View Full Version : A&C - Chapter One - A Speaking Engagement
12-27-2007, 07:03 AM
The thick pages of the day?s edition of the New York Times slammed upon Charles Xavier?s desk with enough power to shake the picture frames and other knickknacks he?d collected for display over the years. The latest print of one of the nation?s most widely read papers featured a new article regarding Congress? decision to pass the Mutant Registration Act, a horrible piece of legislature that required, among other things, that all persons with the mutant gene to register with the government, effectively outing them in a country that still remains bitter and vengeful over the mutant attack on their capital.
And it seemed in the spirit of that emotion, elected representatives found themselves in one of two positions. Either they heard the growing sentiment about the mutant population from their constituents and felt this vote was the only way to appease their state, or they were simply too stupid to think for themselves and understand that, when Washington was attacked by Magneto and then Apocalypse, it was the mutant X-Men that were giving their all to protect the city.
But that didn?t seem to matter to the important voting block of this nation. Because when the chips were down and their hand was forced, Congress had come down on the side of those carrying the pitchforks. Any politician with any kind of political instinct at all knew that siding for the rights of the mutants at this point in history would earn them a bus pass out of Washington. And of course that?s exactly what Senator Robert Kelly was counting on whenever he authored this bill.
Kelly was also counting on President Archer, already politically weakened as he was a vice president failing to do a president?s job, to get behind the bill as well, because if Archer had any aspirations of a continued political career, he couldn?t side with the mutants either.
But in the end, no matter who supported the bill, the only thing that counted was that it as Kelly?s and it was supported. One more step towards the oppression of a co-equal race by one man on the path to the presidency.
?It?s like the Patriot Act all over again,? Xavier found himself saying aloud as he turned his gold hoverchair towards the rear window of his ground floor office.
He would give the Senate some credit, however. Upon passing the MRA, an investigative committee was immediately formed to determine the best method of collecting and archiving mutant registration information. When he?d heard about the panel, Charles had made a specific request to speak in front of the group to discuss not only the dangers of the bill itself but the specific dangers created by making mutant identities public knowledge ? the finger pointing and suspicious eyes from behind the curtain, the money wasted in false alarm emergency calls as neighbor reports neighbor despite no provocation, the effect that hate crimes against outted individuals will have on health care costs. It was a shame that his proposed presentation was on the dollars-and-cents of the issue, but he knew that was the only way he?d be taken seriously by a governmental body that voted over 80% in favor of this legislation.
In the end, the committee had granted his request and his scheduled testimony in Washington was quickly approaching. But articles like the one in today?s paper, which detailed how mutant families were being forced to line up on the street and await their registration, made Charles wonder if anyone running this operation had even considered the topics he?d be bringing up regarding the individual?s right to privacy.
Looking out to the green grasses of his estate, Charles couldn?t help but wonder how much longer his school would remain a private institution for mutant education. He?d been a public defender of mutants for quite a while now, yet no one had put the pieces of the puzzle together just yet. A part of Xavier couldn?t help but wonder if his determination in being a public figure in the fight for human/mutant co-existence wasn?t putting his students, his school, and his very livelihood in danger.
With all these things weighing on his mind, the last thing Charles Xavier needed was a front page filled with bad news.
12-27-2007, 11:36 AM
OOC: I now see this was a little shorter than I thought. I will take care to add more content to my next post.
Hank McCoy had not been overly surprised that Congress had passed the Mutant Registration. Not simply because of the kneejerk hysteria that was growing in the country over mutants, but because he had a very low opinion of politics in general. Congress couldn't be trusted to balance the national checkbook, let alone manage something of such importance as addressing the status of mutants.
"Democracy is only a step from anarchy, but at least it's not as loud," he quipped to himself as he ambled down the hallway towards Professor Xavier's office. He often tried to avoid walking 'gorilla-style' with all four limbs, but he was in something of a rush and the simian gait allowed him to move much faster than a normal person.
The passage of the MRA put Dr. McCoy in a precarious predicament. He was open about his status as a mutant, not that his physical appearance gave him much of a choice, and it would only be a matter of time before the authorities began to wonder why his name was not on their lists. This meant that McCoy faced the paradox of cooperating with a law he thoroughly disagreed with. But then again, what choice did he have? He did the X-Men little good locked up in a cell somewhere. And since he was out as a mutant, it was really just a formality for him to register.
The real issue was that his doing so might set a precedence, justifying the MRA when it was a thoroughly unjust piece of legislation. Oh how he hated politics.
"Good afternoon Charles," he said to the Professor as he finally reached the man's office, pushing the door open with one meaty fist. "I take it you've been reading on the most recent antics of our vaunted leaders?"
12-28-2007, 07:06 PM
The room was ice-cold, partly hidden in the shadows, every book was carefully covered with a layer of dust and her conversation partner-to-be was what 'normal' humans would call a blue-haired monster. Only difference was that this one read Shakespeare and was an expert in genetics.
To put it shortly, a nightmare come true for every young student. Especially this one. The woman in question is Jennifer Stavros aka Roulette. Born as a mutant with extraordinary abilities, she was a member once of the villain team the Hellions. Now, she's enrolled at Xavier's College as a student and X-trainee. The 'blue-furred monster' is Henry McCoy, also a mutant, and a teacher. More precisely, her personal teacher. But why had he summoned her to his office? Her grades were acceptable and she hadn't run into any trouble (yet). She could only hope he wasn't planning to give her a lecture about values and that kinda stuff. She was already 'going' for a place in the 'official' X-team, which meant that one day she'd actually have to get along with them. She could do without their 'moral standards'.
Ever since her first run-ins with the New Mutants, the junior squad of the x-men, she had detested the x-teams. Their precious 'dream', their 'high-standards'. God, she got sick just thinking about them. All this, because of one crippled man. She wasn' t too fond of the Professor. She thought of him as a rather cold man, and the idea that he could bare her mind, her deepest secrets, strip her of her emotions and memories wasn't very reassuring. Lately, he didn't look that cheerful either (did he ever?) with the acceptance of the MRA and she considered herself lucky that she, as a trainee, met him rarely if ever.
"They really think they're the only ones... That their way is the only way to salvation. Hah, salvation! They have more in common with Magneto than they think." The bookcases were filled to the top. Book after book, all piled one on the other. Judging by their cover, none of them would ever be touched by a student, at least not voluntarily. She giggled as she looked across the titles. He had to be a real fan of...what was it? Oscar Wilde... If Hank, professor McCoy, had the time to read all those books, life as an x-men might not be that hard. Not that she would use that free time to read of course.
The room had only one window, and the curtains were closed. Apparently, mr. McCoy didn't spent too much time here. And, judging from the dust piled up on the floor and the desk, it seemed that the cleaning service of Xavier's had its limits too. I'm not born to do the cleaning here, but this room really needs a bit of light! she thought as she pulled the curtains back and welcomed the light of the sun.
"Mr. McCoy certainly has a great view from here" She looked out on the sport fields of the college, and the excellent weather had invited the jocks on the field of grass. From this distance, she couldn't discern any facial features, but their muscles shined in the sun, as if they were lubricated with oil. Maybe Xavier's wasn't that bad after all...
01-05-2008, 07:02 PM
Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning, Westchester. For some, this was merely a school for the most gifted youngsters. For others, this was a secret training place for mutants to learn how to use their gifts. For Ororo Munroe, it was a place she could call home. Whatever happened, she could always return here, where she could rest when the world had spit her out again, usually after she had saved countless lives. Again. And again. Now, she needed the school more than ever.
Flecks of rain peppered the windscreen and the taxi driver had switched on the wipers. The shower swiftly became a downpour and even on full power the wipers were unable to cope with the cascade of water. "God, what's with the weather today? First sun ? volont?, then rain pouring down, followed by a short reprise...and now it's pelting down again?! Merde!" As the driver continued his rant against the fickle forces of nature, Ororo felt guilty. The elements were going out of control and she felt it in her every vein. She knew she was powerless to do anything about it, but what bothered her the most was that she might be the one to blame for it. For a moment, she had let her guard down, succumbing to her deepest fears, hidden desires and this was the result. Her powers weren't reacting to her orders as well as they used to, and she had been left with no choice but to take a cab back to the school. Something wasn't right.
The cab stopped in front of the fencing. "That'll be a fifty, miss. Thanks. I'd move fast if I were you, it's a long way from here to the door!" the driver sympathetically added as she handed him his fee. Storm calmly replied "Thank you for your concerns, but I have seen worse. And I came through." Now why did I have to say something like that? she thought as she stepped out into the downpour. I'm just trying to encourage myself, keep myself in check...
When she finally entered the school, completely soaked of course, Ororo was still conversing with herself. The hall was empty anyway, but she hardly payed attention to the fact. There were other matters occupying her mind. So many strange or disastrous events have passed lately. The drama of Washington, her failure in the sewers, losing control over her powers and herself, the unnatural weather distortions... And the girl she met in the park. What had happened to her? Was there a girl in the first place, or had it been her own voice of sanity? Too many questions, she said to herself. I just have to speak to Charles, and together we'll be able to work this through. Many times she had relied on the wisdom of the professor and he had a way of comforting her in even the direst of situations. Still, even as she was knocking on the door of Xavier's office, one thought kept going through her mind: was she going mad?
01-06-2008, 06:32 AM
Distracted in deep contemplation, Charles Xavier?s thoughts were interrupted as the door to his office creaked open. He turned his eyes from the view outdoors to the visitor he?d be hosting, only to see the large form of Doctor Henry McCoy casually passing through the frame of the doorway. He smiled, turning fully around to greet his colleague and friend.
"Good afternoon Charles. I take it you've been reading on the most recent antics of our vaunted leaders?"
Xavier?s eyes fell to his desktop, where the New York Times sat in a rather disorganized pile, the result of what happens when one tosses it down in disgust rather than taking the time to fold it as it was meant to be distributed. The smile evaporated from his face slowly, the sign of a man with much on his mind. He leaned forward in his chair, pushing the paper across his desk in case Hank had yet to review this specific edition of the national coverage.
?If anything, it?s work and not pleasure,? Charles said grimly, turning to look back through the office window towards the world outside. So peaceful, so calm. If a person wanted, they could practically shut out what was going on in the rest of the world and enjoy this kind of day. But for a man like Charles Xavier, a man who had spent his entire life fighting not just for his own livelihood but for all mutants to be considered a co-equal inhabitant of this planet, there were few days where he could be so selfish as to simply enjoy the world around him for what it was.
He turned back to Henry, now commanding his hover chair to circle his desk so that he was no longer behind it but in front, where Hank had likely chosen to stand for their conversation. He?d save the behind-the-desk routine for a troublesome student down the line. ?There?s a Senate sub-committee meeting in Washington regarding the implementation of certain aspects of the Mutant Registration Act. I?ve been invited to testify and provide my thoughts about how the government would best go about taking the actions included in the legislation.?
Charles couldn?t help but pause, because it was at that moment after having voiced the event aloud that he couldn?t help but feel as if he were betraying his mutant family. Going in front of Congress and telling them how to enact a bill he was vehemently opposed to was not his idea of progressive opposition fueled by his beliefs. But then again, Xavier had little intention of actually providing what the panel had requested.
?I plan, however, to use the opportunity to voice my direct opposition to the Act itself,? he said, connecting eyes with Hank. ?Of course I?d only admit this to my closest of students, Henry, but I can?t exactly say I?m looking forward to sitting in front of Congressional leaders and purposefully inciting them. But these are the fights we choose to fight and the burdens we choose to carry.?
Gliding across the carpeted floor to a table on the far side of his office, Charles poured two small glasses of water and brought one to his friend. He took a sip of the cool clear liquid and let out a long breath before returning to the welcomed discussion the two were engaged in. ?But I?m not the only one taking on additional burdens, am I? Along with your regular teaching, I?ve understand you?re tutoring one student in particular? Tell me, what in particular drew you to young Miss Stavros any--?
His thoughts were interrupted as he sensed something; this was nothing incredibly abnormal for Charles, nor would it be odd to Hank. One of the most powerful telepaths in the world, Charles Xavier was capable of detecting the presence of near-by mutants, a skill that required little exertion on his part and one he was regularly tapping into to ensure the safety of his school. As it so happened, he felt a very familiar pattern approaching his office door just as he and Hank spoke. Only a second or two after the pause in his sentence, a knock interrupted the brief silence, and Charles took another sip of water before welcoming the next arrival.
?Please come in, Ororo.?
01-06-2008, 10:17 PM
"Fear is a motivator beyond measure, I'm afraid," said Hank with a heavy sigh. "And who better to fear than mutants? Not all of us are as benign in appearance as others." He held up two furry, claw-tipped hands for emphasis. "People by their very nature are apprehensive of things that they don't understand. And in certain cases they have good reason. Magneto and Apocalypse are prime examples of what a human with the wrong social adjustment can do with their powers."
He adjusted his spectacles, a telltale sign of thought on McCoy's behalf. Did he share Charles' anxieties about a Congressional testimony? There was no doubt it would stir up considerable controversy. Perhaps violence. There had been far too much of that lately.
"I think you are doing the right thing by accepting," said McCoy finally. "There will be unfortunate consequences from the fallout, that is clear. But to stand by and do nothing would be far worse. The recent events Scott and his team faced at the registration center attack is clear proof that the MRA can and will cause danger to the innocent, law-abiding mutant population in this country. You must take a stand." The shaggy scientist shrugged his shoulders and cracked an ironic smile. "For the sake of posterity, if nothing else."
"But I?m not the only one taking on additional burdens, am I? Along with your regular teaching, I?ve understand you?re tutoring one student in particular? Tell me, what in particular drew you to young Miss Stavros?"
"Roulette is the name she prefers," noted Henry. "Not an uncommon trait among younger mutants. And my interest? Certainly her mutation is exceptionally interesting. Many of the most amazing and powerful mutations we can still understand in a scientific sense. While we are not totally sure what causes your telepathy, for example, we do know how it works and how to harness it. Cerebro is a perfect example. Yet Roulette's ability to alter probability is simply unexplainable. I've theorized it has something to do with alteration of-"
He winced and shook his head. Another heavy sigh. "All my stars and garters, I was supposed to meet here in my office right now." He glanced at the door, still not opened, as Charles gave his greeting to Ororo. "Ah, if you wouldn't mind Charles, could you summon Miss Stavros for me?" Hank tapped the side of his head for emphasis.
01-07-2008, 05:07 PM
What a bummer, she thought as the jocks ran back to the covered gym. This flood had come out of nowhere, and her perfect view on the fields was now getting blurred by splashing raindrops. The tempest raging outside, Roulette stayed watching nonetheless. Oh, this is just perfect! she thought angrily, yet a smile formed on her pretty face. McCoy had appearently forgotten all about her and she'd have him for that. The room was still muffy and outdated, but outside! That's where the real action was. With a firm hand she opened the windowlock. Immeadiately raindrops started splashing on her face and clothes as she pulled the window further open. She'd always loved a great storm like this, even when she was a child. Thunderclouds, raging winds, the pooring rain... It had always fascinated her. And especially lightning. Concentrating her anger, her desire for revenge, she willed a black disk to form in her hand. With all her strength, and a precision that was the result of years worth of practice, she threw it to a small group of trees near the window. It hit the branch of the largest tree and bounced once before disappearing. A bolt of lightning flickered suddenly and in less than a second one of the trees caught fire. "Whoops! Guess that one just slipped from my fingers..."
Despite the heavy rainfall, the trees kept burning brightly, but Roulette quickly lost attention. She knew that within a few seconds, the effect of her disk would wear off. Revenge was what she wanted, but not at all costs, so she had kept her powers down (a bit). Indeed, after a short while the fire was extinguished by the rain. But now she was derived from her fun. She needed to do something, something more exciting than this, and unless she would leave this dusty office, nothing was gonna happen. Jennifer wasn't the kind of girl that would wait for a guy (or in this case, a teacher) to approach her. She would show them that she was something special. For starters, she thought in a detective-like style, I can 'investigate ' the dissapearance of the subject Henry McCoy. Characteristics: blue-furred, big teeth, big feet, big hands, big brain, big...? I guess that one isn't important, is it? The thought alone made her giggle, and she began to wonder wether McCoy was seeing someone. As soon as she would find him, she'd get him a girl, she decided. A pretty one, of course. "Pretty", she laughed, "to his furry standards of course!". The thought of humiliating Beast made her smile, and she threw the door of his office open with force. Now where was that blue guy hiding?
As she wandered through the halls, Jennifer started to realize that this was really a big school. There was nobody to be found in the entrance hall and the greatness of it all was even more emphasised now it was empty. Xavier had to be a really wealthy man that he was able to build this house. And rebuild it several times too. And pay for the maintenance too. Maybe he has some secret treasure hidden in this mansion, she jokingly thought. But now it was time for real business. Where was her teacher?
She was wandering through the many halls of the mansion, glancing at the many posters hanging on the doors as she passed them. The resonance of her heels hitting the ground was amplified by the cold concrete she was walking on. This hall had to be something special. There were quite a few places where he could be hiding, but she had a feeling he was hanging out at an important place. Inspecting the door at the end of the hall she stood in, she read the the sign: "Charles Xavier - Headmaster". Now wasn't she lucky?
01-08-2008, 06:36 PM
OOC: The first paragraph accidently contains a bit of humor. It doesn't really suit the current situation, but hey...
She instantly recognised that voice. One that could comfort, console, yet also be definitive, intimidating. It was a voice Ororo had heard in many situations, in various tones, yet she still felt a warm feeling of recognition hearing it again. Gently pushing the door open, the heavy lighting in the room blinded her for a moment. As her vision slowly returned, she immeadiately discerned the silhouette of the professors hover chair. His bald head reflected the light heavily, but she was used to that now. She remembered their first meeting: even back then he had fascinated her, with his bald head. Nowadays, she was still intriguied by his head, but not because he had no hair on it. It contained what was maybe the most powerful mind on Earth, and a will that could move mountains. Figurally speaking of course. "It is good to see you again, professor." Even though she had spoken to Xavier so many times, she felt strangely uptight.
As she greeted the professor, Ororo perceived another presence in the room. Reflecting back on the situation, she couldn't understand how she could've missed him. But her mind was troubled and her vision blurred. In this state, even an imposant man like Henry McCoy could go unnoticed by her. "Oh, hi Hank." she adressed the blue-furred man. "I didn't think someone else would be here now. But it is good to see you again, old friend." It had been a long time since their last meeting, and she'd missed her fellow team member. Overall, she had missed being able to talk to anyone, someone whom she could share her feelings with. But already the company of two of the most prominent men in her life was calming her down. A bit. As Ororo talked, she noticed that the mood in the room wasn't very relaxed. Was it ever? But now, with the MRA active, there was every reason to be depressed. Maybe this wasn't the time for her personal troubles. But this was important too. For her. Was it her duty to put aside her personal worries because she was a hero?
Nervously, she spoke: "I... hope that I'm not interrupting anything important, but I need to speak to you, professor. I know that this is probably the worst of times now, but I... I don't trust myself anymore. Ever since the drama of Washington, I haven't felt the same. It's like I lost all confidence and self-control... unexplicable events...the park..." Ororo started stuttering. Laying her head in her hands, she couldn't hold back her tears anymore. She knew she was losing control again, but she was too weak, too tired. All her feelings, her worries, seemed to pour right out of her, as she struggled with her words. Raising her head, she managed one hushed sentence: "Help me..."
01-08-2008, 06:38 PM
Bobby lay sleeping in his bed, tossing and turning. His mind racing as he dreamt, suddenly
BANG BANG BANG
Bobby sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, his hair drenched, as were his sheets. He grabbed at his chest searching for the bullet hole that he knew where there. Slowly he began to realize that it was all a dream, will that this time it was a dream. As he got up out of bed, he looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand.
?Great it's 3 in the morning just fantastic.?He complained as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, deciding that sleep was out of the question he sat at his desk and turned on his laptop. It had been a couple days since he had even thought about doing any work but with Warren gone, someone had to manage the Worthington Empire. Bobby had been his accountant for a long time now, just another way to keep it in the family he said when Warren had asked him to do it so many years ago.
Lately though every time, he did any work on the books he could not help but think about his old friend that had turned on them. ?Wonder if he?s ok??Bobby thought to himself as he typed in his password. The picture on his desk top pop into view, it was a picture of the team in their field uniform. Really, it looked like something out of a comic book; Bobby stared at it for a moment reminiscing on better days.
Opening the correct program, Bobby went to work balancing the books. It was not very hard; as he was not the only accountant on the job. There were others but it was up to Bobby to look over and finalize with his stamp of approval. After about an hour of reviewing he was bored, what he really wanted to do was speak to the professor, when they got back from their last mission Bobby could not find him and decided it was a matter better left for the next day. It was only four something in the morning; he knew it would be a few more hours before he would be able to speak to his mentor.
?Myspace here I come.?He said as he opened up his profile page and began to look through his unanswered mail, four and a half hours flew by like minutes and before he knew it the sun was up and it was morning. Myspace is very addicting and can eat up time like a hungry fat kid at a buffet. Finally closing out the page and logging off, Bobby prepared to take a shower. He knew that by the time he was done there would be a good chance that the professor would be in his office. After showering and getting dressed, Bobby combed his hair, a little hair gel and he was done, looking at his refection for a moment he let the faded memory of his bad dream go finally, at least until he had time to talk to Charles.
