Children of the Stars

Brief Title:
Children of the Stars

Characters:
Beta Ray Bill, Jean Grey

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
11/27/12 20:00

Location:
Conservatory - Xavier Mansion

Summary:
Bill and Jean talk about cosmic power and responsibility

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
-----==[ Conservatory - Xavier Mansion ]==------------------------------------
This room is dedicated to the musical interests of the students and faculty alike. Here, not only is music taught, but also performed. The room itself is specially designed to resonate tone and carry pitch. The walls appear to be white oak, yet are something more solid. The floor appears to be hardwood, and is likely the same, but allows for perfect acoustics. The room's southern wall is occupied by large windows that peer out into the hedge maze. Those windows are also sound enhanced. Within the room are the various fixtures that one would expect to find in a conservatory. A grand piano, a harp, various stringed instruments, instrument cases, chairs, easels, sheet music displays, and many closets with a wide arrangement of other instruments in storage for easy access.
The only exit of the room is to the north into the main gathering hall. All the walls and exit are sound proof.

After the girls have left, Beta Ray Bill moves about the room, taking it in. Of much that he has seen, something so proasic as this (on this world) seems startlingly alien to him. Neither his own people nor the Asgardians had anything -precisely- like the conservatory. Sometimes it is the little things that tug at the heart, that remind him that sometimes he feels as if he belongs nowhere, not truly.
"You mentioned another." he says to Jean without preamble, his back to her as he runs a hand carefully over the harp. "Should I be concerned? You spoke as if it -inhabited- this one. I could easily access the files, of course, but 'tis often best to hear from one informed first." He seems about to leave it there but hesitates, then turns to regard the redheaded human woman.
"Lady Jean-" ah, the strange forms of address one picks up, "You must understand I mean no offense. Indeed, I sympathize with your difficulties to some extent," quietly he adds, "and your experiences."

Jean sits at the piano, and smiles a little, "I don't have the personality, nor do I have the power. That honor... well, Rachel has the power. I do, however, have the memories." She sighs a bit, the smile fading somewhat, "All the memories, of the Phoenix, of my clone, they were all assimilated and combined in my head, regardless of my wishes in the matter."

"I can imagine the difficulties, and your own people do not yet have advanced psychic physicians." Bill notes, "And yet you seem relatively sane and balanced. If obviously weary of the whole thing, I daresay."

Jean smiles a little, "I've been dealing with my telepathy since I was ten years old. And I was trained by the best, psychically speaking. For a little while, I /did/ have the personalities as well, which was... very unpleasant." She shrugs over at Beta Ray Bill, "I was able to partition things, though there are times that the memories make me... well." Wake up screaming? Yeah, there is that.

She need not say it, for the hulking alien does for her, softly, "I know." and truly, he does.
Images flash for a moment through an old mind...agony beyond imagining, the loss of self, waking within a body not his own, the -power- of it, the pain, the senses screaming, filtered...and beside him, his brothers-to-be...stillborn.

Jean Grey glances over at Beta Ray Bill, and smiles a little, "I see why you earned that hammer." She knows a little bit of his background, of course, and even with the psychic static, she can pick up a few things on the surface. "But yes, the Phoenix Force itself..." And as she picks up the images, she rises and moves over towards Bill, placing a hand on his massive arm, her own thought interrupted, "I... I had no idea." Impulsively, she draws the hulking alien into a hug, trying to comfort the alien as she senses that flash of the pain that he felt.

Bill seems a bit surprised, but his muzzle curves upwards a bit in a gentle 'smile', "I seem to have this effect on human mutant thought-readers." he says indulgently, amused to some extent. "It is in my past, and the gift I was given by Odin and Thor...it helped immensely. Helped me to accept this as part of myself."

Jean Grey smiles a bit, "You have been through quite a lot, even compared to me." She then lowers her voice, "If you wish to see, I mean... I would not wish to add to your burdens, but I can share some of my own memories. And well... human telepaths tend to be a rather empathetic lot." She doesn't quite let Bill go, but does break the hug off a bit, her hands resting lightly on Bill's arms.

Bill turns his head slightly, his vivid white eyes regarding the psionic, the great wings framing his helm make the slight movement more noticable, "Mayhaps 'twould help me understand." he says slowly. So odd, this need to share apropo of nothing, still... "I have seen much, Lady Jean. To see through eyes not my own...heh. 'Tis not unknown to me. If you wish it."

Jean smiles a little, "Relax, and open your mind." She keeps her hands on Bill's wrists, and he can sense the thought, >> It will be alright. << Then a slow spread of memories come into Bill's mind, little Annie Richardson... the bargain with the Phoenix... the Phoenix's time... the corruption... the trial... suicide... rebirth... more than most mortals, or even gods, might be able to stand.

