1963-11-10 - Burnout
Summary: Bombardier beetles assault Hell's Kitchen and the saviours bust out of a box, trip, and practice skyclad heroism.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
gabriel rogue jean 

In any other part of the city, the police would be out in force and a stream of screaming citizens running for shelter in New Jersey. Just kidding. They'd head to Connecticut because no one in their right mind runs to Jersey, regardless of what Thor thinks.

Hell's Kitchen obeys no rules of modern society or physics, though. Behind the sealed off walls around 10th, the place might as well be defined as a ghetto in the classic sense, quarantined by fierce pride and gang activity. Here few brave souls dare intrude, and even an alien invasion will likely receive a violent reaction from Grandma down to tot, everyone getting by on sheer grit and tenacity to throw off the yoke of an outsider. The dystopian poverished misery that is their mother's milk rolls through the air and the gutters, draining deep into the pitted concrete. Several dumpsters lie abandoned. Several obstructions block this particular part of the street in hopes of keeping nasty, giant insects from approaching the tenement buildings that act as humanity's last bastion against the infestation until the army shows up with an impressive can of Raid.

Instead they have Team Redhead, constituting the finest in skeptical frowns or inquisitive looks. No signs of humanity exist outside shadows on the windows, but there are definitely bugs. Big bugs. Little bugs. Signs of that woman from the Bugle are everywhere, notably in the caustic fumes in the air that set the various barricade bits on fire. Beetles scuttle around, heavy things, blasting off the ground every time they expel toxic gasses at superheated temperatures behind them. Essentially it's a beetle rocket launch, and hydrogen peroxide is the fuel of choice. The blundering bugs smash into the buildings, they land on the cars, they fall on their backs with their legs flailing around in the air. It's just because they are so damn big and flammable they cause mayhem.

"This is our invasion?" Scarlett sounds mildly disappointed. "Flatulent insects."


Hearing from Rogue was a blessing. Not hearing from anyone else that Jean Grey, who she's possibly pissed off, was another one. But would she ever turn vile words towards Scarlett? Probably. But today wasn't that day. However, there was a mission to be had. The singular, now duo X-Man/X-Men, clad in the finest gear that Xavier has purchased upon his own dime, black leathers with an X in the middle, gloves to boot. Jean herself donned glasses for seeing, hair tucked into a ponytail, zipper halfway down her chest as she keeps her hands upon her knees.

"Well." Jean finally says. "I think this would be a one and done thing. We've got options." She finally rises to her full height, which really isn't much, a step taken forward as she squints her eyes towards the infestation. "I touch you. You touch me. We burn them away. But then you'd have to account for the voices." That's one.

"Two? Let me burn them, then you knock me out, since I don't think I could control -Her-." Her eyes do flash, the ring of fire slowly creeping along the green that was her eyes, her shoulders rolling in preparation.

"Or. We go in hot. Rip them apart with our bare hands. Nudie swim in the lake behind Logan's cabin. What say you?"


Even these old tenements hide secrets. Some buried more recently than others. The exact route that the crate came to this place was a series of events that are difficult to specifically trace. Shipping and handling wasn't the most precise these days and with the chaos of the city, the truck which was transporting the metal storage container had been left abandoned on the street where graffiti and insect scrapings had begun to cover it.

Rust red in color, non descript, the only reason this crate would stand out would be due to the fact that often times large shipping crates don't make their way into this area of the city. But yet, here it is, leveraged against a building on the same block where Jean and Rogue are examining their insect issues.


Scarlett has hardly been inconspicuous: two sightings at pivotal events in a week. Halloween on the Empire State Building surely made the cameras, even if her shape is hard to discern. Trying to catch an alien with Johnny Storm, and failing, in front of thousands of people also might have an effect, though the lions share of media coverage went to the Fantastic Foursmen. He wasn't blessed by the Dalai Lama, though.

The bohemian trails her fingers over her wrists, feeling the catsuit for its suppleness. Her green cloak flows off her shoulders, trimmed in white around her face to lend the effect of a halo, or a girl about to go to a debutante's burglary. Skin is not wise to show when life itself is subjected to the annihilation of the void trapped in her veins, punctuated through her genetics, an instrument of the cosmic to deliver justice…. on bugs. "This woman claims she acts for us. I don't care for anyone making such claims. Though she seems not to be here." Statements come with a certain edge, and the girl turns her head, her vibrant emerald eyes drinking up the flames.