The Spec ops officer?s actions at the courthouse still weighed heavily on his mind; one of his main fears was that this was only the beginning of what was going to be a very bad time for mutants. Bobby made his way to the Professor's office on his way he heard the sound of high heels in the hallway, as he turned the corner he saw Roulette standing in front of Xavier?s door.
"Charles Xavier - Headmaster", her voice sounding somewhat sarcastic and she looked like she was looking for something or someone, as bobby stepped up beside her.
?Hi Jennifer how are you doin this morning? Looking for the Prof.?? He was prepared to open the door for her when they were ready to enter.
01-09-2008, 03:51 AM
The Greyhound bus had traveled a vast distance carrying passenger?s long prolonged distances. Smoke trailed in large well-formed clouds spewing out the backside of the bus until it came to a stop in front of institute. The screeching doors opened followed by a gentle expression from a man with a heavy Russian accent. "This is good. Thank you my dear. I pay you now?" The man went on to hold a small conversation between himself and the bus driver. After some the large Russian man stepped off the bus happy to return to the one place he was still welcome. Colossus had finally returned home. The large Russian man was towering and massively built with a number of fine lean muscles that made up his torso. Colossus carried a large suitcase in his hand while a carry-on bag was placed across his shoulder. He walked through the front doors of the institute his large frame easily stood out among the other students.
Piotr made his way down the hall, all of the students were asleep and Piotr did his best not wake them. He made his way down the hall until he came upon his old room and reached down to open the door. Setting his traveling bags down, Piotr started to unpack, placing clothes back in their proper places while he made himself at home once again. Charles Xaiver, a man Piotr had to come respect utterly, through him the possibilities for a world where nobody died would be possible. Certain events weighed heavily on Piotr, however; he would overcome them at any cost in order to make the world a safer place for mutants and for the ones he held closest to his heart. Piotr arranged several pictures in his room of his previous family members and closest friends, some dead, some still alive. It was from his loss?s in life that drove him to protect others, so that would not have to suffer the events he has had to witness in his life. The recent mutant registration act had to be stopped or more innocent people would die in the process or worse, be forced into slavery.
Piotr started the shower allowing the water to warm while he studied himself in the mirror, running his hands down his facial features for a moment. When he could not look in the mirror any longer he stepped into the shower allowing the warm water to wash away the painful memories of the past and give hope to the future. Piotr would take a shower and get dressed while wondering how well the institute had held together over the time period that he had been absent. Piotr stepped out into the hall closing the door behind him very gently. He was anxious to help the team once again, if only he could have known that of their mission earlier he could have helped at the courthouse.
Piotr wondered through the hallway; making his way towards Xavier?s office. A shadow cast across the doorway as Piotr walked through the doorframe. The massive Russian stood six-foot-seven and weighed around two hundred and fifty pounds of developed muscles. It would seem the large attendance was no doubt in response to the recent mutant registration acts that had been taking place. Piotr glanced around the room taking in the atmosphere that he had walked in on. Piotr couldn?t help but notice the desperation in Ororo?s voice and frowned in response while thinking something must have happened and he was to late. "Excuse me comrades, I meant not to interrupt. Is good to see you all are well." Piotr said in a genuine tone.
Piotr was genuine in his statement and now the gentle giant remained quiet. Piotr had tried to bring Xaiver?s subtly to other mutants, however; it was obvious that not every mutant shared his dream for a better and safer world. Piotr crossed his massive arms over his chest while he listened to what the others had been discussing. He would help in anyway he could to prevent more loss of life. "All seems not well?" Piotr said in response to their discussion on the mutant registration acts. Piotr had finally returned.
01-12-2008, 06:35 AM
((OOC: Exodus, I don't mind if you use this thread as a way to introduce Colossus back onto the team, but soon we'll be beginning a mission and the sign-ups for that mission have closed. So you'll need to move Piotr on to another thread when that happens. Just letting you know!))
"And who better to fear than mutants? Not all of us are as benign in appearance as others."
There was a brief moment where Hank?s words stung a bit, as Xavier thought that perhaps that was a bit of envy in his good friend?s voice. But Charles knew that Hank was simply being objective about their situation, and of course, he was correct. It was far easier for a mutant like Charles or Scott or Jean to fit in with the rest of the human world than it was for someone like the Beast, whose physical appearance was enough to form tears in the eyes of children and make mothers cry out for help. Then again, it wasn?t entirely Hank?s mutation that had brought about his furry blue appearance.
As Charles sat quietly, pondering his decision, Henry offered his ever-valued opinion. "I think you are doing the right thing by accepting." The man made an incredible case, one that had been playing in some part through Xavier?s mind already, but hearing it from another gave Charles the kind of assurance he needed. He had to withhold a bit of a grin, irresistibly finding humor in the fact that after all these years, he needed a pep talk from one of his students to reassure himself that he was making the right choice. But not all choices in life are meant to be made alone, and with the expertise of Dr. Henry McCoy behind him, Charles knew he was on the right path. said McCoy finally. "You must take a stand."
?It?s a stand we?ve all committed ourselves to taking,? Xavier responded with a nod of his head, proud that so many of his students have stayed true to their fight for human mutant coexistence.
Their discussion about the mutant teenager known as Roulette proved fruitful and enlightening. It pleased Charles to see Hank intrigued and excited about the child?s mutant ability, and though Xavier did not need the reminder, he could clearly see why Hank was such a valuable member of the Xavier Institute teaching staff; his care and interest in the students was beyond compare. But it seemed their talk had fogged the memory of Doctor McCoy, as he?d forgotten that he?d actually had an appointment with the young mutant at this very moment. "Ah, if you wouldn't mind Charles, could you summon Miss Stavros for me?" Hank asked, tapping the side of his head as if to signal Charles to activate the telepathic pager.
Xavier reached his index and middle finger to his head, an unnecessary habit but one he occasionally repeated nonetheless. As he prepared to telepathically reach out to the young student, his eyes caught something through the doorway that Ororo had just opened. Smiling a bit, Charles leaned his head over towards Hank. ?From the looks of things, that may not be necessary.?
It would seem that a large contingent had taken residence outside his office door. He knew that Ororo was waiting to enter, but the arrival of Iceman and Roulette had gone unnoticed to the powerful mutant. As Ororo walked through the doorway, Xavier waved the rest of the group through as well, and it wasn?t long before his office began to look as crowded as the war room downstairs. Xavier welcomed all of them in with a nod, and then turned his attention to Ororo first.
The weather goddess known as Storm had a grave confession to make, and a part of Xavier was disappointed that he?d invited everyone in to hear it. But he knew Storm was a strong person of little self-consciousness; sharing her concerns in an office full of her friends would not be cumbersome for her. But then, she started to well up with tears, prompting Xavier to hover around the perimeter of his desk to comfort her, a gentle hand greeting her shoulder. As she raised her head to ask for his help, she found herself met with a smile. ?My dear, we all go through many changes in our lifetime, and I?ve known you long enough to feel confident that you have the strength and the willpower to meet this challenge head on.?
The gravity of her concerns would likely not be completely calmed by his words, though. Knowing that he would be leaving shortly on his own business, he knew they would not have the kind of time she deserved for the two of them to sit and discuss everything that?s on her mind. And though in an instant Charles could telepathically probe her and determine everything she was worried about, every true feeling and thought in her person, he preferred not to make such grand intrusions. Instead, he saw an opportunity present itself, not just for Storm but for the others as well.
?I have an idea,? he exclaimed, turning his head slightly to look at nothing in particular ? an aside moment of thought ? before returning his gaze to his former students. ?I would like the four of you to accompany me on a short trip I?m taking to Washington DC. There I will be testifying in front of a Senate panel regarding the recent passing of the Mutant Registration Act. Ororo, that would give us a chance to talk in more detail about your concerns and fears. It would also allow Robert to brief me on exactly what happened in New York. And I think it would be good, Doctor McCoy, for your young student-? Xavier nodded his head in Roulette?s direction. ?-to see the kind of challenges mutants face in this world in their fight for co-existence.?
He paused for a moment, allowing his offer to sink in with the group. As he waited for their response, another new arrival appeared at his doorway. This time it was Piotr Rasputin, the mutant who in armored form was known by the name Colossus, a code name that was also rather applicable to Peter in normal form given his exceptional build and physique. Peter?s arrival put a smile on Xavier?s face; it was always exceptional to see one of his long-time students return to the fold, and Peter was no exception. His tough and often metallic exterior hid the thoughtful and artistic interior that only his closest friends had gotten to know so well, and thought the young mutant has faced more than his share of troubling times, Xavier admired his often upbeat and positive approach to situations.
?Excuse me comrades, I meant not to interrupt. Is good to see you all are well.?
Charles nodded at his former student, stretching out a hand in a welcoming gesture. ?It?s wonderful to see you here again as well, Peter. You know you are always welcome at this school. Your room is just as you last left it.?
01-16-2008, 07:10 PM
"Ororo!" Hank took Storm by the hand and led her over to one of the seats in the office, indicating for her to sit. Ororo Munroe was by far one of the most strong-willed individuals he had ever known, her sheer force of character enough to literally hold back the elements. To see her in such a disconcerted state was quite a shock to him. "All my st.... please Ororo, sit down and rest for a moment. Whatever it is I am sure we can sort this out." McCoy gave Xavier a glance that said by 'we' he meant their resident psychologist and super-psychic.
He too took notice to all of the people quickly accumulating outside of Xavier's office. It seemed that in this trying time the Professor would become more and more of a beacon for everyone who would be looking for some guidance. How many times had Hank himself sat in this office for long hours when his own doubt, fears and even grief became just too much?
McCoy inwardly shook of those feelings. He was not a young man anymore. He was a teacher here and like Xavier, McCoy would have to be strong in the face of adversity for the sake of the students. One man could not be expected to act as the emotional rock of an entire people. If the Professor truly was going to stand against Congress and the might of the United States government, Hank vowed that he would back the man with every ounce of strength he had. Mental strength he hoped, not the physical kind. That usually involved violence with lots of running, screaming and generally fighting for his survival.
Ah, the life of an X-Man.
"Roulette." McCoy motioned for his pupil to enter the office, not that one with a will as strong as Ms. Stavros would need or care for encouragement. "My apologies for missing our appointment today. Things have been quite a bit hectic, with the MRA being passed and the recent violence Mr. Summer's team encountered. I want to talk to you about-"
"And I think it would be good, Doctor McCoy, for your young student to see the kind of challenges mutants face in this world in their fight for co-existence.?
McCoy, who had been speaking softly to Roulette as Xavier was talking, stopped in mid-sentence at the mention of bringing Jennifer. He had of course expected that Charles might ask him or one of the other X-Men along, but to bring such a new and, well...... overly headstrong girl like Roulette along was a big shock. McCoy implicitly trusted his old mentor's judgment but he had to make an effort not to appear shocked.
"Ah, I see." McCoy cast a glance back at Roulette. "I am sure it would be an interesting learning experience." If there was one thing that could change a person's world view, it was hearing Charles Xavier pontificate. Maybe it would do her some good. "Er, Jennifer, you do realize that it will be necessary for us to be a bit more subdued in the use of our powers while at the Capital Building?" Though he was of course as gentle and polite in his statement as he could be, the meaning behind his words were clear. 'Please don't do anything reckless.'
01-16-2008, 10:36 PM
Bobby entered the professor?s office; he had been here many times. He still remembered the first time he came into this room so many years ago. Of course, the entire mansion had been destroyed and rebuilt many times but this room still looked the same to Bobby, only now it seemed a lot smaller as he looked around and saw that it was crowded. He almost made a comment about sardines but instead waited quietly as Ororo and Charles exchanged words. It took him by surprise to hear his long time friend had worries about her powers, but he had to admire the fact that she could admit it openly. Something Bobby felt he would never be able to do; he?d rather just make jokes and push worries to the side.
Speaking of side, he looked over at the woman he had walked in with; she and Hank were having a quiet conversation. Bobby could not help but think about how beautiful she was. Her blonde hair and blue eyes really did command attention. She was dressed well and her clothes only helped to show off her fit body, Bobby was tempted to say something to her about it earlier but opted to wait on it. He knew she was a Hellion and wanted to see where her head was at before attempting to make any kind of move on her. Although, he knew he would test out the waters eventually.
Then the Professor suggested they all go with him to DC, at first, Bobby was not too sure, the last time he went out on a mission he had inadvertently begun a riot that ended in the death of an officer. An Officer that had saved his life by doing what was right and paid the ultimate price. Bobby had to admit that he was slightly worried that something else would go wrong, and given the last time the Xmen went to Washington, they left it in shambles, he had reason to be. Although he would not admit it aloud, he knew the others must have at least been thinking the same thing.
When the professor suggested that he would have a chance to fill him in on the events of his last mission, Bobby could not help but lower his head. All he had thought about all morning was talking to Charles about what happened and how to find the people responsible, but now when faced with the chance to do so; Bobby felt a twinge of self-doubt. ?What if we don?t find out what went wrong or who they were?? He thought to himself, as he nodded to the professor in agreement, ?Count me in Prof.?
With out warning the massive Xmen known as Piotr Rasputin walked into the office and said, ?Excuse me comrades, I meant not to interrupt. Is good to see you all are well.? Bobby could not help but make a joke. ?Oh yeah now I really feel like we?re a bunch of sardines in a can.? He walked over to his long time friend and extended his hand in greeting, ?Long time no see dah? How have you been?? Bobby looked up at the towering man in front of him, the giant of their team with the ability to become even larger. Bobby always wondered how someone so artistic and thoughtful could be capable of the sort of devastation Colossus was capable of yet he did not let it get to his head. He was like a yin yang symbol and Bobby admired him for it.
When Beast agreed to bring Jennifer along, Bobby did a little Shazame move in his mind, he was already plotting his next move when he turned his attention to Professor X and asked, ?So when do we hit the road??
01-17-2008, 10:08 AM
Ororo felt better after her confession. The psychic burden she had to bear was still heavy, but in the presence of her friends, and with their support, she would might be able handle it. Both Xavier and Hank had been quick to assist her when she, unexpectedly, had burst into tears. It wasn't hard for her to imagine their shock at seeing a friend who's usually so composed, so confident, seemingly losing control over herself. Storm herself hadn't expected to show so much emotion, as this wasn't the first time she had doubts about herself. Her powers. Her life. But somehow, this felt different. It lay deeper, and she had no answers, only questions. "All my st.... please Ororo, sit down and rest for a moment. Whatever it is I am sure we can sort this out", Henry spoke as he led her to a chair near the desk of the professor. As she took the offered seat, Xavier consoled her. ?My dear, we all go through many changes in our lifetime, and I?ve known you long enough to feel confident that you have the strength and the willpower to meet this challenge head on.? Ororo grabbed a handkerchief from her purse, and as she cleaned up her face, allowed Xaviers words to sink in. "Your words offer comfort, professor. But this is something I cannot manage on my own. I can't trust myself anymore... it is all so...unexplicable and bizarre!"
Ororo continuing her plea, she didn't notice the two other people entering the room. Beast turned to them, and Ororo was too focused on her conversation with Xavier to have a look at them. Charles, however turned to the new entrants too, and so she followed his gaze towards the two young mutants.
Iceman and a girl that looked familiar to her, but she didn't know who she was until Beast spoke her name. Roulette. She remembered her as one of the Hellions, a team of misguided young mutants under the care of the Hellfire club. Almost all of them had been slain by sentinels or drained of their life-energy in a conflict that involved Emma Frost, Trevor Fitzroy and the mutant called Bishop, but somehow she had survived the carnage. Ever since she saw her at the mansion, Ororo had felt guilty towards the young mutant. She was one of the x-men who were sent to rescue them, but they had arrived too late. Somehow she felt responsible for the girl losing her friends, but she had avoided a direct confrontation with her. Why? She didn't know, but her reluctance to go and talk to the girl ashamed her. And then there was Robert, like Hank one of the five original x-men. He had recently returned from a mission that, like everything these days, had gone terribly wrong. Ororo didn't know the details, but she tried to imagine how he was feeling. For so long, he had battled for Xaviers cause. Someone could say that between his first mission and the present, little has changed. Like all of them, he carried painful marks that couldn't be erased, but he seemed to deal with it quite well. His ability to joke his way out of a tight spot was one she admired, even though it sometimes led to him not being taken too serious by others. But like her, he had to have his limits too. Turning to Xavier as he spoke to the group, she prayed that when that time came he would be stronger then her.
?I would like the four of you to accompany me on a short trip I?m taking to Washington DC. There I will be testifying in front of a Senate panel regarding the recent passing of the Mutant Registration Act. Ororo, that would give us a chance to talk in more detail about your concerns and fears. It would also allow Robert to brief me on exactly what happened in New York. And I think it would be good, Doctor McCoy, for your young student-? Xavier nodded his head in Roulette?s direction. ?-to see the kind of challenges mutants face in this world in their fight for co-existence.? His offer surprised Storm. She had suspected him to help her more personally, especially faced with a delicate matter like this, but at the same time she understood him. Their days had darkened with the passing of the MRA, and time was of the essence here. Xavier was a teacher, but also an inluential man of international importance when it came to mutant affairs. She knew she couldn't demand his time for her personal problems alone. But still, this trip could perhaps help her to find out more about what has been causing her recent doubts about herself, her leadership, her sanity. It all seemed to have begun since their disastrous mission in Washington, and it would be quite possible that she could find some answers there. With her friends beside her, she would be fit to return and be confronted with her doubts and fears there. Yes, she decided, she would face her demons and fight them. She wouldn't be denied! "I agree professor. This way, I also might be able to learn more about who or what's been causing all of this. I have to know."
01-19-2008, 01:24 PM
She didn't know what was more surprising: Xavier talking in her head, telling her that she could enter his office, or the sudden approach of a guy who she recognised as the x-men's running gag: Iceman. What she did know, was that neither of these 'surprises' appealed to her. Knowing that your mind can be invaded at any time by some old, yet dangerous man like Charles Xavier wasn't the most comforting thought for a woman like her. She blamed herself for being surprised by Iceman, having been too caught up in her thoughts to notice him. But even if she would have seen him, it wouldn't have changed her opinion about him. Like all x-men, Drake would eventually pay for leaving her friends to die. But for now she was his friend, and maybe more than that she thought as she took notice of his eyes. She knew those eyes. Hungry. Wanting. She had seen that gaze many times (Bobby wasn't the first), enough to know what was going to follow. Indeed, he gallantly held the door for her as she stepped into the old man's office. "Thank you, professor Drake. Gallant men have become a rare breed, and it's a pleasure to meet one." She knew exactly how to deal with young men like Robert Drake, though she had to admit he looked good. Deep blue eyes, shiny brown hair, nice abs... Why wouldn't she have some fun with him first, before destroying him?
As she turned her attention to the people already inside the grand office, Jennifer couldn't help but think that she really did led a weird life. Three people were in the room: a bald man in some sort of futuristic weelchair, a sobbing black woman with white hair and a blue-furred beast wearing glasses. Any normal person would immediately leave the room in terror, running away from these 'freaks'. Roulette, however, recognised the freaks as Charles Xavier aka 'the professor', Ororo Munroe aka Storm and Henry McCoy aka Beast aka Blue-Boy. She was surprised to see the weather witch cry, but it gave her a feeling of deep satisfaction. "Looks like we arrived at the right time", she whispered to Bobby, momentarily forgetting about politeness and other nonsense. "Will you get the popcorn, I'll get the-". Her sentence was cut short as the furred-one motioned her to come closer. "My apologies for missing our appointment today. Things have been quite a bit hectic, with the MRA being passed and the recent violence Mr. Summer's team encountered. I want to talk to you about-". Jennifer surpressed a giggle as the Beast was cut short in turn by his beloved professor, thinking it serves him just right.
"And I think it would be good, Doctor McCoy, for your young student to see the kind of challenges mutants face in this world in their fight for co-existence.?
Her teacher obviously unhappy with the prospect of her joining the trip, Jennifer couldn't surpress her joy anymore. A silly smile formed on her face, but wether it was because of Beast disapproving Xavier's proposition or the opportunity to go to Washington she couldn't tell.
"Ah, I see." Blue-Boy cast a glance back at her. "I am sure it would be an interesting learning experience." The expression on his face, however, revealed quite the contrary. It was quite obvious he expected trouble in bringing his young student along, as revealed by his next sentence: "Er, Jennifer, you do realize that it will be necessary for us to be a bit more subdued in the use of our powers while at the Capital Building?" Though she knew herself well enough to know that McCoy had reasons to be suspicious about her, she felt quite disappointed by his lack of trust in her. For a moment, it even hurt her feelings. However, she recovered her bearings quite quickly. "Sure, mr. McCoy. I'm really looking forward to this!" However, as Henry turned to Storm and Xavier again, she hatefully thought What about you, Blue-Boy? It's going to be tough to hide all that fur, not? Smiling at an enthusiastic Bobby, she thanked God for giving her more subtle powers. Powers that could be used without anyone noticing.
01-23-2008, 04:28 PM
One of Piotr?s eyebrows raised for a mere moment while he pondered. "Sardines? Can?" Piotr brought a hand to his chin as if pondering for a moment before he released who was making such comments. "Ah Bobby, only you would jest about such." Piotr reached down to shake Bobby?s hand in return.
"Tis good to see you well, I wish I was going with you, but I must remain here for now." Piotr exclaimed. "Good luck on your mission, if you need any help, you know where I am. Come see me when you return?" Piotr asked. Piotr would wish the team well and head out of the office, allowing them to carry on their mission.
(( OOC: Moving Colossus out of the thread.))
