1963-11-03 - Mindgames
Summary: Various mutants answer the call to help.. Meet Mister Sinister!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
cable domino jean sinister mree rogue 

Halloween left its mark on Mutant Town, but most of it's started to heal. That is, except one place.

On that Hallowed Eve, a particular mutant by the name of Bob Brain returned to the neighborhood. Bob had always been mild-mannered, shy, even timid. His exposed brain gave him minimal mind-reading capabilities and not much else - enough to know that most people thought he was a worthless freak. And he kept to himself enough that, when he disappeared three months ago, the only people who really took note were the ones who picked on him. They almost felt bad. Almost.

On Halloween night, though, Bob returned. He went into his old building. Slowly, other mutants began to gather to him. Mutants with their eyes rolled back and blood running from their tear ducts, out of their ears, their noses. Drones, drooling and broken, seeking to please him. Some of them raised havoc on the devil's night, but since then, they've simply haunted the tenement. No one who's gone in has come out again. Not for three days. No lights. No sounds. Just dark.

Until this evening, when a young woman comes out of the front. Her shirt is soaked through with blood and she collapses on the sidewalk. There's something on the left side of her face, something crusty and thick, that's flaking off like rust from an old pipe. Whether there's any skin left underneath it is yet to be seen. Maybe someone, somewhere, will help her. Maybe someone still cares about the mutants here. If not, well…

Then the darkness will spread.


"So I thought it was a really great thing." Jean finally said after snacking on the sandwich that she held within her hands. Some side little shop, who offered sandwiches for twenty five cents, a bit rich for her blood but totally worth it, which was telling by the way the sauce hung upon the side of her lip like so. "I don't think he'll realize that the reason why people are calling the cabin because I put in an add for him to get a date." She smacks her lips again, trailing down the street, the taller red-head in tow with another.

Cold War Hooligans, duo-style.

She glances up to Rogue, then gives a slight bit of a shrug. "I mean, what is he going to do? Kick my ass?"

That language must have come from somewhere! "But to be quite honest, I think he'd feel so much better if he had a lady his age to talk to. Um.. theoretically speaking." *SMACK* *SMACKSMACKOMNOM*

Jean's foot drags along the sidewalk, kicking up a flurry of bronzed leaflets, watching them as they hang and twirl within the air until she stops moving all together. Her eyes squint, fingers lift to press against the lid, rubbing ever so carefully as she looks on ahead. Maybe, just maybe it was an old Halloween decoration, meant to scare the children. But something.. something tells her it was not. "Uh.. did.. someone leave that o'er there?" She lifts a shaky hand to point. Please don't let it be a hurt person.. she'll have to reset her incident clock.


After a little mishap with one of the city's nicer bars Domino's had to be a bit more careful in selecting the evening's watering hole. She passes for a mutant easily enough, which means not a lot of questions are asked and little to no mind is given while she racks up a tab. Fortunately there aren't any more armed confrontations with SHIELD, either.

She's just now starting to drive out of Mutant Town, on her way back 'home' for the night when something very peculiar is caught in the headlights of her black Dodge. The coupe lurches forward as she hits the brakes, idling in the middle of the lane as the bloodied woman collapses not far away.

The albino blinks a few times then asks herself "Am I really seeing this..?" The question is answered as soon as she slaps herself across the face once, the sting in her cheek a physical connection which helps her find her ground with reality. Yep, and the bloodied gal is still there. Dammitall.

Screw no parking, she backs the car right up onto the sidewalk then quickly steps out, though not before pulling a pump action shotgun out from behind the seats. After the crap she's been dealing with lately, she's not playing around anymore.

"Miss..? You alright?" Dom hesitantly calls out, though she's still hanging close by her car in case she needs to dive for cover.


Mree cares. Maybe even too much. He was lucky, coming up here from DC, to have a job and people who'd accept him waiting for him here. He knows only too well how lucky he is; how many don't have that going for them— how many don't even have a place to go. He tries to keep tabs on some of the less fortunate, as he hears about them or as word comes along— usually from Duke, whose efforts toward helping the less fortunate have only endeared him to the green androgyne. He trots along the gutter isle, moving briskly, long tail arced behind him. He freezes in place when the car in the street nearby slams on its breaks, and when it's left abandoned by its driver there, he follows Domino's attention across toward the wounded woman, mouth open as he toddles on across the street to join her, mouth open at the sight.


Scarlett had a bad All Hallows Eve. Stop porcupines from being pricks at banks, check. Halt mages from sticking it to the man on skyscrapers, check. No partying through the night, no indulging in a stratospheric alcohol tolerance, she worked.

It stands November should march in like a boss, shouting orders to do this and complete that. Mutant Town hardly counts as her stomping grounds, but the tattered remnants of her cover make walking through the vicinity not unreasonable. Anyways, she still tries to blend in wearing a somewhat oversized trenchcoat possibly taken from a taller, broader individual than herself. Her hair is pulled up almost exactly the same as Jean's, and her boots are best described as shit-kicking knee-high curbstompers.

"He'll have to deal," she agrees, stretching her arms over her head. "Get some pretty little blonde thing or a country girl who likes trees, hunting, and punching seals." Seals are jerks.

Jean's reactions are something she is in tune with at a meditative level, and her smile freezes when the bloody creature stumbles out. Human, clearly. Too much experience with undead of late leaves Scarlett a tad more protective than not. "Thirteen hours since the last accident," she murmurs under her breath, loud enough for the other hooligan to hear. "We'll need bandages and washcloths, won't we?"


The girl's skin is blue, but maybe it was always that way. Judging by the gills that flare on the sides of her neck, that's more than likely. Domino gets to her first, with Jean and Rogue shortly behind and Mree coming up on the group.

