2012 02 09 A Meeting Of The Minds Or Twins Separated At Adul

Log Title:
A Meeting of the Minds OR Twins Separated at Adulthood

Characters:
Charles Xavier, Psylocke, Revanche

IC Date:
2012-02-09

Location:
Charles Xavier's Office, Xavier Mansion

Brief log summary::
Betsy has returned from Shi'ar space. Liz is living in the Mansion. Charles decides they have to meet.

Rating:
pg13

There is no TS in this log::
Yes

Post your log::
Time: Last Week - Upon the return of Psylocke from the Shi'ar Galaxy.

Place: Xavier's Office - where he requested both Revanche and Psylocke to join him so that they can become acquainted.

Xavier is found seated behind his desk. He patiently awaits the two women. During said time, he works through a student's folder. His door is open and the room is positioned so that two high back leather chairs face one another at an angle (like the base of a triangle) and the tip of the triangle is vacant (where Xavier will wheel himself to take that place upon their arrival).

On returning from the rescue mission to save Heather and her brother, Betsy learned that.. she was already at the mansion. Or rather her British body was walking around the mansion, seeming to proclaim itself as being the real 'her'. As if.

Hearing that even the Professor could not truly determine the accuracy of Not-Betsy's claims, Betsy-Betsy makes her way to Charles' office when summoned. Perhaps the truth will be found after all.

Arriving at the door, the purple haired, Asian Betsy nkows she needn't knock, that Charles is already aware of her presence but all the same she knocks on the rich wood door to politely announce her arrival.

Having been 'summoned,' 'Liz' would never think of refusing. Even so, she is in no immediate hurry, either. She can well imagine that the other Elizabeth is not pleased by any of this, as she most certainly is not. A few extra moments spent calling upon that calm British reserve is emminently appropriate. She stands from the chair by the window and turns towards the mirror, checking her reflection by instinct born of half a decade and more as a fashion model: she has an image to project and protect, after all.

Rich purple hair flows over her shoulders and down her back, framing the lovely aristocratic face of Elizabeth Braddock. A rich cream sleeveless mock turtleneck sweater covers her torso and clings faithfully, while a supple brown suede riding skirt covers her hips and flows down to mid-calf, revealing the modest one-inch heeled brown leather casual riding boots that grace her feet. A small silver lady's watch rests at her left wrist, while a small cameo on a necklace rests over the mock turtleneck.

Assured of her preparations, physical as well as mental, 'Liz' exits the room she has been allowed to use - that rankles, being excluded from the room at the Mansion she clearly remembers as 'hers' - and makes her way down the halls to the door of Charles' study. And, of course, there is 'the other her.' Her nostrils flare with the indrawn breath she cannot quite stop. Damnit. Even watching the bloody videos was no preparation for /this/. Even catty catwalk mavens don't make her /this/ ready to hiss. But she refuses to show fear, and proceeds up to the door to wait. Damn her!

Looking up to welcome the two purple haired women, Xavier intones, "Liz, Betsy. Please.". With a simple hand motion he indicates to both Elizabeths to take seats within the leather chairs. He himself will then start to wheel out from behind his desk while he further notes, "Thank you all for coming. I invited you both here so that we may discuss matters at hand and so that the two of you could meet formally and without surprise."

Betsy Braddock has had her own career as a model-slash-ninja since obtaining this Asian body. She stands with her own practiced grace and elegance, though carried off in the rather casual, Western Samurai sort of attire she has chosen for herself. At Liz's arrival she regards… her old body staring at her. To say that it is somewhat surreal and even disorienting is an understatement and Charles would certainly pick up on the mental struggle running through Betsy's head. His spoken words are a thankful interruption and she nods, turning to enter the office and take aseat. For the moment she keeps quiet, letting Charles lead.

'Liz' remains silent but watchful at Betsy's side until the door is opened. A part of her longs to indulge in the childish urge and struggle to enter first. But she restrains that urge, recognizing its childishness, and steps back a step gracefully, ushering the Asian imposter forward to enter first, then follows her into the study. At leat Charles addressed /her/ first!

As she moves to do as Charles has asked, 'Liz' makes sure not to cross paths with the Asian Elizabeth, peeling away to take the chair on the same side of the room as she had stood on the same side of the doorway while awaiting their entrance. The two of them likely make this look choreographed with dancers' grace. It's just part of who they are. Like the imposter - she must be! - 'Liz' remains silent and allows Charles to lead. What else can she say or do, after all? How is it that even Charles cannot see that /she/ is the real Elizabeth Braddock?!