02-03-2008, 07:12 AM
The winter winds swirled across the short runway, forcing Charles Xavier to pull his dark toboggan down tightly over his head. Behind him, one of the flight attendants rotated his wheelchair so that he could be backed down the staircase of the private jet onto the runway where two cars awaited his arrival. The slight bumps of the chair?s wheels as they closed the space between stairs was a tolerable and somewhat forgettable disturbance; Xavier was too busy reviewing the mental notes of the points he?d planned to make to truly pay them much notice. He did, however, glance at the small group of personal security ? no more than four men provided by the United States Senate for protection purposes ? that waited by the opened doors of the two sport utility vehicles.
He gave no exterior sign of displeasure, but Charles hated all the show. He would have been perfectly content flying commercially and taking a taxi to the Capitol Building, but with the recent mutant registration incident in New York combined with some other minor outbursts across the nation, the Senate panel thought caution was required. Xavier graciously accepted, but his gesture was not one of agreement ? he knew that his X-Men would be much more capable of handling a situation than these hired hands.
Reviewing that thought in his mind caused Xavier to pivot back so he could see the X-Men that had come with him to Washington. Now that he?d descended from the plane?s front door, Hank, Ororo, Bobby, and Jennifer were all able to make their way down the staircase as well. As they approached the bottom, Xavier took a chance to direct traffic a bit. ?If no one minds, Ororo and I will ride in the first truck. Hank, you and Bobby can accompany Jennifer in the latter vehicle.? He briefly looked over to Storm and nodded slightly, telepathically explaining his request to her. ~This way, we can speak in relative privacy.~
Charles assumed none of his students would speak up with concerns about his travel arrangements ? Xavier anticipated that Hank would want to stay close to his personal student, and Charles got the feeling earlier that Bobby would appreciate the same courtesy as well. Looking up to the attendant behind him, Charles nodded as if to alert the young man that he was prepared to make his way to the car. The attendant obliged him and rolled Xavier the remaining few yards to the vehicle. Charles declined an offer of assistance from two of the security personnel and, in a surprisingly fluid motion, lifted himself into the back seat of the S.U.V. The wheelchair was then folded up and put in the trunk.
Motioning for Ororo to join him, Xavier waited until all of his students were inside their respective cars before confirming with the security personnel, who also served as the driver and front seat passenger, that they could begin the remainder of their trip. The two vehicles cut across the airport runway with ease, demonstrating the kind of clearance that allowed them on the grounds to begin with. Before long, both trucks were on the road, dodging D.C. traffic on their way to the focal point of the city.
The two men in the front seat did not speak, and thanks to a telepathic suggestion from Xavier himself, they wouldn?t be listening either. Once his mental barrier was in place, he turned to look at Ororo. ?So, my child. Tell me what?s been troubling you.?
02-03-2008, 12:33 PM
McCoy had to give the Secret Service agents credit, they showed no visible signs of shock when he exited the private aircraft. They had probably been briefed as to what to expect in Xavier?s entourage and were trained to be iron-willed as well, so it was no surprise the stoney-faced G-men wordlessly directed the gaggle of mutants towards the awaiting SUVs. Painted in government black, of course. The good doctor was not as bundled against the biting DC cold as the others thanks to his own personal (and permanent) fur lining. Other than his best charcoal three-piece business suit he wore a simple wool jacket. As they marched towards the vehicles Hanks was forced to take up two whole seats in the back row, the only space that could encompass his massive frame.
?You are not too warm are you, Robert?? said McCoy to his fellow instructor. He tried to break the simmering tension of being escorted by armed guards to give testimony that would likely determine the future of the mutant race with a joke. Bobby Drake was the only person Hank knew to tan in mid-December.
He also looked at Jennifer out of the corner of his eye. Young people never seemed to be impressed by the power and majesty of the United States government, lacking a respect for its institutional mystique. He himself had espoused such thoughts in his youth. And he doubted a semi-anarchist like Roulette would be very impressed either. Could she be relied upon to control herself? He wanted to say yes. She had more or less behaved herself very well since arriving at the Institute and had earned the trust of most of the staff, McCoy among them.
Still?. young people.
The only thing that really concerned McCoy about this trip, besides the hearing itself, was Ororo. His friend and teammate was ill and that obviously concerned him. Storm had a will stronger than steel and to see her brought so low by whatever it was eating her was very concerning. He just hoped the Charles could aid their friend and handle Congress at the same time.
02-04-2008, 05:49 PM
The plane landed and after the professor and his wheelchair were lowered to the ground, the other exited as well. As they made their way down the stairs Xavier, being the great leader that he was did a little directing, ?If no one minds, Ororo and I will ride in the first truck. Hank, you and Bobby can accompany Jennifer in the latter vehicle.? To this arrangement, Bobby had no problems as he smiled at the professor. His mind flashed back to an hour before, when he and Jennifer had been sitting next to each other on the plane doing some light flirting. Just two good-looking people getting a feel for each other.
When Hank called Bobby over to him, Hank seemed to be concerned with Bobby?s interest in the young woman. Hank warned Bobby and told him it would not be a good idea to get involved with a student, especially one with a past such as hers. To which Bobby replied ?Come on Beast you know me? and flashed him his signature grin. ?Yes I do Robert and that is why I?m warning you my friend.? Hank said before going and sitting down next to Jennifer. Bobby figured he done enough flirting with her for now anyway and decide to go change his clothes.
Now as Bobby stood at the bottom of the stairs in his Armani suit he hardly noticed the cold, he was Iceman after all and it would take a lot more than a cold DC day to give him the chills. Looking at the two SUV?s sent to pick them up. ?What no rims? Come on, throw some D on that ish.? He stopped himself before finishing the sentence. One of the Security guards smiled at him, the first sign of life he had seen in any of them since stepping off the plane. He knew the man had heard the song and was most likely playing it in his head. Prosser X helped himself into the SUV much to the surprise of the two security guards that had offered to help him into the vehicle.
Hank being the biggest had to sit in the last row of seats. That left the middle seats for Jennifer and Bobby, after he sat down and put on his seat belt Hank said from behind him, ?You are not too warm are you, Robert?? to which Bobby laughed and replied, ?Actually I was getting ready to ask you the same thing buddy.?
He then turned to Jennifer and smiled, ?If your feeling a little cold please feel free to take advantage of our complementary Bobby Drake blanket. Guaranteed to keep you hot.?
After her response he looked towards the driver and said, ?Okay scarecrow were off to see the wizards?
02-05-2008, 09:01 AM
As they were driving towards the Capitol Building, Roulette felt the freezing cold through her green designer dress. Why the hell had she bothered to change into her best outfit? It was not as if she was going to something important, was it? Due to the fierce wind, her golden earrings had jingled from the moment she got out of the plane until she stepped into the S.U.V., much to the amusement of her fellow travelers. But she knew she had to pull through this. Her time would come. But until then, she had to be strong. Or sleek. Jennifer naturally prefered the latter, which is why she chose this dress to wear on the trip. She knew sir Bobby Drake had a certain interest in her. On the plane, it had become obvious that he this interest in her was not that of a teacher for his pupils, but as something more personal. She realized this could be useful to her plans, later. Much later. For now, she simply enjoyed teasing the poor boy with glimpses of her nicely curved body and some flirty chit-chat. But this amusing fa?ade didn't mean she'd lost her sting.
"Eh driver? Ever heard of heating?"
The haughty tone betrayed the feelings she had hidden so well for so long now. Fearing for a moment Drake would be put off by the comment, she added an unconvincing
Luckily, Drake appeared to be too busy chatting with McCoy to take any notice of her slipping out of her role. McCoy was sitting alone in the last row due to his size. And that's right where he belongs, she said to herself. He had clearly expressed his doubts concerning her coming along, and seemed to have noticed her subtle flirting with Bobby. If that blue-furred beast would manage to talk Bobby out of his attempts at her, he would rob her of both her fun and her chance at revenge. She could not let that happen. Beginning to brush her arms against her shoulders, she tried to attract his attention. Unsurprisingly, it worked.
?If your feeling a little cold please feel free to take advantage of our complementary Bobby Drake blanket. Guaranteed to keep you hot.?
Some men are just too predictable. Turning towards Drake, she let her arms drop, exposing what could be defined as her most convincing attributes to him, covered only by the thin green dress. "I'm afraid I cannot accept that offer, Mr. Bobby. Having you so close to me would certainly get me...too hot, if you know what I mean. If fear I would make you...melt. And we don't want to make these seats wet, do we?" Jennifers spoke softly, slow and hushed. She took care to form each word, covering each one with the same layer of sweetness that had attracted and trapped so many guys before this one. His reaction was, again, predictable.
?Okay scarecrow, we're off to see the wizards!?
He seemed a bit shocked by her sudden attempt, quickly changing the subject, but she knew exactly what she was doing. She may have scared him now, but before long, he would come to hit at her again, craving more. Like all guys, Drake was simple and predictable, and had an interest in her. Maybe not so much for who she really was as for her delicious body, but this didn't mattered to her. She was going to use him, and it would be fun.
It was going to be a bumpy ride to Capitol.
02-06-2008, 08:28 AM
The cold breeze that touched her cheeck did so in a gentle, loving way. To Ororo Munroe, the biting cold of Washington mattered not, for her body would adapt itself to any external temperature. It could have been an autumn breeze, or even a cool summer breeze, yet it would always feel the same. It was only when she looked at her companions that the windrider realized it was freezing. As Xavier was helped down the staircase, he pulled his clothes to shield him from the wind. He didn't seemed to mind the bumps of his weelchairs wheels as they bridged the space between the stairs, and Ororo felt her teachers tension. In the presence of the security guards and his pupils he didn't show it, but she had known him long enough to know when his mind was occupied by worries.
As he made his way down the runway, Storm and the other three X-Men followed. She felt neither Robert nor Henry would have much trouble coping with the cold, but she predicted a fierce struggle for the young woman Jennifer Stavros. Her olive green dress would offer little protection against the elements and it left Ororo wondering why the woman had dressed so opulently. Suddenly she realized she herself wore a lavish purple gown adorned with various brooches and a small golden necklace. Could she've unknowingly set a standard for the only other woman in the team? If so, then she had to talk to her about it. She only wore this because cold didn't affect her, but if another woman would dress similar in these conditions, she'd have a rough time. Jennifer was someone who liked competition, but this was one she wouldn't win.
As they all had made their way down the staircase, Xavier spoke to the four mutants before him. ?If no one minds, Ororo and I will ride in the first truck. Hank, you and Bobby can accompany Jennifer in the latter vehicle.? He briefly looked over to her and nodded slightly, telepathically explaining his request to her. ~This way, we can speak in relative privacy.~ The familiar feeling of her mentor talking to her through his mind offered some comfort but, as they took their seats in the black S.U.V., Ororo felt a feeling of nervosity overcome her. She had never been nervous before, not when she was talking to the man who'd thaught her so much. What would she say to him? How would he react? Shouldn't he be concentrating on his testimony?
As they got stuck in the D.C. traffic, Xavier telepathically shut the drivers out off the conversation he wanted to begin with Ororo. After waiting for a moment to check if his attempt had been succesful, he turned to Storm. ?So, my child. Tell me what?s been troubling you.? In the safety and privacy of the S.U.V. Ororo found herself much calmer and able to answer his question. "Professor, ever since our last visit to Washington I do not feel as strong or have as much confidence in my leadership as I used to have. It has gotten worse ever since." Though there was a hint of panic in her voice, she managed to keep her emotions in check. She had to talk about this. "Recently, in Central Park, I have experienced a strange fit. I don't know what happened there anymore, but since then it is as if my link to the Earth has been damaged somehow. My powers act irrationally, out of control. It is like nothing ever before!" As she continued talking she began to speak faster and faster, before falling back on the seat of the black truck. Calming down again, she softly spoke "The stress is nearly impossible to bear, Charles. I do not understand it. I feel like I am someone else, as if something altered my mind." She paused for a moment, giving Xavier some time to let the information sink in. It also gave her the time to find the energy and the courage to ask what she wanted to ask him from the beginning. "I want to know what is happening with me. I want you to probe my mind."
02-13-2008, 08:12 AM
The car ride was relatively smooth, aside from the brief bumper to bumper episodes of D.C. traffic. Having a Secret Service escort went a long way in making sure those situations were few and far between. Now and then, Xavier glanced through the tinted glass of the sport utility vehicle, gauging the city around him. It had been months since the devastating attack in Washington, and though signs of damage were still visible, especially as the group traveled closer to the Capitol Building and downtown area, the city had never really stopped. The people of this city picked up and continued on almost immediately; they had to. The country would stop if Washington did, so in order to move on, the citizens navigated around the broken buildings and cracked streets and did their best to hide their own broken spirits.
Though his eyes occasionally wondered to the outside world, it would be inaccurate to say that Charles Xavier ever took his attention away from the woman next to him. Ororo Munroe, the mutant X-Man known as Storm, was as dedicated a person as he?d ever met. She?d spent years of her life fighting for his dream of mutant/human coexistence, and he truly considered her one of his closest friends. To see a normally proud and majestic woman battle such uncertainty and self-doubt was a damaging blow felt by Xavier as well. She discussed their previous trip to Washington being the origin of her strange feelings, and that things had escalated recently in Central Park. He could sense the tension and fear in her voice, and wanted nothing more but to find a way to calm her.
The pair remained silent for a short while, allowing Xavier a chance to glance outside once more. They were nearing their destination; it wouldn?t be long now. He looked back to Ororo, who still seemed to have something on her mind. Quietly but with determination, she asked him to help her find answers. He reached a hand out and took hers, squeezing it tightly. ?In all the time we?ve spent together, I?ve rarely known your confidence to waver. For you to come to me know with such concerns only underlines the seriousness of this situation.? His lips pursed into a thin empathetic smile before he released her hand and leaned back in his seat. ?You know that I?ll always be here to help you. The minute we return to Westchester, I promise you we will figure this out together. But right now??
It was as if Charles knew exactly when they would arrive; truth be told, he probably did, seeing as how he was tapped into the minds of the Secret Service agents. The rear door adjacent to the sidewalk swung open, and outside, Xavier?s cursed thrown awaited him. He gave Ororo one more look and a quiet whisper ? ?Be strong for me.? ? and then emerged from the dark vehicle. Instantly, a series of flashes caused him to squint his eyes. He hadn?t been expecting the press to be here, but in retrospect, that was a mistake on his part. Politically this was probably seen as a rather important event, so he would have to tolerate their presence. The Secret Service agents helped him into his chair and then escorted him through the main entrance of the Capitol Building, with the X-Men behind them. As they approached and entered, the journalists overwhelmed the group with a series of questions ? what exactly are you planning on saying to the panel? did you support the Congressional passing of the Mutant Registration Act? did the events here earlier in the year make such an Act inevitable? who have you brought with you and will they be testifying as well? It was an endless stream that Xavier ignored and hoped his students would as well; the press did not know their true identities, and Charles hoped the X-Men wouldn?t give them a reason to dig further.
It wasn?t long before the group had made it to their committee room, a moderately large gathering space where a number of media personalities and interested journalists were already gathered. The Senate panel ? six members in total, noticeably absent was Presidential candidate Robert Kelly ? had taken their seats at the front of the room side by side, and Xavier?s desk was set up close to them, separated from the general seating by a small wooden divider that stretched the length of the room. As Xavier now wheeled himself down the center aisle and towards his final destination, he motioned for his students to have a seat in one of the front rows of the general seating. A quiet hush began to fall over the crowd as they knew the session was going to begin soon. Charles took his spot in the front center of the room, facing the inquisition who were now shuffling papers and going over some last minute notes.
Within a few moments, the senior senator ? Senator Matthews from Connecticut ? slammed a gavel onto its wooden base to call the meeting to order. ?The hour of 10:00 has arrived, so we will now proceed with the United States Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, today to proceed with the testimony of Charles Francis Xavier regarding implementation of Senate Bill S.1963 commonly referred to as the Mutant Registration Act.? The tone and professionalism of the senior senator did not cause Charles to waver, intimidating as the situation may have been. ?Professor Charles Xavier is world-renowned as an expert in genetics as it relates to mutation, having earned Ph.Ds in genetics and biophysics among other degrees. Because of this and his advocacy for mutant rights and causes, he is by this panel considered an expert in mutant relations and behavior. Professor Xavier, we welcome you here today and thank you for attending.?
Charles nodded deeply, his hands interlaced on his lap. ?My pleasure, sir.?
Another senator near Matthews leaned forward in her seat and adjusted her reading glasses. ?Professor Xavier, will you please raise your right hand for the administration of the oath??
?Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God??
Pondering the necessity for such an oath since Xavier would largely be giving his opinion on issues posed by the committee, Charles paused for only a moment before responding, ?I do.?
As if there were another telepath in the room, Senator Matthews eased Xavier?s concerns. ?Professor, though you are under oath and required by law to be entirely truthful with this panel on factual matters, we understand that the nature of your testimony will include your professional opinion on the implementation of the Mutant Registration Act. Please take comfort in knowing that we will not prosecute you on the basis of an opinion.? There was a mild laughter in the room, mostly from the panel and the veteran legal correspondents in attendance.
Charles Xavier smiled uneasily and nodded. This would prove to be a long day.
02-13-2008, 06:54 PM
Bobby had to change the subject, he knew that they could go back and forth like this for a while but with Hank right behind them now was not the right time. With any luck, he would be able to slip out of the proceedings with Jen once they got underway. After the whole riot thing in New York, there was no way Bobby was going to be making any statements to the senate, perhaps Hank would and that would give him he?s chance to escape all the boring blah blah blah stuff.
Looking over at Jen, he could not help but notice how well that dress fit her. He could also see that she was still very cold, he didn?t like the thought of her being uncomfortable so he quickly took off his jacket and offered it to her. ?In an effort to keep the seats dry, you can borrow my jacket and we?ll see about the blanket thing later.? As he held open his jacket, Bobby caught a glimpse of the world passing by them outside. Visions of his last visit to DC flooded his mind. Magneto had waged war on the capitol city and it was up to the Xmen to stop him.
A battle that will most likely go down in history, but like most history books the facts would be mixed with fiction and more then likely, the whole event would be retold incorrectly. One thing Bobby will never forget is that on that day they lost some very good friends to the other side. The car hit a pothole or something and the sudden movement made Jennifer?s earrings jingle, bringing Bobby out of his musings. He wasn?t sure if someone had said something to him and he felt slightly embarrassed about his momentary lapse and tried to recover, ?Huh, what was that??
They had arrived; bobby could see the mob of reporters and looked back at Hank, ?Now try not to scare the locals Dr McCoy.? Of course, that was easier said then done for anyone not prepared for Hank would more then likely be caught of guard; Bobby was just hoping that no one would pull out a gun and turn this into another riot situation. ?I?d hate to have a repeat of New York here in DC.? The Secret Servicemen opened the door and as they exited, bobby saw Charles being helped into his chair and then came the questions. Reporters from every direction began battering them with all sorts of questions. What did the professor thing of this, what did he think of that? Whom did he bring with him, would they be speaking? Out of nowhere one reporter shoved a mic in Bobby?s face, ?You sir what is your name and how do you know the professor?? Cameras pointed in his face, flashes slightly blinding his vision. Bobby wanted nothing more then to get out of there, he didn?t want to answer any questions, he didn?t even want his picture take or to be seen on TV. For once, he wished that the attention were not placed on him; for once, he did not want to be the center of anything.
He looked at his companions and wondered how they felt about all this, he could not hear if Hank was being asked any questions or what was being said to Jennifer. He knew they had to get into the building as soon as possible, ?No comment? was all he said into the mic that was still in front of him awaiting an answer. Then he motioned for the others, ?Let?s get inside.? He followed the professor into the building and held the door open for Jennifer and Hank to enter.
02-15-2008, 03:41 PM
McCoy was not very pleased with the flirting going on between Jennifer and Robert. It was quite inappropriate, both considering their difference in age and the fact that Robert was a teacher and she was a pupil. An inter-role romance that he was sure would lead to all sorts trouble. Especially considering how Jennifer could be and, well, how Robert could be. However this was neither the time nor the place to discuss his misgivings with Robert. They were about to escort the Professor to his appointment with Congress, not bicker about unneeded flirting in the back of a car. Hank held his tongue for the rest of the drive.
The throng of reporters and other media was as thick and chaotic as he had imagined, all scrambling to get a glimpse of Xavier and his entourage just prior to the congressional hearing. Hank could not help but notice that the flashes of the cameras noticeable intensified once he emerged from the government SUV. He could just see the headlines now: Charles Xavier Arrives at Congress with Mutant Associate.
Like Iceman, Hank said nothing to the reporters that would have certainly mobbed them if not for the Capital Police and Secrete Service contingent holding them all at bay. He put on a pleasant smile as he walked up to the doors but that might have been a mistake as it now exposed his rather large and sharp lower canines to millions of American viewers.
Nodding to Robert as Iceman held open the door and an encouraging bow of his head to Charles as he was lead away to the committee room by the Secret Service. Though Hank was thoroughly interested in the proceedings and would have loved to sit in and watch, his presence would have drawn away attention that should be focused on Charles. Hank would literally be the giant gorilla in the room.
'Shikata ga nai,' as the Japanese said: 'it cannot be helped.' This was the reality of the situation and becoming despondent would not improve things.
"I'm going to go get a beverage while the proceedings are carried out," he said to Jennifer and Robert. "You two are welcome to join me, or perhaps you could take a tour around." McCoy should really keep his hormonal companions away from one another but his mind was becoming preoccupied and he needed to sit somewhere and think.