A closer examination of the material on her face shows it to be organic - it's layered and somehow alive, like something you might find growing on the side of a tree or deep in a cave. One of her eyes is entirely covered and the other flutters, rapid-fire movements of panic going back and forth to the various people looking down upon her. Dried streaks of blood show along her cheek, down her neck.

"Don't…go…in…" she whimpers.

The door to the tenement is left yawning open, showing only darkness within until something scuttles forward and peeks out. The face is pale and ratlike, about knee high - and almost human. It squeals at the dim remaining light of the day, a piercing screech, before it retreats back into darkness, a long tail flickering into sight for a moment, bony and hairless and white.


"Well yeah. I think blondes are his thing. Or maybe a bride from Asia. But I guess that'll sting a bit, won't it?" Jean wasn't being intentionally mean, but.. hey! The guy needed to get out some, and she was willing to facilitate some sort of meet. Even with or without permission. But, to the matter at hand. Jean looks all around for at least a shoppe they could solicit, but it was the sight of Domino that gives her pause.

"Hey.. hey hey!" Jean calls out, rushing towards the tiny little gathering, stopping to lay eyes upon Mree and.. TAIL! "You don't need that!" Jean finally gestures towards Domino, taking a slight kneel near the woman, scooting close to examine her carefully and.. quite rudely wrinkling her nose. Her social cues were really, really on point.

Though instead of the obvious growth upon her face, t'was the sound of the screech that catches her attention. Jean, ready to be a hero and save the day, reaches out to /want/ to put a hand upon the poor womans shoulder, but falls short. Withdrawing, she stands and bends, both hands upon her knees. "Are there more people in there hurt?" She couldn't help but look into the house, straightening up, tugging down her borrowed-from-Alex-more-like-stolen jacket into place. "Why am I asking.." She mutters quietly. She's a mutherfuckin' X-Man!

"You!" She gestures towards Mree. "Go get a towel and some water! You!" She gestures towards Domino. "Uh.. do stuff. You!" She gestures towards Rogue. "You do stuff too! I'm going in."

And with misplaced confidence and not bothering to wait on being cursed out, the poor idiot marches right up the steps and inside the tenement to fulfill the epic-deathwish she didn't know she had.


The warning is ..comforting. It's when another creature comes out of the doorway and screeches at everyone beyond that Domino abandons any sense of subtlety while also -completely- ignoring Jean's words, bringing the short pistol-gripped Ithaca shotgun out at arm's length to aim right at the doorway. She doesn't shoot, not -yet.- But, there's something nasty in there. The initial surprise had just been given away, free of charge.

Then she turns to glance at Jean. "Still think I won't need this?"

When nothing else comes rushing out at them all she props the shotgun against the top of her shoulder and glances at the others. 'Scarlett' she's seen once before. Jean is new to her. Catching sight of Mree almost causes her to jump backward in surprise. Hopefully he's used to getting weird stares because he's getting one -right now.-

'Don't go in.' 'You, do stuff!'

Looking around at the others the albino lightly rolls her shoulders, still decked out in full road leathers since she hasn't found proper body armor yet. "Hell, works for me. Let's torch the place and call it a night. I've got some fuel tanks and road flares in the trunk."

She'd never make it in the horror movie business. Jean, however, would. "Hey—don't go in there, DON'T GO IN fuck she went inside," she sighs while uselessly dropping a hand to her side. "NICE TEAMWORK, RED!"

There's a pause when she looks back at the others, suddenly at a loss. Then to Rogue, she says "Love the boots, girl."


"Probably." Scarlett would try to suppress a smile, except the situation curdling her better intentions into an uru lump radiating with wariness. Enough to allow that much a statement. Keeping pace with Jean assures neither of them will be summarily assaulted without some warning, and her expression holds the strain of concern matched to something more sanguine. The shriek only reaffirms the rightness of the decision to stay nearby. "Here." She offers a handkerchief. "Can we clean her up without touching whatever that is? A virus, a bacterial colony?" Her expertise as a doctor is, oddly, limited in mundane applications.

The shriek rolls over her, her emerald eyes narrowed when she lifts her head towards the building. "She might wish to quarantine the building." Quarantine does leave ideas of Xs painted on buildings, plague pits, and the great fire. "Others infected with this, do you think? And of course, I'm going with you, Jean."

Like there was ever a choice. However, the redheaded bohemian pulls her scarf around her face. At least this way she looks like a proper Irish bandit. Domino receives a flat look. "You really wish to burn innocent people to death if there are any in there? Can you detect them?"

A slight nod comes anyways at the compliment; it can't hurt. As for Mree… everyone else may be jumping, but she takes him in stride. It's been a long week. "Are you in favour of burning or staying out here?"


Mrees eyes are warmed with a heart-wrenching sympathy with the girl with the growth on her face. He's getting orders for a towel and water, and he nods, tail curling fern-like behind his head in a slow-winding motion, but he doesn't immediately head off to get it done, either. He looks to the injured mutant and opens out his arms toward here. "Here, c'mon, hon. Let's find you a place to get cleaned up, OK?" he asks her, trying to coax her along with him without overtly going after her, not wanting to trigger any fear reaction. He might be getting a weird look from Domino, but the same goes vice-versa when she (jokes? he hopes?) about burning the place down. "There could be people in there who need help," he points out, voice child-like in innocent simplicity. "People like… what's your name, sweetie?" he asks the girl he's trying to guide away from the scene for help.


The girl's clammy and sweaty, shaking a bit as she tries to sit up, "My…name's…Carp…" she says. "I don't…I don't remember, it was Halloween and then…Bob…Bob was in my head and he…oh god…what are those things? Gus no don't touch me, no, no!" she says, suddenly trying to claw at the side of her face covered with the musk, revealing webbed fingers with claws on the tips of them.

