1963-07-27 - Scorpio Rising
Summary: Oh, just some mechanical scorpions and a phoenix.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Prophets of Rage - Prophets of Rage
jubilee jean psyche rogue 

Summer is the season of wrath. Rage follows the dusty heat when armies clash. Anger curdles in the raised blood, flushed faces contorted in war cries. Howls permeate the air. Arms clash in a deafening thunder, echoes that resonate through the valley of despairing promises and fallen purpose. Plumes of smoke rise in the air, adding to the miasma covering a teeming mass of humanity on the march.

Summer, the season of wrath. These are the dog days, but the hounds of war are on the prowl.

They gather under handmade paper signs with slogans like WE WANT OUR RIGHTS, WE WANT THEM NOW and ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. Others howl END THE DIVISIONS BEFORE THEY END US and I *AM* A MAN.

Faces here do not belong to the usual warriors, the soldiers of yore. They are women in pretty belted dresses to their knees, children in their school uniforms despite the awful heat holding their father's hands. Row on row of coloured faces blend white, yellow, brown, and in one case, purple. Light purple, but purple all the same. They march in irregular ranks down Tenth Avenue, calling for a variety of requests: civil rights, an end to segregation, being recognized as human even if he has spikes or she has feathers for hair.


Jubilee usually comes to the city for pleasure. But after the recent stuff she's found out about, today it's more business. She's got a light yellow trenchcoat on, and her hair tied in a bun behind her. Very serious. The boots may be fashionable and attractive but they're not terrible for this, either. Approaching the protest, she ventures into a nearby hotel, and gets onto a roof to watch from overhead. She wants to figure out what kind of protest this is, and whether to support it, or oppose it.


For some reason or another, Jean decided to venture away from the Institute into the city proper. She hadn't been out on her own in a very long time, and just wandering as she does gives her a little bit of peace that was much needed from a house with torrid feelings and issues. There were lovers abound, some even had twinges of regret and a little bit of hate. Some were just happy to be alive and others were at peace. In that house? Jean didn't know where she ended nor where she began.

And out here was no better.

She was quick to get a headache as she rounded the corner, smack dab in the protest with the others as she tries to move through the throngs of gathering and shouting people. It was a good thing she somewhat fit in. Form fitting tiny floral shirt with a skirt that fans itself out. Socks that hide her ankles and a nice pair of dress shoes to boot. And those glasses, the nerdiest of nerds would sympathize with her.

"Excuse me.. pardon.. ex.. excuse me.." Jean just wanted to get to the end. And possibly find a nice ice cream shoppe.


While Danielle Moonstar's first impression of the school wasn't all that good, thanks to a particular blond young man there, that hasn't stopped the Cheyenne from exploring the school, nor meeting the various faces around the Mansion. She may not be quite so forthcoming about her own history, or powers, but that doesn't stop her from being friendly enough.

That also doesn't mean the young Cheyenne doesn't want to leave the School grounds and explore … and so, Danielle Moonstar is out in the city walking the sidewalks and seeing the various sights a visitor can typically find within New York City.

Much like Jean, Dani's just rounded the corner and when she sees all the people, especially the protesters, the dark-haired woman's steps will slow slightly, as she approaches the flood of people. While she may not have been in the City long, she has heard about the violence lately and as such, the Cheyenne's expression turns vaguely cautious as she sees such a large grouping of people before her.


"We want our rights, we want them now!" One chunk of the group shouts slogans and shuffles along, raising their signs. Harlem is a bubbling pot of trouble at the best of times, but under a hot sun, some of those troublemakers slouch in the alleyways and peer down from open windows staring blind on the city. The children hold their signs and adults wear them, sandwich boards meant to shame the city fathers and American society.

A young woman stands on one of the staircases running up to a brownstone, the tired concrete chipped and slathered in graffiti. Camera in hand, she focuses the lens upon those masses moving through the street. A few cars are still desperately circling around, looking for a way out to no avail. A broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses block out part of her face, but not the long braids studded in yellow and pink dahlias. Those starry blooms march up the lattice. Between shots, she tosses flowers to the crowd from a basket; not the dahlias of her own, but carnations and the occasional rose, marigolds and larkspurs.