McCoy wandered over to one of the small cafes that were operated inside of the Capital Building for the convinience of staffers, congressmen and tourists. It was mostly empty, everyone being preoccupied with the testiomoney, and those few patrons who were present quickly finished what they were doing and left. Hank ordered a small cup of early gray and waited.
02-18-2008, 09:27 AM
(OOC; controlled Ororo a bit, by permission.)
?Huh, what was that?? The surprised look on Bobby Drake's face was worth the trip, not to mention the dress. He had slipped into some dream-like state, paying surprisingly less attention to her and her voluptuous figure than before. For a moment she thought she had lost her hold over him, but the look he gave her as he sprung back up told otherwise. She smiled at him. He, predictably, smiled back.
The car had suddenly stopped, which usually meant nothing in a state as big as Washington. However, the increasingly loud noise outside made her wonder what what going on. Gazing curiously through the windows of the SUV, Jennifer could discern nothing but a crowd of journalists and flashlights going off. In a blink, she could see the outlines of Capitol Building. They had arrived, and they were actually going to do something important.
As she stepped out of the car, Jennifer felt the freezing wind again, hammering against her skin. Bracing herself for the suddenly long way to the entrance, she proceeded towards the entrance. Journalists swarmed around her like ants to sugar, and she had to admit she liked the attention. The spotlight felt like a natural habitat for the blonde girl from Atlanta, and if not for the icy temperature, she would've stopped and bathed in the light of their cameras. "Miss, what is your connection to Charles Xavier?" "Will you testify too?" "Can I have your autograph, please?" Jennifer had always loved to see other craving for her. Feeling as if her deepest wish had come true, she threw some answers in the bucket: "Well, it's actually quite a funny story, you know. I was simply walking around in the school, you know, Xavier's school for--" Storms gentle but firm push stopped Jennifer mid-sentence, and she realized she had nearly revealed a life-long kept secret to the entire world in just a few seconds. Who cares? Already students were flocking to the institute in their hundreds. But the hypocrites at the institute still preferred to remain in the closet. "To protect the students", Ororo whispered to her. As if.
Jennifer entered the building, and like the others, was lead away to the committee room by the Secret Service. McCoy preferred not to join them. She wasn't too interested either in hearing whatever the bald guy had to say, but since that was the reason she was on this trip, she probably had no choice in the matter. She took a seat, somewhere on the front row, and took a comfortable posture. A quick look around the huge room revealed that there were no hot men around. God, this was going to be boring. And these seats. So soft one could easily fall asleep. So soft... So sleepy... ?The hour of 10:00 has arrived, so we will now..."
02-19-2008, 09:59 PM
Bobby wished he had followed Hank before he even sat down. He could tell by the looks of this crowd that this was going to be about as much fun as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Bobby smiled to himself as the analogy reminded him of his friend Rouge, he could hear her saying it in his head. He began to wonder how she was doing; it had been some time since he had seen her, Remy had been MIA too. ?Those two are so right for each other? he thought to himself, ?To bad her powers keeps them apart? Bobby began to think about how much that must suck when he heard what sounded like heavy breathing. Not snoring just slightly heavy breathing looking next to him he saw Jennifer with her eyes shut, for a moment a thought about startling her but if she screamed to loud it would not only embarrass her but Charles also.
He decided it would be better to give her a little nudge with his elbow. He hoped that she would not be too startled, and then he could give her a signal that they should slip out quietly. The proceedings were well underway and it would be sometime before the even made any kind of progress. When she opened her eyes he whispered, ?Hey lets go grab a cup of coffee or something.? Bobby felt like his presence was not needed as there was no way he would be testifying the only reason he?d come along was to talk to the Prof about what took place in New York and it didn?t look like that would be happening anytime soon. Therefore, he was back to his other reason for coming along, Getting to know the blonde beauty sitting next to him.
Before leaving, he turned to Storm and informed her that he was going to get something to drink and that if she needed him she could reach him on his communicator. Then he slid into the isle and as quickly as he could made his way towards the door, slightly holding his stomach and lowering the temperature in his body to make him look a little pale, this way if anyone took notice of him they would think he was feeling ill and not just bailing out on the entire place. Bobby did not look back to see if anyone was looking at him, he just headed straight for the doors. When he made it out of the committee room Bobby saw that the halls were empty. He was happy to see that the reporters weren?t allowed into the building, now if only Jennifer had heard him and not gone back to sleep then together they could find a way out of here with out getting caught up in the media frenzy.
Of course, that would take some luck but Bobby did not think that would be too hard to come by. Leaning up against the wall next to the doors Bobby waited to make his next move.
02-21-2008, 03:25 PM
She was standing in front of a gambling table, preparing to throw her final dice. There were other tables, but none were occupied. All had gathered around her table, wanting to see how she would win the World Poker Championships. She had played picture perfect, and the chance she would lose this last round was slim to none. This was to be her big moment, and as she looked around one last time, she saw everyone who she knew would be proud of her: Sharon, Manuel, James, Marie, Haroun, Fabian, Buford, Ms. Frost... her father, standing there with a wicked but gentle smile. She smiled back, mimicking him.
"Well, here goes everything!"
Before she could throw down her last bet, a giant finger broke through the scarlet walls of the casino, and in matter of moments chaos broke out. People were fleeing for their lives, screaming in terror as the finger moved around, crushing tables, pillars and people alike. She tried to move, but found herself unable to. Was it fear that paralyzed her? She could only stand helpless and watch as Buford and Marie were crushed by falling debris, Sharon and Buford being overrun by the frenzied crowd and Haroun, Fabian and Manuel were crushed under the weight of the huge finger. Tears welled up with tears as she saw her father die again, falling in a hole in the floor. His wicked smile was gone.
Emma Frost had disappeared, as Jennifer couldn't see her anymore. Some teacher. She felt the anger surge through her body, and she suddenly found herself to be able to move again. Free again, she positioned herself, ready to settle a score with the finger. She charged at the finger, intending to beat it to pulp. Her arms swung wildly in the air, her sight blurred by the tears.
"You... Monster! I'll make you pay for this! I will..."
"Child, what has happened?" The voice brought her back to the real world. She was in the committee room again. Storm was sitting in front of her, holding her hands. The look on her face was one of worries, yet also betrayed a hint of suspicion. As Jennifer regained her bearings, she noticed the surprised face of Bobby Drake. He seemed to feel a bit guilty, but she could only guess at the reason.
"I am fine, Ms. Monroe. Just a bad dream, I think."
Having made sure Jennifer was alright, Ororo went back to her seat. "You were not supposed to dream", the windrider replied modestly. Cow. ?Hey lets go grab a cup of coffee or something.? At least someone who didn't think one had to bleed to near-death before considering the possibility one wasn't as fine as one said s/he was.
03-05-2008, 03:28 PM
The cup was really to small, or his hands to big, for Hank to hold it like a normal person. Luckily he had dexterity so precise and amazing that he easily hold the Styrofoam cup of bubbling tea between two gorilla fingers and neither crush the item nor spill a singular drop. Putting on his spectacles, he browsed over a copy of the Washington Post as he had gotten.
Of course it was all about the Mutant Registration Act. Almost every page. Xavier was the top story but there were also article by or about other individuals of interest in this great debate like Lensherr, Trask, Stryker, Cooper, even his old 'friend' HP Gyrich. One section was a cartoon with a mutant girl on her knees crying, behind her Captain America; his shield raised for a killing blow in one hand and a piece of paper with 'MRA' written in bold black lettering in the other hand.
Steve Rogers was far from a mutant hater but he, as Captain America, was a symbol of the US government and the American psyche as a whole. Though not pleased that the noble Avenger was having his image used for cheap political shots, the illustration was quite telling. For years they had assured themselves that the great democracy would never make the mistakes of the past when it came to mutants, but here they were on the cusp of the worst piece of legislation since Jim Crow and the Japanese Relocation Act.
It has not all been for nothing, Hank assured himself in his mind. He still had faith in the government, or parts of it, and in the ideals they had developed at Xavier's. He believed that this was just another challenge to be overcome.
It had to be.
Literally being the giant gorilla in the room he was surprised when he heard more people entering and looked up to see Robert and Roulette strolling into the coffee shop together.
03-09-2008, 09:04 AM
?Professor Xavier,? boomed an authoritative voice over a desktop microphone, interrupting nearly an hour of back and forth testimony that had gotten them nowhere. ?Need I remind you that the reason we requested your presence today was not to speak upon the merits of the bill but rather to assist us in its implementation??
?I was summoned here for my expert opinion on this topic, and I plan to continue to give it,? Charles Xavier said in a calm but unusually challenging tone. He knew well in advance that this discussion could get heated if he decided to challenge the validity of the bill itself, but he felt it was his responsibility to stand up ? figuratively, of course ? when others would not. He?d spent his entire life fighting for mutant and human coexistence, and what he witnessed here in Washington was a large step backwards.
?You were summoned on the grounds of advising us on how best to implement the initiatives of the bill??
Xavier would not let the senator continue. ?And my advice is to not implement it at all, sir.? Whispers began to make their way through the committee room?s seating gallery, prompting Senator Matthews to challenge their volume by banging his gavel on its wooden disc. The voices died down to a whisper, and as Charles waited, he turned his head slightly, telepathically sensing that Ororo was the only one of his students presenting in the committee room. His eyes dropped to the floor a bit, disappointed. He?d suggested that Hank?s student accompany them so that she could see the obstacles that stood between their shared goal, but for some unknown reason, Jennifer had left.
His inquiry into her location would have to wait. After all, now was the time to be grilled by elected officials.
?With all due respect, professor,? Senator Matthews continued. ?It?s a bit late in the game to be debating whether the Mutant Registration Act should have been passed in the first place, wouldn?t you say??
Xavier folded his hands over his lap calmly, looking aside as if collecting his thoughts, and then turned his attention back to the senator. ?Sir, I understand that in a representative democracy such as ours, the people must be satisfied with the choices their elected officials make. If they are not satisfied with those decisions, they have the option of voting those representatives out of office in the next election cycle. But aside from that, simple citizens such as myself have few opportunities to truly voice our opinions. When those opportunities arise, such as mine did today, they cannot be taken for granted.
?I?m fully aware,? Xavier continued. ?That my participation here today is not what you expected; however, this is my only contribution to the matter at hand. Sitting here in front of this highly respected committee, I have an opportunity to speak up for those without voices, for those too shamed to come forward and fight against this injustice. I sympathize with their fears, as only days ago in New York, we saw the consequences of mutants willing to come forward as their government requested only to be assaulted by citizens supposedly in need of protection. Fear can be a paralyzing emotion. It can cause the oppressed to withstand the wrongs committed against them, and can incite others to commit those wrongs in a misguided attempt to do what?s best for a country.
?I have fought my entire life to see all of humanity together as one,? Charles?s voice was softer now, but very much still audible as there was not a sound in the room. ?Without race, gender, culture, or genetics dividing us. I?ve watched a country turn on their own because they look different, because they come from somewhere else or speak a different language, because there is something different in our DNA.? He paused momentarily, afraid that someone had noticed his slip of the tongue. Our DNA? Had the well spoken advocate just outted himself in front of the entire room, Senate panel and all? He forced himself to continue. ?What this legislation proposes and what this government is willing to do to its own people? is wrong. And though I respect those of you in front of me trying to do what you feel is best for this nation, I will not in any way be associated with helping this Act become reality. For the sake of all mutants trying to live in peace with their neighbor, I hope you see the damage being wrought before it?s too late.?
The room was eerily quiet, as if no one knew who should be the first to make a sound after Xavier?s speech. Xavier himself was motionless, his eyes transfixed on the panel of officials he?d just candidly addressed, not knowing what awaited him next. Would he be reprimanded for coming here on false pretenses, for arriving under the assumption of giving one piece of testimony while offering a vastly different alternative? He?d taken a risk here today, moreso then he knew. Like everyone else in the room, he awaited the reaction.
The senators looked down the row to one another, mulling over what Xavier offered them. There was no discussion, but rather simply exchanged glances. Finally, Senator Matthews leaned back to the microphone. ?Thank you, Professor Xavier. Given the ramifications of your testimony on our panel?s objectives, we have no choice but to adjourn for the day.? The gavel slammed down, and instantly the room was abuzz. Xavier?s eyes locked with the committee chair, both men drowned out the noise. Matthews pushed his chair back to rise ? those in the audience behind Charles did the same ? and if Xavier didn?t know any better, he could have sworn Matthews gave him the smallest equivalent of a nod.
Pivoting his wheelchair around, Charles Xavier moved towards the hinged door that separated him from the rest of the audience. Looking over at Ororo, Xavier offered a thin smile and nodded to the side with his head as if to signal it was time to depart. As they neared the exit to the committee room, Xavier telepathically reached out to the rest of his group, alerting them that the testimony had concluded. ~I?ve said my peace, my friends. It?s time to leave here.~
The path from the committee room to the front entrance of the Capitol Building seemed much longer now than it had on the way in, perhaps because Charles now found himself replaying his testimony in his mind. Had he said enough? Or had he said too much? The weight of the slip in his testimony was finally sinking in, and though no press were allowed in the committee room or the building for that matter, Charles was not na?ve enough to think that there weren?t a few reporters sitting off the record in the seats behind him, now conveying to their friends outside the magnitude of what Charles had revealed. Things could get very murky very quickly. As the eastern entrance loomed ahead of him, Xavier braced himself for the worst.
Little did he know.
The doors parted, and he was met with a stunning combination of camera flashes and microphones stretch beyond the pillars of the entrance and down the main staircase. Secret Service did their best to keep the reporters at bay, but it was a futile attempt. There must have been over two dozen reporters huddled on the Capitol stairs, lobbying questions towards Xavier like a mass of arrows over the stone wall of a castle. He truly felt as if he was under siege, and even a man known for his calm demeanor began to feel smothered. They knew, he thought to himself though he hadn?t heard a question yet regarding his slip. He?d never been a man to live in complete peace and obscurity; much to his own doing, he?d made himself a public figure in the fight for mutant rights. But now, a defender of those who shared genes with the ones that destroyed this city only months ago, Xavier did not quite feel as welcomed as he had before. A dark feeling began to creep over him, something was amiss. As he passed between the building?s giant pillars and reached the top of the stairs, he squinted, almost trying to shield himself from the barrage of questions so that his mind could get a better fix on the problem.
As Xavier winced in response to the crowd, one of the government agents near the front of the group took charge, stepping forward with his arms outstretched to the masses on either side. ?C?mon, people! Give the man some space!? The crowd staggered back and away at the request of the security officer, some having no choice as the agent pushed them down a step or two on the building. Now that a few feet of breathing room had been cleared around Xavier, the Secret Service agent turned his head to look back at Charles, who met eyes with the man as if to say thank you. But the man did not return Xavier?s gesture, nor did he truly look into Xavier?s eyes. Instead, it was as if the agent was eying the distance that he?d created between Xavier and the mob of reporters. Satisfied with his work, the agent cocked his head to the side, and Xavier followed his eyes towards the rooftop of the north wing. There, barely visible to the naked eye in this sunlight, something stood alone atop the building, like a watchman looking down upon them. Feeling that this was the source of his uneasiness, Charles reached out telepathically, trying to communicate with this person.
Not even a moment later, Xavier?s eyes suddenly grew wide. His fingers gripped the armrest of his wheelchair. ?Oh God, son. No??
Then came the flash?
03-09-2008, 09:39 AM
It?d taken Alex Summers the better part of the morning to navigate through the north wing of the Capitol Building. Thankfully, Sinister had removed the blue skin and the strange hair color that Apocalypse had bestowed upon him, and now Havok could easily blend in with those around him. But this wasn?t simply a matter of blending in; this was infiltration. Sinister?s help did not come at a price, and for whatever reason, he?d instructed Alex to be here in Washington on this specific day at this specific time. Havok didn?t think to ask questions; having Stryfe out of his head was worth whatever it was Sinister that needed accomplished. Besides, whatever it was, Alex had his boundaries, his limits. Though Essex had lived up to his end of the bargain and removed that dual personality from his mind, Alex was not opposed to cheating Sinister out of his if the job proved to be something that he simply couldn?t stomach.
But Alex?s instructions were to simply get to the roof of the Capitol?s north wing, where he?d be briefed further upon what his mission truly was. It was a bit confusing to Alex, who had expected to be informed of the whole ordeal by Sinister himself. But leave it to Essex to hide his true motives in mystery and shadow. Perhaps Sinister thought that Alex would be less likely to back out if he?d taken the time to get to the location ? once there, there would be in effect no turning back. Whatever, Alex shrugged to himself. He just wanted to get this over with so he could return to the fold of his teammates in X-Factor.
Walking through the hallways of the north wing, Alex noticed a number of closed doors, and the building was abnormally quiet, much more than Alex had anticipated. Perhaps this would require a bit more stealth than he was used to. He turned a few corners until he found what he was looking for ? stairway access to the roof. But it was being guarded by a man in a suit, no doubt some form of government security. Pulling a map from his pocket ? it?d been wise to grab one from the lobby entrance as part of his cover ? Alex approached the man at the staircase door.
?Excuse me, you must get this all the time,? Alex began, flashing a genuine enough looking smile.
?I?m sorry, sir,? the agent said, holding a palm out toward Havok. ?If you need assistance, you need to return to the guest services center.?
Alex paused for a moment and sighed, turning to look back behind him. ?You?re kidding me, man. C?mon, you?re really going to make me go all the way back??
?I?m sorry, sir,? the man offered again, more curt this time.
?Look, I?m just trying to find the Old Senate Chamber,? Alex said, taking a step towards the man?s right side. ?It?s right here on the map ? see? ? but I can?t seem to find it anywhere.? Alex held out the map and pointed down to the diagram. Initially the guard only eyed Alex, but finally he looked down at the graphic.
As he did so, Alex examined the hallway. Whatever was going on that day kept it pretty clear, and a brief look up at the security camera showed it had rotated to focus on a different spot for the time being. Alex knew it was now or never. Charging his fist with plasma energy, Havok swung into the guard?s gut, unleashing the cosmic power as his fist connected with bone and muscle. The guard rocked backwards, slamming up against the wall, the air knocked from his lungs. Havok responded quickly, swinging his opposite elbow across his body and connecting it with the man?s jaw, knocking him unconscious. With his arm still raised, Havok kept the man pinned to the wall as he searched for the man?s security badge. He pulled it from the inside jacket pocket and swiped it across the access panel, the door popping open and swinging into the stairwell. Alex dragged the guard with him and closed the door quickly.
His heart pounding, Alex waited a moment. Nothing. No alarm, no call on the radio. So far, so good. He propped the guard up against the inner wall of the staircase, then put his hands on his hips. ?Sorry,? Alex muttered, looking down at the man. He knew it?d be a while before the guy came to, and when he did, he?d have one hell of a headache. But better that than be dead at the hands of one of Sinister?s minions, because they undoubtedly wouldn?t be so merciful.
The race to the top of the stairs was quick; Alex remained in peak physical shape, and Sinister had allowed him to keep Apocalypse?s enhancements for the duration of this mission. As he neared the rooftop doorway, Alex slowed and listened for any sounds behind him. Still, nothing. This was almost too easy, he thought to himself. Swiping the security guard?s clearance card once more, Alex pushed the rooftop door open and thinned his eyes to protect them from the midday sunlight.
In his mind, he?d expected to find a sniper or two sitting up here. Unfortunately, he was wrong. Whether or not that was normal procedure, he didn?t know. But the truth of the matter was only one person waited for him here, and they obviously knew he was coming. A middle aged man, probably nearing his fifties, stood approximately thirty feet away from the door, looking directly at Alex, his hands clasped him front of him harmlessly. Alex raised an arm like a battleship aiming its cannon, ready to unleash another wave of plasma energy.
?Wait,? the man said, remaining still so as to not pose a threat. ?You?re supposed to be meeting me here.?
Alex paused, his arm still raised but holding his power at bay. ?Oh yeah? This is the first I?ve heard of it.?
?We have a mutual friend,? the man said, now walking towards Havok with his hands slowly extending to his side to show he had nothing in them. ?You were told you?d receive additional instructions on the rooftop. Well, here I am.?
Not sure whether to trust the man or not, Alex really did not see many other options. Thus far, the man?s story had checked out. Alex was supposed to get additional instructions here, and Sinister was rather vague about the manner in which those instructions would come. Shutting the door behind him, Alex slowly approached his company, blonde hair blowing in the spring breeze. ?Okay, so what exactly am I doing here??
The man slowly reached for the edge of his jacket, eyebrows raised as if to suggest his move was innocent. He reached into an inside pocket, and produced a small communications device. Like a cell phone, but more? advanced. Likely something right out of the Sinister Collection, Alex thought to himself. ?Would you allow me?? the man said, giving Havok the option to proceed.
?Why not?? said the former leader of X-Factor, folding his sleeved arms over his chest. Hell, he?d come this far?
The man extended a bottom voice piece from the phone and put it to his ear. He didn?t have to dial; this line was only going to one location. Within a moment, the man began to talk to Sinister on the other end. ?Yes, sir. I have him here now. He?s ready for his instructions.? A pause. ?As you wish.? The man let his hand fall a bit, removing the phone from his ear. ?He?d like to talk to you.?
?We could have avoided all this if he?d have just told me from the beginning?? Alex muttered, reaching out and taking the device from his accomplice. He lifted the phone to his ear and sighed in frustration. ?Alright, what is??
