|A Question of Discretion|
|What: Now that he is a member of the Justice League and more exposed to the media, Colossus has some questions to ask of his comrades in the X-Men.|
Earlier in the week, Piotr sent messages to both Cyclops and the Professor: he'd like to talk to both of them at the sme time about something. It's nothing urgent and certainly not life or death but is fairly important in the long scheme of things. And so schedules were consulted and here they are. "Professor. Scott." he says as he walks in.
"Hey Piotr," Scott says. As the Russian enters he's leaning against one of the library shelves and doing some review of a book he read a long time ago. He puts the book back on the shelf and moves towards his seat. "Good to see you." Scott's been in a much better mood recently. Sam returns? No, that's not why. Logan returns? That's really not why. It's obviously because Jean has been resurrected in some fashion.
"Piotr." Charles directs a warm smile his way when he arrives, bringing his chair out from behind his desk. Now that they're all here, what little paperwork he had been working on while chatting with Scott could wait. "I hope you're doing well. How's the League treating you?"
"It goes well." Piotr answers, smiling at them both. "It is very new to us all so we all need to get accustomed to and learn to work with each other. But I think it will be a very good thing. Which is what I need to speak to you both about."
Scott nods a bit and sits back in his chair, bringing one leg over the other. At the right of his seat is a satchel that he currently pays no heed to. "I think it'll be a good thing too," he says quietly.
Charles nods his agreement and gestures towards one of the chairs near his desk in silent invitation. "The more time you all spend together, the easier it will become," he says confidently. Once he's said it, he pauses to consider it, and can't help but smile. "Ah."
Piotr takes the seat and nods at the Professor's insight. "If you just realized what I think you did, that is one of the things I wished to speak of." he agrees. "I do not know any of them well yet but I would hope we all come to trust each other. Given that we will be putting our lives in each others hands, I would say that will be a requirement. Which leads me to wonder how much I may tell them about us."
"As you know, Piotr," Scott begins, looking at the Professor. "The X-men's existence is something we've always tried to keep quiet. Secrecy is paramount to the safety of the children here."
Charles inclines his head towards Scott, regarding the pair of young men thoughtfully over his steepled fingers. "The last thing that I want to do is force you to lie to your new comrades, Piotr," he says, and it's quite clear that he means it. "But the government is not aware of the true nature of this place -- either as a place of learning, or as a home for the X-Men. It leaves us in a... difficult position." He frowns. This is most troubling.
"I was not suggesting I give them our address, Scott." Piotr answers, giving him a wry smile and looking tot he Professor as well. "Nor discussing the school at all. But Superman at least knows I have other obligations and wished to talk about his invitation before giving him an answer. Must the very existence of the X-Men be a secret from other heroes who support our own goals and ideals?"
Scott shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head, "It's a difficult call, to be sure. But again, we've always strived to keep things around here quiet. I believe that was what we agreed upon when you first made this decision, though there may have been a miscommunication."
"I don't mind having it brought up again. Piotr does make a good point," Charles notes. "Trust is important. It isn't easy when one set of loyalties are requesting honesty while another seeks secrecy." He smiles towards Piotr, apologetically. "I'm sorry to put you in this position. As Scott says, the safety of our students is paramount, and while I trust the faith that you have in Superman and the others... well. Give us some additional time to think about it. I just can't promise that the answer will change."
"We were discussing how to keep the existence of the X-Men safe from the media. At the time, I did not even consider the other members of the Justice League." Piotr shrugs and looks between the two men. "It is becoming a complicated situation. I am not in a rush, Professor. We have barely begun to work toether, let alone know each other. But in addition to them, I am wondering what to tell the media. A reporter has already asked me about other mutants and with me on the Justice League, I suspect it will increasingly become a topic. You're aware Illyana has joined the Titans as well?" He's obviously proud of his sister. "She too has no intention of hiding being a mutant."
"Being a mutant," Scott interjects, "And admission of the X-men are two different things entirely."
"I did hear. I'm happy to see her venturing out a bit more," Charles smiles, before he nods an agreement with Scott. "In that particular case, what matters more are the wishes of the other individual mutants you might discuss more than anything I might think. Use your own discretion, and simply take care not to expose anyone who isn't as ready to face public scruitiny."
Piotr nods to Scott. "Yes. But that is not what I meant. You know there are rumours about us. Vague, unconfirmed rumours but they are out there. What do I tell Lois Lane if she asks me if such a group of mutant heroes exist? Does anyone ever believe a politician who answers 'no comment' in answer to a direct question?" This isn't an argument for more exposure. He's really looking for a response to use in that situation.
"Simple. You tell her it's none of her business and that she can go fly a kite." Scott chuckles and shakes his head, "Lois Lane has a reputation of being a pot stirrer. She's going to try to muck up a story for exploitation. That's how she's made her name. That's what the press does. You don't owe her a comment. You don't owe anyone anything."