"See peace bloom," she calls out as she goes. Scarlett, then, shifts between bystander and encouragement. Not everyone is so happy. Nor is everyone so friendly.

Frowning shop owners glare at the masses. Police have set up a narrowed barricade in anticipation of trouble, choking the crowd through a single lane of traffic. There's no where to turn, no where to shift away except to move through that narrow neck. A teeming throng can't be more than five abreast, but they are distorged further down Tenth Avenue. The mood there is less happy, and Jubilee can easily see it's a natural choke point. Hopefully nothing happens.


Jubilee tries to take a good look at the person throwing flowers. While that could easily be someone just being very hopeful and happy, flowers spreading who-knows-what could be a good way to make things worse. "Should get one of those new Polaroids," she says to herself. "Really great way to take pictures of this stuff." And then there's the choke point. This could be bad. People could get trampled. This stuff happens in other countries. Why is it happening here?


Jean was right along with them while they were being stuffed. She was moving towards the pinnacle point, her shoulders bunching up and hands drawing closer to herself, her face a stark red as she tries to breath through the mingling emotions and thoughts. She at least wanted happy thoughts. Something to focus her mind upon as she tries to get through but there was a block.

Her eyes were wild as she searches out the crowd, even going so far as to jump up along the teeming masses to see over their heads. Some were short enough; some were taller than her and often gave her glares and considered her one of the 'normals' that were oppressing 'them'. "I just want to get through!" She cries out to the crowd, not forcing her way just yet, but squeezing past someone who obviously has boundary control issues into a mutant that seemed a wee bit sickly. "I'm sorry! Excuse me!"


The signs raised in the air, as well as draped across forms are looked at, read even, by Dani and while she can definitely empathize with what they're saying, she simply continues to ghost through the throngs of people. Her dark brown eyes are ever watchful as she spies the anger and the frustration, on both sides of the lines. Eventually her gaze will turn more towards the protestors again and while she could have tried to push further towards that choke point, she doesn't, not when there's some true resistance to her making her way through the press of bodies.

Instead the dark haired woman will settle herself down against a streetlamp, the rough wood of the pole biting slightly into her shoulder. That particular pinch to her skin is ignored, as the Cheyenne now crosses her arms, eyes still taking in all the people that are out and about, and while she was content to simply watch, movement out of the corner of her eye catches her attentions.

Another woman, red-faced and trying to get through is seen and when she calls out that she just wants to get through, Dani will straighten from her careful slouch and move to make her way towards the seemingly distressed Jean. "Hey." She calls out, "You okay?" She hasn't yet met Jean at the Mansion and as such, there's definitely no recognition from Dani.


For Jean, several of the minds seethe with turmoil: hope is frail against grinding poverty and deep resentment. The children flower with trepidation and excitement, the older ones fiercely certain of noble ideals. Here and there, tired thoughts wish, just this time, maybe something will change. Some harbour angry thoughts preparing for violence done to them, vengeful to protect their people.

Dani might see one or two Native Americans among the masses, a woman in a tight t-shirt and a long skirt holding up a sign. A cluster of college students, by the looks of it, make a small population dancing and skipping down the street, taking this to be a light affair.

And if she's not watching where she's going, she steps on a wad of bundled up cloth that must contain tinfoil. Crunch!


Snap. Another frozen moment in time lies in slow motion formation on the film contained within the camera. Scarlett does not hurry in her framing of each image, scanning over the crowd to find the telltale images she wants. A sea of white around a child in a red dress, holding a small sign with pride. The scattering of garbage before her like a trail of detritus leading to hope. Click! The protesters choked by the barricade to the flashing strobe of police lights, one of the cops standing on the hood of the vehicle to guide them. Clearly someone more used to a traffic beat than hemming in a thousand people and more, all of them shouting slogans or bearing messages on high to those faraway men in Albany, in City Hall, all over America.

This is how the world turns.

Another crack from a distant point, when one of those irate men smacks a pole and shouts in an altercation with an officer blocking the route with his car. It's hot. The slowdown isn't welcome. Someone else laughing, holding up a shiny sphere in a dark hand. Then it becomes a ripple of a word, like a scavenger hunt crossed with Telephone, that makes a visible impact on the welter of bodies on the west side of the street. Jubilee can see it clearest, when marchers slow and a few people bend, others turn, looking around. Another sphere is passed around, not much bigger than a golf ball.


