Hidden 13 days ago Post by Ruby
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"No, no sir. Let us be exceedinly clear in this fact: S.W.O.R.D. is a sister agency, an equal."

Theodore had never liked lawyers, however many he knew, he had in his family, or how helpful they could be. His only visible reaction was a pause in the motion of silently fidgeting the pen in his left hand, and a long stare at the young woman apparently having her very own 'you go girl' moment at his expense. Not that it mattered to him, anyway, but he was too polite to point that out in the moment. "...right. Okay. So I can talk to S.W.O.R.D., but not to S.H.I.E.L.D.?"

The young lawyer with the Inspector General's Office pursed her lips, and shrugged. "Depends."

The laughter that sounded from his mouth was anything but amused in that moment. Yes, he hated lawyers, the fact made him drop his pen from his hand and run fingers from both his hands through his dark brown hair that was a good three weeks overdue for a cut. The stress of constantly changing rules and landscapes. "On what, Eileen? Damn, I'm not trying to step into this. I'm not trying to use this for any inter-agency agendas. I want no stress-tests. Tell me who to pass it to, and I'll happily dump it on their ass."

Eileen looked uncomfortable. "Without knowing more, and I can't know more, all I can do is tell you where to go. After the alien Skrull compromise of S.H.I.E.L.D., Osborne turned it all into H.A.M.M.E.R. Turning it back into S.H.I.E.L.D. took time, less time with Director Hill, but during restructuring Congress did the rare bi-partisan thing and severed S.W.O.R.D. from S.H.I.E.L.D. because it never had those security issues. Circling back to the original question--"

"--yeah that'd be nice," Theodore perked higher in his cozy office chair.

"--no, Maria Hill, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. has no legal authority or basis to interject on a matter between your office, N.S.A. Deputy Director, and anyone in S.W.O.R.D. Maria Hill would, it is reasonably supposed, have security clearance levels for discussion, though 'need to know' criteria issues would clearly exist." The counsel from the Inspector General's Office paused, before throwing in: "However, you can't tell N.A.S.A."

Theodore blinked, his tone deeping with the intrigue in the random legal fact he couldn't tell N.A.S.A. about an extra-solar issue. "I can't tell N.A.S.A.? Not that I was considering it, but why the hell not?"

"N.A.S.A. has a higher approval rating than any intellience or defense oriented agency. The desire is to keep them out of any potential scandal or conflict."

"The Switzerland of the US Intelligence-Defense industry? Fair enough." A sigh cascaded through him; from feet to face, the weight of it all finally disagreeing with his body in ways few things in his career had. "You have to leave now, counsel, I have a secure call to make and I can't wait."

The call went about as feared. Abigail Brand was the Director of S.W.O.R.D. She wasn't all human, was Theodore's initial thought as he stared at her image on the projected 8k screen on the empty office wall, a signal encrypted between his office in the Pentagon and the space station S.W.O.R.D. head-quarted itself out of. Mutant, maybe? Alien?" A strange thought, trusting the safety of Americans when it came to extraterrestrial threats to an alien. Like when their agencies turned to Muslim members of their agencies post-9/11. Or to S.H.I.E.L.D. after New York City. Or to H.A.M.M.E.R. after Stamford, Connecticut.

He couldn't help but wonder just where Krakoa, Xavier, and Lensherr would drive them. Something he liked to ignore as much as he ignored the presence of dormant super-volancos or rogue asteroids that could, theorhetically at least, smash into them any day and kill them all assuming the capes couldn't do enough to stop it. Superheroes were real enough, but none of them were Superman of the comic books. He had met a few during his career, shaken hands with Steve Rogers a few times. There were good ones. Rare as it seemed to be.

Even someone like Charles Xavier had gone from 'living together in peace' to 'stay in your corner, we'll stay in ours, no problems.' Lensherr could wear all the white and silver he wanted, it wouldn't make Theodore feel any better about the man. Brand proved unhelpful, pointing him to Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities division regarding New York. It made him laugh, because of course there was another division of S.H.I.E.L.D. And of course it had a similarly ridiculous name. Theodore was starting to feel inadequate with short and simple National Security Agency. It's like they WANT people knowing what they do.