Confessions in the alley: "I always hear voices. You are not alone, though, cherie. If she wishes to talk to me, though, you know I will always share your burden, til the end." There was a promise sworn once in the air, and that vow will never falter. Not even with the inherent risk it caries.

She holds out her hand, and then breathes out a serene, meditative breath to cleanse the soul. "Hot and shared. Let's go, hooligan." She is not ignorant of that crate, and it among so many other things used as barriers for the population against the sudden influx of beetles might well be on fire. A blast of a bombardier beetle's back end sprays the surface with caustic, flaming material.


"She does not act for me." Jean murmurs, taking a slight step forward. Gloved fingers press hard against her palms, the same edge shared, her eyes flitting towards Scarlett to watch. "I think, once we're done here? We should take this up with her." Shoulders roll, her feet tense, lifting upon her toes as she begins to shake herself out. She wasn't good at fighting. In fact, this was her trial run; Scarlett here would be her protector should things go awry.

"Charles put her away for now." Jean confesses quietly. "Though, he made sure that I knew to open the door, and to not crumble her domicile doing it." So, she can channel her. But only when -Jean- is ready. Not when she's forced.

Hot and shared.. there was temptation to reach out for her hand to touch, but as her own extends, fire lights upon her fingertips and begins to roll along her arm, her eyes closing as she tempers the flame so much that it begins to grow from her back. Wings. Feathered.. fire-wings that intensify in heat. And with a step aside and then forward, Jean was off.

"Wait. There's.. is that a box? Who th.. well it's not on fire. Let's go."


It called, it beckoned… the energy could be felt and it coursed over the contents of the box. Faint lines of purplish energy tracing and trailing over arms and legs to illuminate the darkness. Then his eyes opened, glowing the purple as well however dim as they looked around the confines. He began to test his fingers, then limbs, feeling to see what he could feel.


The one who wishes to fight does not know how. The one who hates fighting is, in fact, rather effective at incapacitating most human threats. Or architectural ones, though the lithe build Scarlett is graced by would never suggest the terrible strength contained within. Her hand, gloved, rests gently upon Jean's forearm and gives a gentle squeeze. "Nothing is so necessary but your confidence. You will know what to do. Until then, let's play, shall we?"

That's one way to put a spin on it, as another dumpster goes up in flames, to join the flaming box covered in hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, and flaming matter that has a decidedly organic pungency begging for surgical masks and a vat of patchouli incense.

The next step is no step at all: Scarlett takes to the air, forsaking any cover. The bugs are, after all, bugs; giant, but not possessed of inhuman intelligence. Thus she might seem somewhat less concerned about entering into the fire show. Her palm is held out nonetheless for Jean to take or not, suspended in the air with all the lightness of being. Her lips part. "Let's try to focus upon the thorax and the head. The back ends are enormous, and probably better armoured." Let the attack on the ambling gas cannisters begin!


"Well.." Jean started to say. She wasn't confident, that was the thing. But she was angry. And she needed to get it out before that stroke of confidence comes. She does smile, yet cringes and nearly ducks out the blast of fire that arches into the sky, her red eyes now littering the landscape as Scarlett takes to the sky.

"Thorax and the head.." Jean mutters to herself. "..I don't know what a thorax is.." It was all quietly said as she leaps over the barrier, walking -right- into the lines of the fire with both of her hands outstretched.

She commands it; the metal. Lifting it with expert ease just as if she were Magneto himself. It spins and dances along the air, surrounded by a faint red light. The flames upon her back ignite the lingering debris nearby, which was soon tempered to just her hands and eyes. The world was in them, surveyed and taken, arms drawn back to -HURL- the metals towards the approaching beetles.

Such recklessness it was, for it does hit heads. Thoraxes? No. But it slices and dices, even pinging upon the box to rattle it and shake it's foundations. "Got.." She hisses out, taking a solid stance. "..Rogue! My aim is shit!" She cries out, and yet she gasps, a beetle turns it's backside to launch fire from his booty right into her direction!