The chairs are positioned 5 feet apart. Xavier moves his wheel chair to take the third position of the triangle of chairs and looks over the both of them, regarding their silent motions and taking of seats. "Betsy, Liz and I spent several days performing diagnostic testing prior to your return. In this, we've had some difficulty discerning the two of you apart. Aside from the obvious physical aspects, both of you share the same mental patterns and memories. It is suspected that you are the same Elizabeth Braddock and the passage through the Seige Perilous caused a spliting of the one into two."

Betsy Braddock settles comfortably. At least Charles has always had comfortable chairs from which to have uncomfortable conversation. She listens and glances to Liz then back. "The body is certainly as authentic as I would expect, Professor. Granted. There are certain.. details I shan't speak of in polite or mixed company that only I would be aware of. Your determination is.. unsettling however." She needn't delve into the whole "Who do you trust? One of the two has to be an imposter yet both have the same memories." It's the elephant in the corner everyone is already staring at.

There is a challenging edge to the glare that 'Liz' bestows on Betsy at the comment and the allusion to private, some might say intimate, details. Charles is not likely to be as intrigued by such prurient foolishness as some might be, but still it is irksome. "Any time you should wish to confirm such things for yourself …" she comments with a low tone of voice. It's not quite a growl, but only proper ladylike comportment holds it back from that characterization.

"Even having seen the video, and your own explanations, Charles, seeing and hearing her for myself is confounding. I cannot imagine how /that/ could be /me/." 'Liz' comments, giving voice to what they are both thinking, if in different iterations. "But if the most powerful telepath I know of cannot tell the difference betwixt us, what else can I say? I know who I am. But so too, it seems, this … woman knows who she is." And disturbing as it may be, they both have the same answer to that question. Which is why they're here now. Disturbing doesn't begin to describe it.

Implying toward the 'private', Xavier nods to the summation of both Elizabeths and states, "Which is another reason to bring the both of you together. So that you may /share/ information, compare, contrast in a safe and comfortable /non combative/ environment. I had hoped that the two of you would open your minds to one another and become better acquainted." He himself will not gleam into the personal/private aspects, but he's here to act as a referee or mediator if the need arises.

Betsy Braddock offers a coy smile to Liz but says nothing more when the woman clearly gets agitated by her remarks. Looking to Charles she shrugs her shoulders, "I cannot imagine how this possibly happened, if it is not truly some sort of haox or trick - after all even Hobgoblin impersonated Lifeguard for a time before it was determined that it was not truly Heather." A shrug of the shoulders, "None the less, I bear no ill toward.. myself. How could I? I simply did not expect something like this after so many years.. It is not unlike being told I was separated at birth and that I have a twin. Yet this twin has the same knowledge and memories as I do. Even as a telepath that is difficult to fathom and I am all to aware of how memories can be implanted and seem quite real and vivid."

Liz catches the coy smile, but says nothing. She doesn't even acknowledge it telepathically, although to a woman who knows her as well as she knows herself, there's just enough 'tell' in her eyes to be sure she caught it. "Not to be any more redundant than I already seem to be, but I would have to agree with all of the relevant points. I firmly believe that I am … myself. But clearly, so does … Betsy." Some of the others have taken to calling her 'Liz', and she accepts it as a verbal shorthand in this time of confusion. It will serve, even if she would prefer to have her own name. She must acknowledge that everyone has years of accepting this Asian seeming impostrix with her name. Somehow, she has to earn it back.

"I understand the implication, Charles. But I must confess I find the idea of opening our minds to one another … dangerous. If one of us is some kind of plant or imposter, doing so is sure to trigger some buried protocol." And yet, Charles has been through both of their minds. He swears there is no such thing. Doesn't stop Elizabeth from her paranoic observations. "I …" She stops, tossing her head, purple mane swirling a bit at the motion. Her eyes bore into the other woman's, waiting. And then …

« Alright. He has clearly been through my mind, looking for any such traps. And I have to believe he has done the same with you. So … do you want to do this? »

Betsy Braddock listens to Liz and looks at her. Unwaveringly she holds the gaze of eyes she once controlled. 'owned' if such a word has true relevance in a reality where the psyche can inhabit a new form with "relative" ease. As it were.

«I do not believe it is a matter of whether or not we wish to do this. It is an issue of whether we avoid it now or later. Not if, but when. It is inevitable. If we are truly the same mind in two bodies there is naught that can be done to avoid seeking out the truth. All that we do will lead us back to this very thing.»

It is quite disturbing to 'hear' her very own thoughts and feelings expressed so clearly in her own ways, so distinctly 'her', from a source outside her own body and mind. But much as she would like to, 'Liz' cannot deny that's precisely what is happening. Everything Betsy offers in response is exactly what she herself was thinking. And it is very eerie and unsettling.