Then, it happened. Something screeched in his ear, almost like a deafening fax machine that Alex couldn?t escape from. He tried to pull the device from his head only to find that his arm wasn?t cooperating. He looked across to the man who had handed him the phone, and he showed no signs of hearing the same sound. Alex?s eyes cringed as he fought against the noise, which he was now convinced had burst his eardrum. His eyelids closed tightly, and it was all he could do to not scream in pain at the sound.
And as quickly as it had happened, it was gone.
Alex opened his eyes, looking again at the man across from him. ?What the hell was that!?? Havok cried out, finally pulling the device from the side of his head. He tossed it angrily towards the man?s chest; it bounced off his tie helplessly and fell to the pebbled roof. ?God damned thing nearly gave me an aneurysm!?
?I?m sorry if you felt any discomfort,? the man said, leaning over to pick up the device. ?Must have been a bad signal. I?ll see what I can do.? He walked towards the staircase that Alex had taken to the roof, examining the advanced phone. Meanwhile, Havok walked towards the edge of the building, suddenly feeling a bit nauseous from the experience. He dropped to a knee and lowered his head to get some air and calm his nerves. Behind him, very faintly, he thought he heard the man still talking. ??is Malice, reporting. Transmission was a success. Heading to the rendezvous point now.?
Whatever, he thought to himself. That conversation would have to take a backburner to the throbbing pain on the right side of his head. At least things were relatively quiet up here, and he didn?t have any blaring car horns or obnoxious children pushing his buttons and making things worse. Dropping now from a knee to a completely seated position, Alex let his head lean back against the marble perimeter that surrounded the roof. Before long, he?d been sitting there an hour or so, and the pain was minimal as long as he didn?t move.
But he was forced to, as there was some kind of quiet commotion in the distance; Alex was surprised he could even hear it after that up close and personal meeting he had with the loudest static signal of all time. Reaching out a hand to the edge of the roof, Havok pushed himself up and forced himself to look over the edge towards the eastern entrance below. There, a sizable crowd of reporters had gathered and seemed to be surrounding a small group of people as they left the building. Alex squinted, trying his best to see who the celebrity was. Probably some senator that Alex could care less about.
As his eyes connected with the man leaving the building, everything went numb. It was as if something entirely foreign had washed over him. Not in the same way that Stryfe was inhabiting his mind, but something? different. And it had been triggered the second he saw the man in the wheelchair below ? Charles Xavier. Alex?s brow furrowed as the psionic component of his enhanced powers confirmed it was Xavier below. He knew instantly that he?d found his target, and though only an hour or so before he?d promised himself that he could hold back, he simply couldn?t now.
Surprisingly enough, he didn?t want to. Something had taken hold of Alex, as if a new flood of emotions had just been released. He didn?t know where it came from, he didn?t care. It didn?t occur to him that they?d been implanted by Sinister; Essex?s programming wouldn?t allow him to consider such things. As far as Alex was concerned, these were real feelings, things he?d bottled up for years. Now that he looked upon the defender of all mutants, Alex felt nothing but disdain.
He repeated it to himself in his mind ? Xavier?s the target ? and it all made sense. When Alex was in need, possessed by the demon Apocalypse had implanted in his mind, was Xavier there to help? Of course not. Charles had always been more concerned with Scott, the golden child. Alex was the inferior, he didn?t deserve Charles? help or love. Charles supposedly devoted his life to fighting for mutants, but couldn?t even fight for Alex?s sanity. Instead, Alex had to go to Sinister to find salvation. Now, Xavier would pay.
The energy had been charging within Alex?s arm for a few minutes now, but he hadn?t really noticed it until now. His hand throbbed as it yearned to be released, and obliged, Havok kneeled against the ledge to steady himself while raising his arm up.
?Inferior?!? Alex said aloud. ?I wasn?t good enough for you, old man?! Look upon me now, the Harbinger of War!?
In the second before he fired, the faintest voice echoed in Alex?s mind. ?Oh God, son. No??
The blast was immense but surprisingly accurate. Its thin form cut through the sky unimpeded, and slammed into Xavier?s left shoulder and chest, knocking him like a rag doll from his wheelchair. Xavier?s limp body slammed into one of the marble pillars that decorated the eastern entrance, and a second later, he hit the ground awkwardly. The crowd cried out and panicked, scattering away from the scene. Some fled down the stairs while others sought refuge inside the Capitol. The Secret Service agents looked for the source of the blast ? well, all but one did. Missing from the scene was the agent that had cleared the room around Xavier. He was middle aged, probably around fifty?
On the rooftop, Havok admired his handiwork, a thin smile crossing his face. He could see that Xavier was not alone, but that wouldn?t be a problem. After all, he was the Horseman of War.
03-10-2008, 11:50 AM
As senator Matthews finished his sentence and slammed the gavel down, Ororo breathed a sigh of relief. For more than an hour Xavier and the senator had exchanged words about the validity and justification of the bill on the Mutant Registration act. Charles, as always, had held his head high and continued his passionate plea against the bill ignoring the senator's objections. It was one she had heard many times, but she knew that as long as normal humans would continue to discriminate and mark mutants as mistakes of nature that had to be purged, it would be necessary to let that voice of reason be heard. However, even Charles Xavier had his limits and she was happy that the ordeal was over. As he left the stage, Storm couldn't help but think that the man looked old and tired, more so than ever before.
She looked to her left and to her right, but there was no trace of her companions. Apparently Jennifer had been looking for an excuse to skip the testimony and Robert had been more than willing to give her one. Though he was one of the five original X-Men, she wished he would finally start to act like one. Especially in dire times like these they had to stick together. But he had always acted like a clown. She expected such behaviour from Bobby, and it was his way to deal with his difficulties. A look to her right gave her the image of a broad empty chair. It had been broadened for one of Xavier's guests, as he had informed the officials of the broad stature of mr. McCoy. She realized she was more disappointed by the absence of Beast, one of her best friends and someone who truly believed in Charles Xavier's dream. He didn't seemed to be his usual self lately, and maybe he had some personal issues to deal with. Yet wouldn't he have found more consolation in the words of the professor rather than in a cup of Java? She too, had her struggles and problems. But the X-Men were a family. Or they should be. Ororo stepped up to join the professor towards the exit. Sweat drops glittered on his forehead and despite the smile he gave her, she knew he was exhausted. If the X-Men didn't stick together, didn't go through these times as a team, would they be able to survive?
They safely arrived at the exit, Xavier still too caught up in his thoughts to talk. The others would no doubt quickly join them here, if Xavier's telepathic message had reached them. Especially Robert and Jennifer would be at the exit in no time, eager to leave the Capitol building. As the doors opened, Ororo seconded that desire. Temporarily blinded by the flash lights and deafened by the overwhelming noise, she tried to stay near the professor. This was not something they could use. A security guard pushed the stream of cameras and microphones back a few stairs. Ororo found herself thanking the man, for the lack of space had irritated her. She wasn't the person to be cornered by others in the first place and her claustrophobia only worsened the matter. They had to leave. Where were the others? Xavier paused when he had reached the top of the stone staircase. Standing between the two imposant pillars of Capitol building, he raised his hand to the mob. The only thing standing between him and the reporters was the security guard. Charles probably had to say a word or two to the mass of reporters and journalists, but she wondered whether he was ready to do that. She would've preferred to just step into the cars and go home and she was sure Xavier would agree with that. But mandatory business like this couldn't be skipped.
And that's when things got nasty.
As the professor was about to talk to the crowd that had gathered before him, he suddenly turned his head upwards to someone she could barely see. It was definitely a man and, surprisingly, she could hear him perfectly despite the distance. "...good enough for you, old man?! Look upon me now, the Harbinger of War!? Then, before anyone could react, a white energy beam seared through the air. To everyone's shock it hit Xavier cleanly in the upper chest area and his left shoulder. Storm could do nothing but watch as the founder of the X-Men was lifted out of his wheelchair and slammed against the cold marble of pillar like a fly to a wall. Unconscious, he fell to the ground. "Professor!" She immediately moved forward to try and cover the fallen body of the crippled man. The blast had struck him hard, but he couldn't be dead. He couldn't be.
She sat near his body and put her ear over his mouth. The blast had destroyed his clothes and his skin was burned red, smoke smouldering from his chest. It was a terrible sight, but all she could do was see if he was still breathing. A weak breath. He was alive, but if he wouldn't receive emergency care fast... Beast was a doctor, but where was he? She looked back up, overseeing the space that only moments ago had been filled with people, crowded together in a place too small to contain them. Now, they were scattered all over the stairs, fleeing in all directions. Of course, no one was going to help her. And then there was the mysterious shooter. From his position he would easily be able to shoot all of them one by one like Xavier. But the blast hadn't killed Xavier. Why? As a mere warning? Had the shooter miscalculated his shot? As another group of panicking suits ran past her into the building seeking shelter, she realized she couldn't wait for the shooter to make his next move. Innocent people could get hurt. She had to deal with him, but she couldn't leave Xavier whithout care. Where were the others?
03-10-2008, 09:36 PM
As soon as Bobby walked into the coffee shop with Jen, he saw Hank. Of course, their plan to stay away from him, but it would seem that luck was not really with them. Just as he was about to say something to Hank, the professors voice entered Bobby?s thoughts. ?I?ve said my peace, my friends. It?s time to leave here.? Bobby looked at Hank and Jennifer and could see that they had heard the same news. ?Looks like this trip is over, time to be heading home. Come on guys lets get out of here while the getting is good.? Bobby turned and headed towards the exit, the hall leading towards the main exit was now packed, and it was surprising how many people actually fit into the proceeding room.
Bobby saw Ororo and Charles heading towards the door; he hurried his pace wanting nothing more then to begin their trip home. He made it to the front door just as Charles was about to speak to the crowd, then out of nowhere he saw the flash of energy as it hit the professor. Bobby?s jaw dropped from shock, he pushed through the door and yelled ?Professor!? just as Ororo knelt to check on him.
The crowd outside turned into a stampede with people running in every direction, some into the building others away from it. Bobby saw a figure standing on top of the building, Fear and anger gripped the Xman. His mentor and father figure lay on the ground perhaps dead. Without a second thought, Bobby took off towards the building, by the time he was half way across the street he was already in his Iceform. As he reached the sidewalk, Iceman opened his palms face down and used his powers to create a pillar to elevate him into the air.
Within seconds, he had reached the top of the building, standing on a pillar of ice. His mind was racing; Bobby could not believe that someone would do something like this. Again, his jaw dropped when he looked upon the face of the man who had attacked the professor. ?It can?t be. What are you doing!?? The man before him was a friend, or at least at Bobby thought so. A man who at one time fought with them against those whom would seek to harm the innocent; it was the brother of Cyclops. Alex Summers stood before him, a thin smile across his face.
?Alex what?s wrong with you?? Bobby knew something was not right about the man standing before him, and something told him to be prepared for anything.
03-11-2008, 08:17 PM
Entering the cafeteria, the young mutant named Jennifer Stavros was confronted with an X-Men-only 'quality': the ability to be somewhere they shouldn't be. The (blue, furry) case in question was Hank McCoy, aka the Beast. He was sitting there alone like a watch-dog, trying to handle the small coffee cup. It was a pretty pathetic sight, Jennifer thought, seeing the gorilla man trying to act like a normal human. Why was he even here? She'd been soo looking forward to share a coffee, some thoughts and maybe more with Bobby Drake! Why did he had to hear them entering? What had happened to her luck?
Turning his head up from his newspaper, Beast waved towards them, inviting them to join. To her dismay, Bobby immediately moved towards the blue man, leaving Jennifer no choice but to comply and follow him. Just as she watched Bobby raise his hand to greet his blue-furred friend, she heard a voice talking in her head: ?I?ve said my peace, my friends. It?s time to leave here.? The surprise-effect of the message lead her to caress her forehead. Painful. She wasn't used to have people talking in her head. Her time as a Hellion under the tutelage of the wicked lady Frost was nothing more but a faint memory, yet the danger that stemmed from her telepathy was still the stuff of nightmares. Having another tutor freely invading her mind was not something she'd looked forward to, but Xavier was well-known for taking 'liberties' with his gifts.
Reluctantly, she followed Bobby as he left for the entrance. Like a doggie returning to his master. He didn't even gave her the chance to get a coffee. Patience Jennifer, she said to herself. Eventually, she would be the one with the last laugh. As the pair entered the hallway, people were drumming in. Everyone wanted to get outside, something she couldn't blame them for. These people had the worst jobs ever. It was only when they came close to the exit that Jennifer saw why everyone wanted to be here. Like always, Charles Xavier acted like the perfect attention-whore. Not surprisingly, he was about to give a speech. Again. Did he do this every time he entered or left a building? Bored, she slowed her pace, allowing Bobby to run ahead of her towards the exit. Run to papa, sonny boy. Run while you still can.
Leaning against a nearby pillar, Jennifer closed her eyes. How long would it take her to fall asleep? Just as she was about to throw herself back into the arms of Morpheus, she heard a woman yelling. Within a matter of seconds her shriek was followed by another, and then another. The riot had officially begun. People suddenly began to move back into the building, clearly panicked. Jennifer couldn't hide a smile as she contemplated the irony of it all. Curiously, she pushed through the stream of suits towards the exit. What was all the fuss about?
The scene she observed as she stepped outside the building came to her as if she'd stepped right into a sci-fi movie. There was a pair of bodies on the ground. A white-haired woman, undoubtedly Storm, was bending over the body of a man. She couldn't see who he was, but she could tell his condition was far from perfect. The man was bleeding heavily, and she had to turn away if she didn't want to throw up on the spot. Storm had looked stressed, in panic even, and despite her hatred for the woman, Jennifer felt uncomfortable. She knew how it felt to lose someone. She looked up, trying to see where Iceman had gone. He was standing on a huge pillar of ice, talking to someone standing on the roof a nearby building. She couldn't see who he was talking to, but Bobby looked genuinely upset. She was sure he was talking to the cause of this mess. And then there was a lone police man standing on the stairs. What was he doing there? Didn't he had to call for back-up or some other security-thingie?
"Hey you! Call your friends and do something!" she yelled at the man, pointing both towards Storm and Iceman. In her heart, a battle had been fought. Standing aside and watch as the carnage continued, or continue her little act and help the rest of the team. She'd chosen the latter. The reasons as to why she had made that choice were a mystery, even to her.
03-12-2008, 12:31 AM
The hearing had gone faster than Hank had thought. He would have to look at the CSPAN tapes later to get a good understanding of what had occurred, but that could wait. The Professor's telepathic summons was enough understanding to know that it was over. Perhaps Hank would speak with Charles about it on the flight back to New York. Taking a few last sips of his coffee, Hank rose from his seat and followed Roulette and Robert. No doubt the two were a bit pleased to be leaving the stuffy, tight-collared world of the Capital Building. Or perhaps displeased to have their time alone cut short? Well, he couldn't do much about that. They were both adults. Hank could only hope Robert would handle things appropriately.
For one of the few times in his life, Hank was not the center of attention. Oh, he got a few curious looks and from time to time a camera spun in his direction to snap a picture, but for the most part all the focus was on Xavier. What a mob! Xavier was nearly crushed by the throng of of reporters, hungry for their pound of flesh. The Secret Service was hard-pressed to keep them at bay. Hank gazed over at Ororo, shaking his head with a slight smile. How would dear Charles take such treatment?
He hadn't actually seen the flash from the top of the building but the sudden sound of crashing, running and screaming had his head snapping around in an instant.
"Charles!" Hank's huge lung capacity made his cry for the Professor ring like a cannon blast. Ororo was already by the Professor's fallen form and Bobby was ascending on a platform of ice towards the roof-top assailant. What to do? As a doctor Hank wanted to rush to Xavier's aid, but as an X-Man he wanted to seek the source of the blast and neutralize it before more people were hurt. He made a judgment call. The Secret Service was securing the ground and he knew there were medical teams on standby at all times. He would have to leave the Professor's life in their hands and the hands of Storm.
Tossing his spectacles to the ground, and praying they would not be broken by footsteps, he bowed his knees and launched himself onto the side of Robert's ice pillar. Though it was incredibly cold and slick, Hank's claws dug deeply into the ice and he rapidly climbed. With another leap he landed on the top of the roof with a heavy thud.
It wasn't possible. Alex couldn't be here, he couldn't be the one who had just tried to kill Xavier. But it was. Already Hank was putting it together in his mind. The sound of the blast, the effect on the Professor's crippled form. All matching the powers of Havoc.
?Alex what?s wrong with you??
Iceman asked the question that was already running through Beast's mind. Why in the name of God would Havoc try to kill the man who was the closest thing he and Cyclops had to a father? Whatever the reason, it had happened. There were no denying facts. If they wanted answers, they would have to get them later. Years of being an X-Man had taught McCoy that standing around and talking to attackers just gave them more time to strategise.
Beast attacked. Iceman was the more powerful mutant so he was making a gamble that Havoc's attention would be more focused on Robert. Beast let himself fall forward onto the ground and dug his claws into the rooftop. Using the incredible strength in his arms and legs he launched himself like a low-flying bullet, straight at Havoc's lower torso.
03-20-2008, 07:06 AM
Havok looked down upon the scene like a small child peering at a swarm of ants fleeing from their superior. The reporters and onlookers that had waited outside the Capitol Building for Xavier to depart were now nowhere to be found; they fled in panic and fear at the fantastic display of power. Apocalypse?s enhancements had granted Alex numerous powers, but unfortunately one of them was not enhanced sight. While he could see that his blast had connected with his target, he couldn?t tell visually from this distance whether or not Xavier was dead. He squinted at Charles? motionless form, one that was now partially blocked as Ororo Munroe leaned over her mentor to examine him. A small stream of blood began to stain the marble stone underneath Xavier?s head.
But somehow, though all visual evidence was inconclusive, Alex knew the job had not been completed.
The anger he felt for Xavier ? pent-up frustration for always preferring Scott over Alex, for not coming to his aid when he needed him the most ? had allowed him to fire his plasma energy with what he thought was all his might. But somewhere, deep in the back subconscious recesses of Alex?s mind, something caused him to pull back ever so slightly. Maybe it was the gravity of the action itself, or maybe ? though he consciously knew nothing of it ? Sinister?s reprogramming hadn?t completely wiped out the relationship Havok had with Charles Xavier. Whatever the cause, Alex felt that sinking feeling in his gut signaling that the job was not yet over.
This time though, he?d lost the element of surprise. While the X-Man known as Storm and another from Xavier?s entourage stood over the man?s body as they awaited medical attention, two of the very first X-Men knew that the threat to their mentor had to be identified and contained. Havok stood indifferently, unthreatened by Iceman?s impending arrival. He could also see that Hank McCoy, the mutant Beast, was close behind Bobby, doing his best to climb the slippery column Iceman had created.
When the two finally arrived on the rooftop ? Iceman still on his pillar while Beast hopped for the stability of the building ? Alex simply folded his arms.
?It can?t be. What are you doing!?? Iceman cried out.
?I?m doing what needed to be done, Drake,? Alex said, the tone of his voice strange, as if his words were being doubled by another speaker with an almost mechanical tone.
?Alex what?s wrong with you?? Confusion was setting in on Bobby?s face, and though this situation was coming to a boil, Havok saw no reason not to answer the man?s question.
?All of my life, Charles Xavier has looked upon me as Scott Summers? brother. But I?m my own man, with my own needs - needs he never cared about. His devotion to the plight of all mutants is a masquerade.? Alex took a step forward towards Bobby, not in a threatening manner but so he could better look down upon Xavier?s fallen body. ?When my mind was infiltrated by Stryfe, where was Xavier? Where was the caring man who had taken so many strangers into his home but couldn?t reach out to someone in true danger??
Looking down at the scene of the crime, Alex could see the younger woman next to Storm ordering a handful of government agents to Xavier?s side. Only two of the agents were left, as the rest had left to pursue the one that had clearly been an imposter. But they did as requested ? one knelt next to Xavier, sidearm drawn and ready to deploy if need be. The other stood nearby talking on the radio transmitter in his jacket sleeve, calling for medical assistance.
Havok knew that if he was going to finish his mission and finally regain his freedom from Apocalypse?s control, he?d have to end what he began and kill Xavier. That didn?t appear to be a problem, as Sinister?s mental suggestions made Havok?s disdain for his mentor all the more real to Alex. Though Hank had now secured his spot on the roof, Havok kept his attention on Drake, finishing the answer to Iceman?s question.
?Now your mentor understands the consequences of turning his back on someone in need. That is, if he?s still alive and can think at all.?
The comment was harsh, tainted. It was the match that would finally light the powder keg that was brewing. Havok waited for Iceman?s reaction, but found that Drake wasn?t the first to respond. Out of the corner of his eye, Alex could see the large frame of the Beast bounding towards him, like a blue missile heading straight for Alex?s midsection. Havok turned just in time to absorb the blow with his stomach rather than his side, but he sailed backwards, losing his footing. As he closed in on a hard slam against the pebbled rooftop, Alex?s training kicked in. He used Hank?s momentum against him, and as Alex?s back collided with the surface below him, he swung his legs up so that he was in more of a roll. With Hank on top, Havok continued to roll back on his shoulders, pushing with all the might of his arms and legs to send Beast flying over Alex?s head and further across the rooftop.
03-20-2008, 10:46 PM
That was unexpected. Beast knew Havoc was a skilled hand-to-hand combatant but it seemed his former comrade was far stronger than Beast had originally anticipated. As he sailed through the air, Beast twisted his torso and threw his hand down, digging the sharp tips of his fingers down into the roofing. He dragged himself to a halt, leaving three-foot long gouges in the roof. Getting rapidly to his feet Beast resisted the urge to charge Havoc a second time. Iceman was likely to strike at any moment now that Havoc was off his feet and running back into a close quarters brawl with Havoc would be foolhardy. Instead Beast kept low and tried to circle around Havoc.
