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From X-Men: rEvolution
Backchannel
Dramatis Personae

Clint, Jax, Lucien, Matt

2019-08-17


"We're going to have to tell Hive, no?" (Part of Prometheus tp.)

Location

Text messages, and Village Lofts Roof


Sometime in the middle of the matinee performance of "Lost!", Lucien's phone receives a Signal message. It starts out with a simple system notice: "Clint has set disappearing messages to 1 day."

  • (Clint --> Luci): I need your help. Please answer as soon as you can do so without someone reading over your shoulder.

It takes some while before a reply comes, but eventually -- just about when intermission would fall during the matinee -- a text comes back.

  • (Luci --> Clint): I have privacy, for the next little while.

Clint answers almost immediately--so fast that he must have had his text pre-composed to send.

  • (Clint --> Luci): Flicker is alive.
  • (Luci --> Clint): Where?
  • (Clint --> Luci): A Prometheus facility in central Maine.
  • (Clint --> Luci): He and some others are planning to break out. Are you willing to coordinate support?
  • (Luci --> Clint): What do they need? And by when?
  • (Clint --> Luci): Evacuation for 25 people. Probably some tactical and medical support. Midnight, tonight.

Unlike the previous two messages, there's a considerable delay before this one as well.

  • (Luci --> Clint): Very good. I need a location.
  • (Clint --> Luci): 45°56'39.8"N 69°35'59.0"W

A moment later, he adds:

  • (Clint --> Luci): Thank you. And godspeed.

---

<NYC> Village Lofts Roof - East Village

It tends to be windy, up here, but the presence of plastic table and folding chairs suggests that nevertheless building residents occasionally make their way out to this rooftop. With a good view of Tompkins Square Park less than a block away it's a good spot for city-watching. There's a railing around the edge, though it might be possible (if unwise) to climb over it to the narrow concrete ledges beyond and from there to the fire escape. Centrally, someone has broken down crates and constructed a small raised-bed garden up here, barren in winter but filled in three other seasons with a small assortment of herbs and vegetables.

Up on the roof it's bright, warm. There's faint but lively jazz music coming from the park across the street where a band is performing. The plastic table has a large bowl of pesto gnocchi, cherry tomatoes sliced into it and herbed baked tofu slices on a side plate. Sitting at the table in cutoff shorts, huge mirrored sunglasses, a bright yellow tee with the Little Miss Sunshine cartoon character printed large on its front, Jax has a bowl of pasta already emptied; he's currently refilling glass from a pitcher of basil lemonade. "-- what's left, like another week and a half of freedom? I keep thinking I should /do/ something with it, but --" Though his easy smile doesn't waver, his words trail off after the but, hand a little less steady on the pitcher as he refills Matt's glass as well.

Matt's been picking at his food, chasing a halved tomato around his bowl, but he accepts the lemonade with a soft "Merci" and drinks deep. He has on a seafoam green t-shirt with a huge white whale curled beneath an an eight-pointed star, black cargo shorts, and black athletic sandals. "Me, too," he says, subsiding back into his lawn chair. "Even if I weren't worried about being available at any time in case they find another lead, I just..." He shakes his head and finally just fishes the tomato out with his fingers and pops it into his mouth.

Lucien's presence can be felt by Matt before he ever arrives, climbing up the stairs toward the exit. It's a louder buzz of mental activity than usual, mind working overtime to carefully box up and control a tightly suppressed jangle of nerves that has been pressed down underneath. It is unusual enough, perhaps, to see him out in the city in the middle of the day on a Saturday; more unusual still that he has not bothered to clean /up/ from his show. His mottled grey makeup and fur is rather out of place with his jeans and neat short-sleeved green button-down. He has, at least, lost the horns, the hooves, the clawed fingertips. He makes a beeline for the table, plucking up Matt's lemonade. He takes a very small sip, head inclining toward Jax. "Spencer told me I might find you both up here."