The obvious answer: throw the box at the beetles. However, beetles immune to bullets might not be bothered by a burning red box. The cry of warning causes the bohemian to twist on an axis easily as a prima ballerina, and she reverses course towards the flaming telekinetic throwing metal into the armoured insects. Rising on a rapid but skillful trajectory comes almost effortlessly, snagging Jean by the waist and pulling her up into the air as vortices whirl behind her, disrupting the path of the fire in the most elegant of ways. Fire tornadoes are indeed a thing, and some of the four ton bugs are knocked back out of primal fear of the flames.

They may not be able to take what they gas off, then. The skittering does pulverize the pavement and do terrible things to infrastructure, the heat of their effusions melting the top layer and setting trash and gutter water to boiling. One can hope that box isn't now melting with its precious contents, but who knows?

Not for long does Scarlett remain out of the fray, assuring Jean can stay up of her own accord. If not, she's put on the ground out of the beetle flatulence, and the taller redhead goes diving over to the nearest bug. Her hands grab a flailing leg around the body and she strains, testing her balance at flipping over an essentially stable creature. The strain doesn't show near as much as it should, but the ground shakes. "What about the underbelly? Weaker — bloody hells of Hrimgroth!"

Ducking a flailing leg that hits harder than a pipe requires immediate movement, bending backwards until parallel to the ground, and rolling into a reversed dive.


Gabriel likes fire.



Close call. It was like a snatch born from viewing spider-man out saving damsels in distress. Jean lets go of the flying metal, allowing it to clash to the ground, concentration placated, her eyes looking back towards the woman with a solid grin. "Thanks."

So the beetles cannot handle what they fart back out. Which is -good-. That means, Jean has the ultimate wild-card. "I got it! Put me back down!" And so.. she was. Thank god. Jean hated heights, even though she could reach two feet up from the ground.

Once her feet presses upon the concrete, she dashes forward, an arching TK headed in front of her to beat and blast off the heat and gas, her head ducked until..

She trips and tumbles, the box itself cutting her off at the knees, her body rolling into a heap of filth that nearly makes her gag.. well no. She was throwing up, right next to the tumbled box. Even using that same box as a brace while she wretches from the sulfuric, ass-like-death smell..


The energy continued to appeal, to fuel and foster. The tumbling, the heat all became too much and with eyes going from slowly opening to fully widened. Reaching a hand up, looking at it with a skeptical expression, the figure within takes tentative steps pulling at the binding chains and looking at them fall away, torn from the walls due to the chaos of the destruction outside.

He was free.

A hand reaches up, purple energy coursing from it to strike the wall of the box and exploding it outwards, metal opening like a cracked egg and out he strides. Confused, lost, completely naked and surrounded by chaos. The staggering steps of the man result in him ending up looking bewildered at everything about him.


The exploding wall of the box puts Jean in direct line of being hit. The explosive force against a nauseous woman assures there may be next to no warning, no defense.

"Shield!" The voice torn across the battlefield shouldn't be mistaken for another organization showing up to the posse, inflected with such force and urgency that it's probably hard to miss. The lovely belle can make herself heard, like every debutante from Savannah or English noble woman forced to dress down an aristocrat and put him in his place. A naked man stepping out from a messy crate amidst a rampage of suddenly terrorized beetles running around like mad is nothing compared to the lesser redhead on her knees, possibly brained by a fragment of broken door.

Scarlett throws her arms over her face and moves at an alarming speed, diving over a beetle and ignoring the fact her cloak? Not fireproof. Leather? Worry about it later, she can scarcely burn so easily.



Jean heard that. The Shield immediately raises itself up, keeping her nice and tucked within a coccoon of godliness. And yet, the blast of the box has her tumbling still, thankfully the wretching had stopped, only for her to feast her eyes upon..

"Woah.." Naked hot man twelve o'..


Jean raises, launching herself towards the naked, wild man, that bubble that she surrounded herself with opens up just enough to let him in. Yes. Jean is bold. Jean is fearless; fearless in which she wraps her legs around his waist, arms around his neck to take him down and keep him encased in her protective bubble as .. well.. if there were to be fire?

Jean calls upon that bird, opening that inner door to release her and let her burn!

(tee'hee. Jean's straddling a naked dude.)


Tribal tattoos, scars, and purple glow all become a tumbling mess as Jean tackles him, the man striking the ground when she lands upon him and a harsh grunt followed by surprised expression etches his face. Looking back and forth, attempting to determine what is happening he begins shouting at her. "Etch'too! Teal a gri'on'on!" He continues to look, finding the first voice that was shouting; being Scarlett, and a glare is thrown in her direction as well.


