2010-05-30: Suspicions


Bruce_icon.jpg Caleb_icon.jpg

Summary: After hearing about Caleb’s school, Bruce suspects that SHIELD is behind the shootings in Mutant Town and warns the boy not to trust Barnes.

Log Title: Suspicions

Rating: PG (L)

NYC - Mutant Town - Back Alley

Heavily littered with newspapers, knocked over garbage cans and other unidentifiable pieces of refuse, this alleyway cuts a narrow pathway between two of the older buildings in the neighborhood. The mouth is lined with dumpsters and garbage cans, making it a bit of a deterrent for people seeking this alley as a pass-through. This doesn't stop homeless and fringe elements from using it, however.

Rusty fire escapes dot the sides of the close buildings; they are close enough that one could easily jump from one side to the other but a slip from one of the higher landings could be fatal. Light even during the daytime hours is sparse, though it's easier to see down from one end to the other in the day. At night, it's nearly impossible.


It's just gone ten on Sunday night and a very bad-tempered Caleb is walking though the warm air in mutant town, he didn't mean to come here, just wandered in this general direction, he's dressed in dark blue jeans, black Airwalk trainers, a white, black and purple checkered shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, his white hair is gelled in a casual bedhead look and his violet eyes are glowing faintly as is the yellow stone on the silver wristband on his right wrist, he's got shadows under his eyes, showing that maybe he hasn't slept much last night, he teen turns and begins kicking a can down an alley.

Bruce is actually sober for once this week. He's been spending his time off while the bar's being repaired drinking during the day and patrolling the city at night. The man is wearing a pair of camo shorts and flip-flops with no shirt, allowing any passer by to see the extensive Aboriginal tattoos etched across his chest and arms. The man stops in the alley and looks up, checking the buildings for surveillance equipment or suspicious activity. He pauses when he hears a can being kicked, but decides it is probably a hobo or cat. Terrorists wouldn't make so much noise.

Caleb kicks the can a little harder this time and it goes the wrong fecking way! There’s a violet glow in his hands as he blasts it back on course imagining its Jakob's head, "Stupid prick! Calling us freaks!"

Bruce lights up a cigarette as he tries to decide which part of the city to check out next. He starts to head toward the sound of the kicking can, intending to warn whoever it is that they should stay away from such dark places while the shooters are still loose. He stops when he sees the violet light. "God-Damn ghost kid. What's he doing here?" He backs up slightly toward a few sand filled crates he put back here earlier in the week. He has these things hidden all over Mutant Town, just as he told Magneto he'd do. When he's within reach of his sand he calls out to the boy. "Who called you a freak? A human?"

Caleb jumps at the sound of the voice, "Oh it's the sandman, no not a human, a mutant who refuses to admit he's one and also hates mutants", if you are paying attention you'll see the boy's eyes turn to a more normal green colour for a couple of seconds then go violet again, another blast is directed at the can, "What are you doing here?"

Bruce puffs his cigarette and crosses his arms, deciding how to handle the kid. It seems he knows how to use that blast a little better now. He shrugs, "Well maybe he's not a mutant. You told me you're not a mutant. Is it so hard to believe that someone with abilities could indeed be not a mutant? And that that person would hate my people? No. It's not hard for me to believe at all." His eyes look dark. "And what am I doing here? I'm a grown man, I can handle myself. I do wonder what a kid is doing wandering around the back alleys at night." He puts his hands on his hips and looks up toward the rooftops again, his cigarette sticking out the corner of his mouth. "If you must know, I'm making sure there aren't any shooters out here. I've been going on nightly patrol since they attacked Nowhere."

Caleb shrugs, "Still there are worse things than mutants in the world, and the majority are good people, he shouldn't call them freaks, I'm weirder than a mutant for Christ sakes", the glow fades as he calms down, "Oh yeah the attack, I heard about that".

