1963-08-21 - Elusive Illusions Part II
Summary: A file with maps suggests Coney Island is a place of interest for the X-Men. It proves more interesting that it promised.
Related: Elusive Illusions Part I
Theme Song: None
xavier vorpal laura piotr kitty 


To be fair, Keith probably has the right idea. Running would be the smart thing to do.

Which is why Piotr gives him a very apologetic look as his skin takes on a familiar metallic sheen following Kitty's choice to drop down through the boardwalk. "Do not hesitate to retreat," he says simply before, without a second thought, he takes a step off the edge of the pier.

Colossus hits the ground in a textbook three-point Superhero Landing, knees be damned. He can take it. He immediately takes off at a dead sprint for the group of men firing on Kitty, massive hands clenching into massive fists. He has some distance to cover, but he's… he's a hard guy to miss see coming.


Keith lets out a long suffering sigh. "Yeah, right," pride is the capital virtue of all unashamed felinity everywhere. He wasn't going to let Kitty and Piotr make him look like a coward.

He keeps the Rabbit Hole open for the Professor and goes invisible, moving to the edge to hang from there again so he can get a better view of what's going on below. He doesn't do anything yet outside of keeping the hole open for the Prof. Right now he is their secret weapon, the element of surprise, he's saving himself for a moment where can actually be useful.

He's also going to see what's the most efficient way to climb down using one of the nearest supports. Aside from the fact that he has a wounded leg and jumping down wouldn't be a good idea, the plop and displaced sand would clearly show two footprints on the sand belonging to someone who can't be seen. That would be a great way of pointing out "SHOOT HERE."

So, for the moment, he's going to edge over to the pole, grab it firmly, and slowly slide down its length, for stealthy sneaky points.


Once the bullets start flying, Xavier knows he's a sitting duck. With the rabbit hole open, the Professor leaps into it, blowing out a penny loafer on his final leap before disappearing. For a moment is nothing, and from there he is spit out at the other end.

But Xavier doesn't stop to gawk at his new surroundings. Instead, he focuses on trying to find the mind of one of the masked men and see if he can gain control of it to turn the foe on his evil allies.


ROLL: Kitty +rolls 3d100 for a result of: 206 [52 59 95]


ROLL: Xavier +rolls 3d100 for a result of: 125 [91 30 4]


Bullets ricochet off the metallic Piotr with musical pings, yet the gunfire doesn't cease. Even if it has no effect, those contributing it seem to believe, at least, they are doing something. Two men prop one blonde on each shoulder while a third carries one and the last two remain at their gunfire.

Kitty's sprinting catches up to the first two masked foes. She runs through the figure, turning corporeal just behind him. Dressed in her blue jeans and sweater, she looks very much like your average girl-next-door, but when she turns corporeal, it's to deliver a very solid sweeping spin kick to the assailant's knee.

The man crumples beneath her influence, and confusion strikes as he's not entirely certain how he was so attacked from behind.

But before he can even truly react, Kitty is moving again, becoming intangible to round on the next closest carrying one the blondes on his shoulder.


The fellow on the ground begins to peel himself from the sand, but only to find his friend — the other gun-wielding man in black, staring askance underneath Professor's Xavier's full influence to do with whatever he pleases.


In a darker area, a ways down the escape route, sits another girl. Smaller and… well… darker than the blondes being evacuated. Quieter, too. She's been sitting on a small ledge patiently for quite some time, and she doesn't look up when a man in a dark suit stops next to her. Even when he speaks.

"Twenty-three. It's time. You have them?"

The girl inhales deeply, closing her eyes briefly. "Yes. There's three."

"Then go."

X-23's eyes pop open, and she stands in a smooth motion, turning to walk at a purposeful speed in near-total silence. It does not take her long to intersect the men with the other girls. Which means Kitty should run into her just any second now.


It's too bad, really, that Colossus' view of the new threat is completely obscured. But, to be fair, he's focused on the pre-existing threat.

