4944/X-Factor Investigations

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X-Factor Investigations
Date of Scene: 30 January 2021
Location: X-Factor Investigations
Synopsis: Jamie and Rachel get to know each other a bit, while deciding to work together under the name, X-Factor Investigations.
Cast of Characters: Rachel Summers, Jamie Madrox

Rachel Summers has posed:
X-Factor Investigations. It's not exactly what Rachel imagined, then again, the red-head isn't sure exactly what it was that she WAS imagining. Certainly not the run-down building in a very bad end of town, Rachel is quite sure there. Perhaps a little more upscale? Standing outside the door, Rachel's gaze is on the building, her nose wrinkled upwards. Well, she did promise! And a promise is a promise! And a Summers never backs down on their promise.

So with a squaring of her shoulders, Rachel parts open the door and steps inside. From wretched to - not very inspiring, Rachel's gaze sweeps about the interior of the building. Now, Rachel doesn't have the best idea of what is considered 'vogue', but she does know what she likes, and what she doesn't like, and right now the brown and green wallpaper reminds her very much of puke.

With a poker face that would make millions in Vegas, Rachel continues on in, offering a quiet, "Excuse me? Mr. Madrox? I'm here to help as I promised?"

For the moment, Rachel is dressed in a dark red leather jacket - which has seen better days. Dark crimson fringe escapes out from the sleeves, a few of the pieces are missing. A pair of blue jeans with holes in the knees graces her legs, while a pair of knee-high leather heeled boots raise her height of five foot seven to a good five eleven. A white t-shirt with a faded logo that use to read 'Atari' clings to the curves of her upper body beneath the leather jacket. She carries with her an old knapsack, that is slung haphazardly over one shoulder.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
The inside of the investigation offices is, upon closer inspection, perhaps even less inspiring than at first glance. Yes, the wall-paper is a rather unpleasant shade of vomit-green and mud-brown, but it's also old and peeling in spots, cracked and worn in others. And the wooden floor might be scuffed and faded, showing years of neglect, but it would remiss not to point out that it's also warped by the doorway and that the floorboards creak incessantly with about every third step. Yes, the entire office suite isn't just lackluster, it's in a state of downright disrepair.

Fortunately, however, it seems that the new owner of the establishment is making an attempt to remedy the issue. There's an open tool kit that's resting on one of the chairs in the corner, a small bucket nearby with scrapers of various sizes and a couple of rags hanging over the edge. A step-ladder is propped up against the wall there, ready for use though still looking pretty new. And, coming from behind the partially ajar door of the interior office one can hear after a moment some light grunting and puffing that accompanies the sound of metal gouging into wood. The sounds continue for about a half a minute after Rachel enters, before a light clatter is heard and an unkempt version of Jamie Madrox peeks out from behind the office door, grungy t-shirt and grime-covered jeans the perfect compliment to his messy hair.

"You were serious about that?" he says at first, eyebrows lifting upwards. Then, as if realizing that the place is really pretty underwhelming, he makes a small motion of his hand to encompass the surroundings. "Oh, uh, sorry about the decor. Still working on getting things set up. The last owner kind of..." He searches for the words for a moment before he settles with a shrug. "Let things go." Another beat, and he opens the interior door fully, revealing the meager investigator's office behind. The wall-paper there is partially scraped off, which is only a minor improvement from the waiting area. "Still getting my name out there, haven't been in business long, but... Getting a few cases coming our way." Jamie purses his lips together then, sizing up Rachel. "There is one case, though. I've kind of run into a dead end on it."

Rachel Summers has posed:
Setting her knapsack down on the nearest chair, Rachel's gaze continues to take in the entire room, from top - to bottom. When Jamie finally makes his way in, disheveled and grime covered, Rachel can only quirk a brow at him, her expression still set into a neutral tone - so very impossible to guess anything beyond the slightly raised single brow.

She almost ponders offering to pitch in and help - with her telekinesis, things would get done in almost an instant. Yet, Rachel then rationalizes, he can also bring in a force of many and get it done just as quickly. So it's a tie there. "I promised, didn't I?" She begins, before gesturing around. "And .. well, this place does have potential." She offers in a polite tone. "Take off the wallpaper, do some painting. That would definitely be a starting point."

