of the robots to life to project a holographic schematic right over the project he's been working on, "I know you said we were through but we've still been digging and you have to see this. You've pulled off miracles before you're telling me we're just gonna leave these people?"

Jax's fingers have clenched around his paintbrush, his eye fluttering open wider. His mouth opens and closes in silence and he swivels on his stool to face B. One hand lifts -- the slow drag of his palm against his face leaves a small streak of blue paint against his pale cheek. "Well," he says, finally. "Crap."


july, 2021

Skye settles into the driver's seat of her ancient van and blows a long breath out, but the tension does not leave her with the exhale. "That was a bit...anticlimactic? Like, I really thought we'd have to make a case, you know, convince them to let us join." She settles her hands on the steering wheel, thumbs rubbing where the corners of the spokes have been worn smooth over the years. "It's so weird that I'm nervous about it now. I've been ready to do this since Flicker got caught --" Her eyes go wide as she breaks off, glancing aside at her passenger before quickly dropping her gaze again.

Beside her, Polaris seems preternaturally calm, though she has not said a single word since they stepped out of Black House. She's worked the CTR ring off of her index finger and is rolling it slowly around the palm of one cupped hand. "--and ended up in my lab." Her eyes are also a touch wide when she turns to Skye, fix steady and unnerving on her for a moment before they snap down to the ring. "I don't think they want anyone to join. And I don't think anyone is ever ready for something like this." Her hand closes into a fist. "But when we're called, we answer."