Still, Mree is able to draw her away, leaving the yawning opening at the door. Suddenly, out of that darkness, a man emerges, an average looking, somewhat chunky middle aged guy, balding and with his eyes rolled back in his head, blood streaming from his nose as he charges at Jean with a 2X4 with several jagged nails in it!


Cable arrives from RP Nexus.


Cable has arrived.


"Sorry!" Jean calls out as she finally approaches the stairs. She could hear Mree attempting to coax the woman, and despite his natural look, he seems really nice! There was a mental note to get to know him later, but for now? She's an X-Man! Sort of. In fact, she doesn't even really know if she was cleared to call herself.

Her fingers curl into a fist as she pauses halfway up, her head tilted to the side as if she were listening for -something-, her hand slowly lifting and lowering again in hesitation, one step taken back as she tenses, her green eye pierced to the doorway.

And once the man comes ambling out, her hand snaps up towards her temple, attempting to join with the ambling fellow with a quickness that she's -hardly- ever practiced. "Sleep!" She compels him, believes in it so whole heartedly as if wishes were made upon rainbows and leprechauns -do- exist.


"Don't scratch, Carp, you're going to hurt yourself," Mree frets, and frets, and tries not to fret much about the man with the board of nails heading out the door in Carp's wake. He's just gonna keep her facing away from the door and keep her moving back across the street, where hopefully he can find a kinder door that will open to someone who needs help. Meanwhile, there are a bunch of people staying near the building in question, so he feels fairly safe. "Deep breaths, OK?" He notes her gills, bites his lower lip, "Would you be more comfortable in some water?" he wonders. "Did Bob hurt you? What happened?"


Domino gives Rogue a flat stare with the question, motioning toward the building. "Do you -really- think there's any survivors in there? And if there are, do you really want to risk the entire city for just a few?" Even with that crazy lady who just rushed inside! This could be really bad, and she can't just shoot a plague! Fire's the great equalizer, it'd get the job done!

It would seem she's also alone in this decision. "Y'all are bastard crazy!" she calls out, making a point to get her voice out there so -everyone can hear her thoughts- on the matter. When she returns to her car it isn't for fuel and flares but a flashlight and a bunch of extra shells.

"Just turn around and leave, Dom," she mutters to herself while taping the light to the end of her shotgun. "This is a totally unnecessary risk. Your odds are terrible. You're probably going to die." The trunk is roughly closed as the frown on her face deepens. "Not like I have anything else to live for, right? Screw it."

A small device is retrieved from a jacket pocket. While Jean's busy trying to put a crazy guy with a nailboard to sleep, she's thumbing the top of the device now in her hand. "Uh..hey, Cable? You monitoring? Got a possible infection in Mutant Town, if you're bored. Confirmed one injured and one giant fucking rat-like creature. Teleport if interested, over."


Scarlett trusts in Mree to handle the poor fish girl with a case of icky scale-blight, but her senses shriek alarm in their own fashion before the teetering suggestion of movement. A moment after she shifts into a patently defensive position, hands raised to engage, a fellow with the impressive makeshift weapon bursts out of the shadows. If he makes it past Jean, somehow, he faces the likelihood of the bohemian flipping him over her hip with a practiced throw that uses his own momentum against him. Otherwise, she merely purloins the awesome 2-by-four for herself to tote around like a total badass.

"If she says there is," she indicates Jean by subtly inclining her head, "then yes." The foxfire shadow behind the shorter redhead gives the slightest smile to Domino, raising her shoulders in a petite shrug that leaves the statement of bastardy wide open. "Better than being boring." Sometimes it counts to be blunt and straightforward, even if that requires a certain grace.


"Here," a sandpaper voice intones from the little disk in Domino's hand. "Incoming shortly. Is the casualty in the line of fire, over?"


"Professor: lock onto Domino's signal and bodyslide by one; prepare for any incoming analytics."


Golden light blossoms near Domino's Dodge, growing from a bright pearl to a swirling, blinding, keening mass in a matter of seconds. Just as it threatens to encroach upon the stairs, it abruptly freezes, then rapidly contracts until it's as if it'd never been there to begin with.

"I'll take point," says the white-haired linebacker with an array of blinking, shining testaments to overactive imagination across his back who appeared where the light bloomed and died. As he approaches the building, he whips something approximating a handgun from his hip and draws a bead on the creature that may or may not be falling asleep, but is definitely on the other side of a friendlies. "Unless you think she'll have any complaints, that is," he allows while squinting in the creature's direction.


The man with the board doesn't last long, easily overwhelmed by Jean's psychic talents and sent careening to a tumbling sleep, rolling to a snoozing stop at Jean's feet. Unfortunately, he's definitely not the last.

As our errant heroes approach the opening to the tenement, the shadows reduce enough to show the outlines of people lining the walls, most slumped like junkies waiting for a fix, but some just standing there. One or two just stand in the middle of the foyer, staring outwards.

But then, as Cable arms himself, a shudder runs through them and they all start to move, rising to their feet and shuffling forward, like zombies.

But those with telepathic talents can feel it in the air now - a buzzing signal, almost like something you'd expect from an insect, a controlling frequency that harmonizes with their brainwaves. When that pulse happens, Carp screams in Mree's arms and starts to try and claw at him, thrashing, "BOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBb!" she howls, blood gushing from her gills.