As Rachel casts her gaze into the office space, she bobs her head ever so slightly. Though her attention is immediately back on Jamie at the mention of this 'one case'. "Go on." Rachel instructs, then, stepping to one side. As she does so, her leg accidently knocks into the chair, sending her knapsack to topple over, the contents spilling outwards. While most are caught by a telekinetic sweep, a single wild piece of paper gently drifts over towards Jamie, landing at his feet.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
An appraising nod is given at the comments about a new paint job, and Jamie smiles to punctuate the gesture - a bit of pride creeping into both his expression and his voice as one can almost see through his manner the way he envisions the place once it's all refurbished. "It does have potential, doesn't it? Some wainscotting around the bottom, maybe a dark green paint along the top. Redo the floors, get some new furniture, maybe some retro fifty's style, like the old hard boiled detective shows..." He glances around the room as he speaks, before he shrugs once as he turns back to Rachel. "I mean, I don't know if I can pull off the fedora, but I definitely can rock a trenchcoat." The lanky mutant perches on the edge of the desk then, and as he does one might hear some additional noises coming from the upstairs - some hammering and scufffling type sounds, along with the occasional muffled curse. Jamie seems to pay them no heed, instead starting to nod to Rachel's taking of the 'bait' he's set out regarding that /one/ case. "Well," he begins, only to have his attention caught by the errant flyer that sweeps across the floor to land at his feet.

Jamie blinks one, bending over to pick up the piece of paper with the full intent of just handing it back over to the redhead with no attention paid to the item and no questions asked, but - those plans fly right out the proverbial door as soon as the colorful text advertising a talent show catch his eye. And then he can't help but read more, discovering that said talent show is being hosted at Xavier's School. "What's this?" he asks, almost more to himself than Rachel, before he hands the piece of paper back over to her. "Xavier's is actually hosting a talent show? Like... Are we talking musical wine glasses and ventriloquism, or is it the more mundane stuff like teleportation and super speed?" And he's not being facetious with that comment - from all indications, Jamie is serious when he's grouping super-powers in with 'mundane' talents.

Rachel Summers has posed:
Sadly, or perhaps not surprisingly? Rachel offers a blank stare at the easily off-hand comment concerning fifties noir detective decor. She honestly has no clue what Jamie is talking about. Thus, his mind gets read, at least the surface thoughts, so Rachel can see what Jamie is envisioning. An old fifties show, Dick Tracy running through his thoughts, or something about someone named Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart. Whoever that was. Is? No. Was. As Jamie's thoughts are read, Rachel can see - or at least understand now - what the detective is imagining.

Turning her gaze about the room then, as though seeing it for the first time with another's eyes, Rachel inclines her head. "In reading your thoughts." She admits. "I can see that - it definitely calls out to that style of decor." Take that as you will, Mr. Madrox.

It's only as Jamie begins asking questions that Rachel doesn't really want to answer, that the red-head flushes. Actually flushes. And then disguises it with her telepathic powers, yet sharp eyes will note that she initially gained a flush of embarrassment? Collecting the paper with her fingers in an almost jerking motion, Rachel lets out a quiet sigh. "I believe it is intended on being a talent show - not necessarily about powers, because it's not going to be in the danger room. The fliers have been plastered all around the mansion, and this one was next to my guest room door. I." Rachel hesitates momentarily. "Was initially curious about it, and have been studying talent shows, but I have decided that my talents include the ability to look stunning in spiked red leather, and hunt anyone. Which is more powers than talent, thus I will not be going." The red head simply tells it like it is.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
"Hey, be careful where you poke around in here," Jamie is quick to warn, standing up suddenly from his leaning position and getting an exaggerated worried look on his features at the mentions of mind reading. He clears his throat, one eyebrow quirking. "I don't want to have to start wearing tin-foil hats..." He's mostly kidding. Mostly. But, on the other hand, it doesn't take a telepath to know that the man is just a little shaken about having his thoughts - surface or otherwise - casually read, even if he's doing his best to cover up his discomfort with comedic affectations. Jamie moves on soon enough, though, focusing on the subject of the talent show and Rachel's interest in it.

"The great thing about talents is that, despite what popular convention may tell you, they *can* be learned," Jamie counters the red-head's assertions of having little more than actual powers. "I'm not even going to dwell on the fact that you'd be surprised at how many people would consider rocking red leather and heels a talent - I mean, just ask anyone at a modeling agency. Which, by the way, are also called *talent* agencies. But," he contiues, starting to move about the office a little bit, "There's scores of other things that you can learn if you just have a little patience. Believe me," he turns to grin at Rachel, "I should know. Things like..." He reaches his hand out, then, flicking his fingers to reveal a shiny quarter that seemingly appears from nowhere. "Sleight of hand, for example. The aformentioned...."

"Ventriloquism!" The last word sounds as if it's coming from down the hallway. Which, it actually is, owing to a duplicate that is heading to the kitchenette/break room there.