He comes charging up the boardwalk with an oddly satisfied grin on his face, for someone who is watching the woman they're dating charge directly into gunfire. But he's there to help. Barely even registering the bullets that are completely destroying his shirt but leaving him unhurt, he adjusts his route to approach the first man Kitty took down. He is mindful enough to slow down as he approaches so that, when he winds back and delivers a swift kick to the man's head, it isn't enough to literally knock his block off. Just a very practiced motion to put him out cold.


Stopping half-way down the support, Keith decides that's a good place as any to get a good view of the battleground, using his claws to hold on. He hasn't seen Laura yet, mostly because he is focused on his temporary team-mates and whether or not he needs to open a Rabbit Hole to keep one of them safe… not yet, though.

Although Kitty and Piotr are doing well on their own, a distraction would do a great deal of good. Something dramatic… something eye-catching.

Oh… oh. Yes. That's it…

The keening wail that comes from the side of the ocean is piercing and -loud- and very hard to ignore. As is the concentrated smell of brine that is suddenly overpowering. The powerful stench can be traced to the figure that is currently emerging from the waters- a ghastly ghoulish apparition, seafoam white-and-green pale, with streaming long hair dangling past her naked form and tangled with algae. Enormously long, claw-like fingers are held out before her.

She speaks and she sputters in sibilant wails- "Ich wei nicht, was soll es bedeuten, Da ich so traurig bin…"

The Lorelei rises from the waters, and her milky stare is fixed in the general direction of the nearest men in black!

The professor keeps some weird books in the mansion, what can Keith say? Heinrich Heine was a weirdo.


Through the henchman's eyes, Xavier takes the weapon in "his" hands and unloads the weapon immediately. From there he takes the firearm and uses it as a makeshift staff. He grips the metal barrel and swings it at the closest henchman! Right at the knee!

Meanwhile, Xavier is sitting at a park bench at the entrance of Coney Island, looking odd in that he's so calm during all the craziness and commotion going on all around them.


ROLL: Kitty +rolls 3d10 for a result of: 12 [7 2 3]


Still focused on her intended target, the closest blonde being hustled away, Kitty finally catches up to the nearest man in black. She becomes corporeal for only a few moments as she gets close to the man. Like before, she runs through him, becoming solid RIGHT in front of him and issuing a solid elbow to the man's solar plexuses.

The man groans from the pain, but tries to hit back, coming up through the girl in question. Kitty runs through him once more, this time turning solid to hit the ribs at his back. "Let her go!" she urges. But rather than maintain this, her own objective is clear: she needs to help the girl being kidnapped.

Instead of further indulging her more base desires, she, quite solidly reaches to grasp the unconscious blonde's shoulder.


The henchman that Xavier's mind-zombie hits falls easily enough. "Man! What are you doing?!" he objects loudly. Evidently he (Joe) was not well trained for this job.

The fellow porting the closest blonde gets an eyeful when he spies Lorelei rising from the water. "Wha — " he begins, only to urge his comrades "MOVE FASTER! Get them close to the road! Transport is already en route!"
A caravan of three vans screech down towards the sand under the boardwalk, blazing a trail to where the figures are taking the quintet. The henchmen furthest away, carrying most of the weight seem to be tiring between the sand, the chase, and the additional 200 pounds each of them seem to bear. Their paces slow, but fortunately, reprieve seems to be coming.


It's just a few seconds extra Kitty remains tangible as she reaches for the girl, but it's enough of a window for X-23. The girl, as the last time Kitty saw her, is wearing a black combat jacket and pants, and a pair of heavy boots, and again, her hair is the short, dark peach fuzz of a recent trimming. Her expression is as emotionless as ever as she grabs Kitty, hauling backwards to throw off her balance. With a quick little pivot and a bend over her hip, she unceremonously throws the girl back the way she came. Again. They've got to stop meeting like this.