As for the angry and super-powered representative of the Shi'ar Empire? That, much to his great relief, Brand had agreed to deal with. She also tossed him a name of someone who might work with them, if they got desperate. He didn't recognize the name, and plugging it into the N.S.A. classified database got him...God dammit. It was the height of irritation that drove him to the phone on his desk. It took a call to their dispatch, who would reach out to their dispatch, who would authenticate and relay.

It took twenty minutes to go through. They were clearly in the middle of some fire fight, although from the sound of it maybe lasers were being fired as well? Who-the-fuck knew. Theodore felt like a child envious of the adults at the adult table during Thanksgiving. He had wanted to avoid this for many reasons; the sheer pain of dealing with S.H.I.E.L.D. as a 'regular' agency of the government had to be what cops felt like when they dealt with superheroes on the streets. Thanks. We exist, too, and yeah, we have a job to do too. Oh. Thanks. We'll just...clean it all up. Cool.


Theodore wasn't offended. Maria Hill was, well, Maria Hill. He had started in the F.B.I., been plucked by the C.I.A. for field work and analyst duties before accepting Operations Chief for a joint C.I.A./N.S.A. terrorism task force. Pivoting from that to computer crimes, and especially large ransom ware cases, had given him bonafides in the N.S.A. world. Now he was having to cold call a woman who had probably seen more extinction events narrowly avoided in her life than amount of times he had fired his sidearm in real action.

"Theodore Bailey, Deputy Director at the N.S.A. for--"

"--Teddy Bailey? Heard about you. Aliens getting under your skin, Deputy Director?"

She didn't seem at all phased by the shootout she was in, and he spent too much of his attention trying to figure out what her sidearm was. Didn't look like something he had seen. "Abigail Brand was very helpful on that front, Director Hill. Nevermind I had no idea what they were talking about, or that you already knew about it."

He could, literally, hear the amusement in her voice as she returned fire. "We are S.H.I.E.L.D., Deputy Director."

Argh... His eyes didn't roll, despite the desire. "Director Brand offered a name that might agree to help. Turns out she recommended Wolverine. S.H.I.E.L.D. restricts access to that file, Director...why do I feel like everyone knows something I don't, Director Hill?"

He watched her on the 8k projection, slide down into cover and stare into the camera. "What exactly did the Shi'ar representative say?"

"You'll have to officially request the transcript, Director...but the gist of it was something about a flaming bird and a very large intense grievance and not in over four hundred years, but not our years, their years and...New York. I know New York's significance."

"Teddy Bailey, get every scrap of information on Jean Grey you can get, and go prepared to meet Wolverine. You're the N.S.A., you can find him. Then hope all you need is one Avenger, and not all of them. If I don't hear from you in...twenty-four hours I'll find you."

Theodore didn't want to betray his poker face. So instead of raising a single eyebrow in curiosity, he kept it all closer to the vest. "Your concern is appreciated, Director."

"This isn't concern."

"Really? I just had legal counsel telling me S.H.I.E.L.D. did not, could not, take such stances any longer."

"Twenty-four hours. Enjoy backwoods Canada this time of year, Deputy Director."
Hidden 13 days ago Post by Ezekiel
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British Columbia
Somewhere Deliberately Isolated

The wilds weren't peaceful, that's not why he sought them. That was a myth propegated by romantics who had never had to experience it beyond the idyllics of their imagination. The wilds were alive, sound, sight, smell, they were all around you. A cacophany of action and experiences.

The wilderness didn't try to hide its danger from you. It hit you with it right in the mouth, in the shape of a grizzlie's roar, the crack of thunder or the howl of a snow storm. It was honest. People weren't, they smiled to your face while plotting the knife in your back. They sold dreams and delivered nightmares. He'd learned this long ago, but it was a lesson the world apprently felt the need to continually remind him of.

That, and the views weren't half bad out here. He took a long gulp of coffee as he watched the sunrise, his particular perch looking over the vastness of the Canadian wilderness from the lip of a valley allowed the whole horizon to be set abalaze in orange light, picking out the myriad of the changing colours of the leaves of the trees below. For more than a moment, the vision reminded him of a certain mane of fiery ginger hair, before with a grunt, the man shook his head, trying to dismiss the thought. Red wasn't just her hair, it was the colour of her blood on his claws.

