2020-06-22: Don't You Forget About Me

Players: Connor & Betsy

BetsyF_icon.jpg ConnorF_icon.jpg

Summary: In a decision to fight the bigger war, and make a play to stop what has happened from occuring, two interesting little truths come out, and they both find a little solace.

Date: 06-22-2020

Don't You Forget About Me

Rating: PG


A small coastal Fishing village some ways north of London, in a little no-name pub…

OOC - In the spirit of the theme of logs I've posted so far, the music we thought of for this scene ended up being the 80s classic by Simple Minds: Don't You Forget About Me. Enjoy it for what it is.

Somewhere on the British coast just north of London lies a small fishing village. It's been here, largely untouched by the strife of the world for the past two hundred years. In fact, it only got it's first McDonald's six years ago, and the countryside has yet to be marred by a Starbucks. In this village, there's a pub that's been there for the majority of the history of the village, and little has changed about it. Inside in a corner booth table, sipping a lager is Betsy Braddock.

Walking in the door and looking a bit uncomfortable outside of his usual combat attire is Volk. A pair of grey slacks, a t-shirt with a green hooded top under a leather long-coat, and his bald head covered in a beanie. Spotting you from behind a pair of sunglasses, he walks over and sits down, murmuring softly to conserve his voice, "I feel… naked." Picking at the front of the hoodie and then looking back up before giving a little smile, "Nice place." Still keeping to a whisper for the time being.

Right on queue the bartender, a grizzled old man who looks to be about as old as the bar itself, putters over and drips a stout in front of Connor. "Thank you, Reggie," Betsy says pleasantly. Turning her attention to Volk she says telepathicaly, «Thank you for coming. I hope you don't mind the means of communication, but I know how hard talking is for you, and we've got a bit to talk about.»

The surprise passes after a moment, and the man takes off the beanie and sunglasses settling them to the side, so that his bald-shaven head is in view. Taking up the drink, he salutes the bartender, who gives him the 'don't start anything' look… probably from the kind of aura the young man has now come to give off naturally. Volk looks back and thinks as he sips the beer, «I know. But I had to settle things. For myself, for the rest of them. I spent too long thinking I could do things on my own. Then I did become alone, and I went a little crazy. The rest don't really get it, though, as much as they want to. After this last fight, I might be saying goodbye to them. Not because I'm going to die… but because I think you've got plans for me.»

It's hard to surprise somebody whose mind has the ability to touch all realities. She smirks, and a little snort escapes her as she nods. «I do. I don't want to, but I think we're running out of options and running out of time. Literally.» She sighs and takes a sip of her lager. «While breaking out all the prisoners from Xaviers is a huge accomplishment, I believe that everybody's lost sight of a greater threat.» She puts her glass down and looks directly into Volk's eyes for emphasis. «Ahab and Heather.»

Shaking his head once, Volk returns that with a soft shrug, «Rashmi and Lucas will never reconcile without being made whole by what James might be able to provide. James wants to die, but he needs to see how to live again. The others… it's been so long merely existing, that they need something to tell them to stand up again. For the rest of it, they don't need me. I'm a troublemaker, and a rather good one. But you'd know better than most, wouldn't you.» And the smile he gives her is a pleasant one, «Heather is the lynchpin… but the question is how do we get to her, and what do we do once we have. Right?» Followed up by another sip, and a pleasant sound in his throat.

«Right.» Says Betsy with a smirk. «And even then tracking her down will be an issue. Not only don't we know /where/ she'll be we don't know /when/ she'll be.» She sighs, «That's not true. We know she'll be ten years ago, helping Ahab hunt down the more painful thorns in his side to nip the rebellion in the bud.» She looks up at the man across the table from her, «We need our own way back, and we need to do it without anybody knowing so it'll become a complete suprise to Ahab.»

Taking a drink from his glass, downing almost a third of the stout before settling it back on the paper coaster on the table, Volk sits back for a moment, tapping it with one finger as his eyes automatically scan and assess the room. The younger man then gives a soft frown and looks out the window before thinking in reply, «But… and this is the conundrum of it all. Why did he not take Heather in the past and begin there. Why this Heather, why this time… is there something he discovered he was missing or needed? Was he not able to BE in a place and time to do this until now? If there's an endgame, what is it, and where are the clues that we've missed so far?»
Betsy rubs her temple with a hand. «I don't know. I don't even know how Ahab has managed to keep from shattering our reality from paradox. I was never good with this kind of thing, this was Brian's forte." Brian, of course, being Captain Britain.

Still looking out the window, Volk then thinks, «There's a way… but it means being on the inside. Which means one of us would have to be taken and converted. I don't believe Ahab is a telepath. The means he's made his Hounds is either technological, magical, or something in his mutant nature, but no method is completely sound. There's always a margin for error. If he takes me… with a mind prepared to be that mole… then feasably? I could learn from the inside, and when the time is right, we can move. This means, however… I become their enemy. And he will use me in a means he could not use the others. But… with my limitations, some simple precautions by the Resistance can counteract me.»