That.. was oddly quick. One could only thank the inner-bird for her joining into the parlour. Though there could be a hat tip to the metaphysical, Jean was already hard pressed to enter to get to the bottom of this terrible plight. All of the words were heard by Jean, well, the ones within earshot. She could see the point at burning the place down and everything in it. She's felt that itch. But she also feels the importance of saving lives, and with a glance back, she sees that Domino actually cares too! This was good!

'I'll take point.'

The voice that rings out has Jean turning, a frown collapsing upon her face as she looks towards the big man with a slight frown. "No the heck you won't. -I'm- taking point." Stubborn as always, and quite foolhardy as well, for as those words were said she enters into the tenement and grows stark still.

It was a strange sight to see, one that makes her blood run cold, her teeth gritting as one hand draws into her ear to push her lobe upright to combat the little buzzing. Her eyes were all around the place, her mind slowly reaching out to trek a path towards the buzzing, hoping it'd ping a radar on from whence it came. She was so deep in that concentration, she doesn't even notice the people move..

..at least until Scarlett moves in front of Jean to take up position as sentry, preparing to do battle!


Mree takes a short, sharp gasp of air at the sudden thrill in the air, the sudden flailing from Carp. "Ohoh Carp— ccareful now—" he tries to calm her, but, getting nowhere but fishclawed at from this vantage point, he vanishes from about her with a resonant *POFF* that trails some green mist over her form before he disappears entirely from view, his microfloral selves swarming for Carp's gills, entering her bloodstream and moving to her brain to see what's going on in there.


"That's a negative. On both counts, apparently," Domino comms back to Cable as Mree gets 'Carp' out of the scene. "Out of the line of fire and still kicking. Somehow." She's not counting on poor Carp making it.

Then comes the light from an incoming teleport, harsh enough that she shields her eyes and pinches them closed lest she completely lose her low-light vision due to the incoming and well-armed monster of a man. "Geeees, dude. And I thought -I- was makin' a scene!" she says even as he takes point, and tells her as much.

Better him than her!

"Hey, take it up with her. I just wanted someone else backing my stupid and impulsive decision to risk my own neck for no good reason." Plus, he's armed! Double your gun, double your fun. She flicks the tape-mounted flashlight on and follows Cable in. A building this big, having someone else to assist with the search and clear goes a long way.

Once inside, and once Jean stops charging forward, Dom slips around to (rather heavily) drop a hand on the back of her shoulder. She'll physically hold the other woman back if necessary. "Let the man take point, Miss Impulsive. He knows what he's doing." And, clearly, the albino doesn't think that Jean does!

Oh, and there's a lot of people in here. And they're moving. Up comes the shotgun/flashlight, darting from one face to the next. "Alright you overly concerned 'hero' types, can I shoot the fused-out whackjobs without you all yelling at me?"

The first one doesn't take buckshot to the face so much as the butt end of the shotgun twisted around and rammed toward their forehead. "-Back off!-"


"Hhnngh— !"

On his way up the stairs, the light perpetually pouring from Cable's left eyesocket pulses in time with the psychic buzz, casting hummingbird strobes across windows, then concrete as the anachronistic commando presses his free hand to his temple and lets his head drop.

"Something's— something's trying to get in—" he pushes out, teeth clenched against the strain of trying to - much like Jean - track the psignal back to its source. "Parasitic, colonizing…"

His reach is nothing like hers: his trace eventually, inevitably hits a wall, leaving him with the beginnings of a trail and a brief, uncomfortable spike of noise from the co-opted minds stirring within. With a sharp inhale, he snaps his head upright, dashes to catch up, then smacks his gun against Domino's belly to offer it over to her; his thumb slides across a light-up track near the sight before he's ready to surrender it entirely, though, dulling said track almost entirely.

"I'm thinking no," he replies while undoing straps across his chest with his other hand. "Non-lethal setting; do what you have to do." Untold pounds of materiel falls to his feet, and then - whether the gun has been taken or not - he takes his hand away to press both to his temples and whip his body towards a trio of approaching zombies. With a sharp pulse of his eye, they're cast into walls by invisible force while Cable himself charges towards another one with intentions on taking him down to be subdued.


Mree will discover that poor Carp's brain has suffered a great deal - several hemmorhages and a constant throbbing deep in her consciousness, her own aquapathic abilities her only defense, forcing her to try to think and act in fish languages in order to survive, squealing for help in squid.

Rogue's point suddenly gets met with a yelp as sometehing bites her on the ankle and the rat thing glimpsed earlier scampers down the hallway and away from it, darting amidst the legs of the various hypnotized hordes until it leaps down a set of stairs through a doorway, heading for the basement.

The signal, however, seems to be coming from up above, as far as Jean and Cable can trace, telepathic energies pouring down from a twisted mind up above.

The man Domino strikes has a beak and it breaks, pouring more blood as it falls down, clutching at its face and giving high-pitch cries, a pair of wings not much larger than a regular chicken jutting out of its back and flapping meaninglessly and pathetically. The sudden bloodshed causes a roar, however, the others in the mob opening their mouths to scream in unison. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"


Domino's grasp upon her shoulder has her pulling back her psychic tether just enough for her to answer. "Okay." Huh? Jean gave that one right up so easily. And still she presses on, feeling another mind join the fray, a little psychic touch graces Cable's psyche before she continues on the beaten path towards the upstairs.

Cable echoes her sentiments almost, her hands soon drawing up as she shouts out. "Stop! They're not in control of themselves!" What type of person would she be if she lets them kill the innocents? She'd feel horrible, would be down for days… but.. there was something upstairs. Something that pulls and draws her. The buzzing becoming slightly loud as she slowly begins to move and follow the path that leads her upstairs. It was like she was in a trance, her face nearly slack, her hand reaching out to stop and hold an attacker in place before a hand is waved and a body is flung towards the wall.