"Okay," Jamie confesses, "I cheated on that one. But, there's also the old tried-and-trues like stand-up comedy... Plate spinning... Heck, even good old fashioned dancing." And, to punctuate, Jamie cuts a bit of soft-shoe that looks as if it may have been recycled from an old Fred Astaire movie somewhere, finishing up in the typical 'ta-da' pose with one hand in front, the other reaching back and a cheeky grin on his features. He straightens up again then, still grinning. "I mean, if you wanted to sign up, that is. The other thing I know about talent shows? Not being good at a given talent doesn't stop half the entrants anyways."

Rachel Summers has posed:
With an absolute dead-pan statement, Rachel's response to the tin-foil hat? "It wouldn't help." And she blinks. Twice. Her expression completely and utterly unreadable, even to the best. It doesn't help Jamie is associating with one of the most powerful telepaths in the world, if not galaxy - second only to the likes of Jean and Xavier. Reading thoughts just comes with the territory of being around her. What is. Is. Still, as Jamie continues to demonstrate his many skill sets - cheating or no, Rachel merely crumbles the piece of paper up into a tiny ball and throws it into one of the waste paper baskets.

"Initially." She begins. "I contemplated it, and the number of American and British television shows centered around random acts of talent I went through wasted more than a weekend of my time." This actually has Rachel's brows furrowing downward in almost consternation.

"I even signed up for a dancing class, something call 'Samba', but found out I needed a partner, so that's out." Running a splayed hand through her short locks of red hair, Rachel offers a wry expression then. "Anyway. You were mentioning a case that has you stumped, I will be happy to assist. Do tell me more."

Jamie Madrox has posed:
"Eh, don't put any stock in those television shows," Jamie cautions. "They're all about the story. 'Oh, my parents were killed and I was orphan, but only through learning the accordian did I ever find acceptance and peace..' Blah, blah blah." He shakes his head, clearly underwhelmed by his own experiences with said television shows. "The acts themselves - eh. Some are okay, but really... It's all about ratings." He pulls a face after that comment, shrugging a bit.

Then, to the somewhat dubious reference to Samba, Jamie's first response is an almost automatic, "I never have that problem. Needing a partner, that is." The line is delivered fairly deadpan as well, though the mutant can't help but turn up one corner of his mouth, just so, after he speaks. When Rachel tries to turn the topic back to the case that was mentioned earlier, however, Jamie just stands there for a moment regarding her. Almost... studying her. Should she become curious and scan his thoughts, they'll be ones of assembling bits and moments from Jamie's interactions with Rachel and putting those moments together to form a larger whole. Her complete lack of familiarity with institutions of modern society and popular culture that are nigh impossible to avoid even when trying to. The most basic fundamentals of football. Having to binge watch America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent for talent show entry ideas. Not knowing what kind of a dance a Samba is, or even the fact that it would need a partner. Needing to scan thoughts to understand fifty's noir references.

After that moment of introspection, Jamie seemingly ignores the attempt to reroute back to the outstanding PI case. Instead, he tilts his head just a little to the side as he addresses Rachel. "If we're going to be working together, I'd like to get to know you a little bit more first. Like... Just why is it that you need help getting up to speed on all the basics of... well... Everything? I'm not sure whether I'm leaning towards coma or growing up in a cult..."

Rachel Summers has posed:
"Oh, you've seen episode twenty of season two as well?" Rachel inquires, again it's difficult to tell if she's making a joke (or attempting to), or is actually telling the truth. Just a slow blink of her bright green gems is given, and maybe the slightest twist of her lips at the corners, the barest hint of a grin. Sadly, it took a lot of episodes for Rachel to come to the same conclusion that Jamie has just addressed, it's all stuff and nonsense.

When Jamie begins his scrutiny of Rachel, the red-head's initial thought is to cast a look behind her, making sure nothing (or no one to be precise) is sneaking up on her. It's a fairly paranoid conclusion, but one that has kept Rachel alive for a long time.

When nothing is there, Rachel does, indeed, do a brief surface scan of Jamie's thoughts and realizes that the detective is coming to a conclusion, or at least, attempting to - at who Rachel may be.

When the question is finally asked, and his conclusions met, Rachel offers a quick and honest, "I grew up in an alternate dimension where Sentinels sought out and killed mutants and humans alike, in order to stop mutations from ever happening in the first place, but was sent to this timeline through the manipulations of a cosmic being known as Phoenix." Rachel pauses then and states. "But growing up in a cult works."