With another growl that was more a forlorn sigh, Logan stood, collecting the large cooler from the ground beside him. He had been night fishing in the darkness. It had a greater yield, and most of the dangers that would make such an activity foolhardy for a human in this season were mitigated by the gifts and curses that streamed through his blood. He had stopped to watch the beginning of the new day, but he wasn't far from home now.

The soft trudge of his boots on the mulch of the forest floor shortly resumed. It wouldn't be long before the groud here would be blanketed in snow, but for now the coverage was sparese, a spattering of white among the golds, oranges and browns of fallen leaves. That was one of his favoured aspects of his homeland, the dramatic change of the seasons. It gave him structure in a life that would otherwise blur into one now that he had withdrawn once again from the wider world and its ever changing events. He was a hardy man even without the mutations that sustained him through far greater dangers, yet still he tended to keep the interior of his cabin an environment that others might find comfortable. That had been the big change since his last self exile, this time he had allowed himself some creature comforts. The cabin was more of a modern home than the wind torn wooden shack he had been in before, although he had resolutely refused the offer of having his own fibre connection installed. The satellite phone that sat unused in his kitchen, that had been the full extent of connection to the outside world he was willing to give those who might find the need to reach him.

He would have refused that too if he didn't think she would have hated him for it. He might have been given plenty of reason to loathe humanity over the course of his long years, but that didn't mean he wouldn't still be there if the call was sounded. That's what she would have wanted, and deep down, what he himself would never give him.

Logan grunted once more, annoyed at himself for feeling excssively sentimental on this particular day, before he moved to the kitchen to begin preparing the fish. Some he'd freeze for later use, but he'd worked up a hunger and felt like breakfast before he collapsed for a nap after spending most of the last twenty four hours awake and intent on bringing back a catch.

His body reacted before he was even conciously aware of the change in situation, one moment he was in the process of placing flanks of fish into the pan, the next the claws of his right hand were out, dripping his own blood onto the hob in the process, the steam and sizzle joining that of his food. Then the sensations reached him, highly enhanced and tuned senses picking up the approaching sound of feet, human feet, in the proximity of his lodge. Already he knew whoever was doing so was professional. If they'd read his file, they'd know trying to sneak up on him like this would be next to pointless, but still their pace was measured, reserved. Respect or fear? Perhaps both.

With yet another grunt he moved his way closer to the phone he was convinced would ring shortly. If they just tried an approach without communicating with him first, he'd have to rough a few of them up on principle. His no trespassing signs were not supposed to be taken lightly.
Hidden 13 days ago 13 days ago Post by Ruby
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The flight had not been kind. Flights, more accurately, Theodore noted to himself. Canadian permission had been not as kind as he had expected, but apparently, the man named Logan, and nothing else, was a bit of a sore spot for the Canadian government. He'd spent hours on the phone with various analysts, and even a few civilians. Mutants had become a different kind of issue since the emergence of Krakoa. Krakoa had become not unlike Atlantis, or even Wakanda, the analysts had noted; key difference being Atlantis stayed very hidden and isolated, and Wakanda was famously isolated from the wider world community of nations.

Krakoa was geographically isolated, certainly, the closest landmass to it being the Wake Islands in the Pacific. But as a government, it was more active and available. The biggest difference seemed to Theodore to be that unlike Wakanda and Atlantis, their citizens wouldn't just appear in your backyard come puberty and become potential international incidents with a superpowered nation. After one flight in a jetstream, one flight in a bush plane, and one flight in a helicopter by way of the Royal Canadian Mounties, Theodore had the time to process the information.

Jean Grey made less sense in this, but Maria Hill thinking she was central after the Shi'ar demand meant, way he saw it, Grey was connected to New York. Wolverine was scary enough, but Jean Grey had a higher threat designator. The same one given to other beings that could reportedly end the world with a snap of their fingers. Telekinesis was bad enough, but telepathy? Her designator for telepathy was Omega. In the Jeeps on the way up into the arctic forest valley, not too far past the last remnant of civilization in a logger's camp, Theodore hoped he'd see his children again after today. That he wouldn't have his mind twisted into believing he was a dog, barking at the moon, for the rest of his days.