"I'm going upstairs." She announces, her voice oddly eerie. "-Do- not kill them." She stops, turning to look over her shoulder, the ring of fire flashing upon her green eyes as she gives Cable and Domino pointed looks. "We'll be watching."


Rogue has partially disconnected.


Mree aids Carp in shifting her thoughts toward the aquatic, prompting her mind to believe she's presently underwater (with a good solid reef or the like barring her from wandering into the street or anywhere she shouldn't), allowing her to commune with phantom fish in her own language and on her own terms. He sees whether that will help dissociate her from the control that's gripping her mind, since that was her first instict.


Okaaaay… This turn of horde-mentality events is cause for a swear or four under Domino's next breath. Plus with what's happening to Cable?

"Aw, no. Don't tell me that calling you in was a bad idea…" she nearly groans at his sudden change while smacking another approaching person with her gun. This time she's a -little- more mindful about not completely destroying the other person's face. "No, no I called you in to -help,- -not- to get your ass compromised right in the door and become a damn liability!"

Jaw clenching, she takes a step back from Cable and levels the shotgun right at his head. Just in case he suddenly were to turn on them all, or something. A moment later he's shoving his own weapon into her gut, disrupting her aim as she automatically makes a grab for it.

Nope. Not allowed to kill anyone here. Another curse is growled while she hastily slings one gun across her back in favor of another. She's used up all of her free time, whatever Cable had just handed to her is going to have to work. And the -look- that Jean just gave her… Somehow it chills the blood a lot more than the mob does, and very nearly causes Dom to take a hit due to the distraction. So you know what, FINE. Red can go off on her own!

"Don't you be losin' it on me, soldier!" she snarls at Cable while firing what amounts to electrified pellets at the mob-like mass of people. It's a big taser, is what it is!


Cable and a woman with one huge, veiny fist roll around on the ground for a few seconds before he's able to get onto her back and wrap the cold musculature of his left arm around her neck. She screams in his ear the entire time, even as her eyes droop; it's all about as unpleasant as it looks(and sounds).

"I'll—" he begins while hopping to his feet, only to freeze when Jean follows her status update with a directive accompanied by a flicker of burning wings spreading from her body to purge the ills of the world.

"… they'll be fine," he assures in a quiet, almost cowed voice as the light pulsing from his eye spreads to envelop the rest of him and he focuses squarely on the victims. "Relatively. We'll be behind you."

One of the items in Cable's pile is apparently still worth something, because he follows that promise by charging back to them to heft a cross between a rifle and an unbloomed flower, body blurring and leaving glowing streaks in the air behind him. Mere seconds later, he begins to launch crackling webs from its uncurling barrel capable of capturing and ennervating a co-opted mutant - maybe two, if allowed to open fully - without outright killing them.

Unless they've got heart conditions, or a mutation that makes them susceptible to electricity, or something, in which case there may be trouble.

"I'm here," he succinctly assures, turning and firing quicker than the eye can follow as the air swiftly fills with electricity.


The mob isn't terribly formidable - they've held the place in part through fear and intimidation more than actual physical force and none of them have mutations that give them much in the way of protection from the dual onslaught of Cable and Domino. With two exceptions.

One of them leaps on Cable, the other on Domino. Cable's opponent is, in fact, a woman, wearing a nurse's outfit stained in blood. He feels her power coming over him almost immediately, as she tries to put him directly to sleep. It's more biological than psychic, however, attempting to override his biology, trying to pump him full of sleep hormones and dull his brain activity, not knowiwng his strange physiology might have resistances she didn't anticipate.

The other tries to hug Domino from behind and, wherever he touches, that strange material that had grown over poor Carp's face starts to spread, icky and thick and consuming, his mouth open as he laughs, his own whole body covered with the stuff. Gus Fun they call him, but he doesn't seem like much of a party guy to anyone under his mushroomy, earthy grip.

Carp shudders and slowly calms, slipping into whalesong with Mree's help, finally starting to rest. Mree may get a glimpse of another vision in her mind - of a shadow of a man with a high collar and eyes as red as blood. A laughing man.

Jean can feel the power of the being on the second floor, feel it pulsing. He's just ahead and the impulse is strong. SERVE. WORSHIP. KEEP OUT INTRUDERS. GIVE THE BLOOD TO THE MUCK.


ROLL: Domino +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 31


With a deft hand — or, rather, a deft mind — Mree keeps Carp secluded safe in whalesongland, where she can sing and the oceans can sing back their soothing assurance that everything will be as it should. This other corner of her mind he endeavors to push further to the subconscious, where he can look at it without disturbing her dreaming mind. Carp herself may be sleeping on the sidewalk by now; he's nowhere to be seen, unless someone knows where to look.


Jean doesn't move until there was confirmation from the both of them. And soon, her hands tuck into her pockets as she takes the steps up the stairs. But she moved slow, her head bowed slowly as her vision begins to blur, nearly the first telling signs that the change was going to come. Cue Sam Cooke; but this change was not about peace, love, and togetherness. This was going to be an all out war.

"I know you're there. Watching." She says to herself.
'What do you need?'
"A hand."
"Don't kill him."

And if Cable was still watching the remnants of the path that she was on, that trail would burn bright, and it would be hot.

Each footfall became heavier, her shoulders slumping, the words screaming through her mind as her chin slowly begins to lift, pieces of wood peeling from the floor but remaining in place in the curvature as she breaches the second floor proper and heads towards the room that the man was in.

The trail ends here.

One hand presses against the door, a slow splintering of wood that cracks and shatters, remaining in place before it falls like a sudden animation that just drops.

All a-glow Jean was, stepping into the threshold, hands still within her pockets, her expression near vacant if it weren't for the small shock of anger that builds beneath.