Charles. Charles. The Professor's name ran through Beast's mind with a thousand other thoughts. Was Xavier dead? Was anyone else hurt? Would would be the public reaction to a very open act of mutant terrorism at the heart of the United States government? What in the world was wrong with Alex?
Beast mentally shrugged all of that off. What mattered was he and Havoc, here and now. Becoming distracted by other thoughts was a sure way to get himself killed. He opened his jaw slightly and bared his lower fangs. He couldn't hope to fight Havoc at range, with the man's energy blast abilities, so Beast would have to keep in close and continue a hand to hand melee. He glanced up at Iceman.
Anytime now, Robert.
03-20-2008, 11:39 PM
?All of my life, Charles Xavier has looked upon me as Scott Summers? brother. But I?m my own man, with my own needs - needs he never cared about. His devotion to the plight of all mutants is a masquerade.? Alex took a step forward Bobby clenched his fist, half in preparation for a fight and half to suppress his anger long enough to hear his old friend out. ?When my mind was infiltrated by Stryfe, where was Xavier? Where was the caring man who had taken so many strangers into his home but couldn?t reach out to someone in true danger?? ?You can?t blame him for what has happened to you!? Bobby yelled his emotions were starting to get the better of him. Bobby saw Havok?s eyes flash towards the street, ?I won?t let you hurt him again! How could you??
?Now your mentor understands the consequences of turning his back on someone in need. That is, if he?s still alive and can think at all.?
Before Bobby knew what was going on, Beast launched himself at Havok with great speed and ferocity. Beast speed and agility were almost second to none, as he flew through the air like a blue bullet Bobby thought he take out their advisory for sure. In his mind, he was hoping that would do the trick, fighting Havok was not something he was looking forward too. To Bobby?s surprise Havok turned and faced Beast just before he made contact, the two fell but Havok was to quick and used Hank?s momentum against him. It looked as if he would get the best of the teammate.
As soon as Beast was out of range, Iceman raised his left hand and fired an icebeam straight at the recovering form of Havok. At the same time, he used his other hand to create a head sized snowball that he would throw should his first attack miss. Bobby was sure to aim carefully so he would not hit his teammate Beast by mistake, who had come to a halt using his claws, which left deep gashes in the gravel rooftop.
His first attacks were to slow down his target; with any luck, they could subdue him before he was able to hurt anyone else, including one of them. Bobby knew he was not acting like himself, even his voice sounded odd. Something about the look in his eyes, Alex was not acting of his own free will Bobby was sure of it. He would do whatever it took to stop him, but he would also try to help his long lost friend.
03-25-2008, 11:27 AM
"Please be careful", she said to the emergency rescue team as they lifted Xavier on the stretcher. She didn't quite trust them in that they would give Xavier the medical attention he required, but the X-Men's resident doctor Beast had jumped ahead to confront the would-be assassin with Iceman. Why hadn't he even checked the professors condition? Surely he could've made a diagnosis and provide basic first aide? No, his choice had been to leave the professor in the hands of unknown government doctors. The emergency team consisted of two older men, a young woman and an even younger man, possibly a medical student. They strapped Xavier to the brancard and prepared for the suddenly long way toward their ambulance. While she didn't question their ability and medical skills, it was certainly possible that their political views would... hinder the administration of the correct medical assistance. Though it was only a possibility, and a rather unlikely one too, the thought of it did little to comfort her. Regardless of what would eventually happen to the professor, she'd have a word or two with Hank about his priorities, she said to to herself as she accompanied the medical team.
Ororo thought the stairs would prove a difficult hurdle for the stretcher, but the medics handled the situation surprisingly well. They simply lifted the brancard up and carried it over the stairs. A remarkably simple solution for a simple problem. Why did she always have to make things more difficult than they really were? The team safely reached the solid ground, but the road to the ambulance was long. As they ran towards the ambulance, Ororo inquired after the professor's condition. "Not very good miss", the oldest medic replied. Though the effort of running was clearly tiring him, he spoke with remarkable compassion, as if he was an old friend. "If we don't get him to the hospital pronto, we may lose him." Upon seeing the shocked expression on her face, he quickly added "but we're here to make sure that doesn't happen." Though Ororo was too worried to manage a smile, the doctor's sympathetic demeanour did calm her down. At least there still was hope.
As they continued their long march, Storm glanced at the building from where the terrorist shooter had hit Xavier. Beast and Iceman had engaged in combat with the mysterious man, but they were struggling. Though she too wished to confront the man, she knew she couldn't leave the professor's side. Not until they knew the motives behind the attack. Left alone, Xavier would be an easy target for further hits, and she wasn't going to let that happen. If only Hank and Bobby would distract him long enough for them to leave the area...
04-02-2008, 01:03 AM
As soon as he’d thrown Beast over his head, Alex spun on the roof, returning to a right-side up kneeling position so he could see the results of his counter-attack. They were as he’d anticipated – Beast had responded with the training and instincts of a veteran X-Man, halting his own momentum with a combination of his mutant strength and animalistic claws. The man was an impressive opponent, but limited in that he was only a danger in close range. Through the use of his counter maneuver, Havok had proven that the Beast’s brute force could be turned against him in this altercation. Now, as Alex rose, McCoy hesitated, likely allowing his genius level intellect to determine the best course of action.
Or was he waiting for something else?
Alex’s head turned to the side just in time to catch a glimpse of Bobby’s incoming ice attack. Unfortunately, he did not spot it soon enough to stop it. The cold barrage slammed into Havok’s right shoulder, encasing the entire right side of his torso in a straight jacket made of frozen liquid. Alex fell back to one knee, grinding his teeth at the intense change of temperature. This was just the kind of distraction that would allow McCoy to pounce; Havok determined that he not only had to break free from Robert’s offensive but do so in a way that discouraged Beast from coming any closer.
His breath now visible from the arctic assault and growing winter conditions around him, Havok’s face crumpled as he charged his plasma energy. Within another second, he unleashed a powerful burst in all directions, not only shattering the icy constraints that had been unleashed upon him but hopefully providing enough incentive for Hank to stay at a distance. The distance of the burst wouldn’t be enough to directly challenge either of the two X-Men, but it served his purpose in freeing Havok from his present predicament.
Rotating his right arm as if he were a pitcher feeling the strain of a long night’s work, Alex smirked a bit as he glared back over at Drake. The past tension between these two was well documented, dating back to their mutual affection for Lorna Dane during the infancy of the X-Men. Though they’d since learned to function together and became friends, Havok relished the opportunity to criticize Iceman’s ineffective attack. “An original X-Man, yet still so much to learn. I would have thought my attack on Xavier would have taught you the importance of putting your enemy down for the count.”
Taking one last opportunity to peak back over at Beast, Havok began to move towards Iceman. Quickly. As he approached, he charged energy in the palms of both hands before letting out a dual blast aimed towards the pillar Iceman had created as a means of reaching the roof. As those two beams of energy traced towards their target, hoping to cause the ice structure to crumble in order to effectively take the support out from under the X-Man, Havok now found himself in a full-on sprint. Only a moment after firing off his attack, Alex leaped off the roof towards Bobby with surprisingly little regard for his own well-being.
04-02-2008, 03:40 PM
Havoc's discharge of energy certainly was an incentive for Beast to keep his distance from the rogue mutant. Hank was a supreme hand-to-hand combatant but was at a disadvantage when fighting opponents with a long-rang reach. Trying to close the distance now would just have him blasted half way across DC. Beast had his one opportunity to take Havoc by surprise but that had not worked out to his favor. Now it was time to change strategy. The roof of the building was far too open, further adding to Beast's disadvantage. He would have to find a way to move the melee somewhere else.
Thankfully, Havoc obliged Beast by going after Bobby. McCoy's first instinct was to charge right after Havoc and follow him in the leap. His mind racing through a codex of learned and possible tactics, Beast decided against that. He had to reclaim initiative and once again force Havoc to react to him, not follow after his enemy.
Gambling that Iceman could handle himself for the moment Beast leaped off the roof. Not up after Havoc but downwards towards the ground. The storm of iceicles caused by the destruction of Iceman's pillar did not distract McCoy as he landed on both feet, his superhuman muscular system easily absorbing the impact. With a split-second calculation, he bounded towards where he estimated Havoc and Drake would land.
I cannot hesitate. Beast would have to take a lesson from Logan's book. Havoc was too powerful and too deranged to deal with lightly. When the chance came, Beast would have to land coup de grace, a single attack to finish this. One way or the other. The idea if possibly killing someone he had once called a friend and teammate was distasteful, but then again so was the charred body of the Professor.
And maybe, just maybe, if Beast could finish this quickly he'd live to see if Xavier had survived.
04-04-2008, 07:45 PM
Bobby?s aim was true and his attack hit Havok with desired results, except Havok was a lot stronger then Bobby thought and instead succumbing to the intense cold, he fought back. His torso engulfed in an ice cold straight jacket, one that would have most of Bobby?s adversaries stopped in their tracks only posed a momentary nuisance to Havok. Within seconds of being hit by the attack, Havok used his incredible power to free himself forcibly.
?An original X-Man, yet still so much to learn. I would have thought my attack on Xavier would have taught you the importance of putting your enemy down for the count.? Bobby looked at Alex coldly, ?No your attack on Charles only made me feel sorry for you. To attack a man that has done so much for you, you must really be at your lowest.?
Alex Looked back at Beast before he began to approach Bobby, then quickly released a duel blast. The blast hit the pillar Bobby had created to rise up to the rooftop, with his icy stand now destroyed, bobby began to fall. Less then a second after that Havok who had lunged at him made contact. The two of them plummeted towards the ground.
Without a second thought, Bobby aimed his left hand palm down towards the street. A corkscrew shaped slide began to rise from street level. The slide reached the two of them after a couple of seconds, now instead of falling they were sliding down the corkscrewed creation of Iceman. ?Remember when I said I felt sorry for you? Well that time has passed, I now see that there is only one way to deal with you and I am more then ready to do what is needed.?
With his right hand balled into a fist, Bobby swung at Havok with all his might. Now he was upset, he put everything he could into this attack, every bad emotion he ever felt towards this man. Here they were, a lifetime of pent up anger coming to a boil. Bobby remembered how he felt when he lost Lorna to this man, how much that hurt him and now he had tried to kill the professor, a man that was like a father to Bobby. The man made of ice had never felt so hot, he was acting on pure instinct, and he would stop this lunatic at any cost.
05-02-2008, 06:50 PM
Havok?s lunge had been successful, and the two men instantly found themselves in a free fall toward the hard ground below. With his focus on Bobby, Alex did not notice Hank leaping from the building as well. Rather, Havok knew he had a chance to finish off at least one of the X-Men right here, right now. He wasn?t going to become distracted by the happenings around him.
But Havok was surprised to see that Iceman had indeed countered Havok?s attack, albeit later than Alex would have thought. Rather than freefalling to the grass and concrete below, the two men were now swirling in a make-shift ice slide that Bobby had instinctively created. Good show, Alex thought to himself as he did his best to maintain balance and leverage against his opponent. It was of no use, however. Alex had little experience maneuvering his body on the slippery surface. If ever there was a time when the momentum had shifted to Iceman, this would be it.
As he struggled to regain his sense of direction and balance, Havok gritted his teeth as he heard Bobby speak. ?Remember when I said I felt sorry for you? Well that time has passed, I now see that there is only one way to deal with you and I am more then ready to do what is needed.?
Alex began to charge energy in his fists; consequences be damned, he was going to show this little punk who was boss. But Alex?s plan was thwarted quickly as Bobby?s icy fist smashed into Havok?s jaw, causing his body to twist awkwardly and, before he knew it, Alex had slipped off of the ice track the two of them were descending. He?d returned to the free fall they?d been in previously, but this time, he was much less prepared for the result. Dizzied by the perfectly-placed punch, Alex was not mentally able to prepare himself for landing. He was falling too fast, too disoriented from Iceman?s assault.
Translation ? he was a perfect target for the approaching Beast.
((OOC: Sorry for the shortness, but I wanted Hank to be able to get his attack in and figured Alex actually hitting the ground would kind of ruin that moment. Beast, you are now free to kick some serious ass. ))
05-03-2008, 04:26 PM
Beast bounded across the ground bellow as he tried to accurately calculate where Havoc and Iceman would land. Alex Summers was a powerful mutant that far outclassed McCoy in pure destructive ability. Now that they were on the ground with throngs of panicked bystanders running around, there could be no room or time for a protracted blow-for-blow brawl between Iceman, Beast and Havoc without serious collateral damage. That meant that this had to end fast.
Despite his extreme speed on the ground Beast was unable to reach Iceman and Havoc before they had hit the ground. Already as Beast bounded toward them on all fours they were trading blows. In fact Robert landed one particularly heavy blow to Alex's face that sent the rogue mutant into a disoriented spin. As Alex turned, his entire face was suddenly engulfed in a hold by Beast's massive simian hand. Lifting Havoc up by his head, Beast curled his other meaty hand into a fist the size of a ham and slammed it into Havoc's stomach, right where the celiac plexus was. The force of the blow also sent Havoc flying backwards about four feet.
"I am sorry Alex," Beast said grimly as he walked calmly towards the winded opponent. "But this fight is over." He then reached down and grabbed Havoc by one ankle and swung the man like a rag doll, bashing him into the side of the hard ice slide the two had descended on.
Beast stood over Havoc for a long moment, observing the extent of his work. He had certainly broken some of Alex's ribs, probably dislocated his left leg from it's socket and caused serious back injuries, though twitching of the unconscious man's foot told Hank that there wasn't a spinal injury. Such unpleasant business, combat. Hank felt a chill of guilt in his soul. Then again, Charles Xavier was quite possibly dead.
"Iceman," said Beast as he glanced over at Robert. "Are you alright?"
05-14-2008, 09:56 PM
Bobby?s attack did more damage then he expected it to. Alex flew off the slide upon impact with his icy fist. As Iceman continued down the slide, he saw Alex again free falling. Because the slide was a spiral shape, Bobby was unable to keep his eyes on his opponent, and missed the part where Beast caught up to him. Bobby had just reached the ground and turned to see what was going on, when Havok?s body slammed into the ice-slide Bobby had created. ?Aww that looked like it hurt,? Bobby said as he winced.
Bobby looked down at the fallen and what seemed like beaten adversary, Beast stood over him triumphant as he said to him, ?Iceman, Are you alright??
Iceman looked from Havok to Beast before he said, ?Um well I?m better off then this sorry sack. Reminder me never to get on your bad side Beastie, you sure do pack a punch.?
?So what should we do with him now?? Bobby questioned as he completed the best way to proceed. ?I mean I don?t know if he's smart enough to stay down for the count, and I?m sure the authorities are on there way. We need to find some way to get him outta here,? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. ?What about the Prof, is he ok? I will stay here and see about making sure this guy doesn?t go anywhere, maybe you should go check on him.?
He pointed his hand, palm-out at the fallen figure on the ground and was preparing to incase him in ice with the hope that this time it would be enough to hold him at bay, at least until he could figure out a way to get Alex out of there and the sooner the better. The last thing they needed was to be caught up in some more Mutants destroy DC thing again, Bobby was worried about his friend and mentor but knew that he could be of no use to him now unless he needed some ice or a cold compress. Both of which he was sure would not do much to mend whatever damage the plasma wielding mutant had inflected. Therefore, he decided to busy himself with what to do about the attacker. ?Chill out,? he said to Alex as he used his mutant ability to create an icebeam.
05-16-2008, 06:17 AM
The descent, hard and fast as it was, came to a sudden conclusion as Havok?s spiraling body collided with the hard ground beneath him. Having rolled over the side of the ice slide, Alex found himself in a rather compromising position, but didn?t have the time or the stability to adjust before it was too late. The fall was painful, even for someone of enhanced ability. Alex may have had a few more powers at his disposal, but his pain sensors remained intact and alerted him upon landing that objects may have shifted during flight.
Even if Havok wanted to rise and rejoin the fight immediately, he didn?t do so under his own power. He tried to push himself up but the pain in his arms wouldn?t support his weight. He struggled, knowing he was vulnerable and that the two X-Men wouldn?t hesitate to take advantage of their present situation. Within a matter of moments, that?s exactly what happened. Havok soon found himself being hoisted into the air, fur brushing against his face as the Beast lifted him by the head with one giant palm. The second hand curled into a bowling ball meant for his gut, and instantly Alex could tell that his already throbbing midsection had been broken in a number of places.
There wasn?t time to think or react to the assault, as the force of the punch propelled Alex backwards. He eventually hit the ground once more, skidding lifelessly to a halt. The younger Summers brother drifted in and out of consciousness, as if unable to determine whether the electric pain in his body was something he could tolerate or if he should just succumb to the darkness and awake again elsewhere. His mind was too foggy and distracted to hear Hank?s apology, though if he had it likely wouldn?t have meant much at this point.
The battle lines had been drawn, and the Horseman of War had been defeated.
With his body bruised and broken, Havok could not continue the fight even if he wanted to. Only now did he begin to wonder if Sinister had betrayed him, sending him on a mission that Essex knew he?d not return from. They?d joined together because each was able to offer something to the other. Sinister?s final objective remained a mystery to Alex, but he was willing to play his part if it meant ridding himself of Apocalypse?s shackles. It wasn?t until he arrived at the rooftop that he realized what his job was, but his own personal desire to be a free man once more overshadowed any other thoughts that might have crept into his mind. But now, in the face of defeat and injury, Alex couldn?t help but feel as if he?d been sent on a suicide mission into the lion?s den.
With capture all but a certainty, Havok would not be able to return to Sinister?s laboratory so Essex could live up to his side of the bargain. As this realization set in, Alex allowed himself to be swallowed by the darkness.
05-19-2008, 06:26 AM
((OOC: Entering from "Advancement (http://baku-panda.org/ux/showthread.php?t=2719)" ))
The newcomer wasn?t being exceptionally helpful, as he continued to provide only brief, vague answers to the questions Cyclops was asking. He?d have more success winning over the trust of the X-Men?s field leader if he simply offered up some kind of background information, yet he stayed hidden behind the shadows of mystery and intrigue. It certainly wasn?t the first time someone showed up at the Professor?s door with a few skeletons in the closet and some personal history they didn?t exactly want to make public, but this guy wasn?t yielding an inch. That was his choice, but Scott could be just as obstinate as anyone.
?So let me get this straight,? Scott said aloud, his visor and vision fixed to the controls and view in front of him as the distance between the Blackbird and Washington closed at a remarkable rate with each passing second. ?You come to the school with your weapon drawn, set off our advanced security systems, explain your purpose for being here only with the word ?redemption,? and expect us to just let you and Professor Xavier sit down alone and have a heart to heart??
Cyclops paused, allowing his summary of events to float through the cabin like the hot air it was. The plane began its descent as it entered Washington airspace, undetected by military radar. Scott?s gloved hand swept over the control panel, entering in a short code into a keypad near his seat. In doing so, he confirmed the plane was in stealth mode, always thanking the Shi?ar for the technological upgrades they donated for the jet.
The summary had waited long enough for his conclusion, so he offered it next. ?Look, we?ve had some rather suspicious characters grade our front doorstep before?? From behind the lenses of his ruby quartz visor, Cyclops looked at the front screen?s reflection of Wolverine. ??but you can?t honestly expect us to allow you to see the Professor just based on cryptic one-word answers.?
The clouds parted quickly as the Blackbird neared its final destination ? the Capitol Building ? and Scott looked for a promising open area to land the plane, one where it could sit cloaked and go relatively unnoticed. In downtown Washington, this was easier said than done. But construction and the clearing of rubble was still going on in a number of places, months after the attack on the nation?s capitol. It didn?t take Cyclops long to find a relatively close spot that wouldn?t be disturbed by tourists.
?We?re here.? Scott rose from his seat and grabbed his dark leather coat, sliding his uniformed arms into the sleeves. He looked back at Rich coldly. ?You need to start thinking about a debriefing if you want a sit-down with Xavier.?
The jet?s invisible ramp lowered into the rocky ground Cyclops had chosen as their landing zone, and thankfully few if any residents were watching as the X-Men virtually appeared out of thin air. In fact, as Cyclops jogged on foot towards the Capitol Building, it became obvious that most of the people in the area were moving in the opposite direction with little regard for everything else going on around them. That doesn?t bode well, Scott thought to himself, continuing to hope for the best though.
Arriving at the scene, ?the best? was not what he saw. Xavier?s wheelchair was overturned on its side on a relatively empty set of stairs descending from the building. The only notable action was to the right side, where it appeared as if Beast and Iceman were just finishing a conflict that, judging from the large ice slide, began on the rooftop.
?Iceman! Beast!? Cyclops called to his teammates as he made his way towards their position. ?Sit-rep, now. What?s Xavier?s status and where--??
Scott?s voiced trailed off as he slowed to a halt alongside his fellow original X-Men and finally glanced down at the identity of their opponent. There, unconscious and enveloped in a casing of ice, was Scott?s brother Alex.
Apocalypse's Horseman of War.
