6371/Havok Ensues

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Havok Ensues
Date of Scene: 29 May 2021
Location: Private Residential Suite in the Centinel
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Emma Frost, Alex Summers

Emma Frost has posed:
As her outreach program starts to eat into her time, Emma spends more and more of her day in the suite she's seconded from the very top of the Centinel hotel, turning it into a lush living area with office facilities discreetly tucked away into various corners so there's no official 'office', letting her live the lie that she's not the kind of person who takes her work home with her.

Today the swimming pool area is her office, with Emma lying out on a beach chair, sunning herself, wearing the kind of bikini that would make a streetwalker blush and think that this is going overboard for advertising, blue shades covering her eyes, and a small workstation attached to one side of the chair, going over the financials and progress reports.

It's the perfect time to offer up a bit of distraction as figures start swimming in her gaze, almost certainly a better distraction than the carafe of claret sitting just within reach on the other side...

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex did a bit of phone tag with her assistants, who, of course, tried to protect Emma from any potential admirers, investigators, reporters and, of course, lawyers. Alex was at least remembered by one or two who had survived the occasional purges of ineffective staff that kept Emma refreshed.

After he's allowed in and told where to find her, he makes his way over to the pool area. He's wearing fitted black jeans and a Star Wars t-shirt featuring Chewbacca with the words WHAT A WOOKIE on it. Yes, he can be a little bit of a dork sometimes, he's a scientist.

The bikini and its owner, of course, are still staggering, whatever their past familiarity, causing Alex to swallow firmly before he manages to find the voice to speak, his mouth a bit dry, "Well, Emma, that was quite the shitshow last night. I didn't know that was the kind of company you were keeping these days."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma, looking up from her work at Scott's arrival, stands, approaching him with a smile on her face. One that fades with his opening. Then vanishes to purest bland pleasantry, like she were a PR rep talking to a random prospect.

"Alex, how nice to see you," she says in a voice so level it could be used to test the integrity of LIGO.

She turns back to the pool area and gestures to a chair as she reinserts herself in a strategic display on her lounger.

"The only 'company' I keep, Alex," she says, voice cool, after she pours herself some claret and takes a sip, "is our kind. Erik and Raven were gracious enough to pay me a visit a while back, and made an offer." She looks up at Alex, the blaze in her eyes visible even past her shades. "Which is far more than I can say for either Charles or Jean." The heat paired with that sentence calms as she adds, "Though at least when I spoke to your brother he was civil and offered aid as well."

Another sip, and then Emma busies herself with the lighting of a cigarette and taking a deep drag.

"When Remy and I stumbled over some of our own kind importing 'Kick' into my project, we ... found where it was picked up. I had Erik's number. I didn't have Charles'. Perhaps I could 'keep' better company if the better company bothered to keep in touch."

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex Summers takes the offered seat and runs a hand through his tousled blonde hair. He's glad it's not another lounger because he feels more comfortable leaning forward, resting his elbows atop his knees and gesturing as he speaks.

"Hey, I'm not an X-man either, it's not about that. I have my own issues with that camp, many of which you already know," he says. "I agree that they're too laid back and reactive about things. But the Brotherhood, Emma...you heard Mystique last night. She might've been non-lethal out of deference to you or someone else then, but it's not going to stay that way. She wants a war, straight up. And wars alwyas end up with a lot of dead innocent people caught in the crossfire," he says.

His fingers flick against each other and he sighs, "Could I maybe have one of those cigarettes?" he asks. He's never been full time, but he'd been known to indulge the occasional butt during your time together.

Emma Frost has posed:
Still cool-to-chill in Alex's direction, Emma just puts her cigarette case on the table next to the carafe, signalling with a brief wave to help himself.

"Raven is a deadly blade, yes," she acknowledges. "But she is wielded by a master swordsman: Erik. When Erik sent her, there was a message. When I reined her in, I added my own message. We have an understanding." Another drag as she waits for Alex to light up, washing it down with a sip. "Erik, after sounding me out, approves of my venture here and has sworn his assistance in keeping order until I can help these people in this ghetto develop pride in themselves and in their homes. Where my goals align with the Brotherhood, I will use the Brotherhood. Where my goals align with Charles' mob, I will use Charles' mob."