Bruce nods, "Yeah well if he really is a mutant I'm sure he'll come around eventually. That or he'll clash with somebody he shouldn't and that'll be the end of him." He sighs and puts his hands behind his head. "Yeah that was a real mess. Still cleaning up the bar, but thanks to an anonymous donation they should have the repairs done fairly soon." An anonymous donation of stolen bank money, no doubt. "Managed to save most of 'em, me and two other mutants. Now it's up to me to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Caleb sighs and sits on the floor leaning his back against the alley wall, this is what his life’s come to, living under ground, miles away from home, talking to a bank robber, he'd probably start crying if Bruce wasn't there, "When the attack happened they should have sent us out, we could have helped".

Bruce shook his head. "No. This attack was too well coordinated. And it was over rather quickly thanks to the people who happened to be in the bar that night. If we'd had to wait for you guys or the Avengers or the X-People or whoever they are, it would have been too late." He shakes his head, "Also I believe your school is government funded. Well these attacks look to have been done by the military. I'm not so sure they'd even let you deploy."

Caleb head snaps up at that comment, "You think SHIELD ordered the attack?!", Barnes has been weirding him out a little, but ordering an attack on mutant town?

Bruce pauses for a moment. "SHIELD? Is that who runs your school?" Bruce thinks "It is possible they know something about it, but I'm not so sure they're the ones who actually carried out the attacks. None of the shooters had special powers or strange weapons." He thinks for a moment, "But SHIELD runs a school for powered individuals? The shooters did mention that each mutant was worth points. If they got enough points they could join some elite organization." His eyes narrow, "They could easily be linked."

Caleb puts a hand to his mouth, he really wasn't supposed to say that, "That can't be right, the other people at Barnes are just like me, we just need help, we don't attack anyone", do we?

Bruce taps his foot on the ground. "Well I don't know. You're the one who goes to school there. What happens when you graduate? Do they send the students off to work in the military? Do you ever hear from them again?" He shakes his head. "What about training? They probably teach you how to use your powers more effectively, don't they? Teach you how to use them against other mutants perhaps? Or maybe they test different materials without your knowledge. A gun or a material that can withstand power or depower someone. Ever seen anything like that?"

Caleb thinks, "Barnes is new, no ones graduated yet and I'm not sure about testing things, we are taught to use our powers to protect ourselves but…", then the memory of that day in the park comes into his head, "They've been looking into my weaknesses, one of the Agents used it to force me back to school…"

Bruce quirks a brow. "So wait a second. The school starts up, takes in kids with super powers, and around the same time a bunch of military guys start shooting civilians in Mutant Town?" He does not look happy about this. "So they found out your weakness? To salt you mean? Why would they force you back to the school? Aren't you free to do what you want? I thought that was a school, it sounds to me like they don't want their test subjects to get away from them." He frowns a bit. "I think it's time to look into this school. I'll need to get a hold of a couple people, but it sounds to me like there's a good possibility this "SHIELD" person is up to no good."

"Salt, white candles, chalk, you name it they know how it effects me, I thought we were, what do you mean test subjects", Bruce is worrying Caleb now, "SHIELD is not a person, its a group".

Bruce's eyes go wide for a moment and he strokes his beard. "SHIELD is a group? An elite group who specializes in mutants. And they're figuring out how certain things affect you. So in other words, it is possible that SHIELD uses the school as a front to discover the weaknesses of mutants and other people with special abilities. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to think that they could take the information they learned and apply it to field combat. Where better to do that than in your own back yard?" Bruce begins pacing. "But they keep you there. You're not allowed to leave the school if you want? Has anyone ever tried?

Caleb shakes his head, "We're allowed out when we don't have classes or training, but I'm pretty sure we're followed, no ones tried to leave, we went there to be helped, there’s no reason to leave", he's shaking a little now, SHIELD could be attacking people?, he needs to talk to Connor.

Bruce looks a bit worried at the comment about being followed. "What do you mean you think they follow you!?" He looks up and down the alley quickly. There's no way he could disperse enough sand to find someone hiding around here. Especially if they were on a rooftop watching with binoculars. He lowers his voice slightly, "What makes you think they follow you. Do they seem to know when you're in trouble?" He shakes his head, "I don't mean leave for the night. I mean what if you want to move someplace outside of the city? What if you want to go to a different school? What if you just don't want to go to your school anymore?"

Caleb nods, "I got into a fight in the city last week and two agents came out of nowhere to stop me, they knew what was happening, they had salt ready", he shrugs, "I don't know anyone who has tried to leave the school, so i don't know what happens", he pulls his phone out of his pocket.