Just getting to the cabin took parking the Jeeps and hiking much of the rest of the way. In the past day, two more people had slipped past the New York National Guard security perimeter. The number of people who were lost past the boundry was now up to sixteen. Time was waning. The uniformed mountie led the way, two N.S.A. operators flanked him on either side of the cabin door, while Theodore found himself distracted by the smell of cooking. It was later than they thought it would be when they arrived, clearly catching the mutant at a meal. And a call, judging by the sound of a ringing phone coming from the cabin interior. The exterior sound was nothing but wind and the random cracks and creaks and rustle of a forest nearby.

The firm, brief, knock of the uniformed Mountie at the door of the cabin snapped Theodore out of it. "Mr. Logan, this is Officer Longmire of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I have with me agents of the U.S. government who would very much like a word with you regarding an important situation."

Theodore thought the Mountie hid it very well: the terror and fear of knocking on that door, knowing how powerless any of them were should this mutant rampage, or simply take violent exception to their presence. Theodore had seen metahumans 'teach' officers of the law lessons before. Official funerals were always the worst ways to say goodbye to old colleagues. The sound was nothing; no immediate reply. The smell of dinner seemed to get stronger, but the only noise was that of wind and forest around.

Until that phone started ringing again.

Was someone trying to warn him?

After a few minutes, the Mountie looked back at Theodore. He shrugged at the man, and made the knocking motion. After a long stare, the Mountie slowly turned around, and gathered his courage to knock again.
Hidden 12 days ago 12 days ago Post by Ezekiel
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The knock on the door sounded before the second ring. The physicality, the 'realness' of this contact connected with Logan in a way technology never could. He was sure whoever was on the end of the call was someone he'd rather be speaking to, as far as he was aware the list of people who even had that number were all people he could at least stand to talk to, a category those who came knocking on his door over the years couldn't all claim to be a part of.

But he was a man who found the souless communication of the present disconcerting, and so the door earned his priority. Before the next set of knocking could even land, Logan had opened the door, the Mountie only just about having time to react before tapping his fist on Logan's chest instead of the wooden doorway.

"Salmons' almost ready." He grumbled, before turning back into his home, leaving the doorway open for his 'guests' judging they'd have the good sense to close it before they entirely let all of the artifical heat out into the cooling Canadian wilderness. Before he addressed any of them further, Logan began plating up the food, the pink flesh of the salmon deposited onto wooden plates alongside granary toast and scrambled eggs. The toast was a bit of a work in progress, he'd been trying to make his own bread lately to reduce his occasional trips into 'town' and hadn't quite got it right. He was sure many of the young mutants he'd helped to raise might die laughing at the thought of him trying to bake, probably suggest some guide on one of their sparkling websites. The thought brought a smile to his lips that he was certain to hide from present company. The memory putting him in a momentary better mood, he even plated some up for his guests, slinging them to the otherside of his kitchen island as they trooped in.

Then he finally picked up the phone.

"You wanna tell me why there's two kinds of feds strolling into my living room, bub?"

'I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does'

The song played through the phone with crystal clear reception. Despite himself, and despite the situation, Logan found himself listening along for several moments. All he saw for that time was the Sunset, and the curls of red hair it bled into. With a moment of suspenseful silence, his eyes drifted away from those he had just let into his home, away into nothing, before he set the phone down.

"I don't imagine this is a social call." He suddenly speaks to the 'visitors' before taking a seat on one of his kitchen stools, tucking into his meal.
Hidden 12 days ago Post by Ruby
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Theodore held his breath as the door opened, hands tense and stuffed into the pockets of his designer jacket, only relaxing when one of his operatives gave him the nod. That alone felt like a lucky break. None of them had the equipment or firepower to take the mutant out, let alone even give them an opening to escape. So much of the man's file was classified even beyond his eyes, but what was there made it very clear that trying to extract from the man in the wilderness was about as likely to work as trying to beat him in a fist fight. There was no middle ground.

He was the last one to the door, but the only one to actually go inside the cabin. The other three hung back, outside, where they vastly preferred to be. The cabin was simple, small. Theodore considered asking Logan if he built it himself, but in the end Theodore's mind just became too busy catching little details that probably meant nothing and would never be of any real importance. But he liked detective novels, and you never knew what little detail mattered. The phone was one that seemed important. Not just that it was there, though Theodore supposed no one who had ever been an Avenger would ever suddenly stop being contacted by authorities, or more likely, by friends in need.