Matt straightens up well before his brother comes into view, his eyes tracking to the stairwell, then to Jax, perplexity written in his furrowed brows. "Luci," he mouths, fishing his phone from a pocket, his frown growing deeper as he glances at the time on its lock screen. His powers stretch out to twine into his brother's, reflexively bolstering his effort to hold the chaos of his brain together. When Lucien does appear, his eyebrows raise up, but he surrenders his beverage without complaint. "He did not steer you wrong," he says. Then, hesitantly, "Did something happen at the show?"

Jax's eyebrows raise, and he looks to his phone as well, tapping at its screen where it's already sitting out on the table. "Ain't it Saturday? I swear it was --" His head tilts when the door opens. He looks over Luci's attire, chrome painted fingernails touching lightly to his lips. "Oh yeah, it's definitely Saturday. Y'aright, honey-honey?"

"I am unharmed, and my standby is more than capable. I am sure the show is as unsettling as ever." Lucien's eyes tip up, scanning the sky overhead. He sets the lemonade carefully back down. "I don't suppose you might get rid of your phones, for a time? I would like a word."

Matt blinks once, then again. Glances to Jax and shrugs. "Why not?" The phone was already in his hand, and he turns its screen to show Lucien the shutdown sequence before adding. "/How/ rid are we talking here?"

Jax's brows go from raised to wrinkled. He stands, shutting off his phone as well, taking it with Matt's and wrapping them both up in the large canvas bag he used to bring the food up. He takes this aside, crossing the roof briefly to shut these in a saddlebag of one of the blue and silver hoverbikes parked over to one side of the roof. He's back in short order, taking his seat again and spreading his hands. "You want to sit? Have some pesto? We got plenty."

Lucien only sits once the phones are well away. His fingers fold together on the table, forefingers steepling. If he hears Jax's offer he makes no sign; certainly he is not /taking/ any of the pasta. He waits for Jax to settle, to finish speaking. Then, oddly mildly: "I know where Flicker is."

Matt refills the glasses and pours one for Lucien while Jax absconds with their phones. His bright green eyes snap up to his brother's face at the revelation, the grip of his power tightening fractionally. "How...?" But he shakes his head. "/Where?/"

Jax's hand drops to curl tight around his glass. The fluctuation of /his/ power is subtle -- in the sunlight the brief faint flutter of glow around him is hard to /see/. Easy for Matt to feel, though, the fierce rising surge within him, a shift of energy awakening itself inside him. He only looks at Lucien, silent and expectant.

"I have coordinates. Maine. About two hours from the Quebec border." Lucien draws his glass of lemonade near, but doesn't lift it. "You need to get up there, tonight. He's planning an escape, and needs an evacuation team. For twenty-five of them." His forefingers steeple; despite the quick and quickly quelled shudder that ripples through his mind, outwardly he only presses his lips very slightly together, eyes fixing on the drink Jackson gave him. "Around midnight. It is a ten hour drive, so there's already. A touch of urgency."

"Ostie de tabernak--" Matt's words come out low, between gritted teeth. "Twenty-five. /Tonight./" It's not a question. "I take it there's no gently encouraging them to delay. We /are/ going, then." This last to Jax, also not a question.

"Midnight." Jax pushes out a long, slow breath. The flare that is brightening within him subsides in time with it. "I can get vehicles. Hopefully Joshua or -- Rachel or --" His finger traces lightly against the side of the glass. "Do you have any idea about their plan? Will they need backup or just a getaway?"

"I've had no contact with him. I do not know what his plans look like. Only that they will be trying it tonight, and that you should be there with medical support and a ride. I very much doubt that it would go /amiss/ to be combat ready." Lucien's eyes lift to the others. "I apologize there was not more notice. I only heard quite recently, myself."

"No, Luci, you did very well," Matt says, already calm again, the persistence of his agitation only sensible to Lucien, "merci." His gaze returns to Jax. "We're going to have to tell Hive, no?"

"I just don't even understand /how/ you even -- " Jax cuts himself off, with a rake of fingers through his colourful shaggy hair. "Thank you. We need to --" He looks over at Matt. His palm scrubs against his cheek, his head slowly shaking. He's already standing up, ignoring the dishes. "That's -- certainly gonna be a interesting conversation."