"And now.. you serve me!"

With those words, carry a psychic pulse that would nearly melt his brain right where he stood, if it weren't for Jean holding her back.


The one thing Domino wanted to avoid in all of this? That rust-like growth on Carp's face. Naturally, this becomes the one threat which she really has to worry about! She's dodging back to avoid one of the guys (Infected? Possessed?) when another gets the jump from behind. The feel of arms wrapping around her own prompts a sudden push against the floor as she tries to ram her head back into the attacker's nose but such retaliation won't do anything to stop that unsightly growth from spreading onto her.

If she hadn't been freaking out before, she certainly is now. "Oh, hell. Oh—God, no, No! Get this shit off of me! Get it away!!"

Not knowing what it is (probably nothing good!) she's fallen from trained fighter to frantic victim in a heartbeat, struggling to throw ol' Gus Fun off of her back -any way she can.- If this means she has to reach over a shoulder and find the grip of her shotgun..she will. Just angle the barrel back and out a few degrees and pull the trigger. Gus might lose his stomach and groin. Maybe a leg. If it comes to that resort, it's gonna get very ugly. Dom no longer cares, she's in full-on panic mode!


Cable's biology is basically nonsense: biocomputer-laced CNS; artificial muscle bundles clinging to metal plates; porous, metallic bones lined with with platlet factories; if the nurse can sense just how far removed from humanity the man with the metal arm actually is, she may well be shocked when the amber glow flooding from his eye recedes and his arms droop.

If, that is, she could feel anything beyond what Bob wants her to feel.

Designed to closely mimic human physiology while still having its core functions optimized for posthuman performance, Cable's body is compatible enough with the woman's biohacking abilities to be compromised, but alien enough to buy him some time before the situation becomes critical. After releasing his weapon, he painstakingly raises his hands to grip the sides of her head, rears back with a deep breath, and lets his head half-swing, half-loll into her her face.

"Let…" His eye weakly pulses, then dims; Domino and the nurse both feel a gentle nudge from nowhere against themselves.

His head drops back, then falls violently forward for a second time.

"Me… go.. for your… sake… !"


Cable's headbutts have the requisite effect - Poor Ana S. Thesia doesn't last very long, blood blossoming from her forehead as she collapses at his feet, concussed and unconscious. She clearly chose unwisely in her target.

Gus takes a lot of buckshot right to his inner thigh and gives a high pitched squeal, loosing his grip on Domino and falling backward, bloodied in his own right, his spores retreating and pouring back into his mouth to reveal a rather non-descript, pudgy little man underneath, clutching at the arterial spray coming out of his femoral.

If Mree presses to very deep, he'll find something very strange - a foriegn particulate, apparently some sort of airborn virus, deeply ingrained into poor Carp's bloodstream - a virus that is now retreating from her body as she's freed.

And finally, Jean. Her power is far too much for poor Bob Brain. Three months ago, his brain was a normal size, his skull simply transparent enough to show where it glowed inside him, the light shining through his weak, watery eyes. Now it's bloated, four or five times too big for his head, his skull long since shorn away by someone's bone saw to accomodate the growth. He's hooked up to machines, pumping unknown toxins into his blood, just to keep him alive, keep him functioning. When Jean's brainstrike hits him, the biofeedback makes him start to seize, visible electric arcs going across the surface of his corpulent brainmeat like thunderstorms rolling over the plains and just as destructive. He's starting to choke on his own bile as he shakes, loosing his control over the minions.

And, from the basement, a roaring sound, mingled with countless squeals and the rumbling shift as something very, very large -moves-.


The sound of the gunblasts alarm Jean, but she does not stray from the path that she now walks. And she walks it well; closing in upon poor, wired up Bob, her hands finally withdrawing from her pockets to remain out into the open. Her fingers look as if they were disjointed, attempting to maintain control, struggling against the other as she closes in towards the vile and choking man.. her hand reaching out to grasp the chair as the other reaches for his brain. And she studies him, as if he were lifeless, and as if the only thing that moved upon him were the currents.

"Show me." She implores Bob. Her hand touching over the air of his eroding control, attempting to draw a sense of calm, attempting to mete control of his physiology by way of thought and telekinesis alone.. if she even could. That one, that notion, even interests herself.

She could faintly hear the squeals from the basement, faintly hear the scuffling of the others.. which was soon pushed away for those simple words. "Show me your life."


Hey. Those don't belong here. Or do they? No, Mree're pretty sure that they aren't. So they come swarming in, through the gills, through the nose, and thousands and thousands more of them fill her bloodstream, helping to escort the unwelcome visitor out again. With Carp seeming… semi-sound, at least, they retreat from her, themselves, letting the dream go in in the peaceful direction that they'd sent it without further interference. Once they're all out, they coalesce once more, with that characteristic *POFF* as Mree appears once more on the street, curled up next to the sleeping Carp, looking down over her face with a tender look of concern.


Gus may have released the albino. The horrible goop may have receded from her person. But Domino is still -shaking- from the encounter. Like a nest of spiders crawling upon her skin, like a deep nightmare she can never escape from…

Like a bad chemical injection from a 'doctor' with no moral compass.

As soon as the hold is broken she stumbles forward and spins about, shooting the already terribly wounded Gus several more times with Cable's electric rifle. No more sarcasm, no threats, no angry remarks. Gus scared her well. This one won't be shaken off and forgotten about.

Of course, there's something else that pushes her fear a whole lot further. When something -big- moves around underfoot she jumps like a startled cat, the electric rifle darting to and fro as if the flooring itself might bleed into an acidic mush and try to crawl up her legs.

