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Yes, Ma'am.

Posted on Sun Jan 1st, 2023 @ 10:20 by Phoebe Hunter & Cameron Johnston
Edited on on Mon Jan 16th, 2023 @ 10:44

Chapter: Prologue: Dawn of Avalon
Location: Nessie's Hangar, Secret Bunker
Timeline: Wednesday, 16th of September, 1992
2110 words - 4.2 OF Standard Post Measure

"You are beautiful. Has anyone ever told you that?"

Cameron, who could take his time when he chose to, slid a hand over a sculpted curve and blew an appreciative breath through pursed lips.

"Stunning. We're going places, you and I. Heaven and back, right?"

The hand patted against flawless contours as the mechanic took to his knee and eased himself forward. Fingertips, their gentle caress meant as a reassurance, trailed a line towards their target.

"I just need to take a look at what's blocking your fuel line."

As far as secret, underground bunkers went, the Knights had managed a fairly decent one. Something about being stuck under a loch added a small element of claustrophobia, and Cameron wasn't immediately a fan of enclosed spaces in the first place, let alone ones that Bridge couldn't get him out of in a hurry if it was necessary, but the contents of it were satisfying at least. In predictable style, Cam spent the bulk of his time in the hangar putting Nessie through her paces, or at least preparing himself for a time when it would be possible to see what the love of his life was actually capable of. Finding him 'sulking' in the cockpit wasn't unusual. It was wildly speculated that he slept with the specifications manual under his pillow. He weathered the judgement with typical good nature, and the smug assurance that they'd be grateful for his diligence once they were pushing Mach 3 and had only his ability to match reflexes at that speed to thank for avoiding a fiery, explody death.

Easing the access panel loose, he stuck his head up inside the jet's propulsion network and tried to figure out what he was looking for.

“You know talking like that might get a marriage proposal from her.”

Phoebe said from the other side of the jets propulsion system. It was her first time exploring the under loch hanger bay without Claire and it was easy to see she had missed a lot from the quick tour that she had received. She had missed the locker room and several other bits and bobs that would be important in the coming months.

There was a thud followed immediately by a muffled curse before Cameron ducked his head back out and crab-crawled out from beneath the jet to acknowledge whoever it was that had crept up on him. For once, he'd done his homework, or rather he'd paid attention when Cavendish had dangled a dossier in front of his nose, and he somewhat recognised the newcomer. Which was fortunate, really, because he had momentarily forgotten how to initiate the security protocols.

"I'd die a happy man," he grinned, one hand pressed against the fuselage as he patted it. "Never seen anything like her." For a moment, he studied the woman and then, nodded his head back towards the jet. "You taken a look inside her yet?"

The redhead winced as she heard the thud but even she could not have stopped that. "Not properly. Fancy giving a tour?" She had been wanting to meet who was obviously Cameron by the way that he spoke to the jet. "Got to be Cameron right?" Phoebe offered a hand to help him out so he could not get anymore hurt.

The insight was met with an easy grin. "One of these days I'm going to have to work on my level of mystique. Guilty as charged. Phoebe, right? Claire's been really excited about you joining us. I think trying to keep us in line is wearing her out."

Glancing up at the side of the jet, Cam gestured towards the nose, an indication they should wander around towards the main access doors. "Nessie here may well prove to be the most valuable member of the team. I spent some time at the end of last term going over her basic operations with some of the development team who worked on her. She needs a test flight but Claire wanted to wait until we were all here." Which just went to show the level of trust the woman had in him; one mutant kersplatted against a mountain was a heck of a lot different to a whole team of them.

“Phoebe yeah. And I am sure that after all the rumours I’ve heard about you it is purely to keep you in check.” She grinned teasing him ever so slightly. “I am sure that she will earn her keep eventually. Your test flight will be momentous.” She assured with a knowing smile as she ducked under the steps to climb up into bird.

Turning around to walk a few steps backwards, Cameron spread his arms wide in protest as she passed him on her way to the boarding steps. "Whatever you've been told, I can explain." He was still grinning though and, as it happened, felt a twinge of relief for the ribbing. There was a certain dynamic within the existing group and Cam wasn't sure he'd know what to do with a woman who didn't give him hell. Leaping up the steps behind her, he ducked on his way in and then straightened to full height once inside the cabin. "As you can see, she's a spacious queen. Seats you can fall asleep in. This one is mine," he coveted, indicating the pilot seat. "I guess, at a pinch, I could let you sit in this one." Reaching out, he spun around the co-pilot's chair.

“It’ll be whoever has the skills to fly.” Phoebe said quickly sitting in one of the other chairs. “Anyone else with the flying skills?” She questioned relieved herself that someone knew her place on the team and that she could have a frank and honest discussion about things.

