15485/Casual Abandoned Warehouse Meetings

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Casual Abandoned Warehouse Meetings
Date of Scene: 15 August 2023
Location: Abandoned Warehouse, Lower East Side
Synopsis: Betsy invites Angelica to talk about the specifics of her role in X-Force over a dead body. As you do.
Cast of Characters: Psylocke, Firestar

Psylocke has posed:
Betsy Braddock and Angelica Jones have never officially met. The former's only been officially back at Xavier's for a few short weeks, and they haven't run into each other. And yet, late in the evening, Firestar receives a message on her phone.

/Meet at this location, asap. -Betsy/

Alongside it is a GPS coordinate, no other information. It might be something for Angelica to get used to. The younger mutant hasn't been in the X-Men so never got to experience Betsy's little tests. It'll be fun!

The warehouse itself looks entirely boarded up and full of graffiti, like no one's been here for at least a year -- dust covering everything. There's a broken window at the back corner a small, lithe person could get through, but of course there's always force. It's otherwise quiet inside and in the surrounding area.
Firestar has posed:
The phone gets a thoughtful frown as she reads the message a time or two. A hmm and she starts to study the coordinates. A frown creases a little and she finally shrugs. She makes her way towards the coordinates.

That takes her a minute, nailing it down. It's been a while since she had to do that sort of thing, but it isn't completely new either. Not really familiar with Betsy beyond the mention of her in the past by Logan and some of the others.

She flies most of the way, then lowers to the ground, more floating than high flight as she draws near. A thoughtful frown creases her brow and she floats over any fence surrounding it and then investigates a little. She is lithe enough, but the idea of entering the jagged glass isn't high on her list of things she wants to do.

Looking around, she places her hand over the jagged edges of the glass and it starts to melt away. Not completely, but enough she can pass through and smooth on the edges so it won't cut her or her clothing.

Once inside, she glances around, not on edge so much as wary of a potential test or surprise. Nothing says Betsy in the message is actually Psylocke after all. Stranger things have happened and a gal makes enemies sometimes.
Psylocke has posed:
Gaining entry to the warehouse, all is quiet and dark. If it is a test it's a bit of a let down. With the windows boarded up against any external lights it's exceptionally dark here, so Angelica will have to bring her own lighting.

And she may well want to see, because even without any kind of super-sense of smell, she can detect it.

The faint scent of blood.

There are stacks of pallets, wooden drums and other things to try and navigate around, so it's hard to tell whether the source of the smell is coming from precisely.
Firestar has posed:
"Uh huh..." she mutters softly. She takes another step or two when she gradually notice the copper scent. She doesn't have any super senses, but it's dark and blood...that smell permeates,"All right then." she mutters again.

Rising into the air, Angelica creates a small fire 'wall' floor level just before she ascends. This is good for drawing attention, giving her light, and moving herself away from it.

One hand tracks over the floor and the other tracks the rafters above. Not that she would want to cook Betsy per say, but right now this feels a little unsettling and more like a set up than a legit meeting. She moves through the room in a figure eight pattern, horizontal and then straight up into the rafters for a better look.
Psylocke has posed:
The rafters are full of more cobwebs and dust, but at least the greater height lets her see it: a trail of blood on the dusty floor, starting near one of those empty drums and trailing behind some pallets, like someone's dragged a body there.

Angelica will have to get close to pull one of the pallets off the top of it, but underneath she'll discover the body of a man, perhaps in his forties, arms and legs pulled close to his chest in the fetal position. The body is stiff, though there's not yet any sense of decay from it.
Firestar has posed:
Studying the room for a second, looking for anyone or any sort of human shaped shadow. She lowers some, watching the blood trail and looking back and forth. She produces a cell phone, though in that costume where it was is anybody's guess.

Finally she lands near the pallets, looking them over closely for anything other than the pallats, ie wires or other trap like things. If she finds none, she moves the pallet quickly to not remain bent over.