Another puff, expelled to let the smoke form a wreath around her.

"Like with Remy. He and I have already worked together and, indeed, this is what led to that raid you got caught up in." A certain malicious glint in her eyes suggests that the work may also have involved play. "I have my own goals and my own path, and I will walk down that path with any and all who aid me in reaching them. Or who at the very least do not impede my way."

Another sip of claret, then from over the rim of the glass she adds, "Even if it means working with Hellfire, Alex."

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex Summers stands up and takes a cigarette, lighting it with a Zippo he pulls from his pocket, taking a long drag. He hasn't had a smoke in a few months, but it's not entirely surprising that Emma Frost is the cause of him needing a cigarette. Wouldn't be the first time.

"I never presumed anyone was pulling your strings, Emma. You never have needed anyone to boss you around, certainly not any man and certainly not Magneto. He may be a master swordsman, but he's also a megalomaniac who thinks he's some sort of messiah. A lot of his followers certainly think so. I'm an arachaeologist, so I've seen a lot of ruins left behind by would-be saviors. Usually a lot of bones and broken things," he sighs.

The dig about Remy just makes him mildly roll his eyes, "I'm not the jealous type, if you're trying to needle me, although I thought you had higher standards than Gambit. As for Hellfire," he sighs. "I know your ties there run deep, however things ended up. But you also know Shaw's a worse devil than Magneto and a damn sight more underhanded."

Emma Frost has posed:
"You act as if I don't know who I'm dealing with, Alex. As if I were some naïf waif in the woods." Emma shakes her head. "I know better than anybody what kind of a monster Shaw is. He decided he wanted clones of me and despite years of doing his dirty work for him without question, my death in that process didn't bother him in the slightest."

Unlike Alex she doesn't lean forward to emphasize. She lounges back, displaying more of herself to Alex's discomfiture.


"I don't have to trust people to accept their help. I have to trust that the immediate help they give is not something that will be harmful. Yes, Raven is a borderline psychotic who--justly--hates humanity with every fibre of her being. But she's a borderline psychotic whose leash was handed to me for an operation. I could use her precisely BECAUSE Erik wants to be seen as a messiah. Even by me. I brought you in when I spotted you because I knew that you'd overcome your distrust and nervousness of Raven and company to free our slaved brethren."

She raises her head again to look directly at Alex. "And I'll do it again. You know me enough to know that I will. But you also know me enough to know that I reward those who assist me. I use people, yes. Always. But ... tell me, Alex. When I used you, did you feel sullied? Manipulated? Or did you feel like you'd just had the most mind-blowing nights..." Impishness crosses her face. "...mornings...afternoons...evenings..." She winks. "...of your life?"

The way she's presented and the way she's dragging up the past, she doesn't even HAVE to put images into Alex's head...

"Which brings me to the reason why I let you get to me. I put things on account with you. You have a marker, Alex, that you can cash in at any point. I have enough fond memories of you that ... well ... I won't even put limits on the marker. If you need me, I'm yours. For anything you need."

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex Summers doesn't hate those memories. Not even a little bit. He hadn't been sure what he was dealing with in Emma. She was a lot for any one man to handle and he had his own insecurities and his own demons. Maybe not as potent as hers, maybe with teeth not quite as sharp, but they were his own and he keeps them close to his heart where their bite hurts the worst.

Plus, she's right. Their time together had been extraordinary, "Those nights were mind-blowing. And if you claimed they were one-sided, I'd know you were a liar. You did amazing things with me and to me, but I did them for you, too."

Would he do them again? Well. She's the mind-reader.

"I'm not asking anything of you, Emma. I just wanted to understand. Seeing you again was a surprise. Not a bad one either, regardless of the circumstances. And you were right, I'll work with dangerous people if they're doing the right thing, even if I don't think they'd do the same for me, because that's the way things should be done. I don't think they're manipulating you or tricking you and I certainly know you're not naive. But you are fearless and arrogant, if rightfully so, and no matter how good you are at chess, there's always somebody better. I just want to make sure you're being careful. THat someone's watching your back. I guess Gambit is, but I'm not sure I'd trust him any more than them."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma relaxes somewhat after that, tensions that had crept up subliminally releasing visibly all at once. "They were by no means one-sided," she confesses with a sheepish grin. "You learned my appetites well and had a knack for finding new ones."