Jubilee decides something really bad is going on. But she's not unsympathetic to the protest's basic ideas. And she knows people that angry aren't going to just go home. So, she has an idea. She has no idea if it'll work. But, if she does this just right, it won't get worse. She hopes? From her vantage point on the roof, she starts shooting fireworks over the crowd. More light than sound, but enough to spell out a message. "FAN… OUT… SPREAD… TO… MORE… STREETS. SPREAD… OUT…." she tries to say, word by word in glowing pops.


Dani's words were the only light for her this day, while she didn't see Jubilee's expressive light show just yet, Jean zeroes in on the native american womans with a shake of her head and a highly bruised ego. So bruised, that her face becomes even redder. Those thoughts reaching her mind as well as the feelings draw the need to explode and release that anger upon the nearest person that would provoke her ire. But she was better than that. She believes it with her entire self…

'This is nothing..' That inner voice calls to her. 'Wait until the real fun begins.'

Jean tries her best to squeeze through another of the teeming masses, her eyes widening with alarm as she turns to look towards Jubilee's fire in the sky, another look towards Dani, her hand snapping out to try to grasp a hold of the woman before she's carried through the see of people like a rockstar. "We have to go!" If the urgency in her voice didn't alert Dani, maybe Jubilee's display of words would.


When Jean reaches out towards Dani, she'll already find the other woman's hand waiting there and with a strong grasp on the Cheyenne's part, Dani will clasp the red-head's hand. Then she'll give it a tug, to try and help pull Jean through the press of people - an elbow or two might also be used to open the gap between the bodies, as Dani tries to help free Jean from its (their) clutches. That warning of Jean's is heard, but misunderstood, as the dark-haired woman says, "Don't worry. I got you!" And while she could have stayed in ignorance longer, she doesn't, as the sparkles above their heads is finally seen.

"What in the world?" States Dani as she reads the firework-formed words and while she could have said more, should be saying more, she doesn't. Not when suddenly there is a sharp tug at her boot, near around her ankle, and from that Dani can't help but feel a surge of surprise. Automatically her dark brown eyes drop towards the ground, towards the ankle in question, as she looks downward to see what's snapping at her ankles. Already a few strands of fringe are falling slowly to the cement, somehow broken off from her brown boot.


A child laughs. The little ball is bounced off the ground, a metal sphere going up rather high, and landing again.

By now there are four or five of those things being toted around. The adults searching for them might have a question, but a fellow in a grey t-shirt says something about "guns" and then the quiet turmoil comes alight overhead. Pop. Pop. Pop.

Fireworks aren't unlike Sunday morning surprises in Harlem. The cracks cause a few frightened cries until quicker witted souls thing to look up. A message from on high. Indecision will no doubt follow; some go towards the side streets and others will not, and still the protesters push through the choke point where the altercation isn't getting any better. Three officers now, not one. But at least no one's baying for blood. Angry gestures and smacking the car don't help. Tinder, so much tinder…

Is anyone going to notice when one or two of those spheres 'hatch?' When a pair of little clicking claws articulated with metal prongs emerge? Not so much until they pinch, seeing clothes or flesh, clacking shut around them.


Petals rain down when Scarlett hands several bunches of marigolds to waiting protesters lurking near her steps. They all end up staring at the signs in the sky, petitioners who shade their hands over their brows to the word of God. But those sunglasses reflect the building words and conceal unnaturally green eyes that narrow in speculation. While they are stuck together, she cannot make her way through easily without wading, or announcing herself as something completely inhuman. Not so much prepared to do that, the young woman picks up her basket and starts the holy litany of "Pardon me, excuse me, let me through please, yes, excuse me…" The serenade of her voice is barely audible in the masses.

In places the knots prove resilient to testing, and she might have to nudge at someone's shoulder with her sleeved arm. The redhead's basket makes a helpful way to open up small gaps, and then she follows through at speed. Jean fears the crush of a crowd for their thoughts; she dreads the press for their bodies. "Excuse me," she murmurs again, and when that doesn't help her, she thrusts a larkspur through the babbling women. Nothing like fragrant blooms and greenery to get through. They part, turning, unhappy.