She makes a face, looking at the body and starting to dial her phone,"At least nothing ate part of you." she mutters softly and checks her surroundings once more. 911 and send don't need a lot of attention after all.

She rises from the floor again, looking for any other blood trails or potential dangers.
Psylocke has posed:
Angelica sees nothing in the shadows.

Then again, she wouldn't. Betsy Braddock is a ninja.

There appears to be no trap around the body. The pallet's purpose was merely to cover the body up. As Angelica rises and lifts her phone, there comes an amused voice from directly behind her as she's turning.

"Your first thought is to call the authorities?" Betsy Braddock, with her violet hair and eyes, her Japanese body dressed in close-fitting black outfit, is pretty unmistakeable. As is her haughty English tones, "Logan /did/ tell you we were Black Ops... did he not?"
Firestar has posed:
Closing the phone, she puts the phone away again and looks towards the voice, finding the person in question. She shrugs slightly and replies,"Two considerations." she replies simply.

"One of my best friends has been framed for crimes so when I see a body I am calling and bailing before I end up like him. Maybe the text tonight is from someone who connected him to me and was setting me up. Cloning a number isn't hard. I'd rather make that difficult for someone."

She remains aloft for the moment and adds,"Two, I just found a half eaten corpse in the Candadian Rockies in the past month. So yes. I call for help since after that one I am wary about dead bodies because Warpath and I encountered the thing that ate him too. Rather not find out there is something like it here and if so I wanted forensic investigation."

There is no real defensiveness about her, just an analytical assessment,"He told me there weas a black ops team forming yes. Had I known you at all and been completely at ease with the idea that you were here I would have waited on the police call."
Psylocke has posed:
"That's an instinct you will need to dampen down." Betsy isn't judgemental at all; she's merely stating what is necessity. There's, by default, a kind of warmth about her, evident as a smile lights her features. "We'll resolve the secure communications issue soon enough, so you shouldn't have to worry about that."

"...as for your friend being framed. That could be very easily remedied. The right whisper into the right ear could fix that, if you wanted me to assist. We are, after all, a team."

"Elizabeth Braddock," the violet haired woman introduces herself. "Call me Betsy. Would you mind coming down? I'm going to get a crick in my neck."

For now, she's ignoring the body. It's not that she's not aware of it; she's just focused on Angelica.
Firestar has posed:
"I'll work on it." she replies finally and eases a little as Betsy talks. She nods at the mention of secure communications. She starts to lower to the ground and replies,"Angelica Jones. Angel if you like." she replies in the response to the introduction.

Once her feet touch the ground she nods and admits,"I'd like to find a way to clear his name yes. He's a favorite target of a Jameson and the Daily Bugle. Spidey has enough trouble without someone pretending to be him and making him look like an attempted murderer. Jameson just loves to sing the song of Spider-Man's demise."

Since Betsy doesn't seem too concerned with the body, Angelica doesn't fret over it now,"I was wondering when we'd meet. I have to admit, you have a flair for making an entrance by not making an entrance." she offers with a smirk,"Sorry for the rest, it's been a bit hectic of late. Tend to find the sky when I am wary."
Psylocke has posed:
"Angel," Betsy says, with an easy warmth, gratitude in her violet gaze as the other woman touches down on the ground. The ninja strides closer, settling into an easy posture. "It would be simple enough, if it is true he is innocent. Merely give the name of who is pushing hardest, and a little nudge can be given." Some telepaths -- certainly Professor Xavier -- has self-imposed rules about messing with civilians. Betsy apparently has no such compunctions.

As of making an entrance: "I do have a reputation to uphold," Betsy says, with a little smile, at the accusation of making an entrance. "And my default as a model wars with my training as a ninja. It depends who I am feeling most like on any given moment." It sounds like a joke, but it's not.