« True enough. » 'Liz' offers. « The question remains, whether or not we shall do this now, or resist, and only surrender to its inevitability later, as likely in circumstances far less of own making than now. »

The two Elizabeths sit comfortably in the chairs Charles has provided, eyes locked on one another as their thoughts flow towards one another. The non-Asian of the pair finally gives the tiniest flicker of a nod.

« Someone has to make the first move. » The thought is a tad defiant, as if 'Liz' intends to 'prove' she is the original, who she says she is, by taking the risk first. Her shields roll back smoothly, baring her thoughts, her memories, all of her 'self' to the other Elizabeth, inviting her in.

Betsy Braddock shrugs, « The Professor has asked that it handled now rather than later.» She nods and her own barriers lower, the minds all too easily reaching out to each other, certainly finding the questions to the answer each likely knew deep down - they have had the same past. The same memories of childhood events, outings. Fighting in London alongside Brian Braddock. There are no likely discrepancies until the point where memories diverge as the two entered different bodies.

Liz's own memories reveal a few tiny flickers of interest. A clouded, confused scene rests in the 'crux' of their separation into different beings, of seeing the Asian Elizabeth approaching out of the shadows, wearing her Lady Mandarin costume. Lost, abandonned, not even knowing herself - amnesiac at the time - there is a sense of lashing out, powerfully, with telepathic abilities she did not even understand she had. There is a strong stamp there, the psychic impression of the Hand assassin Kwannon. Memories. Feelings. And then … darkness.

The next memories to emerge show 'Liz' awakening in a private hospital not unlike the X-Men's medbay. An older asian gentleman greets her confusion and loss gently, providing safety, calm and support. Days, weeks, months of meditation and physical rehabilitation follow as 'Liz' rediscovers herself and her powers. Endebted and without any resources of her own - even her bank accounts would not recognize her, for reasons she could not begin to understand - 'Liz' stays with Matsu'o and helps him to deal with those who threaten him, making a place for herself in his organization having nothing else. Intimacies shared.

Then, at last, 'Liz's memories reveal her discovery that an Elizabeth Braddock who looks nothing like herself has taken over her life. Modeling. Her family. And even the X-Men. Plans were made. And then, finally, a trip to the United States to confront the imposter, only to find her gone. Welcomed into the Mansion, questioned, tested, all to prove that she is … herself. And now. Here. Facing herself.

Betsy Braddock looks at Liz and after a moment, all she can do is nod. How can she determine what Xavier could not? The memories prior to the split are correct and accurate. The rest she can neither prove or deny but they seem plausible. She reflects on what has been revealed in silence. What more can she do or say?

'Liz' returns the nod with a ghost of a smile, reflecting on those very same thoughts: What more is there to do or say? Near as either of them can tell, they are … each other. They are Elizabeth Braddock. For good, for ill, it matters not at all. Neither is pretending. As loathsome a pill as that may be to swallow, they both must.

A few longer moments pass, and then 'Liz' rolls her shields back up in place, buttoning up her telepathic mind as tightly as ever before. That's enough vulnerability for now, thanks. "Very well, Charles. Much as we may dislike it, the truth is what it is. 'Twould seem we are indeed two of a kind. So. What now?"

Charles remains silent a while longer, he himself is amazed at the duality of the uniqueness of Elizabeth Braddock's mind. He inhales deeply and then states in a quiet voice, "Now the two of you are equally welcome within these halls. I will inform the teams of the situation and life will continue on as normal - as normal can be for any given day of the X-Men."

Taking the wheels of his chair, he backs away out of the triangle and begins rolling toward the back of his desk.

Betsy Braddock listens to Charles and nods. She turns and stands, offering her hands to Liz. "It is much to absorb and take in. But know that I will not question you or mistrust you. I would fight at your side as readily as have you at mine. Stranger things have happened in this universe. If the dead can return.. twins can apparently be created in adulthood.."

'Liz' stands as well, smoothly, and takes Betsy's hands in her own, a gentle squeeze there to acknowledge the other's words. Her smile may not be bright and undimmed, but it is genuine, and far lighter than those offered when first they entered this room together. "It is much yet to absorb, to fully accept at my core. But I will accept, and will stay by your side as I can, to help." Their minds resonate together as only they, truly one, can. "Nor will I displace you with the team. They have come to trust you instinctually. I will find my place here, without needing to displace you." Chances are these two will spend more time with one another. But probably not today. Limited doses.

"Thank you, Charles, for gently as ever 'forcing the issue' of this union. We " 'Liz' pauses to look at Betsy, making eyey contact to acknowledge to one another, " appreciate it, and your sensitivity to the challenges we represent."

That said, 'Liz' turns, gently releasing Betsy's hands, and heads towards the door to the study. Time to go.

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