X-23 does not wait to see the results of her throw, focusing in on the massive steel Colossus not far behind Kitty. Second immediate threat. Piotr is probably not used to people running AT him. But that's what she does, tilting her head down and pumping her limbs strongly to gain speed.


ROLL: Laura +rolls 2d100 for a result of: 172 [76 96]


Colossus doesn't even break his stride. He continues on past the KO'd man, his eyes briefly darting towards the figure coming out of the water — precisely long enough to figure out that whatever it is, it's aiming at the men in black, not his friends — before his focus settles on poor, poor Joe.

For such a large man, Colossus is fast. He surges up next to the man the Professor has taken control of and in one swift motion, he throws a fierce jab at poor Joe's jaw. He doesn't even feel that bad when the man goes out like a light — he's too busy catching the blonde he'd been carrying before she can hit the sand with him.

Calmly, Piotr turns to offer the girl to the guard the Professor is driving, recognizing the change of allegience for what it is thanks to years as an X-Man. "Professor. Carry her to —"

Colossus cuts off abruptly when he sees something small, dark and emotionless charging his way. He immediately moves to place himself in Laura's path, blocking off the controlled guard and the blonde, and brings up his hands to defend himself.


A new player has entered the field, Keith notices. He frowns and has to resist the urge to come down there and fight- he's in no condition. The Lorelei seems to have kicked the men into high gear… good. They were hurrying, and men who hurry make mistakes.

As the Lorelei drags herself out of the water, her movements are just slow enough that she's not quite catching up to the men in black, but shambling and fast enough to be frightening. If fired upon, the green-white skin will show holes, and the smell of brine will intensify, green ichor flowing down the naked body.

More bodies start dragging themselves out of the water now, more Lorelei -about four of them- emerging further down the shore- they are going to be in the path of the retreating men.

From his elevated position, the cat moves the illusions around in a specific pattern to try and maneuver the men. He needs them closer together, about ten feet from each other…


Unfortunately, both Piotr and Charles both get distracted from the conversation. He'd very much like to carry her out of here, but with the distractions he's unable to fulfill Piotr's request.

Instead, he focuses upon the vans. Most particularly, the first van and its driver. Xavier takes a deep breath, hoping that this is a good idea. He forces the driver to slam hard upon the brakes in an attempt to use the speed against them and to cause a white-van pileup.


Kitty is not heavy. In fact, Kitty is probably lighter than she looks.

X-23 easily plucks Kitty Pryde from the ground, and thanks to the shock of being lifted (note: tiny people do NOT like being picked up), she's quite easily tossed aside towards the approaching caravan. Fortunately, the landing doesn't produce a single sound — not even a thud — as the earth welcomes Kitty into the warm ground.

Pulling herself back up through the ground, a head of brown hair glances about, catching sight of the unfolding scene. She shakes her head, righting herself in the process and sprints after one of the men carting girls. She needs to catch him; she's going to catch him.

The van in the lead skids as it stops, spinning round with immediate force, making a ninety degree turn as it comes to a stop. The van behind it crashes hard against the first, crumpling its front end. The third, however, has a much more skilled driver who responds by tightly, narrowly, missing the second van, and treading onto the sand. It does a drive by with the back gate opening for the nearest henchman. Immediately, he tosses the girls into the van. This is not going to be a pleasant trip. "Get them out of here!"

Meanwhile, ten men in suits, and a single woman, unload from the now destroyed first van. They pile out, and carry weapons of various sorts and sizes.

Henchmen closer to the water begin to gather closer as the apparition doesn't respond to the bullets being fired at her. One after another in quick succession pierce the skin, running through Lorelei, giving way to green sludge.


ROLL: Vorpal +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 36


Exactly what X-23 plans to do against the large steel man in front of her when she's roughly half his size (height-wise anyway) isn't entirely apparent, but whatever it is she seems determined and confident about it. When the gap is just right, she spreads her arms for leverage, spins, and launches herself high into what is honestly a beautiful example of a flying butterfly kick, using the acrobatic manuvuer to provide the reach necessary to target Piotr's face with a lashing boot. It would probably manage to do no more than break her foot if not for the distinct, crisp SNKT noise that accompanies the glittering six-inch blade that appears from the toe of her boot and scythes for Piotr's face.