One might suspect Betsy is sending out calming waves with how at ease the woman seems and makes the scene feel. The body is unimportant -- for the moment anyway.
Firestar has posed:
"I know Spidey. Most people could be pushed hard enough to try to take a life, but he wouldn't use a gun." she replies straight forward,"I don't know how much it would take to push him to kill, probably more than most, but he wouldn't need a gun."

She smiles and admits,"I have changed my self defense training from generic to learning from Logan. I can survive a quick reaction, but I am not built for a long hand to hand fight so I am working on it." she shrugs.

Her willingness to mess with a mind should make her uneasy, but taking care of her best friend rides above most problems. Angelica is at ease, though it Betsy tries to read her, she will find that exceptionally difficult and probably would have to work at it for a long time.
Psylocke has posed:
"Spidey-" a breath, "Spider-Man?" Something complicated passes over Betsy's expression so swiftly it seems like a brief shadow. "Mm." Undoubtedly the violet-haired telepath recognizes that the line -- the willingness to skirt morality -- is passed over.

"Logan is an excellent teacher," Betsy says, and there's a genuine sentiment there, a respect for the other warrior.

"To this, though. This is a problem." Her hand stretches out, gesturing to the body. "I recognize him. I have not seen him for many years, but he is -- was -- a mutant. This is the second such body I have found in the last week. The second such mutant. He was, to my knowledge, never associated with Xavier's nor any of the usual groups. He... passed." In other words he was able to hide his abilities readily.

"One is unfortunate. Two is an unsettling coincidence. And I do not believe in coincidences." A subtle change in Betsy's manner when she says that last. Cold, brisk, bitten off sharply. Even her gaze seems oddly cooler as she regards Angelica. "Tell me, what are your strengths?" A beat. "Logan said you would be... suited for keeping us from going too far across the line."
Firestar has posed:
"The one and only. We've been friends since our mid teens." she replies with a nod. Spidey gets bad press and she knows it so she accepts not everybody loves him. A smirks a little and agrees,"An excellent teacher that doesn't have a problem pushing to your limits. I need that push since I am playing catch up."

Her attention moves to the body and she is quiet while she listens. She considers the words and admits,"So are you thinking serial or an organization? Hard to say for sure, just wondering your impression."

She notes the change in her presence, but doesn't seem offput by it,"Logan wants a moral compass or a true north. I hope I can live up to that. As for talents. Obviously I can fly. I generate and manipulate radiation to create fire and heat. I can focus that power through maser blasts. I can also change the heat around me. If I don't want to be touched it takes a special kind of stupid to try to hang on to me. I tend to not be close to those that don't heal quickly. There is a suit under my gear to protect people from me, but I am still wary." She considers and adds,"I have entirely too much of an understanding of physics, particularly those connected to radiation, but all in general."
Psylocke has posed:
"Two suggests a small number. But these are just the two that I am aware of. It is impossible to tell without more data. We may have to wait and watch. You will let me know if you find anything of similarity on your travels?" Betsy looks expectantly at Angelica.

"Hm." The hum noise could mean anything. Approval, disapproval. She might even be hungry. "The compass is so we don't lose ourselves. Logan values that, and I value Logan's wisdom." A beat. "However, I wish to be clear, because I do not know how much he has told you. I have seen a future where everyone and everything dies. A dark, unpleasant death, where we murder our loved ones and then ourselves, overcome by our own despair and destruction. Not us, as in mutants. I mean /everyone./"

"I have sought, for the last two years, to disprove that outcome. I have sought out every expert in prophecy, in foretelling, in understanding the future. But there was not a single dissenting voice. This /will/ happen if we do nothing."

Betsy waits a moment, just enough to impress how serious she is being. "I will do anything to prevent that future."

"Which means, Angelica Jones, you have a tough road ahead of you. You are welcome to challenge me, and my thoughts. That is the purpose for which Logan thinks you will provide value. But where choices and alternatives are limited or ineffective... you will need to live with those decisions." Her violet gaze is even, and as she's been speaking, compassion seems to return, warmth, and a softness, so by the time she speaks the last, it's paired with a knowing look that the red head will have a difficult road ahead of her.

