6807/A Brother's Revenge: The Brave and The Bold

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A Brother's Revenge: The Brave and The Bold
Date of Scene: 08 March 2019
Location: Holding Cells - X-men Base
Synopsis: Jean Grey gives James a second chance, allowing him to join Xavier's school
Cast of Characters: Phoenix, Warpath
Tinyplot: A Brother's Revenge

Phoenix has posed:
It's been a while since James Proudstar's plot was foiled, Erika returned to the school, and James was captured. But now, is the first time that Phoenix comes to see James. It may be surprising to some, but there's actually far graver incidents world wide trouble that pose an existential threat on all mutants that's been keeping her preoccupied, among other things. But a time and place for all things, and so she steps out before James' cell, in her costume, green eyes locking on him.

"So you're the one who terrorized a student in the name of blind revenge...?" Phoenix starts, though her words are not the kindest, she does speak in calm and collected, almost serene tone of voice.

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar is sitting in the middle of the floor cross-legged, eyes closed in meditation. At over seven feet tall, even sitting down he seems rather large. Though there is nothing menacing about him anymore, nor has there been since he surrendered at the abandoned military base. His eyes drift open as he hears Jean Grey, looking up to focus on her as she stands outside the containment cell. "Yes," James' deep bass voice replies quietly. "I was wrong. On more levels than I can count," he says quietly, eyes lowering. "I heard Summers is recovering. I hope that is still the case. And the girl, Erika. Is she doing alright now she is back?" he asks.

He was trained by Emma Frost, but there are no mental defenses keeping his thoughts from being noticed. The man's regret and shame is a constant sensation, noticeable even when the cell was approached.

Phoenix has posed:
"Saying something is so very easy," Jean says dryly as she keeps looking at James, taking note of his position. "I hear you had gathered quite a bit of intel about different X-Men member, mind if I ask how you came by such knowledge?" It appears Jean isn't about to entertain small talk, at least not at this point. She has no clue that John is a disciple of Emma Frost, and she's not actively invading his mind, she just looks at him with a piercing gaze, and asks questions with little emotion to provide subtext in her voice.

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar motions with one of his hands, lifting it slightly from where it rests on his knee. "Media reports. Videos. Some I was familiar with. Sam, and Rahne. Some I heard about from John. Before he died," James says, his voice growing particular troubled with the last part. "The Hellfire Club. I was once taught by Emma Frost, though it has been some time since I have seen her," he says. "Some observation of my own, to plan things," he tells her quietly. "You run a good operation. Most of it I knew before... before I got to the point I thought I had to avenge John," he says, sighing and resting his hand back on his knee.

Phoenix has posed:
"There are very few of those," Phoenix notes, the X-Men being nowhere near as famous as the Avengers, at best they get named as this renegade group of Mutant Terrorists, but photage is rare and in most occasions blurry. But she does nod at the mention of John sharing information with his brother, that is something more reasonable. She arches a brow at the mention of the Hellfire Club, seeing how they're mostly known as a sordid club for the rich and famous. Inner Circle never having stepped out of the shadows, with perhaps a foolish exception by Donald Pierce which was quickly eliminated.

"Emma Frost has been with us for a period, but recently departed for her own devices," Phoenix shares, at least recognizing the name Emma Frost. "Clearly, not so good if you were able to learn anything at all," she remains as devoid of emotion as she can, trying to treat this exchange in as neutral a manner as possible.

"It saddens me that you didn't know John, however, him being your brother and all..." Phoenix muses, "if you had, you'd have known how foolish your aspiration of revenge was. It's an insult to his memory to think he'd need avenging. John was a good friend, an inspiration, and fearless...we all begged him to let go of that plane, he refused. Because that is not the Apache way..."

Phoenix remains a moment in silence, contemplating something, and then offers, "do you want to know his last words and thoughts?"

Warpath has posed:
"I heard a little of his memories. They made me realize the mistake I had made. And... Sam and Rahne are friends. But, yes. Please? Anything more you can tell me, it would mean a lot to me," James tells her quietly as he looks up at the red-haired woman. His expressions are subdued for the most part, but there's still the sense of shame, both in his face and strong enough it likely would take shutting out the outside thoughts and emotions to not feel it. "I only knew a very little about his death. Mostly what I could deduce from his body," James says quietly.

Phoenix has posed:
Phoenix's eyes turn brilliantly white with no sign of pupils when suddenly the whole scene would play in James' mind like a movie, as if a series of memories he experienced for himself, even though he clearly hasn't.

In one such sequence, Thunderbird is seen arguing with Cyclops, and then another, and another, showing the intense butting of heads between two dominant men. One a team leader, and the other challenging him to prove his worth. It all leads to a call made by Cyclops, Thunderbird should stay behind for his reckless disobedience and lack of adherence to Cyclops' tactics in the field. The sense conveyed is Cyclops' fear for the well being of the team as a whole, and Thunderbird in particular.

Then another sequence, Thunderbird having once again refuted Cyclops and forced his presence on the mission he was denied. The one against Count Nefaria at the Air Defense Command in the Colorado Rockies.

