2011-02-10: Feelings Of Guilt


Connor_icon.jpg Sam_icon.jpg

Summary: Sam approaches Connor about his change in behaviour.

Date: February 10, 2011

Log Title: Feelings Of Guilt

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Gymnasium

This big room with wooden floors is build with powered students in mind; the entire room is power proof. Blast the walls all you like, they are not breaking. The gym can either be one large room and it also has dividers to make it two smaller gyms. This large Gym has basketball nets, equipment to set up equipment badminton, volleyball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, and everyone's favorite, dodge ball.

At the Tuesday morning Danger Room session, Connor's attitude was off. This is normally someone who is calm, together, and while not a leader, he is usually the consummate team player and always willing to play by the rules. The most recent session after the return from Africa found him starting off as almost mechanical in his actions, but at the end turning almost overly aggressive. This morning, around the lunch hour between classes, he is found in the gym, working out with a fighting staff and a couple training dummies, sweat on his brow and staining the sleeveless top he's in. Normally he has music going during this, but those earbuds seem to be just dangling by his side, bouncing as he moves to spin himself into a double-strike with a follow-up recovery… and then a pause as he leans in the staff as the training dummies read off the location and pounds-force strikes he'd just done, comparing them to previous attacks.

Sam has noticed the change in Connor's attitude, and he knows of the report that was filed while he was in Africa. While he doesn't know the details, Sam knows that there was a kidnapping and some fight with an African Warlord down there. He doesn't say anything as he walks over towards Connor and stands next to the dummy that he's striking. "Ah don't think this is gonna be helpin' ya Connor." He says honestly. "Sometimes it seems like hittin' out your problems helps but in the long run, it don't help much."

The young X-man instructor is given a flat look from the young man as Connor takes a deep breath, and then moves to his gym bag to grab some water and take a long swig. After that he comes back, leaning on the fighting staff a moment before replying, "It's all I have right now. I can't really talk about this with any of my friends… except the ones who were there, and they don't want to talk." Pushing off the stick, he takes a deep breath, "Besides… I thought you were mad at me. I didn't come to you or the staff for help. I dropped off a letter detailing the problem, stole school materials, and dropped Magneto on Nigeria like an atomic bomb."

Sam looks at Connor and walks up to him and gives him a light 'thwap' on the back of his head, much like he might do with one of his younger siblings. "Ya don't know much 'bout the New Mutants or X-Force do ya? If we ran around doin' everythin' we thought the Professor wanted us tah do, we wouldn't have gotten very far. Ah ain't mad at ya Connor, how can Ah be mad at ya when Ah've done similar things too many times?" He asks seriously. "But yer workin' out yer aggression with aggression, it ain't gonna get you anywhere Connor. Well if you ain't able tah talk to yer friends how 'bout ya talk tah someone whose had a bit of field experience?"

With an exhaled 'oohf', and a bit of grumpy look at Sam, Connor stands a bit straighter afterwards, watching the southerner for a few moments before replying, "No, I don't, Sir… I tended not to look at the files we could see out there. I did when I first got here, but I realized after a bit, just because something is there, doesn't mean you SHOULD or have to read it." Closing his eyes again, the young man leans on the staff, head against the cooling wood before finally stating, "I planned to kill Nero… I honestly planned to kill him. I had a knife with me, I had a whole plan in my head. It's why I went to Magneto… because I knew he wouldn't stop me. Not after Mutant Town." Looking back up, and opening his eyes, he adds, "I don't like the person I feel like I'm becoming… but I also don't know if I'm too late to change course."

"Magneto…that man's a double eged sword Ah tell ya. Ah can't lie and say Ah didn't learn from him. Both good and bad." Sam says as he looks to Connor. "Well, Ah don't think ya should be readin' all the files that are out there but readin' some of them can help tah see what every X-Man goes through. This life, it ain't a cake walk. Even if you don't plan on becomin' a superhero, this lifestyle sweeps ya up in it. Now let me ask ya this Connor, ya say you were plannin' on killin' him but ya brought a knife with ya. A knife. Not a gun, didn't plan on usin' yer powers but a knife. Now, that tells me somethin' there. And ya didn' actually kill him, why's that?"

Connor pushes off the staff and balances it in his hands, performing a thrust into the chest of one of the dummies set up for a moment, the thud seeming to satisfy something in him, "Because I saw some of the things that had happened to the others… to someone in particular, and still she was fighting back… still she was doing everything she could. I realized… it was arrogant of me to assume the responsibility of punishing him. It was…" Shaking his head, he does another thrust, this time into the belly, "It wasn't my place to pass judgement. That staining my hands wasn't going to make their pain go away… and my pain was guilt and ignorance. I can't just let myself become judge and arbiter… that road leads right down the path to a flashy New York curbstomp from the Avenger."