Bill's eyes close at the contect, and more tightly as the memories go on...and yet there are a few moments when he seems to relax at an experience here and there...the fire, the heat, the joy of it, these things to him and his people are the essence of life - they are children born of the Burning Galaxy, a place of brightness humans would find oppressive - to be a Lord of the Storm is a strange and terrible power to wield for one such.
To die...he has known that as well. But the hunger...that all-consuming need for experience, -any- experience...the lack of control...reprehensible, and -not- the human's fault the templated entity could not cope. How oft cosmic forces brush aside 'lesser' lives, uncaring.
When it ends, you can hear his breath loose slowly, like a wave breaking gently on a shore. "There has been...much to burden you with, lady. And much you ne'er asked for."

Jean smiles a little, "I suppose that is true, but I think that's just the nature of life, in general." She nods, "With all that I picked up from you... it just seemed unfair if I didn't share equally with you. And, frankly, I wanted you to know everything that had happened, so there were no lingering doubts." She keeps her hands on Bill's wrists, just because... well, there is an understanding, there.

Bill nods to Jean once, "I -asked- for this, lady. Indeed, others died in the attempt, and -all- were willing to do so. I am told by some here that we seem...harsh to your sentiments. Your champion, Captain America, was not asked to run lethal gauntlets afore he was chosen. I was hooked up the transfer equipment knowing that I would ne'er return to my original form. I was at peace with that-" he pauses, then admit, with a wry smile, "Mostly. Enough to matter. And mayhaps that acceptance was why fate blessed me later. Who can say?"
He takes a moment to regard the woman before continuing, "You felt guilt over it, knowing your own mind, templated, guided its actions, knowing you yourself might have done no better. And yet there is much outrage as well, and a denial of responsibility that is -not- yours, though it seems the universe might insist otherwise."

Jean nods a bit, "Indeed. I should not feel responsible... but I do. But then, if I had not accepted the bargain, I would have died, and the X-Men... Scott, would have likely died with me." She smiles warmly at Bill, and sighs, "What was done to you, I understand your culture a bit more now, but I must admit I am glad that we do not live by such customs."

Bill steps back a touch, gesturing broadly to the cosmos at large, "We made a choice to retain our...stronger nature. The universe is not a kind place oftimes, and we are insular by nature. When the Skrulls or Shi'ar come a'knocking, they know to turn away from our bared teeth. We are not worth the cost to conquer. And I too bear my share of guilt. Some of my choices led to deaths...deaths while they slumbered under my watch when I know they would have preferred to meet it striving against the Living Planet." He shrugs his massive shoulders, "Ah...but there is always much a'tangled in the past. And so with matters of the heart, no?" and here is is amused, the images were clear, the cry to him as she 'died', the hidden eyes, the stoicism...

Jean laughs softly, and actually blushes a bit, "I love him, I always have. I think... that's the one constant I have, more than anything else." She looks over at Bill, "And yes, I'm still afraid, I see Rachel and I just fear that what if, what if everything is preordained. If I marry Scott, then we have Rachel, and then..." Concentration Camps, Mutant Massacres, Sentinels...

"Wyrd." Bill begins simply. "The Asgardians are awash in it, and I only just comprehend what it means. Their lives are cyclical, not preordained precisely, but influenced, nudged hither and yon by the tides of probability. I have become caught up in it, and I am a new element, and the -surprise-...it did them good, I like to think." Surprise indeed, Mighty Mjolnir wrested from Thor? A sibling to the great weapon? A new champion of the Golden Realm? "E'en fate can be taken off-guard, it seems. But only to some extent...but in that uncertainty. Ah..." waxing romantic for a moment, the strange beauty he grew to appreciate, "But mayhaps they are e'er mean to be. Still, it was good for a time, and I can bear my solitude there the better for it." For after he was changed, there had been none other, nor after the Lady Sif...

Jean nods, "You know, a lot of the X-Men have been to Asgard, though I was never among them when that happened. Madelyne remembers some of it, though, crossing Loki with his 'gifts'." She smiles a little, "But you know, if I did have a daughter with Scott, and she was Rachel... I don't think it would be possible to be more proud of what she's done." Her lips curve a bit, "I normally don't talk so openly but... well, you've seen my memories, as I have seen yours."