Betsy takes a long draught of her drink considering Volk's proposal. «I don't like it,» she concludes. It doesn't meant that she'll dismiss the idea. «I did some digging in some of Excalibur's archives, and I have another idea. Did you know that before she died here, Kitty Pryde managed, somehow, to swap places with her younger self in an attempt to stop things before they began?» Clearly she wasn't successful, but that's not a thought she wants to entertain right now. «I think I can help you do the same. With your connection to the nexus, and here in England which is very, very close to it, I think I can help you do the switch. It also means that your younger self will be stuck here for a while, and will need to be heavily protected, but I think I can do that.»

There's a bit of a groan and a look of surprise from him at the suggestion as he exhales and goes back to downing the beer instead of nursing it, «Me? At seventeen? Trapped in a body as beaten up as mine is, and dealing with a pain pill addiction. God Almighty, he barely even knows how to handle a gun, let alone his powers. Better once the swap is done you 'blade him to unconsciousness and keep him there. You realize that I'm going to need you to dump a LOT into my head for the trip. Intelligence, targets, I'll need places and things to work with, and people who I can convince. This isn't going to be easy. On either of us. I was an idealist… and author. I was a child who felt alone in a world where everyone was special.»

«I know,» sends Betsy dourly. «It's completely unfair to the younger you, and I'd have to give him a crash course in how to switch you back, or you'll have to find me in the past get me all caught up.» She rubs a finger along the edge of her glass, «As for intelligence, I've got a few leads. But I also want to grab a Marauder and pick his brain.»

Volk's eyes close for a long moment as he then replies in a darkened mental voice, «Elizabeth… I don't KNOW you in the past. You're not in any part of the Xavier school staff, and I never met you when I was in England when my book sold. We did not meet until after I'd become Volk and had come back from my two-year jaunt mercing the third world.»

This is news to Betsy. She scowls and shakes her head. «No… I may not have been around a lot when you were a student, but I was there. Me and Warren had retired a bit to try to get our lives back to some semblance of normal.» She can't seem to shake the worry that's now prickling in the back of her mind as she downs the rest of her lager.

The man reaches out and takes Betsy's hand with one of his, the insides calloused from working with guns and knives, touching along the back of her own. Then Volk thinks as softly as he can couch, «Elizabeth… I cannot lie to you in this state. What I know of you before we met… in what memories I can get to anyways… you were dead… are dead. But for some reason, until I actually thought on it… it was like the information just slipped to the back of my mind.»

Betsy groans and starts to rub her temples. «This is why I hate this time traveling, alternate reality thing. You can never count on anything.» She sits back in her chair and waves the bartender over. "I need another one, Murph," she says. He nods, and wobbles over to the table with two more pints. A lager and a stout, them to the couple. "Thank you," she says, smiling to the old man." «This doesn't surprise me,» she sends going back to their conversation. «Just another day in the life of a Braddock.»

A chuckle actually comes bubbling up once more and a brow arches towards Betsy, his hand still on her own, before he finally lets go, «Taken with true British stiff upper lip. I just wish…» He stops and tilts his head to one side, «We're looking at this problem from too far back, I think. I think you're correct in our attempt to go back in time. But we need more help than we have now. And I think I know who. These… Harbingers. They must be something more than mutants. Either a higher order technology, or something else I don't recognize. But whatever it is… they might have something we can use to help?»

Betsy gives Volk a curious look and a tilt of the head before asking «Who are these Harbingers?» It sounds like she's never heard of them before.

Picking up his stout, Volk takes a drink from it, «Mutant camp legends… some of the escapees talked about it. One who I think is one of them I've seen twice. It showed up when we tried to rescue Captain America and the others… and then again during the camp riot and breakout. Both times it wielded a strange sword that hurt some, and not others… and had this cadre of… things… at it's command. Another looks like an energy manipulator, but I didn't recognize the type. And given I've been all over the world… you get to see a lot. I can let you in to see if you want.»

Betsy nods and laces her fingers together. «Yes. The sword sounds like the soulsword. Interesting that it'd pop back up now. I wonder who's wielding it…» With that there's a faint glow or purple and Betsy enters fully into Connor's mind.

Wincing a bit, and one eye twitching some as Betsy delves inside, he grumbles out physically, "Be… careful…" Taking another drink, Volk starts to breathe slow and even, relaxing his still-damaged mind for Elizabeth to wander through. The memories are there… seeing the cloaked form through the scope levelling the sword at DJ before vanishing… and again, swinging the sword and commanding demonic beings during the prison breakout. Some of the details seem to auto-catalogue with how his mind works. Inflection, the work of the blade, the movement via strange portal-discs. The echo-like voice and demeanor…

Betsy watches and sifts through the memory. When it's all done she sits back and says aloud, "That almost looks like…" there's a hesitant pause, and then a brief look of confusion. "I'm sorry. What were we talking about?"