"Knew this was a mistake knew this was a mistake shoulda burned it all down -Kill This Fucking Place With Fire!-"

If it moves, it's getting shot! (With taser pellets.) Cable -might- get lucky and not get hit a time or eight, himself. It's probably for the best that she's also rushing out of the immediate area, maybe there's another room somewhere that isn't so threatening! Fewer mind-controlled people, more windows she could dive out of, just..exit strategy, she needs an exit strategy!


Cable falls to a knee right behind Ana, left arm trembling and writhing as he squeezes his eyes shut. Deep, meditative breaths flow between his teeth, their rhythm quavering when the building shakes but unbroken otherwise.

A red tear oozes from the corner of his right eye, tracing the line of one of his scars.

"There're innocent people in here," he eventually grunts in reply to Domino's fright, "Can"


The albino catches him on his way up this feet; the pellet mostly just makes him frown down at himself as its resultant sparks fizzle.

He sees her back when he looks up, prompting him to shout, "Domino, wait— you don't know what— damnit!" and take off after her.


Bob's life pours out of him and into Jean. Mostly mundane, until puberty and the change and the rejection. Mostly just the life of a milquetoast, constantly afraid, constantly anxious. Then a knock on the door and a smiling man in a dark suit.

And then pain. And then power. And then a plan. Come back. Summon them all. Make a trap.

Get the blood.

The other rooms off of the hallway are actually empty when Domino bursts in, perhaps disappointing her. Suddenly, however, the hall starts to fill again as dozens and dozens of the humanoid-rat creatures, each the size of a fattened dachsund, scrambles out, thick, possum-like things without hair, pink-eyed and wriggling and BITING. They bite and claw at anything in their way and they keep coming well over a hundred now, pouring like a flood towards Cable in the hallway.

Mree will get a view of more as they begin pouring out of the windows of the basement as well, climbing up the stairs and out into the street until they claw at the manhole covers, slip down the slits in the side of the road, trying to climb into the sewer by any means necessary and trampling one another along the way.


Mree is just starting to fall headfirst in love with Carp (it's his usual custom for anyone (or anything) he looks at long enough), when he's distracted by an exodus of… OK, he's not sure what sort of exodus he's looking at, but he's going to carefully shimmy about onto a hip and then try to finagle Carp into his arms, lifting her with some small amount of difficulty and stepping up onto a nearby front stoop, hoping to stay out of the way of the worst of it. Fortunately they seem more interested in going into the s—ooohh, wait. No, Mree. That's bad. "Oh, no," he whispers. There's going to be bunches of those things all over the city now, aren't there?


The man. That's when everything changed. With the smiling man in a suit. That image itself was implanted within her memory, unwillingly projected onto the four that accompanied her into the house.. they would see the man in the suit.. and they would see nothing else from that glimpse.

Jean draws in a breath as she lets go, the fire within her eyes building, nearly encompassing the white as she rests her hand atop of his head. "Sleep."

Even if it would ease his suffering to his death, he shall be eased into it. Floating. Weightless. And serene.

It was the scrambling below that suddenly perks her attention, her footfalls were not slow before. But she was a devil, stalking through the hallways, a loud whistle of a very old tune cracking out upon her lips, her hands striking along the walls to create deep imprints and grooves upon them.

And there it was..

..that loss of a feeling. That loss of -feeling-. Yes. It drew out a smile.

Down the steps that she takes, her TK building an orbital wall around her, visibly seen by a brief caress of fire that lights it as she reaches the bottom. Willingly walking through the sea of rat-like creatures who part their ways before her and continue onto their path. Hands still, striking against the wall, the wood pitting and snapping.. a feral grin appearing upon her face as her head tilts, leans against the lining of the door as she feasts her eyes upon Domino, and Cable if he was near.

"Someone did not obey me." Her words were chosen carefully. Picked from the fruit-tree of vengence. "I told you, we were watching!"

Just when a step was taken forward, her features crumble into distractedness, her eyes darting left and right as she's suddenly confused. "But.. BUT IM NOT TIRED!"


Nope, not disappointed at all to find a room where a bunch of things aren't all trying to kill her! A chance to catch her breath is perhaps exactly what Domino needs, flattening her back against the wall and holding the taser gun toward the doorway as the panic continues to dictate her actions.

On the upside she's gotten herself a bit of distance from the mass of rats now pouring out of ..everywhere. She has a clear shot back into the hallway. She -could- offer some decent support fire.

On the downside she's backed herself into a corner if they decide to change direction or go on the offensive.

If Cable's goofy advanced rifle still has charge, or pellets, or whatever in it then she'll just keep on pulling the trigger. If it runs out then screw the warnings, -the rats die.- This room is HER room. The freaky pink-eyed rats are not allowed inside. Nope nope nope.

Red. -Red- is seeing RED. There's a pale blue stare leveled at the peeved psychic now storming her way into the room. The taser rifle is cast aside, this threat looks like something an electric gun isn't going to do squat against! Instead the shotgun comes off of Dom's back, the flashlight falling right upon the impressive image of Jean as the albino automatically racks the slide and takes aim from the hip. It's a short barrel, wide spread. Only the gods know where the pellets are going to land.



Cable gets out one more "Domino!" before the skittering of awful, hairless things fills the hall and demands his attention. His left eye briefly flares, prompting a momentary widening in the other as he hops a few paces backwards and holds his left hand back.

"Prof, link with the VIPR; switch to plasma, initiate a hyper charge— !"

The very first abomination to lunge at Cable is flung down the hallway before it even touches him, taking a few more down with it.