Then there's suddenly a bouncing metal insect snapping onto her flower stalk and dragging the sixty centimeter stalk downwards. Boing!


Jubilee takes a deep breath. This isn't helping enough. She decides to just make something up now. She tries another message. Letting the pops get louder, more urgent, the letters brighter. "BACK… OFF… PLAYING… INTO… COPS… HAND… BACK… UP… CLEAR… STREET… THE… MAN… WANTS… YOU… TOGETHER…"


Jean's hand snaps against Dani's in a desperate clutch, tugging herself along through the mass of people that manages to snag her shirt enough to tug it from it's tucked part into her skirt. Okay.. An arm is snagged around Dani's waist to hug her, the heightened masses of emotions, thoughts, and flashes has her eyes watering and head ducking down to press hard against the woman to possibly make moving unsound.

"I.. help.." Yes. Too much. Way too much.

'But it gets better.'

That untucked part of her shirt moves. Something cold touches the flesh of her back as the bulked up mass has her gasping in surprise. Releasing Dani for the quickest moments, she begins to pat herself down, the creepy crawly of the 'thing' begins to move throughout her clothing, stabbing in places that were most supple, jabbing where it was hard and cracking, pinpricks of blood begins to form along her shirt as she shrieks out in a shock, pain and anger to try to stop that silver thing from rending her skin.


When Jean clings at her so, Dani can't help but return her attention right back to Jean, unaware just yet at what tugs and snaps at her boots. "Hey hey." She says, striving for a calm voice, "You're okay. We'll get out of here. Don't worry." And while Dani was just thinking about moving, that little tug at her ankle is felt once more, but before she can turn her attention towards her ankle, Jean is suddenly moving now, as well. At the furious patting down movements, Dani will ask, "What's wrong?"

And while /she'd/ like to help Jean, Dani has her own little mechanical bug to worry about as a third pinch, this time harder, is felt against ankle. "OW!" Shouts the Cheyenne, even as she lifts her foot up to see what's going on. IT could almost look comical, except for the fact that there's a little metallic creature hanging from the material of her boot around her ankle. "Woah! What are you?!" Exclaims Dani and with a furious shake of her foot and leg, the little metallic crab goes flying. Not that it won't be long before it's snapping back at her ankles. For now, the sparkling and popping words above are missed by Dani, as she has her attention focused sorely upon the ground before her gaze shifts back to Jean.


At least two of those spheres hatched into scorpions on long, skittering legs have caught the crowd by surprise. Others are ignorant to the shouting and stamping around, but they recognize when a sign explodes overhead to get going, it's a good time to be on the run. Focus on run. Not nice slow walk, but the bodies heave to find a route down Tenth Avenue and its side streets in a mostly residential and commercial block.

If only they had room to move. They don't. Bodies pressing in create a natural barrier, and eventually pressure of so many moving feet pushes forward the clots. Some protesters intent to wait get shoved along. Others get shoved up to the walls, shouting back, while the cooler heads call for calm. They break free in gushes of life, and mostly get mired up.

A few of those toughs — remember them? — shout down anyone crossing their turf, backing it up at gunpoint if necessary.

Scorpions have no such qualms about stamping feet or angry black men, upset white women, or cops. They climb over whatever they can find and snip with their pincers at whatever gets in their way. Or they clamp hold of cloth, which seems to be a favourite, and especially metal. Some man hurls his protest sign, shouting about the giant silver bug. What they're after is metal. Clamping onto it, crushing it, severing it. Metal earrings snapped aside. One is waylaid by a can. And if there's a gun… Oh, they like *that*.


Bugs clamber all over and Jubilation Lee, watcher on high, is not immune. A brick wall is no obstacle to her own choice, and the mechanical horror sneaking up on her is bigger than the rest. This one is the size of a football with a red blinker where its pointed aculeus, aka stinger, segmented claws showing bare wire in places and gears in others. Whatever this one is, it's not so polished and space age as the rest. But it is bigger. With great big chela that could do in the second most awesome boots in the city with one go, regardless of whether there might be a leg in there. Skitter. Skitter.