Narrowing his eyes, Volk closes his eyes, and then touches Betsy's hand once more and gritting his teeth he squeezes her fingers as hard as he can… strength wrought from years of conflict. Pinching the fingers hard he growls out, "Again…" Opening his eyes and glaring at her as he thinks as hard on the memories once more as he can, running his mind to remember full details, smells… all the sensations.

Betsy looks even more confused and bewildered as Volk squeezes her hand tightly. Her brows furrow together in concern and she reestablishes the mental contact between the two. «Again… what? I don't understand. We were talking…» She stops in mid-sentence again, eyes going wide as the scene plays out again. «Connor! That's…» Then she blinks, shakes her head, wincing a bit as she takes a free hand to her temples and the mental contact is dropped again. "I'm sorry. The alcohol must be getting to me. I spaced out there a second…"

Volk shakes his head, and stands up, gulping down the rest of his stout in one go, "No… you have… a mental block… or a… programmed failsafe… in your mind. Things I showed you. Dilated pupils, confusion, change in breathing pattern… then normally resumed, but without memory of what was seen. You've been changed. Possibly… by them."

"Them… who?" comes the worried question from Betsy. When what Volk is telling her starts to sink in her demeanor turns more angry. "Somebody's been altering my mind. Again." She stands up and downs the last of her lager and fishes some bills out of her jacket. "I'm going to find out who did this to me and I'm going to make him /pay/."

Out on the street, the teleporter waits for Betsy, and then falls in step next to her, his hands in his pockets. Volk's hand rests on a pistol, though not anyone on the street could tell, "More important… question… is why. Not just… why specifically… but why you. I think… it does have… to do with… the fact that you… can remember a change in time…"

Betsy walks with a brisk pace. Despite it being summer, the little coastal village gets an occasional chilly wind blown their way. "Or maybe it has something to do with you remembering that I'm dead," she says. "I think it's very important for you to look into…" she shakes her head and scowls, "… whatever it was we were talking about. I need to visit Addison. Assuming he isn't the one who did it."

There's no mistaking the mischevious smile on Volk's face as he looks off towards the ocean, and then back at Betsy, "Before… we go… I would like to… do something… on the advice of a… friend… if you'll… trust me?"

Betsy gives Volk a curious look, quirking an eyebrow. "It's only fair," she says. "You trusted me before anybody else."

Reaching up and pushing one of those stray locks of raven hair out of the way, Volk's hand then slides down along Betsy's neck before bringing her in for a soft kiss on the lips. His head slightly tilted to one side, and then his press so boyishly nervous that one would think they were kissing a high school youth instead of a hardened veteran.

Betsy's eyes widen in surprise at the kiss. Of all things to come from Volk, this was the last thing she ever expected. Not that it's unpleasant. Far from it, in fact, and she finds herself closing her eyes and returning the kiss, draping her hands on his shoulders. Once they break, she takes a step back from him, giving him something of a girlish smile. "C'mon," she says. "Our family has a getaway shack not too far from here."

It's his turn to be surprised, and looking back and forth, he then flushes slightly in his cheeks before Volk nods once and replies in a whisper, "I like this place… reminds me a lot of home. Seattle. Maybe it's the weather… or the way that people just… take it in stride." Taking Betsy's hand however, he begins to walk along with her as he then adds, "Do you have… a picture… of the place..?"

"Only in my head," Betsy replies, putting her hands in the pockets of her jacket. She grins at the mention of the wether, looking out on the coast as well. "I haven't been there in a while, but it's only a mile or two up the road here," she says. "And I think, for once, I'd just like to walk."

There's a sigh, and he continues to walk along, nodding once as Volk replies, "Sounds… like a plan. Why is it… we have… the ability to run away. To leave. But instead… we fight harder… than anyone else… to try and fix things." Looking down and away, he eventually brings himself back to her eyes, "I have… a place… like this. Your shack… I mean. A place, belonging… to my mentor. But I'm… letting someone else… stay there. Keeping… a promise. To someone… as close to me… as family. An enemy… but still… family…"

"Because even though we can change our location," explains Betsy, "We can never really run away. Sooner or later what happened in America will happen to the rest of the world." She walks along in silence for a moment before continuing. "At first I fought for vengeance, thinly disguised as justice. The sentinels had killed Warren early in the fight, and that's all I could focus on. A few years later of constant fighting made me reevaluate my reasons."

Reaching up to touch her face again, "About… the same. When the Sentinels came… I ran. I protected… my family… until finally… I couldn't. And they paid for it. I broke… and became Volk… because it was… the only way I could… handle living… anymore." Volk runs a finger down the side of her neck, but then stops, and draws his hand away, "We're wolves… in a world of Hounds and foxes."

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