"Connor, you've been in a place many of us have been in. Ah can't tell ya the amount of times Ah've wanted tah be the one to really hurt, to really punish someone, but something inside has always stoped me." Sam says to Connor. "Ya realized that it ain't yer place, that it ain't havin' that weight on ya. The want to kill someone is differnt than the act. There's a fine line between the two but once ya cross over it, there ain't no turnin' back in my opinion. Just as Logan. Ah have a lotta respect for that man but there's a reason he's on a different level than most."

"My uncle taught me how to use a knife… he was Russian special forces. The real thing, not some instructor in a school who learned from a guy who learned from a guy. He showed me where to stab, what could hurt and what could kill. We even practiced with rubber blades I got him online.", Connor says in a somber tone, "Guns are loud, they're obvious, and they impersonal. And they're easy." Looking back up at Sam, there's a small shake of his head, "I didn't kill Nero, but I did kill someone in Nigeria. One of the guards. He was hiding behind a door, and was about to shoot. I went entirely on reflex. I grabbed the barrel of the gun, yanked him forwards off balance, and the knife came up before I could think. And I left him there. Worse… I didn't even think about it. I shut it out, just like the guys I hurt at the Mutant Town attacks. But… a knife means you have to take responsibility for the act. It's your burden. Anyone can pull a trigger. That's why people love guns."

Sam shakes his head. "No, anytime ya kill anyone with anything ya gotta take responsibility. If it be a knife, a gun, your powers or anything else, stabbing someone takes just as much free will as it does to pull a trigger." He says as he doesn't really think there's a difference. "Ah've worked with people who are killers Connor, it does change a man, trust me. Ah ain't sayin' it's a good thing or a bad thing, but it does. Right now, if ya ask me, ya gotta make a decision. Ya gonna take responsiblity and accept what you did and work towards not becomin' a killer, or you gonna accept what you did and say, Ah did it once, Ah can do it again."

Connor looks around the gym once more, before saying softly, "I think what's tearing me up inside, Sir… is that at the time it happened… I didn't feel anything. But after, I felt sick… I felt like I was dirty, and that I'd never be clean again. I don't want to be thought of as a killer, Sir. Never. I just feel…" There's grumble under his breath, "I feel like I lost. That when I gave in, and I planned to kill someone. When I'd made that choice… I'd lost. I didn't go all the way, but still. I gave in. I looked into the Abyss, and it smiled back at me." Taking the staff over to a mount on the wall, he hangs it up, and adds, "I wasn't one of the ones who was captured, or hurt, or denegrated… so how come I feel like I'm the one who got hurt…"

Sam walks over and puts a hand on Connor. "Don't think for a moment that ya lost Connor. Ya didn't take that final step a second time. Once, Ah ain't been there mahself but Ah think yer a stronger man for not doing it again. Ah've heard the second time is easier but apparent it wasn't for ya. Which Ah think is good. Ya -almost- made the choice. Ya didn't go through it with, you stopped it, so the choice was never actually made. And ya feel like ya got hurt cause ya care Connor. When Doug was killed, it was a blow to all of us. Like we failed, and we did fail Connor. We let a teammate die, but we felt it and we felt it hard. It's all because ya care. Noone wants to see their friends get hurt, and noone wants to feel like 'if Ah'd been there, they'd been safe', but we do. And that's why it hurts. We think we could have stopped it."

Connor grits his teeth to keep bitter tears from starting up, "No… instead I raided his office… I took everything I could as quickly as I could. a laptop, a couple drives, some paperwork on his desk. Killing him wasn't going to help the people he'd already hurt, and the people he'd already taken from… but I thought maybe I could break the back of his army. Give people who could do something what I had… maybe then I could feel like I'd done something right." Looking back up and over his shoulder, the young man adds with hurt eyes, "Why is it… the more we try, the less it feels like it makes up for the times we failed?"

"That's a good thing then Connor. Ya used yer head and thought. Ya took steps tah stop him without killin' him. Ah think that doesn't make ya a killer Connor, but that like ya took, it is gonna weigh on ya. It's gonna take time but you'll find yerself feelin' a lot better one day, find it in yerself tah forgive yerself." Sam says as he gives Connor a sympathetic look. "That's because yer livin' in the past. Instead of movin' on, yer tryin' tah make up. It's a two steps forward one step back if yer livin' like that. Ya gotta do what ya do for the moment and try tah get over yer failures so ya can succeed the next time."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License