"Yes. The 'Mutants New' are still sung and spoken of fondly. And Loki's base abduction of your fellow, the Iceman. I hear he suffered through much 'cause of it." Bill notes.
Jean wrinkles her nose, "Yes, I owe him for that. And for what he's done to the X-Men and the New Mutants. But, as they say around here, I'll have to 'take a number and wait in line'." She smiles a little wryly, "Loki is one that has caused most of us to suffer, though he's really a pittance compared to some of our true enemies here."

"It was part of what led me here, truth be told." Bill explains, "I perceived an injustice, a great one, and one that force of arms could -aid-, but not solve." He goes on, "My native form has been mistake for one of your kind, did you know that?" he seems amused by the notion, "And your ilk had shown me kindness when I had newly decided to return here, and was adrift. It seems only fitting I try and aid them in the face of such strange prejudice."

Jean nods, "I don't really understand it all that much myself, but humans fear what they do not understand. We try and get them to move beyond the fear, to accept the wonder of our differences." She shakes her head, "But it isn't always easy."

"It is different among us." Bill offers. Through a great deal of time, we have become very robust, but more...homogenous. We do not produce mutants. The cause..." and here he wonders what to say. The Asgardians -know- why mutants exist. They created the Destroyer to battle the Celestials, an utter failure, of course. His hesitation is evident.

Jean smiles a little, "I've dealt with the Celestials before, Bill... I'm fairly familiar with such things." She hmmms, "We should really have you meet some of the others, Bobby actually was with us when we encountered them as X-Factor."

"Well-" Bill says after a moment, "That certainly 'simplifies' things, does it not?" he notes. "The space gods left their mark 'cross many worlds. Yours among them. The Asgardians attempted to drive them off, and had no more success than any ever have, howe'er valiant the attempt. But as for diversity...the Korbinites do not discriminate based 'pon alterations. My rights as a citizen were ne'er infringed after my augmentation. Indeed, our Imperial Leader has shown me an easy hand regarding certain matters - such as this world. He is very wise, and I believe made the best decisions for all of us." there is admiration in Bill's voice, and an image in his mind of a figure, ancient by human standards, yet still broad and powerful in stature.

Jean ahs and nods a little, "Sadly, we don't really have anyone like that here... perhaps the Professor, but he's not a leader for all our people. Mutants, perhaps, but there's still a lot of discord among all of us." She sighs, "Between the Hellfire Club, the Brotherhood, the Acolytes, the Mutant 'Liberation' Front, the Marauders, and everything else... I'm sometimes a little surprised humanity wants to wipe us out when we can do a decent job of it all on our own." A brief smile, then, "My apologies, I normally don't let it get to me this much, but it's... rare, I get a chance to talk to someone that isn't a student."

"I can well imagine. You have seemingly dedicated much of your life to these children." Bill says, "I will admit a growing fondness for many of them, and admiration for how bravely they confront the challenges given them. It did not seem right to let them go without guidance in some aspects of knowledge they may require. Gentle-natured though some are..." and here he states a platitude, one true on many worlds, "...those who do not wield swords can still die 'pon them."

Jean nods, "I know. I've seen too many..." She sighs, "We have far too many graves here, and I fear there will be more filled before this struggle is done. I wish it were not necessary, though." A faint smile, "We are not warriors, except by necessity."

Bill's eyes glance down to the gleaming weapon of the gods at his side and he laughs, a full, resonant sound that fills the room, "Would that I could say the same, Lady Jean. But I have been a soldier for long and long." He draws Stormbreaker forth, and a tiny rush of static buzzes through the room for only a moment, "This-" he says firmly, "salves my conscience. I always believed my actions were for the greatest good. The mere fact that I hold this weapon now, tells me I am not wrong in that. It is oft a comfort."
The hammer, seen up close, is amazing. Shining a deep gold, perfectly smooth, it's almost as if one could look -into- it, seeing the power that lays within. And it is not a little bit intimidating to many.

Jean doesn't look intimidated by power. She actually looks intrigued, her fingers almost reaching out to touch it, "It sounds... very familiar." She laughs a little, "There's a resonance, it reminds me of..." She breaks off, and almost jerks her hand down as if it was shocked. "Ah, yes."

Bill says clearly, "You need not fear. Not e'en yourself, lady. Stormbreaker is no demon's treasure to tempt the unwary, but the creation of a most wise and puissant lord.: he holds it out slightly, this reaction is not an uncommon one, after all. And to be fair, Bill himself is something of an aficionado of artifacts of power. He would do the same were this say, the Universal Weapon or the axe of Terrax.

Jean laughs softly, "You know what we say, 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'? I have a rather unique perspective on that." She smiles over at Bill, "That much power, it just reminded me of Her. Her offer. So it was a little... disconcerting."