Jubilee doesn't know what to do. The people here need a way out. She's breathing heavily, watching over this scene, getting worse in a way that was entirely predictable, and was entirely unpreventable despite her best efforts. She covers her face a moment, wiping a little sweat out of her eye. Then looks out and down again. "The best option would be to get the barricade out of the way so people can move forward, but if I blast the cops they'll shoot." Her chest heaves as she breathes harder, having a moment f panic as she feels obligated to help with this, but sees no good way to do it. So, she sends another message, one that she can't properly obey herself. "STAY… CALM… SPREAD… BACK… TO… TAKE.. BACK… MORE…" And at that moment she feels a pinch at her boot. She jumps and shrieks. SEeing metal,s he starts blasting at it. Just by defaut the same force that was creating large fireworks over the crowd, but all concentrated on one metal bug.



It's an easy cause as to why she bleeds so easily when she's pinched and stabbed; she also just didn't have the thick skin that was hardened for battle. While Dani deals with her own scorpion, lovely jean gets two. One that snakes it's way up her leg and right along her middle, and to the pearled necklace that she wears to snap it clean off. Precious metals from the deep. A gift.

One that has her scrambling with her hands to catch it as the metal was eaten to shake the scorpion free with a snap of her hand and a quick stomp.

With the many few that begin their escape, Jean easily gets trampled, falling flat upon her face with her arm outstretched, holding onto the precious jewels until the ill-fated sound of something else that goes very wrong is heard right in her vicinity..


Uh.. oh..


Somewhere, in the midst of the crowd, a redhead finally gives up on nicely moving people out of the way. She knows the flavours of mob, riot, men in flight, women in peril. Pushing her way through comes to a point when Scarlett faces a softball with far too many legs and a shining abdomen, waving its tail around like a politician making promises. It also ate her flower.

When a claw opens for her camera, the young woman narrows her eyes and thrusts out her open hand. The other drops the broken stem of the larkspur, leaving it to fall. "Don't touch." The weight of her curse must make that a proverbial scarlet letter worn on her chest.

Claws not contained by her fingers rake at her skin, shredding through diaphanous polyester, but don't make much more than a pink scrape on her. Eyes narrow, and somewhere not far, those awful cries of a familiar voice bring to mind an electric surge, a waiting girl. Days when it matters more do one thing than the other. Scarlett squeezes, and that grip is so terribly, terribly strong. She keeps moving, mechanized horror in tow, and the sparking and popping coming from its arrested limbs is not exactly coordinated or welcome. Staccato clicks of its legs get frantic, uncoordinated, as she crushes the circuitry into a mangled bit of misshapen steel. Whoops.


Jubilee has pretty much given up on trying to control the crowd. She did her best. It's on the cops now. Her focus now is entirely on whatever this thing is that attacked her. Her counterattack to the snipping managed to blow a few legs off, flip the thing over, and daze it. She tries to pick it up now, but in such a way that, if it does try to bite her, she'll be able to throw it down in a spot where she can keep an eye on it, in the middle of the roof, to blast it again and disable it. She wants to capture this thing for study.


It's as if everything is now fast-forward, as Dani's attention shifted from bug to Jean, and while she was just getting to reach out to try and help the red-head, the crowd suddenly surges forward. The strength behind that surge is enough to cause Dani to be pushed a few steps to the side, away from Jean, and so, when the other woman goes down, Dani can only watch it happen. There's a brief snap of, "Ancestors!", from the dark-haired Cheyenne, as she tries to struggle her way back towards the fallen woman.

The loud snap is lost upon Dani, that's to the noise of the crowd, the screams, the sounds of fright and not to mention the click-clack of the bugs or rather scorpions.

Elbows, knees and feet are liberally used now, to make her way back towards Jean and with one last shove to a towering man, Dani will yell, "Get out of the way! Watch it! Don't step on her!" Finally, there's enough of a bubble around Jean that Dani can crouch down near her. "We need to get you up!" Yells the young woman, even as she reaches towards Jean, "Before the crowd goes crazy. Quickly now!" She continues to say, but, before she can help Jean up, there's a flash of movement upon the other woman's back, as well as a spot of metallic brightness. "No you don't!" Cries the Cheyenne and with a dart of her hands, Dani will reach for that bug that's still upon Jean and she'll move to knock it off the red-head's back.