Theodore paused as he shut the door behind him, studying Logan's body language as he put the phone up to his ear. It was a strange conversation, if it was a conversation at all. "Theodore Bailey, Deputy Director of the United States' National Security Agency. I mainly oversee field operations, except weirdest thing happened...I get a call from the F.B.I. They're afraid something too big for them is going on, after getting a call from New York State Police saying they're afraid something is too big for them."

He moved in closer, away from the door, away from the immediate chill and closer to the warmth of the kitchen. Just not too close. As easily as Theodore got comfortable in any kind of setting, strange a skill as it was, the man seated for a meal that Theodore was interrupting was a super-powered mutant that could dispatch him with the blink of an eye, and likely never see the inside of a courtroom, let alone a jail cell, for the crime. Especially now that every mutant in the world was claimed by Krakoa, and subject to Krakoan justice, not the host nation's justice. That bugged him.

"Turns out it's Xavier's old mansion and the school there. What's left of it, after the attack that closed it down, an attack you were Headmaster of the school for, if the records are accurate." His tone was somber, his voice spoken slow, respectful. Theodore was well aware 60 million mutants had died, and not just on Genosha. Wolverine had made it so most of the student body escaped. Yet another superheroic feat from a man even his own friends admitted, 'probably wasn't that good of a guy.'

"About half a mile away from the grounds in any direction. Birds fly in, they never fly out. People go in, they never come out. It's been that way for three weeks. We've determined it's not another government, it's not a Hydra, or A.I.M. Krakoa has not been told, that didn't stop a mutant from finding out and getting past the National Guard security perimeter we set up. You know them as 'Jubilee', I believe. She has yet to come out, as well. We don't know if it's a death field, if it's supernatural. Weirder a Shi'ar Empire representative arrived a few days ago near the site, demanding the release of the dangerous crimina--"

Theodore stopped talking as the phone cut through, interrupting. Theodore met eyes with the mutant, and waited. "Don't let me interrupt what you already had going on, please."
Hidden 12 days ago Post by Ezekiel
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For the earlier portions of the man's spiel, Logan did little to acknowledge what he spoke of, instead focusing on tucking into the freshly prepared meal, determined to finish it all despite the much superior quality of two out of three of the constituent foods. The topic interested him, but that was an obvious play, they knew it would. Did he think they would entirely lie just to drag him out out of his home? Unlikely, not these days anyway, but there was always the possibility he wasn't getting the whole truth. Scratch possibility, it was highly likely.

The mention of Jubilee was another probably-true-but-obviously-selected element of the briefing that finally turned Logan's focus up from his now almost entirely finished meal, one hand drumming on the countertop as he examined Theodore for longer than a second for the first time, he was about to clarify if he was the first person they'd told that, before the phone rang again.

He was already moving before he was 'given permission' to do so, pulling the phone from its stand before answering again, this time not bothering with his own words first.

You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own

This time he let the growl be pulled from his lips after only a moment of losing himself in the song, eyes focusing on his visitor with more than a casual sense of hostility.

"If this is your lot, whoever your lot really are, quit it." He didn't hang up though, setting the phone down on the table to play. His hearing was good enough he didn't need it on speaker to pick it out clearly. It wasn't 'her' song, it was closer to home then that. It was the song she loved that made him think of her, the pain of her passing and the burden of trying to live how she would have wanted. His heart, aching with jaded rage at the world, felt the pull of every chord.

"You want me in on this, is that because you need someone good but expendable, or because you've already sent your a-lister and not heard a peep back? Hoping a connection to the place might help? Well, I hate to break it to yah bub, but Jubilee's as tied to it as any of the rest of us. Plenty of Avengers have made friends with mutants these dasys, why not drop them in and save you the trip out here and having to smell my air?"
Hidden 12 days ago Post by Ruby
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Theodore Bailey put his hands up, palms out, surprise plain on his face. He was nervous, so he spoke fast. He wasn't trying to hide his anxiety, he wasn't trying to mask or bluff the fear of the threat Logan presented. "Whoa-whoa-whoa. If I knew you had a phone, or the number to it, do you think I really bother coming up here all this way before at least trying to call first? You hurting me would represent a serious diplomatic shitstorm between the US and Krakoa, and I'm being as honest with you as I can be."