"I've tried to talk Bridge into it. Claire too. Everyone's being real cagey about riding shotgun with me." Easing into his own seat, Cam took a moment to admire the instruments that had admittedly taken him a while to master before turning his chair around to face her. "Dad's in aviation, an engineer. I got certified with my PPL soon as I could, just after I turned 17. Kept it active since, kept my medical updated. This is a whole different thing. Recruiting someone with a foot in the door wouldn't be a terrible idea, just like running everyone through the 'oh shit, now what' emergency exit plan is top of my list."

“We will have to add they to skills needed and training sessions.” Phoebe assured quietly as she turned to her own console and ran her hands over it all. It was futuristic more so than anything she had seen and she had flown several times on a normal concord for comparison. It was something she was going to have to work with for the greater good. “Sounds like you have all the right stuff.” She decided turning back around to offer a gentle smile.

Cameron squinted, one eye squeezed shut and his face crumpled into a grimace of moderate self-depreciation. "Certainly a work-in-progress. But, you know, this project is the whole reason I let Claire talk me into teaching in the first place. Turns out, I actually don't mind it." His expression clearly, the pilot regarded the latest faculty member with a look of open curiosity and turned his head to the side. "What about you? What brings you to the big, bad world of peacekeeping?"

“You need someone who can lead a team in the middle of a storm. Meet the storm weatherer.” She knew weatherer was not really a proper word but it was the only word that fit what she imagined her role was. There was a storm of anti-mutant hate coming from all sides and if anyone was going to be able to work through it all it was going to be her.

Raised eyebrows were more an indication of admiration than incredulity. "Weather manipulation?" He was, at times, a very literal guy.

"Nope." Phoebe grinned and lent forward and put her chin in her hand almost challenging him to start a guessing game over her ability.

Cameron narrowed his eyes playfully. He'd been full of beans, as Claire liked to put it, about having a new face on the team. Perhaps even a little wistfully hopeful that it would be a potential ally in the continual battle for his honor since he stood no chance once both Claire and Reagan started on him. Clearly, that hope had been foolish and premature.

"Let's see then," he mused, with an over-abundance of due thought. "Element manipulation might technically not count as weather if a person wanted to get pedantic. Emphasis on the weathering perhaps? Got it," he declared, pointing a triumphant finger at her. "You turn things wrinkly and old." The grin on his face made it clear it wasn't an actual suggestion but two could play hard to get.

“Nothing as lovely as weather manipulation.” She assured and finally decided to come true and just put him out of his misery. “I see the future.” She finally admitted waiting for the negative reaction that came her way a lot of the time with realisation. “I'm a pre cog.”

The wrinkle of Cameron's nose didn't convey wariness, or distrust, or indeed an sense of animosity towards the skillset in the slightest. It was empathy, or at the very least, genuine sympathy. "Rough gig." As much as it was a long story a little too convoluted for the current discussion, someone close to him fell under a similar umbrella. From what Cameron had been able to glean, it wasn't an easy way to try and navigate life.

“I have had time to adjust and compartmentalise it all.” Phoebe quickly explained as she back up just a little seeing the sympathy in his eyes. She did not often get that reaction. It left her unsure how to respond other than to shrug. “Rough but I am stronger.”

"I know someone with a similar ability," he explained, having clocked the look of surprise, perhaps, or just been used himself to people's astonishment at his capacity for seeing things from multiple points of view. "You get much warning with yours?"

“I have control for the most part unless something big wants to let itself be known. Impressive that you know another precog. Not many of us around. I have met two others in my travels.” Her small American twang coming through over the southern accent that was there most of the time. “I only get incapacitated if it’s big and sudden. Otherwise I am the weapon even without an active ability.”

"Eh, hers isn't fully classified pre-cog, primarily touch-sensitive psionics. She just keeps...developing new tricks." There was a hesitation, perhaps consideration for whether or not more detail was needed, but this wasn't a topic Cameron spoke about often. Certainly not with people he didn't know well. His expression relaxed into an easy grin again. "Can't say it won't be handy to have some prewarning around here, though how much use it'll be to me remains to be seen." Sitting up from where his elbows had come to settle on his knees, he mimicked a sprinter's arm pump. "Haven't managed to outrun the future yet, maybe I should work on it."

Phoebe leant out a hand to his knee and touched him once before pulling back. “Not even you can outrun the future, Cameron.” She said firmly. It was the unfortunate truth of the future, it came one way or another.

"Eh, suits me, I'd rather face it head-on in any case." It wasn't bravado, or bluster, or any amount of ego talking. Just the quiet resolve of a steadfast man. He patted her hand once and then settled to give it a squeeze before she pulled away. "We'll get it done."

“I should leave you to your love affair.” She teased thinking returning to the teasing and less serious conversation would be better for him and her. She did not want to leave him down in the dumps around her abilities and someone else’s similar powers.

"No harm in you getting to know her, I can share when I need to." Spinning around, he leaned sideways and once again patted the co-pilot seat. "Come up here, I'll talk you through some things."

Phoebe nodded and moved up to the seat. She could not pass up that opportunity in the slightest. Someone had to learn to co pilot with him and it seemed that’s he matched him without making it hell for him.


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