Angry legs flail around, the ones not actually blown off or hanging by wires. The scorpion thing snaps at Jubilee, but the stub of its smoking tail flops about on broken hinges. Given its size she's still going to have to tote it like a football, find a bag, or use her coat. The pincers still eagerly try to destroy whatever clothing or metal might be at hand, but unlike Dani's cute teacup scorpion, this one is the St. Bernard equivalent and considerably less lovely. Mind, if Jubilee keeps blasting the thing, eventually she'll at least have a hot, pock marked carapace that looks like it fell out of space in some science fiction novel.


Jubilee holds her breath a moment. This breadbox-sized 'beast' in her hands is doing its best to wriggle and snip at her. But she's holding it out in front of her. So, it's time to get out of here. She re-enters the building, and starts calling out "Stay back, stay back, dangerous animal" if anyone's near. She rides an elevator on down, and gets to the street. This is a problem. Fortunately she has a solution. She wore a trenchcoat to this mission. So, she carefully wriggles out of it, drops the 'bug' into it, and then quickly wraps it up in the fabric. It's not a thick, heavy coat, but a few layers help make it easier. And that is how she gets on a train and carries this thing back to Westchester for further study by more scienc-y people than herself.


Jubilee, slayer of cherries and captor of angry snappy scorpions. The hideous beast is not about to be swaddled without a fight. Is it? The moving around of its broken joints and its remaining claws are certainly going to make it hard for her to avoid notice, but at least she can try to more or less home. Westchester is only a block away. A country block, as they go, in the old West where each block was a town ten miles apart. Either way, several cuts, scrapes, and zaps later, she will have her unhappy football and scorched coat to show for her grand adventure.

And no doubt a news story about the Commie who tried to get the good coloured folks in Harlem to riot.


Chaos. Mayhem. Jean was in the clear thick of it upon the ground. Her hand remained in that balled fist as she was trampled, arm snapped clean in half, dangling at an awkward angle yet only thankfully being held on by skin and muscle and whatever else lies beneath. It was grueling. Gnarling. The metal scorpion still picks and crawls up that arm to eat and snap at the metals surrounding the pearls but..

..she just snaps.

If any of the air within the area was thick with anger and foul emotion, it picked up something else. It was stifling to the point that people seemingly slowed down in their moments of fleeing for freedom, time standing still or.. maybe it was just the incredible amount of telekinesis that has built up. It all converged on that one point where Jean lays, drawing itself inward then exploding outward with a show of force that had those caught up in her terrible grasp hovering in the air with limbs at a flail in cacophony of screams.

Slowly.. the redheaded demon rises, her body limp, messy hair hung along her shoulders in a ponytail half undone as her broken arm hangs limply at her side. The good hand grasps at the elbow, her feet hoovering lightly from the ground as the tips of her toes just dig.

The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads. Frightened or overexcited, trudging wearily or closing near, it does not matter. In the end all of them are subject to the shockwave of psionic energy pouring out from a disheveled redhead raised from the pained cocoon she occupies. It screams in the veins and pounds through the living complex of the city, a roar of power launching them airborne. Dani Moonstar is one of these, a good Samaritan thrown away like so many others. Some strike one another, some hang suspended in a jumble, and the sight will be imprinted on the protesters' minds for a long, long time.

Those who can, run, and those who cannot fall under the stampede or cling to one another in abject terror. Police in the fight at the barrier stop and turn, and those with the presence of mind call in terrified fragments of a code through thick tongue and numb lips. How do you explain when something terrible stirs?

The Cheyenne woman may be there or buried in the masses. For now pain and fear render her the same as the rest: a victim of circumstance.


Sometimes it pays to turn on the tide. Take that boat out of the harbour before a black wave of invasion consumes the last toehold. Run away to fight another day and all that jazz. No shame in defeat. The war isn't with a nameless force, it's a young woman who projected fear and torture on a bohemian riveted by an inexplicable hole in her soul. One patched up with flames of love and golden bands of affinity, and so when the crush of people knock against Scarlett, they find the proverbial immovable force. Almost, really. She holds her ground, heels digging in, and the immense, terrible strength used to hold the sphere works just as well to resist the crowd.