Another drag of her cigarette gets washed down with another gulp, this time, of claret, emptying her glass which she leaves on the table.

"I do appreciate your concern, Alex, and for what it's worth, I have learned to start questioning myself." Her shades join the empty glass so just her eyes look into Havok's. "I'm aware there's always someone better. It's why I'm keeping away from all. If I pick a camp, I put myself at risk with that ... odd little weakness of character I have of wanting to prove myself to whoever is above me."

She drapes an arm over the side of her chair, waving toward the neighbourhood.

"Here there's nobody above me. I prove myself to me. And all the people I might once have submitted to: Sebastian, Charles, Erik ... they are now allies. Equals. Not chieftains. And if one tries to get too much influence over me, the others will object. And in between the giants, I will grow straight and strong."

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex Summers takes another drag off the cigarette, letting it linger in his lungs, that pleasant ache of being full before he exhales. He drums his fingers on his knee, thinking.

"You've always been ambitious," he says. "Where I'd want to pull back from all this, stay out of it, you can't keep your fingers out. And I get it. You want to make a difference, you want to be somebody. Hell, I spent too long fighting to get out of my brother's shadow for that very reason. We always had that anger in common, the anger of someone who got overlooked and underestimated by people who should have known better," he says.

"All of those men you mentioned have egos, too. Worse than yourse, even, in some cases. That's a lot of shark-filled water to swim in, but you do look damn good in a swimsuit."

He holds up the flat of a hand, as if in surrender, "I'm not trying to stop you. I was just taken off guard. I just got back in the country a few weeks ago after spending some time on digs near Morocco and it was a douse of the real world again after so long on my knees scraping dirt off of plates and pottery."

Emma Frost has posed:
"I thought you knew me better than that, Alex." Emma sounds disappointed, almost hurt. "I don't want to be someone. I already am that."

Yes, that's certainly cause for refilling her cup and taking a gulp.

"It is not ambition that drives me. It's that the only way I can be certain I'm not driven into ..." Her voice falters. "You know what I did at and for Hellfire," she says softly. "The only way I can be safe is if I'm the one running things. The only way I can do what I should be doing instead of what others insist I do is to stand alone."

She smirks. "And yes, I think I look dazzling in this swimsuit," she adds.

Nope. No ego problems here. Her ego is alive and kicking.

"Somehow, though, I get the impression you're remembering what it looks like without."

She relaxes again, hurt vanishing. "I think, ironically, despite being considered the verbose one, I don't communicate often enough. I mean outside of the bedroom." She snorts. "I'm sure some might think I communicate far too much there. So it shouldn't be a surprise you don't understand my motivation."

She looks across the wine glass again, locking gazes. "Would it surprise you, too, to know I don't hate humans? That I don't want to see them eliminated?" A gesture with her right hand and some opera starts playing, the tones audible over the sounds of the street far below. "A human made that. Humans are performing it. Many of the things I love in this life are human-made. I don't want them gone."

She pauses, marshalling complicated thoughts, her face flickering from one expresson to the other by reflex as she does so.

"I just want them to stop killing our kind, Alex. And the way to do that is to rule over them. They can't be trusted any longer to rule their own affairs. They need people like me. Like you. Like ... Remy, or Anna-Marie, or Kurt, or, yes, even people like Charles or Jean or Erik. They need new leaders who can rein in their excesses without succumbing to their own. Which, to be fair, we're lousy at at the moment, but ... I think ahead."

Alex Summers has posed:
Alex Summers nods, "I guess that's sort of what I mean. You already are someone. You don't have anything to prove. Especially not to them. But I understand that the environment in the world is getting scary for mutants. Hatred is always on the low simmer and sometimes it burns us. All of us."

He finishes his cigarette, carefully tucking the butt away for disposal so as not to litter where you're at. "The problem, Emma, is that we have the same excesses. Ego, petty grudges, greed, callousness - they're all present in mutantkind in spades, as much as they've ever been in humanity. Human rule, mutant rule, neither one is bound to be rife with justice because justice is just not something that comes naturally and it almost never comes through violence," he sighs.

He smiles, "As for the swimsuit, I've undressed you with my eyes ever since I first met you. Why should now be any different?"