"I don't want you to hope you can do that. I need you to tell me you can."
Firestar has posed:
"I will keep my eyes open for more of this." she agrees and studies the body for a long moment,"Hopefully we can head it off before we need much more data." she considers softly.

She looks at Betsy and evenly replies,"I can be the true north. The moral compass. Just keep in mind as we go this was not my idea. You two suggested it. I will do it. If I don't like something I will challenge you or anyone else, Logan included."

She considers and finally admits,"I know sometimes we don't have options. Warpath and I encountered...something. He mentioned a Native Legend called a deer person. I don't know. What I know is he and I along with Heather Hudson pummelled the thing with everything we had and it still kept trying to eat us." She shudders a little and admits,"I finally gave up and bisected it from the crown of its head to its crotch. Nothing else was stopping it, so I killed it. I was the only one that could do it, so I did. Apparently when the maser hit its heart it died."

She comes back to now, remembering nightmare fuel again and she replies,"So yes. When there are no more options, we will have to do it. I don't like it and I walk on egg shells to not accidentally kill people so that makes me more mindful about killing people or worse."
Psylocke has posed:
There is an approving nod from Betsy when Angelica declares her commitment. It's not just the expression of a teacher; it's the dip of head of someone trained to lead -- born from generations of aristocracy -- but who has learned to value those around her also. "It was Logan's suggestion," the telepath corrects, when Angelica tells her otherwise. "And he has lived long enough that I abide by his wisdom -- for the most part," a faint twitch of lips, fleeting. "But we shall see how it goes."

For now, the leader of the X-Force seems satisfied. "The base is still being prepared. But once it is finished I or one of the others will show you where to find it. We are joined by Warren and Illyana, also. I would ask you to be cautious with what you share of our missions. To be truly useful, to the outside world, even other mutants, we must not exist. Or at least be able to be plausibly denied."

Hence a distinctly separate base from the X-Men.

Betsy's sympathy seems to extend to the other woman as a warmth, almost. "Sometimes we need to make the hardest choices. Learning to live with the choices we've made is the most difficult part. Perhaps, in time, you will become comfortable enough not to feel you must walk on egg shells."

The purple-haired woman stretches out her hand towards Angelica's elbow, but doesn't quite touch, the gesture clearly one of sympathy. "I must go." She looks down at the body, sighs. "I will make a call about this. You should be well gone from this area in the next fifteen minutes. You know how to reach me if you need."
Firestar has posed:
A smirk touches her features when she talks about abiding Logan's wisdom. This appears as though it is going to be an interesting arrangement. She smirks a little more and nods,"Life is an adventure. We'll see what happens."

When she lists those to be joining she takes note of the names,"I met Warren a while back. Illyana I know by name and reputation." She considers what is said about keeping secrets,"All right. If it is to be secrets then so be it. If you want a deathly quiet powerhouse with the ability to fall into a military team James Proudstar would be a good consideration. That said, we are involved so that might not be the best choice in that respect. I've trusted him with my life, but not everyone necessarily feels the same. He's deadly silent despite being beyond massive."

"Learning to live with our decisions is the hardest I agree. That thing was a monster, but I still cut it in half like a frog on a dissection table while it yet lived...assuming it was alive. I don't regret the decision, but the necessity. It was what it was and I will get around it."

She notes the expression and offers a real smile, warm and everything,"Be safe out there Betsy. If you need me you know how to reach me." She glances at the body and nods,"I will be miles away in a matter of minutes. I might not be the fastest person in the air, but at 100 miles per hour, I can make a clean get away." She offers the other a wave and then takes to the air to leave the way she came in as opposed to another way,"Hate leaving the way I came in." she mutters to herself, but then passes out into the night and soars away.