That Logan put the phone down instead of turning it off...made the wheels in Theodore's head spin at reckless speeds. Was someone trying to mess with him? Was someone trying to mess with Logan? Was it the Shi'ar? That person was a telepath, why would they need to use a phone? By the time he realized it, Theodore had already backed up nearly five feet, far closer to the door than he was to the kitchen now. His responses did seem to fly in the face of what Theodore had been told by analysts. Mutants and the Avengers weren't on the best of terms, with Cyclops on record as stating when the Avengers and the Earth need the back-up, the mutants are there. When the roles are reversed, when 60 million mutants are slaughtered, where are the Avengers?

Then again, Theodore considered, he might be talking to one of the few mutants still more friendly than not to the Avengers, and humanity. He was told there was typically friction between Wolverine and Cyclops. "I don't know about the phone. We're in the N.S.A., if you want I can track it? Otherwise all I know is what I was telling you. Shi'ar representative comes down, demands 'dangerous criminal' Jean Grey be released to their custody. Cops say sorry, lady, Jean Grey is dead. Shi'ar representative says, 'Look again. I'll wait.' That's it. So let's be clear: I don't know your past, it's a very classified record. Even to me. I don't know much about Jean Grey, she's somehow more classified. Jubilation Lee we know basics, but much of the juicy stuff is, you guessed it, classified by S.H.I.E.L.D...did Jubilee know what's happening in New York? Do you? Is it tied to Jean Grey? I've sent as many robots and drones into this situation as I can, I'm asking you to walk into where no one as walked out of because it used to be your home, and it might be because of someone you're connected to?"

Theodore gave a tiny sigh, before forcing himself to continue, "I know it's a crappy ask. I know it's a crappy plan. I'm not S.H.I.E.L.D., or S.W.O.R.D. I'm just a former cop and lawyer that's been promoted too many times. I try to be a good man, I try to do the right thing. Washington politics wants to love Krakoa, or burn it down, but I'm telling you I'm just trying to find answers for why people are disappearing and why reality stops working safely around your old school. That's it. I'm not from your world, I don't want to be."

He liked that his biggest dilemma was whether he could make his son's baseball games on Saturday, not a world ending threat or the lines between life and death blurring. The suits and their handlers and hangers-on could have all of that, he was just a normal guy. And he liked it that way.
Hidden 9 days ago Post by Ezekiel
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"I reckon if it ain't you or yours, there's no damn way you can trace who that is. Besides, woulda just said, it's a good song." Logan didn't particularly want to terrify the man, but that didn't also mean he was entirely against doing so. It was always good, is his mind, to keep up a certain reputation. Made it all the more easier to scare the suits when he needed to. Rather than directly answer the man and his concerns, and questions, immediately, he instead chased the scant remaining food around on his plate for a few long moments, scraping up the scraps of his meal before pushing the plate away.

"Seems like the sort of place I'd expect you folks to be watching all 'round the clock anyway, lest some poor mutant kid gets the idea he matters to people beyond some far off island he's never heard, starts a movement, gets people thinking." Logan tapped the table repeatedly, before he stood, flexing the knuckles of his hands as he did so. A reflexive action, feeling the shards of adamantium beneath his skin, rearing to be set free. Men in suits always made him itch like that.

"If you're lying about Jubilee, either your or whoever fed you that line, I'll be lodging a complaint." The tone with which Logan spoke the words instead suggested he'd be lodging something sharp and painful rigth up someone smug and superior. "You can tell me more about what some crazy alien is ranting about Jean Grey on the trip down the mountain. Give me five." Without another sign of recognition, Logan turned to head further into the cabin. As was his nature, he always kept a go-bag ready, it took him less than half that time to acquire it and sling it on, he additional minutes he spent gazing into the mirror of his bathroom. He'd let himself get reasonably rugged again, even if he hadn't quite devolved into the wild thing that the X-men had originally found. With a growl, the claws of his right hand extended, puncturing through his own flesh with a flash of pain that one could never quite get used to. Shaving raw wasn't much next to that, the worst of the tangles and errant length in his beard trimmed away on the sharpened edge of his own blades. He rinced away the blood and hair that fell from him, watching again in the mirror as the minor knicks upon his features healed and sealed before his vision. He spat once in the sink, before turning.

Guess they'd dragged him back in again. Despite everything, he still needed to find new ways to say no.

Back outside he caught the nervous mortal human still waiting, and grunted to him.

"Lets see if with me guiding it doesn't take us all day to roll back down a bloody hill."
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