Moving over to sit on the chair that she bumped, Rachel crosses her legs, left over right, bent at the knee and takes in Jamie's response.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Sure, Jamie could quip back to Rachel that it was actually episode twenty-one (after all, who could forget that episode twenty had the Russian twins that weightlifted washing machines with their mouths), but the fact of the matter is that, honestly, all of those episodes were pretty much exactly the same. And, more importantly, Rachel has actually divulged the honest truth about her background. Which, surprisingly, involves neither a coma nor a cult. Instead - she's a time-travelling refugee from a dystopian future where mutants were hunted by killer robots? Jamie does a pretty good job of keeping his features stoic as the information is given, nodding slowly while Rachel describes her history. Afterwards, he pauses just a beat before he agrees with her. "Yeah, I think we'll just stick with cult."

It seems as if Jamie is about to move on to another topic - perhaps even that case which he dropped a hint about earlier - but just as he opens his mouth to speak, he closes it again and then, furrowing his eyebrows, starts in with a bevy of questions - all curiosity and confusion. "So, wait. Are you here just temporarily, then? Like, are you going to pop on back sometime? Have you replaced a different Rachel Summers here in this dimension? Where did *she* go? How long have you been here? You're related to Scott Summers in that dimension, aren't you? Does he know? Are the Detroit Lions as abysmally bad in that dimension too?" As if running out of breath, Jamie finally stops, holding up one hand. "I'm sorry, that's not fair. You didn't know anything about football, so clearly they wouldn't have existed." He pauses again, before adding. "Uh, you don't have to answer all the rest of that stuff either. Just never met someone from, you know, another dimension before..." His eyes flick to one side, then the other, his voice lowering. "At least. Not that I'm *aware* of..."

Rachel Summers has posed:
Lifting one hand upwards in the general expression of 'hold on', Rachel laughs. The sound isn't unpleasant, but lilting. A quiet chortle at Jamie, at herself, at the situation at hand. "Hold on there, Sport. How about we get to know each other another time. Though I will say that yes, Scott Summers from my timeline was my father, and the Scott from this timeline does know. And yes, it is just as awkward as you can imagine, second as far as I know, I am here permanently."

There is a slight pause as Rachel's head cants to one side, as she gives a quiet, "At least I would hope so. I would like to stop my time line from ever happening." She frowns, ever so swiftly, then is back to casting a gaze at Jamie.

"And it's okay. I know how bizarre this all sounds and is. I have no real reference to much of anything about pop culture, or television shows, or movies or even sports that everyone here should have. I've only been on this Earth for - I guess it is coming up on a year now."

Rachel shrugs her shoulders, pausing a moment to take off her leather jacket, and lay it comfortably on her lap. "It's only recently that I really started wanting to know more, it's all been about Genosha, and then fighting and then I realized I was not in the proper mindset, so I went on a very extended vacation and having only recently returned from that - I'm finding that.. it isn't easy getting back into the swing of things. It isn't easy finding friends. People that I knew, and trusted, they don't know me, they don't really care to know me. So, this is a good thing - me helping someone, getting back into the swing of things, and I appreciate that. Thank you."

Jamie Madrox has posed:
As he listens quietly, Jamie leans back against his desk again, keeping his attention and focus solely on Rachel and what she has to say. Even the noise from upstairs quiets down for a little bit, as if the duplicates toiling away up there take pause to also digest what's taking place in the office below. When she's finished, he lets her words hang in the air a moment, giving them the space and the moment that they deserve to be fully taken in, before he finally answers. "Their loss," he states first, referencing anyone who doesn't want to take the time to get to know Rachel. "And I mean that. But as far as getting the chance to help someone?" His shoulders lift in an almost imperceptible shrug. "I'd be lying if I told you that I was doing this," he gestures to the office, "solely just to help other people. I'll let you in on a secret, Rachel. Everyone's trying to find out 'who they are' and 'where they belong'. Some of us are just more up front about it than others. X-Factor Investigations? Yeah, I want this to be a place where I can make a difference, where I can solve mysteries for people who have nowhere else to turn. But really? I'm just as much searching for who *I* am as anyone."

Jamie pushes off from the desk again, moving to look out the window at the back of the office, his frame sillhoutted against the incoming light. "When you can become forty different iterations of yourself, sometimes it's not that easy to figure out... which version is the 'real' one, if you know what I mean." He turns back to Rachel then, smiling. "I guess what I'm trying to say is - if you want it, there's a place here for you, more than just one case. X-Factor Investigations isn't just about finding missing persons. I'm sort of hoping it'll be a place where people like us... can come to find themselves."