05-20-2008, 07:01 AM
Logan heard Scott talking, he was not listening though. Summers had his place, but he seemed to go on and must have gotten off on the sound of his own voice. What did catch the feral man’s ear was the heart rate of their swordsman guest. The fella was one of the tall dark and handsome types that had a bad attitude act and some steel incase no body believed it. Too bad he’d come across the real deal with Scott and Logan, Cyke was the tall n dark whilst Logan had the baddest of attitudes and the sharpest of steel, well adamantium to be precise. The lack of trust the two X-men had for Rich could be explained easily by the words that Summer discharged. Logan caught the quick glimpse in his direction and grimaced menacingly at Scott, before returning his attention to the ‘new guy’.
Lani was been stoically quite or maybe it was nerves, being on her first mission and all. Logan decided he’d try to make her trial by fire less painful, by way of his own brand of levity. “See that?” he said pointing to the broken bits of a gun that their guest had pulled out of the bag. “Souvenir he says. Now this..” he says closing his fingers into a fist and gripping hard so his claws shot out with a familiar *snikt* “This is a real souvenir, keep sake that keeps on giving” He grins before retracting the claws into his forearm. There was little else from the Canadian as he prepared himself for their landing. The call from Scott indicated they had arrived and the second he moved, Logan followed suit.
Donning his mask and doing a final inspection to make sure his belt, gloves and uniform were all secure, Logan descends by way of the jet’s ramp. The sound of people moving first caught Logan’s senses along with the scent of panic, beyond that was extreme moisture build up into ice and then burnt ozone and perhaps “Plasma discharge” he said noting it to himself out loud. His nostrils sought out the members of the team that they’d been briefed on being in the location. Ororo was there but it lingered in a way to suggest she’d moved on. Following Cyclops’ lead, Wolverine saw the culprit behind the plasma scent. Most of him was now masked due to the thick ice coating the man’s body.
Charlie wasn’t around and the way the other X-men were standing around suggested that Alex was to blame. Wolverine pushed his way to the front. “Hold up Cyke, your just going to baby him.” He let one claw slide free and squatted by the iced chest of the downed Summer’s boy. Sniffing as he did, Logan made some grunting noises. Although his scent had been masked by ice, there was something unmistakable about him. “You been hanging around Sinister bub?” And what had he done to Xavier?
05-20-2008, 08:25 PM
If Logan really wanted to figure out what Lani's deal was, he could no doubt sniff around her. If she was nervous, he'd no doubt smell the fear in her blood. If he bothered to do so, he'd find no trace of such a scent about her. The girl was steely calm. She wasn't terribly tall (though she had a couple inches on Logan), dark only in the shades of her skin and hair, and if she was bad, had ever been bad, no one was aware of such a fact. The girl was just a sore thumb sticking out of this little group in so many ways.
Cyclops announced that they were landing, and the jet tipped forward just as promised. Lani's hands once again gripped at the armrests, and her prehensile feet curled into as tight of fists as she could get them, directing those deadly black claws of hers away from upholstry and carpets and the seat in front of her. She wasn't sure which was worse-- the descent or the take off, both were equally terrifying. She supposed she'd have to get used to it some day.
Then that bout of withheld terror ended, and the jet touched down in Washington D.C.. She rose alongside Wolverine, they'd been together nearer the back while Cyclops and this 'Rich' guy were closer to the front. The older man beside her adjusted his costume, pulling on his gloves and his belt and his mask to make sure nothing'd go flying off if they had to jump into the fray the second they stepped off the jet. Lani, however, still in those denim capris and that yellow tank top, had nothing to adjust, so she just let her arms rest at her sides and followed the group out.
The scene before her eyes was a curiosity. She'd expected more... destruction, honestly. She'd thought that she was going to step into a battle, not into the finished product of what she would consider a squabble rather than an actual fight. Already the attempting assassin was subdued, contained by a thick sheet of ice wrapped all about him, courtesy of Iceman. Beast stood nearby as well, he no doubt had a hand in taking down the mutant whose face she didn't recognize. She blinked, then turned her attention to the flashing lights and whirring sirens of an ambulance racing away, no doubt holding Xavier.
Her attention returned to the scene in front of her, and she watched as Cyclops approached the would-be villian, paused, and stared. She watched Wolverine growl something to Cyclops, then something else to the ice-wrapped man. She didn't know the situation beyond what it appeared to be on the surface, so she would allow the talking to be done by the two senior members of the team. Rather, she kept herself near this new character, Rich, just in case he turned out to be something worse than what he claimed.
Rich wasn't impressed with the amount, or rather lack, of generosity he had received from the two men at that point. He had expected better treatment based on what he had heard about Xavier's facility. He couldn't understand why they were so pushy for answers. Had he not made it clear to them that he wished to speak to the professor about that first? Was that request one that would be denied to him? It was annoying to think so, but hopefully it wouldn't come to it. His past was a need-to-know basis, and Rich simply did not see how anyone present needed to know. "My sword was not drawn until your weapons fired," he muttered under his breath in response to the blue man's words. Debriefing Rich's ass. And to top it all off the short man had claws, brilliant.
Landing, what a joy. Rich was a bit nervous about landing, and flying in general. Of course he still wouldn't show any signs of this. He simply kept his straight face and tried not to think about being on board a massive hunk of metal that could somehow defy gravity and lift off into the air. It was insane at best, really. Once the landing occurred, however, Rich relaxed. They were at their destination, where ever that was, and the door was opening. Rich slid his foot under the sword and used it to raise the sword up so he could reach it without bending down. He dropped the gun pieces on top of the duffle bag and sheathed the sword before following the team out into the unknown.
Washington? They had flown to Washington? And that quick? And hadn't been questioned by any type of air control? Was this seriously happening? Rich blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light, and quickly realized something was happening. Why were people running frantically away from a point ahead of where the team faced? Maybe the large ice formations had something to do with it....
Rich soaked in the scene as they all approached. A man was stuck, and unconscious, under a solid chunk of ice. A furry man stood close to the ice, and another man made of ice (i think?) was also standing close. Rich wondered how this scene had played out, and what interest his not so friendly hosts had with it. The blue man mentioned something about Xavier.... where? Rich didn't see him. What was going on? Rich was tired of being left in the dark. After the two men with him approached the poor soul frozen to the ground Rich whispered to the girl who seemed content with hanging back with him. "What's going on here?"
05-21-2008, 05:25 PM
?Talk about a cold summer.? Bobby said aloud to no one in particular, as he looked down at his handy work. Alex was incased in ice but was also unconscious, no doubt due to the beating he received from the good Dr. McCoy. Bobby could see an ambulance pulling away and hoped that the Prof was ok. As he surveyed the area he saw Scott, Logan and two others heading towards their position.
?Uh-oh little brother, here comes Scotty. 20 bucks says he aint gunna like this.? Bobby chuckled a little looking over at Beast, of course, due to Hanks mutation, Bobby was unsure if he was smiling back or just breathing hard. Cyclops stepped to the pair.
?Iceman! Beast!?Cyclops called to his teammates as he made his way towards their position.?Sit-rep, now. What?s Xavier?s status and where--??
Cyclops?s sentence never finished, as he looked down and saw his younger brother was the cause of all the commotion, Logan bullied his way through and squatted beside the fallen man, after a couple of sniffs and grunts he said
?You been hanging around Sinister bub??Bobby was shocked; the last person he would ever believe any Summers brother to be around was Mr. Sinister. He looked from Alex to Logan and then to Scott and began to give his report.
?The Prof exited the court house over there?, he pointed to the steps ?and that?s when brother dearest over hear opened fire.?Bobby stopped for a moment to look down the mutant, ?I rose to the top of this building cuz that?s were the shot came from, Beast followed and we encountered Alex up there, one thing lead to another and he rushed me and we fell. Then Beast finished him off and you showed up.? Bobby looked over to where the ambulance had been before continuing, ?Ororo and Jen were with the Prof and I think they went to the hospital with him too or least I?m hoping that?s what happened.?
Bobby's ice form melted into his human form, the look on his face was of great concern, ?I don?t know if Charles is alive, I rushed here without even checking. I... I should have checked on him, should have made sure but I was so angry.?A million thoughts raced through Bobby?s head he decided to remain shut, now was about the time he would make a joke but he didn?t quite feel like joking at this moment. He looked at Cyclops and waited for him to respond.
05-23-2008, 01:46 PM
"Sinister." Beast practically growled the words. And boy could Beast growl. Essex was the representation of everything evil that could be done with science. A soulless monstrosity produced by Apocalypse's perverted idea of eugenics that had himself caused untold suffering upon who knew how many people since the 19th Century. Sinister was McCoy opposite, his antithesis. And unfortunately, his equal if not his better in biological sciences. If Sinister had gotten his hands into Havoc then the ordeal for Alex Summers may have just begun.
"Havoc is subdued for the moment," Beast said to Cyclops, turning his thoughts back to the moment at hand. He shared none of Iceman's dry humor over the situation. "His injuries are extensive but not mortal. He will however need medical attention right away, more than I can provide here in the field. The Secret Service has likely taken Charles to Bethesda Naval Medical. It would be the best medical facility in the area and has tight security."
This had been a terrible day for the X-Men. Professor Xavier could be lost to them as well as Alex. Not to mention this entire fiasco would almost certainly ensure full public support for the Mutant Registration Act. Had that been Sinister's plan all along? The irony of using an X-Man to harm mutant rights was exactly the type of sick humor Beast would expect of Sinister.
05-31-2008, 07:14 AM
As leader of the X-Men, Cyclops had witnessed more than a few things that would make a normal man pause in shock. But seeing his mutant brother unconscious, frozen to the ground to restrain him after he attacked the one man that had truly been like a father to the two of them, Scott couldn?t help but stand silent, his mouth silent agape. In Cyclops? absence, Logan stepped up, pushing to the front to let his senses begin their investigation.
?Hold up Cyke, you're just going to baby him.? Normally Logan?s disrespectful and challenging tone would have set Scott off, but right now he was? numb. This wasn?t the first time they found one of their own on the side of the opposition, but for Alex to take an assassination shot at Xavier? And for Charles? life to still be in serious jeopardy? There was a part of Cyclops that simply didn?t want to believe it, but the scene was set in front of him.
Logan?s second comment snapped Cyclops back into reality. ?You been hanging around Sinister bub??
Of course he had. After all, it was Apocalypse and Sinister that had turned Havok against his family and friends, making him along with Archangel and Psylocke Horsemen. Their search for their friends had been largely futile, though they should have known that Apocalypse?s brainwashed minions would have a way of finding the X-Men instead. Scott could only pray that whatever objective Apocalypse or Sinister had planned out had simply not been accomplished.
Swallowing hard as if the reminder of Havok?s affiliation with Sinister was in fact a bitter pill to take, Cyclops turned his attention to Iceman?s situation report. From the sound of it, Bobby and Hank had taken on Alex by themselves and came out on top. That spoke to their abilities as veteran X-Men, as confronting a Horseman of Apocalypse with so few of numbers and coming out victorious was no easy feat. Knowing that Ororo and one of the students had travelled with the professor to the hospital ever so slightly eased Scott?s concerns, as he knew Ororo would contact her teammates if anything drastic had changed in Xavier?s status.
For the moment, there was hope.
?We need to get back to the jet and evac,? Cyclops said, turning to look back to his subdued brother. ?Now that the fight is over, this battleground isn?t going to stay deserted for long.?
Cyclops stretched out an arm and pointed to Alex while he visually scanned the perimeter. ?Hank, you?re on transport duty. We?ll secure him when we get to the Blackbird, but for right now, you?re our best means of transporting him. Everyone else, let?s move out.?
***** TIME JUMP! *****
The plane ride to Bethesda was quick and quiet. Havok had been secured in the rear of the jet using advanced Shi?ar restraints that even Apocalypse?s powers would be tested against. His hands were enclosed in large square-shaped capsules that would prevent him from charging or, more importantly, discharging his plasma bursts. He remained unconscious for the time being, but Cyclops wanted him watched for the duration of the trip. They?d have to find some more appropriate way of detaining him once they returned to the mansion; for now, this would have to work.
Scott set the Blackbird down in the large open field beside the naval hospital, ensuring that the cloaking feature was still active and engaged. The plan was positioned so that the ramp extended away from the hospital, and thus anyone who exited the aircraft would be shielded from view until they rounded the corner of the jet. Essentially, their reappearance would go largely unnoticed.
With the engines running at a barely audible hum and the jet in standby, Cyclops leaned back in his seat and took in a deep breath. Was he ready to go in there and see the damage that his brother had wrought? As acting leader of the X-Men and headmaster of the school, the responsibility was Scott?s and it was one he knew and carried proudly. Though this was his team, these were now his students? Xavier had always been there, the founding father still sitting atop the hierarchy ensuring that everything was going according to plan.
But now? Was Scott ready to say goodbye to his mentor, his father-figure? Ready to shoulder the full weight of that responsibility?
He should have been ready to walk down the ramp of the Blackbird and face it head on, but something within him refused to grant him the power to move. Scott closed his eyes and gripped the armrests of his pilot?s seat. Get up and go, he said to himself. But he couldn?t, no matter how hard he commanded himself.
Eventually, he turned the seat around slowly to look at Hank and Bobby. ?You two were with him at the Capitol Building, so it should be the two of you that go find Ororo and get the professor checked out. Bring him out here, and Ororo can whip up a fog to mask our departure.?
He felt like a coward for not accompanying them inside, as a boy, Scott had already grieved the loss of one father. He simply wasn?t ready to have to do it again.
((OOC: Beast and Iceman, feel free to NPC your way into the hospital. If either of you need info on Xavier's status for an upcoming post once you get to him, shoot me a PM and I'll give you an update to put in your post. The rest of us will hang tight in the jet and give Havok evil glares. Ororo can rejoin at this point, or we can NPC her if Angelique is still busy.))
06-02-2008, 12:40 AM
Let's see Logan had been sent on some wild goose chase to miss out on the action and figure out treachery, but still not have access to visit Chuck. He was not a happy camper and sat in the back of the Blackbird stradling a chair and staring at Alex. Every now and then the slick popping sound of *Snikt* could be heard, there wasn't much chance that blondie would be getting up any time soon, but if he did Wolverine would ensure he didn't go no place. Not unless it was in sandwich sized cold cuts.
There was an equal amount of suspicion for Rich. Though he didn't seem to be as dangerous. Not unless he wanted to get all stabby with those cutters he had. The swords wouldn't bother Logan so much but other X-men might have to keep an eye out for him. Scott didn't go either to see 'daddy' it was strange, but Wolverine didn't say anything. He had his own suspicions about why Slim might be against walking into the joint.
((ooc feel free to start up a convo with Logan, but he's just gonna sit back death stare mode for now))
06-07-2008, 01:22 AM
As Hank and Robert descended the ramp of the Blackbird a million different scenarios ran through McCoy?s mind. It should be simple enough to get inside the medical facility, at least in theory. McCoy had power of attorney over Charles in regards to all medical treatment and care so legally he could just waltz right in and demand to see the Professor. But then again the government could be oh so fickle in certain situations and was more than willing to forget certain obstructive documents like Federal law and the Constitution when it was convenient for them.
?We?ll be back with the Professor in a few minutes,? Hank said to Scott. Hank hoped that they would bring him in a calm manner and not chased by an entire Army platoon. Giving a nod to Robert both men descended down the ramp and began a quick walks to the main gate of the medical facility.
The moment the sentries saw Hank they unfastened their M16s and one of them spoke into his radio, no doubt calling backup. Who could blame them? There had just been a mutant attack at the Capital Building and now a big scary mutant was approaching them. Hank and Robert were calm and casual as they approach and for the moment the guards did not seem intent on shooting them dead.
?Hello Gentlemen.? Hank gave the guards a polite greeting. ?I?m Doctor Hank McCoy and this is my associate Robert Drake. We?re here to take custody of Charles Xavier. If you contact your superiors I?m sure they?ll inform you that I am Professor Xavier?s personal physician and legal decision maker.?
The two guards exchanged looks. ?Hands up.?
A rifle barrel leveled itself at Hank?s furry face. Sighing with indignity, Hank did as instructed and gave Robert a look that told the younger man not to do anything. Well, not yet. This was not just a hospital it was a military fortress and there was more to it than just these guards.
?This is control,? squawked a voice over on of the guard's radio. ?Hank McCoy is registered as Xavier?s legal physician. Both subjects are allowed entry upon search.? The rifles were cautiously lowered but the two guards still regarded Robert and Hank wearily. Hank more so for obvious reasons. Both were given a quick pat-down and issued visitor?s badges and the gate was pulled open with an electric wur. It was a short walk to the room where Xavier was being kept. Security inside the military hospital was even tighter than the outside of the base. Whole teams of very heavily armed soldiers walked around and security cameras as every corner followed every move the two X-Men made.
As they approached Xavier?s room an officer wearing a labcoat was waiting for them with a clipboard in hand.
?Hello,? the man said curtly. ?I?m Major Allers. I was the attending doctor when the patient was brought in.?
?How is he?? asked McCoy. Despite his best efforts, Hank?s voice was laden with concern.
?Stable for the moment,? Major Allers replied as he reviewed his notes. ?He?s out of surgery after needing to have a subdural hematoma relieved. So he?ll have to be monitored closely to ensure that his intracranial pressure doesn?t fluctuate outside of normal parameters. Severe blunt-force trauma caused a fracture in his right clavicle which has been slung appropriately ? not severe enough for surgery. Some other bumps and bruises is about it. The main thing is? he?s unconscious and doesn?t seem to be responsive. Brain activity is weakened, which isn?t incredibly abnormal considering his traumatic brain injury but is concerning should it not improve.?
It was not as bad as Hank had thought then. Such injuries would heal over time but that Charles had low brain activity was very distressing. If Charles was a normal man with a normal brain then it would not seem so bad but Professor X?s brain used much more of itself than a normal person and had a high level of brainwave activity and neurological activity to begin with. If he did have low brain activity is was very bad sign.
?We have to get him back to the mansion,? Hank said to Robert. ?I can do my own examination there and we need Emma to do a deep scan.?
?I?m sorry Doctor MccCoy,? interrupted the Major. ?But the patient isn?t going anywhere.?
06-11-2008, 08:19 PM
They had gotten Havok on the plane and Logan was standing guard. As the plane descended, Bobby thought about Charles and prayed that he was ok. Once they had landed and Scott had given him and Hank the order to retrieve the Professor, Bobby jumped up. He headed down the ramp as Beast said,
?We?ll be back with the Professor in a few minutes,? Bobby laughed aloud before saying ?Yeah one way or another we?ll bring the Prof Back.?
The two of them walked towards the entrance and Bobby saw the guards ready their weapons, ?I?ll take the one on the left ok?? Bobby said jokingly to his long time friend, he knew they would not just let them in seeing as how just a short while ago all hell had broken lose once again in the countries Capitol. Bobby knew that getting the Prof Out would be easier if they didn?t have to fight their way in as well as out; he only hoped Hank had a better idea.
?Hello Gentlemen.? Hank gave the guards a polite greeting. ?I?m Doctor Hank McCoy and this is my associate Robert Drake. We?re here to take custody of Charles Xavier. If you contact your superiors I?m sure they?ll inform you that I am Professor Xavier?s personal physician and legal decision maker.?
The two guards exchanged looks. ?Hands up.? ?Great just great?, Bobby thought to himself as the guards raised their weapons at the two new comers, he saw Hank had raised his hands and gave him that ?Don?t do anything stupid look? that he always got whenever he was gunna do something stupid.
?Calm down guys we come in peace.? Bobby said in his best Arnold impression as he too raised his hands, then one of the guards? radios came to life, the voice on the other end informed them that they were to be allowed entrance and Bobby breathed a sigh of relief, already things were starting to look up. After the usual search and sign in, they were shown to the Profs room.
Outside of the room the Dr. waited, he and Hank exchanged words, most of which sounded like medical mumbo-jumbo to Bobby. He wasn?t stupid or anything but whenever Hank began to talk like that it always sounded like the adults from the Charlie Brown cartoon to him. Therefore, Bobby just stood there and smiled as he laughed on the inside at his comparison.
When Hank turned to Bobby and spoke, it caught him off guard, ?We have to get him back to the mansion. ?I can do my own examination there and we need Emma to do a deep scan.?
?I?m sorry Doctor McCoy,? interrupted the Major. ?But the patient isn?t going anywhere.?
And so began the downward spiral, ?What do you mean he isn?t going anywhere?? Bobby jabbed his thumb at Hank, ?This is the Professor?s medical advisor and legal decision maker.? Then it hit him, where was Ororo? Hadn?t she been with him when he was brought here, was she in the room with him? If so, then if things got ugly they would have someone else to help them get the Prof Out. Bobby closed his hands into fist, he knew he should calm down but getting the Prof. Back to the Mansion so he could be properly treated was the only thing on his mind now.
The scene was obviously the result of a fight, Rich had that. When he asked his question of what was going on, he had hoped the girl would me more informative than a simple "I don't know," but it seemed that was all Rich was going to get. He hated not being in control of a situation, being left out of the loop. Heck, he hated walking into these things too. When he was in the underground he hated walking into a room he was told held people he was looking for only to enter and find a shootout had occurred just moments before. Control for him was key, as long as he ruled the situation he was in good shape.
But he had no control, and felt even more powerless when he heard the Professor's name mentioned. 'So he was attacked.' He pieced it together almost instantly in his head. Was he alright? Better yet, could Rich have a piece of the frozen bastard who apparently did this? A couple missing limbs would go unnoticed after a couple of years of getting used to it....
Getting into the invisible plane of death again wasn't on Rich's list of exciting things to do, but as long as the funny guys in tights were chauffeuring him around he had little choice. It didn't matter in the end, after landing Rich was given the opportunity to converse in a more relaxed atmosphere, if you could call it that.
