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Just a Chat

Posted on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 @ 1:21am by Duke Drake & Rebecca McMillen
Edited on on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 @ 1:47am

1,280 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: 1.5 - Non Mission Posts
Location: Patio

Doc sat in a white, wicker chair on the patio overlooking the fruit orchard, while reading a book about Auschwitz. He took a sip of Sweet Tea as he heard the patio door open, he looked and saw Rebecca step out. "Pull up a chair, the breeze is nice out here."

Despite her long travel and the road behind her, Rebecca was still very much a city girl. Sweet Tea just wasn't something she could do, but regular old iced tea was something much more within her power. In that same novelty 'wedge of cheese' mug of hers, Rebecca came out and joined the doc on the patio. The breeze felt nice, even if it was just a brief reprieve from the general mugginess of the year. "I wish it'd keep up. Blow all this muggy over to like, I dunno, Florida or somewhere." the mousey blonde got comfy in the large wicker chair, pulling her feet up under her.

"We won't get relief from this humidity until closer to November, unless we get a tropical storm or something along those lines," Doc replied easily before turning serious. "Rebecca, I've always been a big fan of studying history and the heroics performed by the normal folks like teachers or shopkeepers and the courage they had to face things that were insurmountable. I've always skirted or avoided things related to the Holocaust or Auschwitz," he said showing her the book title before setting it back in his lap.

"I don't understand the cruelty of man, or their depths of depravity. After seeing all of the hate directed towards mutants or those like us, I decided to do a bit more research on some of the darker things in our past. I'm afraid things will get worse before they get better. If they ever start rounding up mutants, I swear I will be the first to fight to free them."

Rebecca was quiet as the doc talked. She figured this was his time. His moment. His story. Well, okay not his *STORY* but...

"Doc, my sisters kept me in a cage, and my mom was alright with it. If I didn't leave when I did, ran when I did, I'm convinced I'd be forced to attend school from my sister's pocket." Rebecca said, choosing to focus on a distant tree rather than focus on him, on the book, or on the moment. "I ran, and I never looked back. Every rat in New York helped keep me safe. Maybe not well fed, but enough to run. Every rat along the way was more family to me than my actual family. They helped me sneak aboard the trains and scurry along pipes. I spent so long being small that I was worried I was stuck." a moment of humor brought a soft smile to her features.

"I know very well that folks, given a tiny little taste of power, get drunk with it. I know folks do horrible things. That's why I'm done running. I can't fight, I can't do anything crazy, but if anyone comes to this place looking to hurt anyone here, I..." a sip of tea, "I ... I mean I'll think of something, but yeah, these kids deserve better, and I'm gonna damn well try my best to give it to them."

"No cages for them."

"Rebecca I," Doc stammered unsure of how to respond, "I didn't mean to be crass or to bring up those awful memories. I knew you'd been through the ringer, but I, I just don't understand why they are the way they are. I've worked with you about a year now getting all of this setup. You have been a loyal companion, a good friend, I pity their shortsightedness and their neanderthal way of thinking. If they could only see past their own hatred of someone different than them. It's almost as if history is repeating itself again. Not even 50 years after those nationalists in Germany and we are beginning to see some similarities here. All of this talk of the "Mutant Registration Act" has me fired up."

Rebecca gave a nod, she knew the Doc didn't mean anything by it. It was just her story to tell, her own struggle to get here, to get away. To get out of an actual cage. "Folks are afraid of what they don't understand. There's a guy in Queens back home that swings on webs and sticks to walls, but they explain that he got bit by a spider. Maybe if I tell folks I got bit by a radioactive rat, or even an ill-tempered one, it might shift their thinking." she teased, humor once again breaking her ill mood. "But every problem needs a scapegoat. We know how it worked out with them..." she motioned to his book. "... but it's not going to happen that way again. Hate, hysteria, registration..."

Doc shook his head as he contemplated her words. "If this bill passes, there are rumors of some sort of Secret Sentinel project led by Trask who will assist on mutant acquirement and detention. Several of our students are already registered, Rebecca. We may have to prepare a contingency plan if they try to detain any of our folks. We also may have to turn this place into a stop on the Mutant Underground Railroad. I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse, but it's more of a hope for the best and prepare for the worst kind of situation."

She paused, "If you, well, if you need me to sneak in and look around anywhere, just get me an address. Sneaking into places is something I'm good at." she offered. "And, if it comes to that, whatever you decided I'm with you." she took a long sip of her iced tea. "Better to be prepared, right?" she offered as an agreement.

"We may have to go on an Intel run," Doc said resignedly. He thought for a few moments before speaking again. "If we do this we're going to take a total of four of us. You are our the Infil/Intel gatherer, I'm going as the medic, I think we should bring along someone good with tech and some muscle."

"Muscle? That's Shtorm. Tech?" she gave the doc a look. "It's in her NAME..."

"You have a point, it kind of sells itself doesn't it? I'll talk to them privately and see if they'd be interested in a special mission," Doc said before rubbing his chin. "If we do this it's basically the point of no return, we are fully embedded with this caped crusader stuff."

"If you think I'm wearing a cape you're crazy." she pointed out quickly, "And if you think I'm wearing a mouse-themed onesie you're even crazier." she added, quickly. She paused, though, he was right. "This really is the point, the fork in the road. Stand by, fend off what we can, and always look over our shoulder... or take the next step first and I guess... maybe become the menace they think we are?" she sounded worried. "This is one of those monkey paw situations. This... this isn't something we should take lightly, and not something we should decide FOR everyone."

She stared into her tea for a bit. "You should ask everyone. One on one or call a huddle but, I...." she sighed, not in frustration but fear. She was afraid to make either choice.

"I'm with you." she finally accepted her path.

Doc nodded, "Thanks Rebecca, I appreciate that I can count on you having my back with everything here. I'll reach out to the others individually and see who is interested."

#The End


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