The next few crash right into him, however, scrabbling for purchase with their claws and frenetically tearing at what little flesh there is to be found. The towering cyborg staggers as one takes a chunk out of his cheek and reveals pale, glittering metal beneath, while others rip layers from a bodysuit that proves more resilient than it appears. His left arm trembles, but doesn't budge from its posture while the other strains to peel monsters away one by one, gripping necks or limbs or whatever else he can to fling them free.

He hits a bit of a snag here when one of them goes for his eyes with one hand while clawing at his throat with the other, forcing him to swing wildly at the thing in an effort to dislodge it; fortunately, this is just about when one of the walls shatters as Cable's oversized, blooming rifle soars through on its way to his waiting hand.

The subsequent eruption of blood-red plasma that occurs when its barrel fully opens and he thrusts the weapon forward still doesn't do anything to remove the thing trying to claw his face and/or throat out, but it does cut a channel through many of its fellows as it fills the hallway. The walls crack, then begin to burn on either side as the violently twisting beam seems poised to burst all the way out of the nightmare and into the evening air.

And then it meets Jean.

Still scintillating, still burning, the impossible beam ripples as Jean descends, then coils around her body, forming a deadly cocoon that lingers for a few seconds before disappating entirely as the charge is spent. Cable lowers the gun as soon as that occurs, all the better to stare Jeanwards with a mixture of shock, reverence, and fear.

"She di" he begins to explain.




Domino and Cable definitely make a dent, but the flood is so much that not too m uch can be done. The ones that bloody the well-armed pair get sucked into the river with the rest, jabbering and squealing.

Jean's emergence and obvious threat suddenly aren't the only impediments in the room. As Domino cuts loose with her shotgun, something suddenly manifests. Like ravens flocking together and forming a man, a man into whom those pellets impact and then vanish. A man with eyes that glow red and with a bright, white smile that cuts through the shadows.

"Now, now," a deep, resonant voice comes from the man, still half-made of shadows, "You'll wake the dead with a noise like that. Now hush!"

And suddenly, the whole place goes quiet. The mob all ceases to breathe, the wounded and the whole alike. The rats who hadn't made it into the sewer dissolve into bio-organic goop, as if they were reverting to their base elements.

And the man's head shifts, body reversing without ever moving, as if his features flowed front to back and those red eyes gaze up at Jean.

"Glorious," he whispers, almost sensuously. "I can't wait." And she can feel his mind against hers and it is foul and alien and snaps her out of her fugue with the clarity of his wrongness. «Kiss Kiss» he murmurs into her mind.

And then he explodes again into an impossible murder of crows, leaving


only silence in his wake.


There was a shocking laugh that cuts through the corridor, one that has her fingers soon snapping together as Cable fends and fights off the little beasts that bite and rend at what was left of his flesh. "Just desserts!" She laughs again, though stops as the red beam cuts around her, her arms lifting, drawing still.. her eyes widening in shock. That lapse allows that -other- voice to draw in. The world slowing, the way that it caresses her mind causes her to ease and power down.. "You're right.." She says to no one in particular, her shoulders soon drawing into a slump until..


Her hand reaches up slowly, though as now green eyes slowly lift.. she sees the back of black, the duality of what was in her mind.. one good (Charles), one neutral yet chaotic and torrential (Birdie), and then the soft little sounds of 'kiss kiss' from Sinister. So much was a shock to the system that she didn't know how to react. There was a stutter. A huge one, a psychic hiccup that could be felt within the radius as her eyes roll into the back of her head.

She tips.. tips.. and falls backwards towards the ground, like a stiff board dislodged from its place.


No. No..that is NOT how shotguns are supposed to work. They do NOT suddenly make creepy shadowy apparitions with glowing red eyes appear and—

Oh man. Oh man, oh man.

It should have thrown Domino right off of the deep end. The last little required push, delivered in excess, casting her right back into a state of delirium. It might seem like an odd time for Lady Luck to make an appearance, as there's a voice speaking in the albino's mind. It isn't Jean's. It isn't Cable's. It isn't even the Phoenix's. But it reaches through to her.

Trembling arms jam the slide back, kicking the empty chunk of brass and cardboard out of the shotgun to click across the room. Rather than running the slide forward and chambering another shell she suddenly lets go, the weapon itself clattering lifelessly at her feet.

With her back to the wall and her hands free of anything left to fight with she slowly drops down to the floor, arms wrapping around the tops of her knees and head dipping forward to bury itself against her entangled limbs.

Cable isn't the one that had been compromised here.


Mree isn't entirely sure what's going on across the street, but he has his charge, and now that the imminent threat of the rat people has passed, he takes Carp with him carefully back down the stairs, his tail pressing firmly on the stair-edges behind him to keep him from tumbling down. A few stoops over is someone he knows — in passing, at least. Maybe she'll let him in and give him the use of a towel and some hot water from the tap, or on the stovetop if possible.



"Rail," Cable murmurs while aiming at the entire other person who's suddenly standing there, instincts kicking in to carry him through the initial shock of it.

"You're going to get out of this," he adds in a louder voice, loud enough for Domino to hear if she's able to listen. With his eye focused down the sights, he can't see her distress, but the cold, shuddering waves rolling off of her can't be ignored. "Whatever he is, I've got 'im lined up."

*KR-THOOOOOOM!* goes Cable's rifle as a slug explodes from its barrel, plows through the pale man's forehead, and continues on to tunnel through the building behind him.

"Not gonna last long"

The pale man shifts, whispers, speaks, and violates, not missing a single beat despite the melon-sized hole in his brow.


Cable freezes mid-sentence, squints down at his gun, and then back up at the man who no longer is, baffled.

Jean plummeting shakes him out of it in short order, though, and after an amber flash, she stops a few feet above the ground.

And then he resumes peering bemusedly between his weapon and the empty space, at least for a little while.


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