The mind-controlled guard isn't responding. That means the professor is otherwise occupied, and now Colossus has his hands full. Literally. Unable to pass the unconscious girl off, he quickly adjusts his grip to hold her against his chest with one arm, like a father carrying a sleeping child after a long day at the amusement park.

Except most fathers aren't dealing with this.

Colossus is mostly concerned with shielding his cargo from the attacking woman so, rather than do what he might normally do and allow someone to break their leg on his face, he takes a hurried step backwards and twists to avoid the kick. It's a good thing, too. He hadn't anticipated the blade.

And Colossus definitely did not anticipate the very real, mercifully glancing gash the blade carves into his cheek. The surprise is enough to make him yelp.


It is three decades before John Hannibal Smith will coin the phrase 'I love it when a plan comes together' while chewing on a cheap cigar. This is a pity, because it would be the perfect reference that encapsulates how Keith is feeling.

The men shooting the Lorelei have huddled close together, putting them right where -he- wants them, and the van is taking off and gathering speed.

It's all so simple. A Rabbit Hole in the path of the van at the right moment, leading out to put it in the path of those men, hitting them and then ending in the water? Purrrfect, jut purrfect planning.

It goes beautifully, up to the moment where he opens the Rabbit Hole in the van's path. When it opens, it clearly shows the back of the men firing at the Lorelei…

And then Piotr yelps out, and the cat's concentration breaks in sudden concern for Piotr.

And that's when things start going pear-shaped. The image of the Rabbit Hole changes… to somewhere. Somewhere where there's a lot of vegetation… tropical? Hard to tell, it's open for one second as the van drives through it, and the hole collapses behind it.

Keith stares. Holy shit. Where did the van go? WHERE DID HE SEND IT TO? Was it in Florida? The Bahamas? Oh shitshitshitshit…

The men. Well, the plan to run them over changed. The cat hurries to try and open a hole under them while they're still close together and dump them out into the water- as far away as he can while still within his line of sight.

Well, at least Piotr and Kitty weren't harmed so far…


Charles' changes from the mind of the first van driver to the mind of the final driver, the one with the laser quick reflexes. Just as he gains ownership of the man's eyes, he sees nothing but foliage. Reflexively, Xavier jerks his head back just before he loses the link and the van heads out of his range.


ROLL: Kitty +rolls 2d100 for a result of: 69 [10 59]


ROLL: Kitty +rolls 2d100 for a result of: 50 [28 22]


With two vans out of commission and the last one retreated, Kitty hones her attention on the final two blondes still in play. "Vorpal, help! I need an exit! Take me back to the top of the boardwalk!" Kitty yells before she's even met any level of success at recovering the final two bodies. She becomes intangible within moments, running to the final man carrying two girls, and rather than fight him, punch him, kick him or otherwise take him down, she turns corporeal only to grab the man's arm and pull him into intangibility.

She flickers, her powers already reaching a point of exhaustion, and in an instant, while she attempts to find quick recovery, she feels a hand at her throat — one of the other cronies lifts Kitty Pryde off the ground by her throat. She begins to pale as she can't get air into her lungs.


X-23 lands from her flying kick at Colossus, coming upright and spinning to face him. Her mission does not necessitate killing him, however, and it's hard to target him effectively while avoiding the blonde. "You will set her down and walk away," she says in an even, emotionless tone and another set— this a pair— of claws SNKT out of her fist when she flexes it. She doesn't state the threat. It's unnecessary. And she will definitely not hesitate to end him if she decides the has to.


There is a flicker of hesitation across Colossus' face as he stares down at Laura, still holding the unconscious blonde's form protectively to his chest. The cut on his cheek does not bleed, but it's there, and that has thrown him for a bit of a loop.

