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2046-09-17 What Can We Do

From X-Factor

What Can We Do
Date Posted 2016/09/18
Location Gantry Plaza State Park - Queens
Participants Irene, Kade
Summary Kade and Irene both claim the answer is, 'Not much.' Surely this means they won't be busybodies about government agents and parallel universes.
Related Logs 2046-09-15 Griffons and Portals and Dragons
 
IrIrene.jpg KdKade2.jpg
Gantry Plaza State Park's gotten ragged around the edges with time and use (and misuse). Some of the benches may be missing some slats, others may have been scrawled on, painted on, or generally dirtied, but the view of Manhattan is still spectacular, especially at night. So much neon across the water, so much glitz. Bright enough and close enough to infect your dreams. The old piers are also still here, increasingly ramshackle reminders of a maritime age.


{Irene} What the fuck is happening down there?

{Kade} Atwell?

{Kade} Uh hi

{Kade} you need to be more specific

{Irene} I have a lot of pictures of dragons and gryphons for one.

{Irene} And I saw there was some sort of arson and fight in the park on the news.

{Kade} arson was FoH fucks

{Kade} with cans of gasoline

{Kade} burned that squid thing of theirs into the ground

{Kade} I was on neighborhood watch with some other folks and we turned a couple of them over to the cops

{Kade} nobody hurt too bad but its really fucked up

{Irene} News was pretty spotty on what happened.

{Irene} Typical.

{Kade} no surprise

{Kade} heh, yeah

{Irene} No

{Kade} the other stuff i cant talk on over a comm line

{Kade} That thing we did in June?

{Kade} there was another thing

{Irene} They're getting braver. Or stupider. Maybe same thing

{Irene} Fuck

{Irene} Ok

{Kade} want to meet some place?

{Irene} Yeah, sure.

{Irene} Let me make some arrangements

{Kade} cool

{Kade} Queens ok? I need to stop there today anyhow

{Kade} theres a park i run in sometimes. <sends address>

{Irene} Ok. 3pm

{Kade} ok. see you then

---

Kade is at the park at 3pm, dressed down in jeans and a plain gray t-shirt, though he doesn't look like he's been running today. He's down by one of the old piers, looking across the water at the picturesque view of Manhattan. Irene gets an updated comm of his exact location.

What does one wear to a semi-secret meeting in a park? Dark clothes and big coats if you believe television. Neither of the two people meeting today are following that dress code. Irene's pace is brisk as she approaches Kade's location shortly after he specified it to her. She's also in jeans and a baggy t-shirt, though hers is a worn olive color with an almost unreadable 'army' faded across it. Her hair is in a sloppy ponytail. It's the look of someone who was staying in doing chores. "Vega said there are feds." Hello to you, Kade.

"In Mutant Town, yeah," Kade replies to Irene. "Dude who showed up at X-Factor was wearing an Air Force uniform, but there've been more general suits prowling around. I guess my first question is, what do you know and what have you heard?"

Irene snorts softly at the words 'Air Force'. "Lieutenant Colonel Yusef Sterling. Yeah." She has a way of making it sound like she's more informed than she is. So it's maybe surprising that she answers, "Not much. I'm not sure I've wrapped my mind around the dragon yet, much less the rest of it, and I have pictures. That I can't explain." She is a little dry by the last of it.

Kade does look surprise at that answer, after Irene's tone and her correct naming of the colonel. "He said he was from Glen Haven. Installation out in Colorado. Lots of secret squirrel shit. Rider's got a brother who works out there, and X-Factor did some transport work for them last year. That wasn't a run I was on, so I can't speak to it much, but I know they're into research into alternate universes."

"I'm not even sure I was around for that," Irene says, since her tenure in X-Factor has been somewhat shorter than a lot of people's and a lot happened before she got there. There is a fairly long pause as she turns that information over in her mind. "Seems strange to hire X-Factor for something like that, considering."

"The transport was hit by members of Revelation en route," Kade replies. "Maybe they thought they needed mutant protection from mutants. But, yeah, it was awhile ago. I don't think those suits are here now handing out more jobs. There was anothere...alternate universe event..." He does not sound sure what to call it, but that's what he lands on. "...in Tompkins Square Park in August. Little lower-key than the stuff that sucked us into space, but still pretty...noticeable, I guess. It involved green lightning and a woman in armor riding out of a rift on a horse. I guess there was some serious Lord of the Rings bullshit going on on the other side."

"Convenient." With only one word used, there's little doubt Irene has a lot more thoughts about it, but as those don't seem particularly relevant to now, she doesn't share. She slants a look over to Kade, but she doesn't have any better suggestions of what to call it. "A warrior came through on horseback to...collect heroes." She says this very carefully and does not manage to keep a straight face all the way through, because it sounds ridiculous. She's heard a version of this twice now, but still. She presses a finger to her temple and squints. "That is...more or less what I heard, yes. Saw."

"How so?" is Kade's response to the 'Convenient.' He seems curious about her Thoughts. He nods an affirmation as to what she's heard. "Yeah. I didn't go. A lot of our folks did, though. I guess, originally, the folks on the other side opened a rift looking for an evac route. A place to drop refugees. The X-Factor folks who responded went in to try and...save that world. And keep the people in it on their side. I guess they succeeded, too. Took down an evil castle, slew some dragons, big damn hero shit."