Poor beetles, how little did ye know one another. The explosive movements that launch them into the air on a defensive jet of hot, boiling gas is fairly nasty to get in the way of. They rocket around, while some charge by, and the one stuck on its back where Scarlett bug-tipped it flails around, legs wide. Shrapnel and flaming metal lies everywhere, and the abandoned coffin still looks like a portal to another dimension.

One of those big insect legs tears up the ground and it runs around in terror as fire seems to blossom everywhere, hungrily igniting the highly flammable products in its bug body….

Pop. Pop. Pop.

The bird's fire is going to explode them all like Chinese fireworks, violently igniting and exploding them. Won't this be fun?

Scarlett hits the ground and tumbles behind the cowering pair that tackle one another. She immediately turtles, throwing her hands over her face and pulling her hood up to protect her precious, precious hair. "Stay down, man!"


ROLL: Jean +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 77


The tattoos were a strange thing to look at. But he was clearly human. Even his words.. they were.. well.. a shame! Did he just sneeze!

"Bless you!" Jean chirps out happily, but lowers her hand to plant over his lips as she focuses upon the devastation. The devastation that she is going to cause.

For with Rogue safely tucked in against the three, Jean rises from her straddled position of the man, her TK encasing only them within a bubble as she takes a few steps away from them to strike her arms out.

Burn. She continues to burn. Burn all things. Burn all insectoid life away, her arms thrown out, a dangerous heat and life expanding the area.. even going so far as to envelop the crouching and laying two at her back. But they were safe. Safe from the cleansing fire.

Very safe from the fire that explodes beetle ass in order to clean up the very mess they made and.. oh. Someones petunias were done. Done done done! Sorry, Mrs. Crabtree. We'll fix that soon enough!


Heavy shockwaves rattle overhead in the corridor formed between buildings of varied height. Not one is lower than three stories. Beetles that go airborne, heavy as dump trunks or very small tanks, can erupt with devastating force too.

The explosions burst as the liquids in their bellies ignite and finally seek venting via the point of least resistance. Seams in carapaces steam and then boil. The horrible whistling of a demonic insect kettle might be lost in Jean's eruption of power.

Not so anything in the blast radius, as stinking mega-beetles blow up. Their rattling death throes break windows, shatter concrete, and do a number on Hell's Kitchen, the force immense.

And one pinwheeling leg bounces off the telekinetic shield, continuing to flip away down the road, happily ablaze.

Scarlett totally watches from behind, peering through her fingers now nothing appears to be incinerating her or the naked man her best friend is sitting on. This is why wearing gloves is a requirement. Her eyes narrow. "You both seem to be enjoying this quite a bit."

That comment lacks any accusation. Hello, she's a bohemian. Hippies learned to be tolerant from them.


Fire.. fire cleansing fire.

The inner-bird laughs, laughs so loud that everything slowly dies down as Jean wraps her arms around her head to stifle the noise. The thunderous boom of the bird slowly subsides, Jean's eyes.. green as they were.. looks on towards Rogue and the naked man with a slight sort of frown. "What?"

Then she looks down towards the man in between her legs. "Oh!"

She scrambles away from him, thankfully the muck that was once upon the ground and flammible, burned away to something black.. and solid. New paved streets, anyone?

"He.. said s.. er.. oh god he's naked.." And with that realization, neverminding that everything was burned to heck, Jean takes a jog towards one of those tenements, her gloved hands banging upon the window.

"Hello! Hello? Anyone have any pants?! Hellooooo?!"


"You were straddling a naked man, looking pleased with yourself, in a black leather catsuit," Scarlett murmurs, her voice given a strange, magnetic pull, and that might draw out a warm laugh from her. She pushes herself off the ground onto her knees, then steps up to a standing position. Her friend fleeing from place to place searching for clothing from an uncaring mob of terrified citizens constitutes a bit of a sight, above and beyond.

"I doubt anyone is going to help. Give him my cloak and he can claim he is a boxer, or rescued from a drowning." A glance towards their sudden addition and the burning box he was contained within brings her expression out of its ebullient lines to something more somber, limned by a silvery consideration. "Where did he come from? Who would leave that there, as though he were discarded to die?"

Intuition, sometimes, proves extremely useful. Sometimes, she can guess from length and comparable design.


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