Bruce frowns at Caleb. "So not only do they follow you around, but they come prepared with your weakness. If they just followed you to offer protection they wouldn't need a way to subdue you, would they?" He shakes his head. "No I'd say they want to be able to control you at all times. I doubt you'd be able to leave the school if you wanted to."

Caleb dials a number into his phone and puts it to his ear, "Feck! voicemail, Connor give me a call when you get this message, we need to talk, i might be coming home", he puts the phone away, while he was talking his invisibility activated leaving only his clothing visible, "I won't be able to leave?"

Bruce looks a little tense. He'll have to call Magneto later to inform him of all of this, but he doesn't want to do it in front of the kid. He's pretty sure the two of them are being watched right now and if SHIELD really is behind the attacks he doesn't want Magneto to show up while they're watching. "Well maybe if you go invisible. Have they found a way to track you when you're like that?" He shakes his head, "If they know where you are at all times and they know how to nullify your powers and capture you, I think it'd be hard to get away."

Caleb throws his phone to Bruce, "There’s a homing button on the phone if I wanna be found, when I'm invisible I just cant be seen but i can be found other ways, I'm harder to trace while phased though".

Bruce catches the phone and looks at it. "The phone can call for help? It probably has a tracer in it they follow all the time. If you ever find you need to get away from them in a hurry slip it in someone else's pocket and phase out." He tosses the phone back. That's a useful bit of information. If SHIELD is behind this and they need to set a trap for them, all they'll need is a phone. "I'm gonna have to talk to the boss about all this. He'll be very interested to hear what I just heard I think."

Caleb sighs, "I have a way of stopping them from following me they don't know about i think, but then again I'm not sure what they know now", he puts his head in his hands, it won't take much to notice that the teen is freaked.

Bruce nods, "Well don't talk about that method here. They may have the phone bugged. In fact I'll have to watch out for them myself now, probably. If they're watching you they can see me." He looks around again, "Just be careful around them. Try to find out if any of the students there have ever disappeared or anything."

Caleb stands up, "Wait you're telling me I'm living in a place looking to control people with powers and you want me to go back there?, no chance mate, I'm going home as soon as i can find an airport", and he's not going back to that place till he gets some answers.

Bruce shakes his head. "What about the other students? Don't you think someone should warn them? Who better to do that than a student with free access who can walk through walls and go invisible? "He shakes his head again, "They know me. The shooters know what I look like. I know for a fact that they caught me on camera. They know where I work, probably where I live, and they want me dead. But I am not running. I am staying right here so that I can protect the people of this town. Don't you think you should do the same? If you know your school is up to something, isn't it your responsibility to stop them from hurting your classmates?" He smirks, "I thought you were the heroic type. You did go out of your way to try and stop me from robbing that bank."

The violet glow returns to Caleb's palm, "I'm sixteen and I've already died once, how the hell I'm I supposed to take on SHIELD, I have nowhere near enough control over the magic", but wait, his dad does, maybe he can do something, but he's back home, "I tried to stop you because i had half a chance, here I don't".

Bruce shakes his head. "You don't ALONE. But if you warn the other students you don't have to be alone. You can get them all out of there if you all work together. You need a place to learn how to use your powers? I'm sure I could figure something out. But I wouldn't trust anything run by the government, and I certainly wouldn't leave my friends in a school run by this SHIELD organization."

Caleb shakes his head, "No one's going to listen to me, I'm not the sort of person people listen to, I'm the guy in the background, the one that doesn't get noticed", as if to demonstrate his point he turns invisible again.

Bruce sighs. "People don't notice you because you don't want them to notice you. At least warn a few of them before you run off and hide. Not sure how much good that'll do you though." He shrugs, "Well if you need me I'm easy enough to find."

Caleb turns visible again, "I.., I need to think", next thing he's flown up into the air and is traveling across the city at about sixty miles per hour.

Bruce spits his cigarette butt onto the ground and crosses his arms. He looks around a few times and nonchalantly wanders out of the area. He'll call Magneto later when he's pretty sure no one is watching him.

~ Fin ~

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