Irene sighs, looking evenly at Kade a moment. "Using mutants. Because if you fuck it up the military isn't at fault. And if you succeed no one will know anyway." Which is a grim view of the job that may not be accurate. She looks around for a second, keeping an eye on their surroundings. "Refugees," she repeats quietly, lips pressing together after. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly instead of commenting on the 'big damn hero shit'. "Is this something that happens a lot?" She asks, fixing Kade with a look.

"Maybe." Kade doesn't entirely disagree with her description of the reasoning. "Though I'm of the feeling that it takes mutants to deal with mutants, and the government doesn't have anything on-hand anymore to do that." He goes on, shaking his head. "If you're referring to A-Us, then no. It's not. I think that's why the suits are poking around now. I read about other A-U events when I was with the government, but the only one I experienced, in thirteen years, was Staten Island. That's how they went down before. One a decade, maybe longer. Not two in as many months."

"Depends," Irene says, but doesn't linger on the subject of mutants dealing with mutants. Instead, she listens to what Kade has to say about his experience with AUs with little expression, but an attentive gaze. By the time she looks away again, though, there is an edge of worry around her eyes. Her profile is sharp, jaw slightly jutted as she looks out at the water. "That doesn't sound good," she eventually says.

"No. It doesn't. Keeps rolling around ominous-like in the back of my brain." Kade looks away from Irene, across the water at Manhattan. "But the feds are here, at least, which means they're at least aware of what's going on. Theoretically handling it. Not much I can do about it." He tries to sound willing to leave it at that. It's not very convincing.

"People left," Irene says. "Again. And came back...and just now the government is sending people to investigate." She blows out a heavy breath, mildly frustrated with nothing to do for it "Things started and ended before anyone could do anything about it."

"Maybe they weren't aware of it until now. There are some weird Eye vids floating around of the park that night, but it might be hard to put two and two together." Kade also can't keep the mild frustration out of his tone. "Anyway. That's what I know. It's not much, I'm afraid. This stuff is light-years above my paygrade these days."

"So if it happens again," Irene begins slowly, speakin in a matter of fact way, "They may not know at all. Or know too late." Side-eyeing Kade, she notes dryly, "I didn't even really believe this stuff existed until a few months ago, and now it's been twice." It was always above her paygrade. Looking away again, she briefly clenches her jaw.

"Maybe," Kade replies quietly to Irene's first comment. Another shrug. "Or maybe they're monitoring it in ways we know nothing about and are more on top of it than it seems." He does not sound terribly hopeful. Not looking at her, he lets out a sigh of frustration. "I don't know what else to do, Atwell."

"Maybe all of it is true at once." That's not exactly hopeful either, but it does acknowledge the complexities of the situation. "That park's really taking a fucking beating." It was barely even a park to begin with. Irene is quiet in a way that might be considered serene if not for the subject of the conversation which makes her anything but. "I'm not sure there's anything to do," she admits. "Stay alert. Keep informed..." She shakes her head. "I'm not a scientist. I'm..." She just finishes with a slight shrug.

"Yeah. Me either. I'm not even sure what I am these days." Though Kade sounds as much thoughtful as bitter about it. "I can comm you if I hear anything new. I know you're steering a little away from X-Factor these days. Can't say I blame you."

"Theater office manager, from what I hear," replies Irene, a little lighter subject than the government and alternative universes. "Alright," she agrees to the comm. "Last time I stepped into Mutant Town I went missing for a month," she reminds quietly. "My being there wouldn't have made a difference in any of this." Maybe.

"I work for the office manager, actually," Kade says. "I, like, assist with the managing, over at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich. But, yeah. I like it OK so far." As for the rest, "I said I couldn't blame you. All things considered, we're all damn lucky we only lost a month. I've read about A-Us that are more like the one Christian ended up in. Where, like, years pass for every month here."

"Ah," Irene says to the clarification. She looks like she's about say something else, but then just shakes her head and says, "Good." Her expression, such as it is, flattens out again as she looks at the water. "I know." That they were lucky they didn't lose more time. The mention of Christian gets the slightest wince. "...yeah."

"Yeah." For a beat, Kade just lets the silence lapse after that syllable. Looking across the water, and the wider city. So big and bright from here, even in the daylight. "Anyway. I should go." Though before taking off he adds, "You want to get a beer? There's a sports bar near the mall that's pretty decent. There's a soccer game this afternoon I was hoping to catch."

It's a beautiful city, especially from a bit of a distance. The buildings glitter like the water does as sunlight hits them. And it's full of people entirely unaware of all the big things that have been happening. "Me too," Irene agrees, pulling her gaze away from Manhattan and sweeping it around the park again, ever wary and watchful. So there is a flicker of surprise when she looks quickly back at Kade mid-sweep. She checks the time on her wristband. "...okay." Okay? "I've got an hour. Then I've got to go get the kid."

"OK." Kade might sound a little surprised she accepted, but not unpleasantly so. "It's just up the block once we're out of the park." He strides off, leading the way.

"Right." Irene starts walking in the direction Kade does. There little of ease in the set of her shoulders or her firm stride, keeping a careful eye on their surroundings as they walk. But she does join him for a beer. And as it will turn out, is the type of person who yells at the television when there are bad plays. She knows her soccer.

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