That lasts exactly long enough for him to see Kitty be lifted by the throat down the way.

Immediately, the massive man's eyes snap back to X-23's face, and his is an expression of cold fury. In a flash, his free hand comes up and he swings, hard, to drive a backhand into X-23's jaw. None of his usual restraint. He doesn't even twitch when her claws carve a deeper gash over his shoulder in the process of hurling her aside.

Without so much as a glance to see where she lands or in how many pieces, Colossus takes off at a sprint towards the crony who has Kitty by the throat.


Successfully dumping the men out on the ocean, the cat turns his attention towards the woman Colossus has just given a 'tap' to. Alright, she was a threat, and Colossus was on his way to save Kitty. There was no way that woman should be allowed to get up and interrupt Piotr. Although it sounds like an impossible coincidence, Vorpal thinks he recognizes the woman as matching the description he heard while in the medbay about this girl who was like this "Logan" fellow… who apparently was some sort of immortal lizard-like lumberjack with claws.

While the young lady didn't seem like a lumberjack, if she manages to get up from *that* blow by Colossus, she had the same healing properties.

Which means she is probably going to get up from that hit.

She could totally kill Keith. Which is why he decides to become visible now.

"Hey, little miss sunshine!" Keith calls from his high position up on the post. "…. Surf's up!"

One Rabbit Hole under the water… and one right in front of him opens- sending a tidal wave of flowing, high pressure water in the stabby one's general direction. This was the best he could think of right now- wash her further away after that punch to buy Piotr and Kitty time, so they could all get the hell away from here.


Xavier tries to affect the outcome of the battle from afar by reaching out to the minds of the adversaries of his friends. There are too many of them, the situation too stressful, and too confusing for him to act all at once. At the same time, he attempts to dull the motor functions of their enemies, hoping to help by slowing them down.


Kitty's fingers pull at the ones grasping her throat, attempting to loose them as they continue to grip her. She squirms, attempting to find a foothold to expand and escape. Spots begin to draw over her vision.

Fortunately, it's then that Piotr creams the crony who clutches Kitty in his grasp, all the while still clutching the blonde as he does so.

With a strong jolt, Kitty crumples to the ground, and it hurts, but she gasps so hard for air, she doesn't even notice. Without frequently suffering the effects of reverberations from falling, her breath rakes in her lungs. A small cough emits from her throat, a sign of tissue irritation.

The cronies do actually slow underneath Xavier's influence. Their muscles begin to slow, and their thoughts begin to slow. While they're not out of commission, they're not as quick as they once were, and it should be considerably easier to overpower them.


There are several crunching noises as Colossus' hit break assorted portions of X-23's skeleton. Well, clearly not *everything* is just like Wolverine. Close enough, though. She manages to get a somewhat awkward bit of clawing in on Piotr before she goes sailing through the air, and lays still for several seconds where she lands. But… yes, it doesn't take her long to begin stirring, bones already knitting at an accelerated rate while she pushes them back into place… and then the rush of water hits her. This is… sub-optimal. Ignoring the pain of doing so with injured arms, she drives her hands into the sandy ground to keep herself anchored, withstanding the torrent as best she can. Tough little thing— all that's got to hurt like hell. But it keeps her out of commission for now.


The very gentle way with which Colossus sets the blonde girl down next to Kitty is very much at odds with the blood (not his) staining his knuckles and the very grim set of his jaw. Kitty gets a very light touch to her shoulder before he straightens back up.

With their movements and minds slowed, the ease with which Colossus is able to move from one gun-toting crony to another and swiftly punch their lights out might be comical if he didn't seem so coldly intent and dispassionate about it.

When the last hits the sand, he turns towards X-23 where Keith has her pinned down. He flexes his fingers, considering, his nostrils flaring as he considers what precisely to do. He knows what he'd like to do.