The Count nearly escapes on a jet plane, and against everyone's wishes, Thunderbird leaps at the plane to force it down with brute force.

Then there's Xavier's astral form screaming at Thunderbird to get off the plane because it's too dangerous. Followed by other members of the X-Men, all sending him communications to demand the same.

The clearest of all images is Thunderbird, smashing away at the plane, damaging it severely while answering everyone proudly: "I'm a man. A warrior of the Apache. Today I am going to prove it!"

Shortly after the plane explodes, causing John's death while in action.

It all fades, and a moment later, Phoenix's presence is gone from James' mind, as her eyes revert to their normal state. "You see, James...he wasn't betrayed, he wasn't executed, he was an X-Men who died in action, despite being warned by everyone...particularly the Professor to stand back. What is there to avenge...? The only thing left to do is honor his memory, his bravery, and his steadfast desire to be a true Apache Warrior."

She levels her gaze with James after those words, "would an Apache Warrior cowardly lure his enemy into a trap or face his enemy head on? Would an Apache Warrior kidnap a hapless young girl?"

The questions are rhetorical, she doesn't wait for James' reply, instead she posits, "you were very fortunate that Professor Xavier wasn't here when you pulled your stunt. It would have cost you dearly. Lucky for you, all it got you is here, with a choice set before you. Do you walk your brother's path and do him honor? Do you go about your normal everyday life? Or do you walk the path of he who terrorizes the innocent and sows fear, distrust and violence in the world?"

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar's eyes glaze over as his mind is taken over with the memories. His mind is accepting of the projected visions, in a way that speaks of familiarity with having a telepath in his head like this.

But the memories are still difficult for the large Apache to experience.

His hands tighten on his knees at seeing his older brother's behavior. James' disapproval of the brash and arrogant way John is conducting himself is a tangible thing for Jean to feel with his mind. His breathing grows louder and his hands drop to the floor, pressing down against them as the memories move on. Seeing the former Marine disobeying orders tights the muscles of James' jaw and lets out a forlorn sigh.

James looks down but it changes nothing about the memory playing out. The Apache shaking his head as he watches John's headstrong decisions cost him his life. Tears leak from his eyes and roll down his cheeks as the plane explodes and finally he cough and clears his throat before wiping the back of a large hand across each cheek.

James blinks a few times as the memories fade away, eyes on the floor as Jean levels at him the words that he knows he deserves. "I lived for a long time with anger and bile over his death. But I never intended..." James starts to say before trailing off. He pauses and lets out a breath. "Talking with Rahne. Earlier," James says, words halting. "My tribe... they were massacred. I have sought their killers. And I am out of leads. I fail them every day. I can't avenge them. And talking to Rahne I realized... I turned to this because at least I could avenge someone. John. Or... so I thought."

James clears his throat. "I won't blame you if you send me to SHIELD or... wherever. I deserve it. I'm shamed to my core. I've always only wanted to protect other mutants. But I did this." He looks like he wants to say more, but there's no more to say. No words that can assuage his guilt or make up for what he did.

Phoenix has posed:
"Why would I send you to SHIELD...? So they can torment and harness what they glean from another mutant? I think not." Phoenix sounds rather disappointed with the flippancy of James as he assumes the worst of her. "I already gave you your options, you need but choose which path will be the one you walk..." and just like that the cell door opens, apparently Phoenix is not afraid of James, or at least doesn't expect him to try anything foolish.

"You have the choice to stay here as a student, learn, develop, and better yourself. I think that would be a nice homage for your brother. Else, you can walk out and go back to your ways, just know that if you ever harm another innocent student, I will come for you personally, and it will not be a fight. I assure you that much."

She lets the choices presented hang for a moment, before prodding him verbally, "which would you choose?"

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar lets out a breath. He has been so full of shame and guilt that though the others had mentioned at second chances, James hasn't felt himself worthy enough to think one would actually be given to him. The tall Native American looks towards the open door, and the slowly rises to his feet. "I would like to stay. And honor John," he says quietly in that deep voice of his. "I... I wouldn't hurt any students, Miss Grey," he tells her quietly.

James clears his throat, seeming to try to swallow down emotion. The immense man lifts his eyes from the floor and finally looks up enough to meet Jean's eyes. "Thank you," he tells her. "I'll try to be worthy, find a way to redeem myself," he says, the dark eyes taking on a steadfast resolve as he makes the declaration.

Phoenix has posed:
"You will, of course, be expected to apologize to Erika, at the least...I'd imagine you've done so already, but it's not the same when you're out of a cell." Phoenix suggests, meeting James' gaze and not flinching as he steps out through the open door, "you can have John's old room, I think that will do you some good...reflect on what it is you want to be, how it is you want to uphold John's memory. This is a very dangerous time for mutants world wide...everyone can make a difference."

Phoenix does stress out a moment after, "remember, this is a school. Nobody knows about the X-Men, nobody has access to these sublevels. So I expect you to give us the courtesy of maintaining our secrecy. In time, prove yourself, and you might join the X-Men just as your brother has."

She finally motions for James to follow her towards the lift, "I will announce you as a new student, so there's no questions of where you showed up from..."