"Understandable," Bill allows, "But though great, 'tis hardly absolute." True, hardly the cosmos-shattering power of the Pheonix, though this token could rend a world asunder or crack Celestial armour should its full might be unleashed without guidance. "But do not imagine I was offering it to you." Bill says with good humour, "I strove mightily to earn it. Though in the end, t'was my guilty conscience that won it for me. I could not take Mjolnir from him." How casually he says that!

Jean nods, "Oh, I know you weren't... if it's anything like Mjolnir, you must be worthy, and I'm pretty sure I'm anything but." Well, maybe, maybe not, but she continues, "Still, though, you don't think I'd look good in that kind of outfit?" Suddenly, she concentrates, and Bill sees Jean about a foot taller, as she gets 'Thorized' in his mind for a moment.

Bill chuckles at the image, "I imagine I am not the best one to judge that. When the Lady Sif and I - had our time together, there was much to get used to, for both of us, of course." His mind goes for a moment to those features, the ones he eventually found beautiful because of her...the external nose and hair in particular stand out.

Jean smiles a bit, "You miss her?" She tilts her head, looking like she normally would in her 'schoolteacher' outfit once more. A sigh, then, "Of course you do. I'm sorry, that's a silly question. She is quite beautiful." Though she never met Sif, she gets a pretty good mental picture from Bill's thoughts.

Bill's tone is wistful, but resigned, "Yes. She was more than I had e'er hoped to know after what I became. And what we shared was the reason for the gift which returns me to my original form. E'en now we remain within each others' hearts...and truth be told, though one might have imagined it awkward, considering my relationship with Thor, as well as hers, 'tis ne'er so among us three. There is no love lost, despite a change in circumstance." He sounds only happy about that fact. Though there is a tiny twinge of melancholy, a wondering if he will ever find such a true match again.

Jean Grey gives Bill a reassuring look, "I'm sure you will, Bill. Trust me, I know a bit about these things." She shrugs, "If not Sif, then someone else will come along. On the bright side, there are quite a few powerful women in this area that would probably find you... well, intriguing."

Bill doesn't seem uncomfortable with the notion, he's hardly some blushing youth after all, but he does seem to find it...an unusual thing to talk about, not a subject that's come up much, let's say. "Truth be told, 'tis not an aspect of my life I'd given much thought to of late. So much else has drawn my attention. It seemed...selfish to think of such matters."

Jean Grey laughs at that, "Bill... do you know, how exactly I've managed to get through all of this." She gestures, and Bill does know from the link, but she says it anyway, "I think of Scott, and the rest is easy." Her lips curve in a warm smile to the Asgardian alien warrior, "You don't have to be seeking out love all over the place, of course... but if it comes for you, don't turn it down. That's all I'm saying."

"It means much to you." Bill says, and of course he knows it does to her. "You center yourself with love as a guidepost. It is in your nature, and while oftimes...tempestuous, I can see its merits. But mine has e'er been to duty, to honour, to the righteousness of action...Ruth, she had me watch a video entertainment. A fiction of a dragon, the last of its ilk," and his tone shows how silly he finds the notion...because he's -seen- dragons, "But she thought an oath spoke in it suited me." he seems indulgently amused by the thought.

Jean Grey thinks a moment, "Oh, Dragonheart?" She smiles a little, "Yes, I think that's a very good one for our students... what was the oath?" Her head tilts towards Bill, listening intently.

Bill dips his head a moment, remembering, "Ah. Yes. The writer of it may have had the right of it. Ruth thought it well-suited."
He continues, matching the tone of the lines in the film a bit, "A knight is sworn to valor. His heart knowns only virtue. His blade defends the helpless. His might upholds the weak. His word speaks only truth. His wrath undoes the wicked!" and despite the patent near-ridiculousness of it...here, spoken by him, those words carry weight, managing to ecapsulate what lies within a courageous, alien heart.

Jean Grey nods, "And that is definitely you, Beta Ray Bill. You definitely mean what you say with that oath. Much like Thor would." Her eyes look up towards the warrior, "And you know you're always welcome here."

Bill chuckles at that, "I am very fond of that child. She bears a great burden as though t'was naught but a grain of sand at times. I would see her safe in this world, I would see them all safe. It is a terrible thing to lose a world, how much worse to lose one's place in it. But I thank you for the kindness and welcome, Lady Jean."

Jean smiles, "Please, you can..." She pauses, and smiles a little wider, "Lady Jean is fine, but you can call me Jean if you like. Just please not Lady Grey." A slight wince at that, as that was what Mastermind called her... well, not her, Phoenix her.

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