"No," she whispers, as the blast radius takes them. Knocked about as she steps forward, she treads through the drowning weight of humanity, still holding the mangled scorpion. Eventually a toss sends it flying away from her to hit a building. "Jean? Jean!" What she confronts she does not know, but then the Norns have been weaving erstwhile threads for their prodigal daughter many times removed. That sight is a spectral horror, but it does not slow her much. Caution will. But it doesn't stop her from shedding the white gloves, traces of soot and sparks on them, along with the damn mechanical bug.

What the hell can she say? "Darling, come back. Please. Let's go home."


A few of those souls struggle and strangle themselves upon her grasp, bending themselves and somersaulting within the air but she does not let them free. Some remain upon the ground, their heads slowly turning as the weight forces their necks at odd angles with the means to snap. The mechanical scorpions clambor along the ground.. eating the metal, even often times stabbing those who happen to remain upon the ground before moving.

But no.

Jean keeps them there to suffer the fate that she had suffered, her white now stained with red.. nearly dripping as she creates a path down the street that they cover by moving the bodies within the air as if a gentle current touched their forms.

The path.. takes her right to Scarlett. Like a second calling to home; or where the subconscious mind seeks to find some sort of release by the only person and voice that she could recognize this far out. "Okay.." She exhales.. and so does the air around them. A cool breeze that slowly drops the people remaining within the air for just a half a second, before they pick up into the air again.

"I'm tired.." Jean Grey. The biggest baby the X-Men has ever unleashed.


Fear lingers in the adrenaline laced slipstream of Scarlett's pulse, a core of doubt and terrible, awful weight projected from her in a maelstrom. Her native defenses originate from the abyssal fracture in her makeup, the imperfections that leave her isolated from touch in nearly every sense. But the emotional tide burns hot as the sun. Fear not for herself except in a dram, its yellow shade tints buttercup out of fear for another's wellbeing. The fragmentary emotions bleeding from her carry that quiet resolution and staggering force feeding the love. Perhaps refractios of memory lie there: dancing on the cloud tops and laughing with someone in the moment. Diving around a corner and finding that smile for a kind word. It isn't solely for Jean, for another holds a leonine share of her affections and may yet know nothing of it, someone who glitters like the remote stars, smells of her neroli and leather, spice, and snow. She projects thoughts and fear and love, and under it all, a reserve of hope that doesn't waver in the least. It cannot. It goes, there's nothing left of the girl who reads Vonnegut and listens to Dylan, who loves odd food and delights in the moments the others at the Institute seem happy and whole.

She holds out her hands for an open hug, for surrender. Come what may.

"Let's go home, beautiful. Let me carry the weight for a little bit." Her voice is soft and clear, drawing on every last lesson from yoga and staying as outwardly calm as she can. Memories of a suffering young woman seethe behind the surface.

Anguish burns in her eyes at the sight of the wounded arm, the cuts. Scarlett braces at that, her teeth sinking into her lower lip. "We'll go slow, Jean." Just like the flight. Just like finding horrible things in the sanatorium. There will be another hour, another night to make sense of it all. Every gesture conveys care as she meets Jean halfway and waits for the last bit, cautious not to touch skin if she can help it. If she does, life is going to get interesting.

Just don't let this wound her. Don't let her be too hurt.



Her home was on Annadale and Hudson. But there was a taste of fear whenever she walked into the room. She imagined them huddled in the corner as they shook with all their might. Their tones weren't soothing, but cracked with sobs and shouts of her name and to 'not do this' and 'please calm down'..

Her feet slowly touch the ground as she staggers towards Rogue, her chin nearly lowered, her arms slowly reaching out but the way the other one bends is horrifying. It was broken no doubt.. but at this moment, the overload was too great for her to feel the physical..

"Okay.." She murmurs again quietly, her eyes closing.. falling within close proximity of her redheaded sister, her body twisting in that which she just lets the spirit go in a collapse that would send her right into the womans arms for an easy flight.

She was out cold.

And just as that breath leaves her body for sleep? Those who remained within the air immediately crash to the ground.

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