Very quietly, Charles pinches the bridge of his nose. Scott was doing much better since Jean had returned, but there were still times where Charles could swear that the young man had never been so prickly.
"You are under no obligation to speak to the press," Charles agrees, his voice sounding slightly tired. "But you're under no obligation to avoid it if you actually wish to. The world is a very large place, and there are heroes everywhere. Why shouldn't some of them be mutants?" he asks lightly. "Why shouldn't some of them cooperate to try and do more good, just as groups like the Justice League and Titans do? That they might be too afraid to come forward and do so openly is the problem."
"Being rude to the press does not seem like a wise idea." Piotr notes softly. "Especially since they can be used to our benefit as well. Illyana's and my public presence will call attention to mutants which can only be a good thing. We can encourage that, I feel. Exactly how to do that is why I wished to speak with you both as well. Keeping the school out of things is easy and an obvious choice. But the rest? We should think about it, I believe."
"To me, being proud of your mutant heritage and the X-men are two different things entirely. Certainly, as the Professor has noted, you can be a beacon of hope to millions of mutants. At the same time," Scott says, "The X-men don't really have to come into it."
"I sincerely doubt that the X-Men will remain a secret forever. Revealing them now feels premature -- however," Charles is quick to add, raising a finger. "Scott is right in that the X-Men needn't come into it. Just tell them that you've heard the rumors as well, Piotr," he says, smiling up at him. "Tell them that part of the reason you've joined the League is to try and show people that they needn't fear all of us in the hopes that others like you and your sister will feel safe coming forward."
Piotr considers what the Professor says then slowly nods. "Da, that is a good response and more believable than refusing to speak of it at all. I shall speak to Illyana about it as well and let her know what we've discussed. There may be other mutants on the Titans as well. The large furry one seems likely."
Scott nods, sits back in his seat. "I imagine the more the public gets of Colossus, the more mutants will want to come out to help. Seems natural."
"Now we just need to figure out that to tell the government about the school's defense grid, when the time comes," Charles says lightly, glancing sidelong at Scott. Ah, well. It will all work itself out in time.
"Speaking of which, the Justice League is not the government." Piotr says, looking from Scott to the Professor. "They initially wanted our identities and background checks but were told no. And Superman made certain they were not listening in on our coversation. The oath we swore was to defend the ideals of the American Constitution and work in the best interests of the American people. I do not believe any of us there would have swore it had the government been mentioned at all."
"If it smells like a duck, and acts like a duck...it's a duck." Scott seems unconvinced. "Do you trust them?"
"The League itself is not the government," Charles agrees. "But it was formed on the orders of the President, to serve as a division of law enforcement. At least, that's what his speech said," he muses. "But I am relieved to hear that you have all been able to make some of your own terms without too much difficulty. It's a pleasant surprise."
"The government?" Piotr asks, glancing at Scott. "Nyet. The members of the Justice League? I do not know them yet to trust them well. That will happen in time. Or not." The Professor gets a shake of his head. "We are not law enforcement nor a military unit. We will only be acting when normal forces can not and then only against those likewise powered or for aid in the case of disasters. That was made very clear before we swore."
Scott nods to Piotr, "Well, like I said a few weeks ago, I trust you. I don't mean to come off as terse, I'm just concerned about the kids."
Charles hopes it will stay that way. Then again, between Piotr and Superman... well. He's fairly sure it will stay that way regardless of what anyone else might think about it. "As Scott says. I've every confidence in you."
"I am as well, Scott." Piotr agrees. All the kids. "I do have an answer to give now so I thank you both. I did not wish to sound unbelievable while neither confirming nor denying anything and definitely not lying outright." Lois might not be satisfied if she thinks to ask but she never will be. "I do have another request though. I would ask to be given a device that can detect and neutralize both microphones and tracking devices. IN addition to meetings, we are being given access to our own jets to use for transportation and I want to make sure I can not not be tracked." No, doesn't trust the government.
Scott nods at Piotr's words, "I don't know if we have any tech that fits the bill off hand, but to be honest, the best person to talk to would be Hank. All of our technology...well most of it anyways...comes from him. He'd be an excellent resource."
Charles nods to Scott. "If anyone can arrange it for you, Piotr, it's Henry. In the unlikely event that he can't, just let me know and I'll help you pursue alternatives." Bethany Cabe had told him to call her if he ever needed anything... perhaps her line of work meant that she would have access to such technologies.
"I will speak with Hank." Though Piotr's looking to the Professor, he's speaking to Scott. "As I said to Scott originally, I will take all the steps needed to make sure the school and our students remains safe and unknown."
Scott nods at both of them, "Thanks for discussing this with us, Piotr."
"We know you will." Charles folds his hands in his lap. "It's a difficult transition to make, but one well worth the effort, I should think. It will smooth out as time goes on."
Piotr stands back up. "Professor. Scott." He takes his leave, letting the two discuss things further without him.
Scott shrugs his shoulders, looking at the Professor. "I guess we'll see how it goes."