"So where did you get a set of knives like those?" he asked as he turned back to the short man.
06-17-2008, 07:38 AM
The tension in the waiting room was becoming unbearable. Though Ororo and Jennifer had arrived at the military hospital half an hour ago, it seemed as if they'd been there for days if not weeks. The time, which was crawling forward at a murderously slow pace, and the lack of sunlight made Storm yearn for some fresh air. But she couldn't abandon Xavier, who was brought in here, critically injured after an assault by an as yet unidentified assailant. Upon their arrival at the hospital he had been immediately carried to the E.R. and they hadn't heard from the doctors since then. The lack of news about the professors condition did little to calm the weather witch and her young pupil. Ororo would've much preferred the medical facilities of the Xavier Institute above the, in comparison, primitive medical equipment here, but everything had happened so fast... Suddenly she realized that Robert and Hank had stayed in Washington capital to deal with the attacker. What had happened to them? Searching through her pockets for her communicator, she remembered that she'd left it at the mansion. "Idiot", she mumbled to herself as she realized that she had failed the team in every way possible.
"Sayin' something?" The voice of the woman sitting next to her sounded both concerned and suspicious. Ever since Jennifer Stavros had joined Ororo in the ambulance, she had kept silent, as if in shock. During the trip Ororo's prime concern had been Charles, but now she could perhaps offer the young woman some comfort. "Jennifer, I realize this must've been a traumatic experience for you. If we get back to the mansion, maybe miss Frost or-"
"Never! I'm not goin' to meet 'miss Frost' ever again! Got that, wind lady? And as for this being a 'traumatic experience', I've seen my whole team getting slaughtered by sentinels and Fitzroy, courtesy of 'miss Frost' and the X-Men. So just... Just leave me alone!" Turning her chair to the other side of the room, Roulette resumed her mute state as if nothing had happened. Normally Storm wouldn't have tolerated such an outburst of pointless rage, but in a way she could imagine how Jennifer felt. In some cases, you have to take some punches, and all you can do in return is... wait.
More hours passed, and Ororo was nearing at the end of her normally endless patience. What were they doing to Xavier? Were they performing surgery or was he dead already? Paranoic ideas and theories, fuelled by the lack of space and sunlight, began flooding Storm's mind. Perhaps they were examining his organs, or perhaps they had already begun cutting them out of his body. Maybe they were examining his brain or something like that. Ororo couldn't hold out any longer. She was going to find out what was going on here. Stepping up from the uncomfortable plastic chair, she headed towards the door. "Hey, were are you-" Ignoring the question of her young charge, Storm headed for Xavier's room. Somewhat surprisingly, Roulette followed her.
On their way to the room nobody bothered them. Ororo thanked the gods for this, but her concerns grew. If nobody was doing anything to stop them, what would they find in Xavier's room? A corpse? Turning a last corner round, Ororo's heart was filled with joy as she recognised the big furry form of Hank McCoy, also known as the Beast. "Henry!" she yelled from the other side of the hall. Happy to see her teammate alive and well, she ran over to the man she considered to be one of her best friends. As she got closer, she also discerned Robert Drake, the other X-Man who'd joined the group to Washington and another man, quite possibly a doctor. "It's so good to see you all safe and well, my friends. I... couldn't reach you from here" she somewhat nervously added, still ashamed of her error. After an akward pause, Ororo managed to find her calm again. "Doctor, Henry, is he...?"
06-19-2008, 01:14 AM
?What do you mean he isn?t going anywhere?? Bobby jabbed his thumb at Hank, ?This is the Professor?s medical advisor and legal decision maker.?
"The patient's condition makes moving him very risky," retorted the Major, giving Bobby that scornful look medical professionals often gave non-medical professionals when it came to patient care. "As Dr. McCoy should be aware."
"I am aware but it is not safe for Professor Xavier in this facility," replied McCoy. He hated it when doctors tried to dehumanize their patients by not referring to them by their name.
"This facility is under military protection."
"So was the capital building and look what happened," shrugged McCoy. "In any case, I have legal control." None too pleased about being overruled by a giant walking furball, the Major gave an irritated 'harumpf' and spun on one heel to get Professor Xavier ready to be moved out of the hospital.
The familiar voice caused Hank to turn around. "Ororo!" He helled up one gorilla hand in greeting as the African X-Man headed down the hallway in their direction.
"It's so good to see you all safe and well, my friends. I... couldn't reach you from here. Doctor, Henry, is he...?"
"He's not in a good way," admitted Hank. "The Professor's injuries are very severe. The worst is that he's in some sort of comma. I'm going to need Jean and Emma's help with that."
"While you're at it, why don't you give me a little help Henry?" That hard, nasely voice was all-too familiar to McCoy, who's head snapped in the voice's direction. That black suit, auburn buzz cut, mirrored glasses that gave no view of the speakers eyes.
"I think you can spare a minute or two while Charlie is getting ready for his change of venue," remarked Gyrich from where he stood at the other end of the hall. "Let's chat."
"Move the professor as soon as he is ready," McCoy said to Robert and Ororo. "I'll be along shortly." McCoy and Gyrich then walked around a corner and into an empty hospital room. "What is this all about HP?" asked McCoy.
"It's about that little show you, Drake and that other moron put on at the capital," answered Gyrich. "I've had twenty diffrerent agencies call the CSA in the past hour. Funny how we never caught the man who attacked Xavier. ANy leads on where he might be?" McCoy remained silent. "Well, I'm sure you'll tell me if you think of anything. Or maybe not. The point is, MRA is a fact now. Any doubts people might have had are gone. The law will not be repealed and will have even more supporters."
"So did you came here to gloat?"
"I came here to let you know that you X-Men better tread carefully," warned Gyrich. "You're the most publically visible group of mutants other than Magneto and his jolly band of psychopaths. You'll be under a lot of scrutiny. Speaking of which." Gyrich withdrew a small plastic card from his wallet. "I took the liberty of having you registered. Here's your card. No one likes standing in line so I thought I'd do you a favor."
"Gee HP, thanks a million," replied McCoy dryly. "If you'll excuse me I have to save the lift of my friend. Try not to strangle any puppies on your way out." Exiting the room, Hank walked back to Robert and Ororo. "Are we ready?"
06-20-2008, 08:11 PM
Bobby stood there glaring at the doctor, waiting for him to say the wrong thing. Instead is addressed Hank, smart move seeing as how Bobby wasn?t in any mood to be rational. Beast made it clear that the Prof needed to be moved, when the doctor mentioned that the facility was under government protection. Bobby couldn?t help but respond, ?Ha? but before he could say anymore Hank answered the doctors and shut him down completely.
Bobby turned around when he heard Ororo call Hank?s name, he was glad to see she was all right. He noticed Jen wasn?t with her but didn?t question her about it. Hank filled her in and just as they were preparing to enter the room, someone spoke form off to the side. Beast went off to speak to the man and Bobby wasted no time, he turned to the doctor and said.
?Ok doc you heard big blue, get your stuff in gear and lets the Prof out of this ohhh sooo safe military facility.? The Doctor gave him another one of those looks, but Bobby paid him no mind as he turned to Ororo, ?I think its time to see the Prof.? He took a deep breath, steadied his mind there was no telling what he?d find upon entering the room but he knew he could delay it no longer.
The room smelled slightly of cleaning products, there were two chairs, a counter, some shelves; a TV mounted on the wall and opposite the TV was a bed. On the bed lay the man Bobby had come to look at as a father figure. Now here he was lying on a bed with wires and tubes everywhere. Bobby walked over to the bed slowly, he wasn?t sure if he was ready for this. It felt like an hour before he finally made it to the bedside, his insides were on fire and he wanted to puck.
?We?re gunna get you out of here Charles, Hank pushed his weight around...? Bobby smiled slightly, ?He let them know who was boss and the doc is gunna get you all set up to go. Scott and the others are waiting for us outside.? Robert Drake aka Iceman was able to do battle with countless enemies and still find time to make jokes while doing it, but here in this room faced with one of the toughest things he?d ever seen he could say no more. Slowly he reached out and held the Prof?s hand as he waited for the doctor and his staff to get everything ready for their departure.
06-22-2008, 04:22 AM
Staying behind on the jet wasn?t exactly something Scott Summers would call courageous. But sometimes, even the courageous needed a moment to themselves to collect their thoughts and piece everything together. A good leader knew when those moments were necessary, and for the mutant known as Cyclops, this one qualified. The longer he tried to wrap his mind around the details, the more painful the situation became. It wasn?t as if Cyclops? understanding of what transpired was clouded. Far from it actually ? the account he?d received from Beast and Iceman made the chain of events clear as crystal. And if there were still any question, the brief analysis of the newcomer ? ?So he was attacked.? ? echoed the clarity of the events that transpired.
No, what was hard to swallow was the gravity of the entire situation. His brother Alex, a former X-Man himself, had been assimilated into Apocalypse?s legion of Horsemen. Scott, who only became aware of his brother?s transformation after Sam Guthrie filled him in, had largely failed as a older brother, seemingly unable to prevent Alex from being ensnared by the corrupting hands of Apocalypse, unable to find him and bring him back from that nightmare. Scott tried to tell himself that Alex was his own man now, living his own life outside the shadow of his big brother. They were two grown men now, making their own choices and facing the consequences of their own actions.
But whether it was a familial sense of responsibility or the burden he perceived himself to carry as leader of the X-Men, Scott couldn?t shake the sinking sense of failure, not only as it related to his brother but to his mentor as well. For years while Scott and the rest of the X-Men learned how to use their mutant powers and work as a team, Professor Xavier watched over them. He cared for them, protected them. But in this highly charged climate, Scott should have known that the Professor would be a target. He should have recognized that an appearance in the nation?s capital, testifying in front of Congress, would be a magnet for danger. He should have gone with them, upped the security and had them more ready for any given situation.
Except he didn?t, and Charles was the one that had to pay.
Snap out of it, Summers, he commanded silently to himself. His head lowered, not from shame or self-doubt, but simply to allow himself to put aside the emotion and return to the reason and logic of it all. It would be easy to sit here and blame yourself, Scott?s mind scolded him. But you know perfectly well that for all the guilt you may feel, there was nothing you could do.
When Charles left for Washington, he took some of the best of the best with him. Ororo, Hank, Iceman ? Cyclops would have been hard pressed to come up with a more prepared and experienced team of allies to accomplish an objective. Besides, even if Cyclops had spent weeks preparing them for every possible contingency they might encounter, would he have known ? would they have known ? that an attack could be coming from one of their own? Cyclops himself only recently was alerted to his brother?s status as a Horseman, and for all of his patience and planning, Apocalypse was intelligent enough to know that he?d need more than one Horseman to take on Xavier and his X-Men.
Something about this didn?t add up. Hank and Bobby could handle the transfer, and once they took the Professor back to the mansion, Jean would be able to psi-scan his mind and determine a more accurate prognosis. But if Cyclops was going to figure this whole thing out, he?d need to keep a clear head.
The pilot?s chair swiveled around, and Scott peered at Alex from behind his ruby quartz visor. Still unconscious, still encased in ice. He could only connect so many dots himself. The real answers would lie with his brother. And Scott had a feeling that cracking that vault would be easier said than done.
06-25-2008, 07:32 AM
Wolverine sat and watched and waited. Alex hadn't made a move as yet, but it was only a matter of time. He eyed the unmoving blonde man suspiciously, Alex was on ice and maybe he wasn't going to get up anytime soon, or maybe he was. So Logan sat and watched, waited and occasionally popped his claws. The sound of Rich speak made made Logan's ear twitch. He didn't turn to face the guy but kept his focus on the Summers man.
"Knives like this?" A sole claw peels out from behind a clenched fist. Logan contemplated it twisting his arm about but keeping his attention on the blonde man in stasis. "These pig stickers come hard to find and it's a long story." He says gruffly, almost dissinterested in any form conversation. Especially with the new guy, there was only so much trust that Wolverine had and most of it was on his nose. Something didn't smell right about this Richard kid. "Not the sort of story I'm about to share right now."
Logan sheathed his claw and tilted his head sideways watching the still Alex Summers. Scott hadn't moved from his position as yet and Wolverine wasn't one to dwell on thoughts, that was something for frails and leaders to do. He did notice however something pensive in their deputy leader. Maybe he was getting soft or just turned yellow about seeing what sort of state Charlie was in. Either way the sound of Scott moving from his chair made him turn.
"You getting ideas all of a sudden Cyke?" If the guy was going to leave his post and start telling Logan what to do, he'd find that the Candanian wasn't going to play ball. If he was simply going to wander over and decide to play tea with his little brother; he'd soon figure that Alex wouldn't be offering any answers. Not now, probably not when he woke neither, that's just how things went. Logan resigned himself to the fact.
"Getting sick of waiting Summers. If Hank isn't up to the task of getting Charlie, maybe we should just storm the joint get it over with." He really needed a beer, all this waiting around just pissed him off.
06-25-2008, 12:02 PM
Ororo listened and took in all the news and information. She still had a lot of questions, but they could wait. What mattered now was getting Xavier to the advanced medical facilities of the mansion, sound and safe. She was surprised to see Hank take command so easily. True, he was probably the best person to determine what had to be done in this situation, but it didn't fit well with Ororo. Normally she'd have done the same as Hank, taking control of the situation and analysing all possible options, but today she had utterly failed to do so. She was pleased to see Hank take over so quickly, since it was the best choice to make, but she couldn't suppress a faint feeling of envy at the ease with which he took matters in his own hands. No, stop this! she said to herself. Everything is fine, concentrate on the job. No need for self-pity now. Forcing the evil thoughts to the darker corners of her mind, Ororo followed Bobby into Xavier's room.
Now the windrider had never liked hospitals and such. They were too clean, too sterile. For a building that was dedicated to life, it carried too much the scent of death. But to see the man that had played such a pivotal role in her life, who had carried her from Africa to America, in such a bad state... It was far worse than she thought. A part of her wanted to talk to him, offer him comfort and assure him that everything would be fine. But she couldn't. No message would be able to pierce through to the man, and even if she could talk to him, how could she offer hope to another when her own heart was filled with doubts?
Padding Robert's shoulder was all she could manage. As one of the original X-Men, he'd known Charles for a long time; his relationship with his father wasn't something you'd call great, and she believed the professor had played the role of surrogate father for Bobby. Ororo knew very well how he must be feeling; she too, lost those who were dear to her. But Xavier wasn't lost to them yet. "At ease, Robert" she spoke softly as she gently massaged his shoulder. The man was tense and distraught, and all she could offer him was a friendly pad on the shoulder. The situation made her feel helpless again. Why did she kept failing herself and others? She could only stand and listen as Bobby spoke to the professor. The tone of his voice was that of disbelief and desperation, feelings she knew only too well. Goddess, she needed some fresh air and some sunlight.
She didn't know how much time they spent standing idle at Xavier's bedside, but for the both of them the staff couldn't arrive quickly enough. When they finally did come, they didn't look too happy about relinquishing one of their patients. Ororo understood their concerns, but little did they know that the professor had a greater chance of survival in their hands than here in the military hospital. They gently strapped Xavier onto a brancard, but his life-support machines had to be loaded on a separate brancard. She could only hope that nothing would go wrong. Just when she was about to get lost in the labyrint of her thoughts again, one of the nurses spoke in a tone of voice that betrayed more than a hint of cynicism: "So, where do you want him?"
07-02-2008, 12:43 AM
"So, where do you want him?"
Such callousness was unbecoming of medical workers and Dr. McCoy shot them a scornful look. And boy could the Beast give a scornful look. Even if the X-Men had interrupted the workings of the medical center and even if they were mutants (though McCoy hopped they had not yet begun to suspect that Xavier was one as well) it did not reflect well on the medical services of the US military.
Then again mutants weren't getting good treatment from the American government in general.
"We will escort the patient outside ourselves," said McCoy as he took hold of the brancard holding Xavier's limp form while indicating for Drake to take the other. With luck they'd be to the Blackbird before the staff and security realized just exactly WHAT they were bringing Xavier too. Which was why McCoy began to push the brancard with more than a little haste.
"We're on our way now Cyclops," he said over the comm device discretely built into his watch. One of a number of useful little gadgets available to their motley band of mutant heroes. "Prepare to take off."
07-03-2008, 04:16 PM
Bobby stood over the lifeless body of his fallen mentor, he wasn?t dead but unconscious but to Bobby it was almost the same. The worry he felt was just as strong, he could feel his emotions getting the best of him, ?How long does it take to get him ready damm it??
He felt someone touching his shoulder, ?At ease Robert.? She may not have known it but that small gesture helped so much, Bobby was able to get his feeling in check. The fact that he wasn?t alone he had the Xmen and they would stop at nothing to help Charles and each other, they were a family. Together they would make in through this the Prof would too. ?Thank you Ororo.? Bobby responded to his long time friend and teammate.
When the nurses were done getting everything ready, beast told them they would remove Charles and motioned for Bobby to help him. No sooner did Bobby grab the brancard did Beast start off, it almost caught him off guard. Bobby knew they had to get out of there fast before anyone asked how they would be transporting him. It wasn?t like they had an ambulance outside waiting and Scott couldn?t pull the jet up to the front gate could he.
"We're on our way now Cyclops,"he said over the comm device discretely built into his watch. One of a number of useful little gadgets available to their motley band of mutant heroes. "Prepare to take off."
Bobby looked at Hank and as quietly as he could asked ?Um how we gunna get him to the blackbird?? Storm was also within earshot so he hoped one of them had a plan, the way Bobby felt at the moment he didn?t want to deal with nosey army types wondering why they were taking a man on a stretcher towards an open clearing. Moreover, with the only telepath on the team down for the count it wasn?t like they could just Jedi mind trick their way out of this one.
07-09-2008, 08:00 AM
Cyclops? gaze, deadly were it not restrained by the use of his ruby quartz visor, remained on his brother until Logan spoke up and broke Scott from his thoughts. ?Getting sick of waiting Summers. If Hank isn't up to the task of getting Charlie, maybe we should just storm the joint get it over with.? Logan?s impatience often frustrated Scott, but right now he wasn?t entirely inclined to deal with it.
Besides, Cyclops knew Logan had the strategic intellect to know his idea wasn?t a sound one. The nation had just witnessed another attack in their capital, this time to a pro-mutant activist making an appearance in front of a Congressional panel. Security would be even more intense than normal as law enforcement kept an extra eye out for additional mutant activity. Were the X-Men to ?storm? a military hospital to retrieve Xavier, it would be like throwing gasoline onto the fire. There was a reason the Blackbird jet remained cloaked, and Scott hoped to keep things that way.
As it turned out though, Cyclops didn?t need to provide his teammate with an explanation as to why his suggestion would not be adopted. The team leader rose a bit in his chair as his communication device crackled before broadcasting Hank McCoy?s voice on the other end. ?We're on our way now Cyclops. Prepare to take off.?
?Looks like Hank has it under control,? Cyclops shot back towards Logan as he swiveled the pilot?s chair around to the standard position. Though the jet remained invisible to visual detection, that didn?t mean Scott couldn?t begin the pre-flight procedures. With a well practiced hand, Scott began to warm up the engines while lowering the invisible cargo ramp. He then set a course for the mansion back in Westchester, knowing he?d be pushing the throttle to the limit.
Meanwhile, the trio of undercover X-Men was cautiously making their way through the security checkpoint they?d passed through earlier, this time with a friend in tow. With Hank at one end of the brancard and Bobby at the other, the X-Men wheeled Xavier to the gate before being stopped by two guards with loaded rifles. As one stepped forward, their shoulder-mounted radios clicked. ?They have clearance, let them go,? came the voice of Henry Gyrich on the other end. The thinnest of smiles found its way to Hank?s face, and for a moment, he opened himself up to the thought that perhaps Gyrich wasn?t a completely horrible person.
With the guards stepping aside, the three transporters wheeled Xavier down the walkway towards? nothing. The guards gave a brief look outside to see where they were taking their wounded patient, and then looked back to one another in confusion.
As the X-Men walked, Bobby leaned over towards Hank and, sharing a bit of their confusion, whispered, ?Um how we gunna get him to the blackbird??
On cue, Storm chimed in, her eyes glossing over. ?I believe that is where I come in.?
The distance between the trio and the hospital gate grew, and as it did so, a thick fog began to roll in from all directions, cutting the X-Men off from those who would watch them. Within seconds, the thickness in the air was practically a solid wall preventing anyone from seeing where the small group had gone. The guards at the gate stepped forward slightly to try and spot the group, though they didn?t make it far before turning back towards their post for fear of losing their way. Inside the hospital at the security station, technicians scrambled by each other as many of their exterior cameras were darkened over, showing nothing of the outside world. They radioed other stations in the facility, trying to determine if anyone had exterior views. Dispatchers began to work lines of communication with other city-wide agencies to confirm whether this was a centralized phenomenon or if it truly was a fast moving weather pattern.
Before the reactionary snowball rolled into a massive emergency boulder, the fog began to clear as quickly as it had arrived. Naval personnel scratched their head as they opened windows, peering outside at a haze that was dissipating as quickly as sugar in a large pitcher of lemonade. The two guards at the front gate of the building were finally able to make out the tree line in the distance, and both immediately stepped outwards to try and find the group that had just left. Their eyes franticly scanned the horizon for any kind of vehicle that could effectively transport a wounded man in a full medical stretcher. They saw nothing.
To their astonishment, the X-Men were long gone.
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