Alright, things were not turning out fine, and staying here only prolonged the danger. If that woman could carve through Piotr's skin, they needed to get out of there immediately. Technically, Keith could try to send her to the ocean… but for all he knows this woman who can take a wallop from Piotr can walk on water. They needed to exit with whatever rescuees they had, and regroup.

But, goddamnit, they were going to do it in style.

The cat jumps from the support and rolls. He winces at the landing, knowing he's just hurt himself some more, but there's no time. He runs as best he can to get to a point equidistant from Piotr and Kitty.

"Dorothy, Tin Man, we've got to hit the rubber and get back to Kansas NOW!"

Vorpal is looking a lot more… leonine. He's still purple, but that red mane has now become an absolute Mane Event, like no king's was before. And Kitty? Well… pigtails. Blue gingham dress, and ruby red slippers. The only change in Piotr is that his clothing is also silver, with a little silver bowtie. "Hurry up, 'cause the twister's about to depart!"

He can't open another rabbit hole until he closes this one, which means that Kitty and Piotr have to be within the ten-foot area where the Rabbit Hole will open under them. He will open one to take them to the Professor, and one to take them back to Westchester A.S.A.P, before Miss Slashy Stab can get up and turn them into confetti.

"Get yer asses moving! There's no place like home!"


Face still pale, Kitty peels herself from the ground and cants her head to look up at Colossus, worry stitching her eyebrows together. As her neck cranes signs of impending bruising line her neck in a perfect set of imprinted fingers that she'll feel weird about in the mirror later, and chastise herself for not pushing her ability more every day. She mouths, rather than speaks a single word to Colossus: Thanks.

She ambles to her feet, traipsing after the silver man and already wearing worry like a crown as she does so. She's not quite aware enough to catch up to him amid his laying waste of their enemies.

But then she's entirely different. Her chin drops an she eyes the blue gingham dress and the slippers. Her eyes blink and she looks towards Vorpal, only to click her heels together three times. The concern writ over her face really does make her seem like Dorothy, not quite sure she's ever going to make it home. Kitty reaches for the unconscious blonde Colossus had just set near her and lifts her over a shoulder in a fireman carry position. While Kitty is worse for wear, she'd decided to rescue these girls, she intends to see it through.

Finally, in a croaked whisper, she manages, "There's no place like home." At least Kitty's sense of humour remains intact.


Departure isn't going to come a moment too soon, either— X-23 is already starting to manage to gain her feet, holding an arm while the bone knits. She lifts her hands to rather deliberately grasp the top of her head and her jaw, and with a light pop, settles her head back into correct alignment. Once properly arrayed, she starts trudging through the sand. Mission is still on until its not. Which is probably very soon, but still.


It's probably a very good thing that Keith is… well, Keith. The illusion carries enough surprise to give Colossus the mental jolt he needs to clear the fury from his head and get him thinking straight again.

Quickly, he locates the remaining pair of thoroughly unconscious blondes on the beach and scoops them up, one in either arm. If the gash across his shoulder is causing Colossus undue distress, he isn't showing it. He marches his way towards Kitty and Keith, keeping a stony-eyed stare on X-23 all the while.

"Is not your fault," Colossus calls towards the mending girl in a very… odd, clipped tone of voice. He comes to a halt next to Keith and adds, somewhat grudgingly, "I apologize."


Now that Piotr has punch-outed the happy gunmen, the Lorelei have a new target: Laura. It's that bit of misdirection to make sure they have a clear getaway, since the illusions will vanish a few seconds after Keith is no longer in the vicinity. The Lorelei shamble towards Laura, interposing themselves between her and her prey as the Rabbit Hole closes and the stream of water ends.

When Kitty says the magic words, the Rabbit Hole opens underneath them- depositing them by the bench where the Professor was. Without even waiting for a second, he opens a second hole to take them, bench and all, to the lake near the school.

"Hold on!"

Disclaimer: Vorpal Airlines is not responsible for any lunches lost incurred during transportation.

And the Lorelei will begin to fade into mist a few seconds afterwards.

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