|Moment of Awesome - Monica Rambeau/Spectrum: During a pro-mutant protest march, Quentin Quire and Nica exchange their differing viewpoints on how to protect their own.
"It won't come if we're the antagonists either. We take the first punch and it's crackdowns and the registration act and fucking internment camps like they have in Australia for refugees," was Nica's response. "There's a bigger picture to keep in mind."
Quentin rolled his eyes. "Read a book. America does all that regardless of provocation. It's going to happen even if we segregate ourselves and never interact with flatscans. They'll find a justification. We're keeping to ourselves, we must be planning something, right? Into the gas chambers we go, just the same as if we hide in plain sight and pretend we're flatscans ourselves. Don't you think we should do something to even the odds before they come to slaughter us?"
"Which 'they'? The cops? The politicians? Or just anyone who doesn't happened to have the x-gene?" She gestured behind them at the crowd. "It's not just mutants out here today supporting us."
"You think they're going to stick around after shots are fired by either side?" He visually scanned the crowd, noting the variety of protesters. There were several obvious mutants, but many others who, like the two of them, could pass or weren't even mutants themselves. He sighed and ran a hand through his recently dyed hair.
"I'm willing to wait and give them the chance to show me one way or another before I judge them." Nica's eyes literally flashed - she had trouble keeping her powers in check when she was emotional. "That's your problem, Quire. You're so convinced you're right about everything you don't give anyone a chance to prove they aren't all out to get you."
He chuckled. "You're not the first person to say that. But if there's anything I've learned since I manifested, it's that everyone is out to get me. It's not paranoia if it's true."
"Downside of the TP?" she asked rhetorically. "Is everyone that hypocritical?"
"Upside," he corrected her. "Now I know 'trust no bitch' is a good maxim to live by. So." He turned to survey the crowd. "Who d'you think is gonna crack first and fire the first shots, the pigs or the muties?"
"Nice deflection," she muttered to herself, knowing he'd hear it any way. Apparently she'd hit a spot. "Neither, I hope. But considering the NYPD aren't exactly known for their peaceful negotiation skills, it might be worth trying to get the more vulnerable people to move back out of the line of fire."
Quentin ignored her first comment, although the corners of his lips twitched. "You don't think that's gonna be the spark that sets them off? Cops seeing people mobilize, tougher and bulletproof mutants in front, that makes 'em think they're planning something and an itchy trigger finger makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought Gen X was supposed to teach you better than that. Not that I'd know."
"What would you suggest then, O wise one?" Nica responded, sarcasm dripping from every word. "Attack first and have the media turn even more against us?"
"You flatter me," he said, waving his hand dismissively. "The media's already against us. So are the people and the government. What've we got to lose? Our lives? They're forfeit, anyway, if we stand around and do nothing."
"Wow, way to be totally terrifying," was Nica's reply, although real concern had entered her expression. Just how far would Quentin go? Was he about to start a full-scale riot? "So why are you even with us at all? Wouldn't the Brotherhood be more up to your speed?"
"They don't exactly advertise, and if they're pulling a page from ISIS and radicalizing online, then I've yet to find them." He shrugged nonchalantly, as if this whole conversation were just an exercise in rhetoric and antagonism rather than an actual good-faith discussion. "And besides, contrary to what I might've implied, I don't actually believe mutants are better than flatscans, which is, you know, the Brotherhood's central tenet. They might have the right means, but the ends? I'm still undecided."