1964-11-27 - Starfall: Sugar, We're Goin' Down
Summary: Gemini 2 is due to descend from orbit when an emergency broadcast from astronaut Gus Grissom warns that someone is firing on them. Indeed, someone is. And someone fires on Superman and the Phoenix and Iron Man, because aliens are jerks.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
clark tony jean-grey rogue 

USS Intrepid. Atlantic Ocean. 32^26'N 70^51'W

One word. The monitoring team froze before their television monitors, headsets smashed flat by sweaty palms. Voices ceased mid-sentence, throwing down a sepulchral hush where analysts, eyes gritty with sleep, watched endless streams of data transmitted through antennae positioned skyward and at Cape Canaveral.

Until then, the transmissions proceeded essentially as expected with few tense minutes of senior sailors and flight engineers aboard the flagship of the Gemini 2 recovery mission putting their heads together in a room. Nothing serious, some lasting concern about persistent left yawing messing with the latest orbit, the lazy drift interrupting some square's plotted path. It hardly justifies the string pulling to keep certain assets at hand, on deck, ready.

Low Earth Orbit

One word from Gus Grissom in his unmistakably deep voice.

"Fire off our wing!" John Young's voice follows instantly afterwards.

"Say again, Molly Brown, CSQ. Fire in the bird?" Someone down on Canaveral has the presence of mind not to shout, but the tension rips through his voice.

"Someone's firing on us!" Grissom's panic bleeds through the tight composure.

"What the hell is that? Sweet Mother of Go—"

Young barely cuts through a garbled haze of transmission.

USS Intrepid

"Get me a trajectory," calls Captain J. G. Smith, not quite of Titanic fame.

An engineer twists the knobs on one of the plots printed out in front of him. "Captain, telemetry is coming in bad. They're making a burn. They shouldn't be making a burn."

Sleep never came easy anymore. Moreso, her office became a mess of paper and red, followed by metal tacks that were poked into a board which was occassionally flipped to hide her insanity. Working nights. Barely even touching down upon the cabin to sleep on the couch or make dinner for a friend. The dogs were kept fed and busy, thankfully, and the children and staff of the Manse remained upon schedule with little to no help from Jean.

But can it be felt at that precise moment? Jean there, pencil in her mouth, chewed upon harshly as she stares at the board, focusing upon a single point there.. it was almost like a sixth sense. The empathy. When it goes unchecked it could spread aloud, and as a meddlesome creature that wanted to get their wish, she amplifies it to points out of control.

'There's something in the air tonight.' She says.

And for once, Jean listens.

She listens to the point where it was deemed necessary to don her X-suit, mask fitted upon her face, cape left behind upon the floor of her office to mark her presence as once there. The window slid open, and out like bird into the air, her senses wide open.. accepting. It was going to take a while to filter out that noise. The noise from those around her. The feelings of happiness and pure joy, loathing and jealous intent. But to focus on something so stomach turning as extreme dread and fear in it's totality, would -not- take much work.. or would it?

And where?

Tony stands on the deck of the US Intrepid, his eyes on the sky. He's traded designer silk for a suit of a different style. The eyes glow blue through the visor, just like the thrumming arc reactor on his chest. It probably isn't a good idea to fling himself at falling wreckage in a vain attempt to save its contents, but given his track record, why start on good ideas now? Give him a bad one and he'll be there. No wonder he came when they put out the call.

Of course he's just going over the worst case scenarios. This could go by the books for all he knows. Thinking by the books isn't his forte, though. What's in the books doesn't interest him. This is his world, mechanical things and computerized this-and-that, and he knows the enough about the design of the Gemini 2 to know all the things that can go wrong. So he fixates. And he waits.

USS Intrepid

"Two twenty one clicks. Doesn't make a damn lick of sense, Captain, they should be descending."

"Canaveral is unable to re-establish radio signal, Captain."

The catcalls of orders and answers between senior technicians and the rather unflappable Captain Smith, hired for this particular quality around this particular mission. Tony needs absolutely no skill in aeronautics to know things are going terribly badly. Normal does not include little tin capsules descending to increase their elevation from the planet of their own accord. Not in this day and age, on the bleeding edge of technology barely able to reach escape velocity.

"Get anything we have in the air. Eyes up." Captain Smith, staring up at the sky. He'd give a lot for a telescope or a flagon of whiskey, honestly.

Gemini 2. Low Earth Orbit

"CSQ, this is Molly Brown. They're gaining. We've initiated retrorockets, down to twenty-six percent and dropping…"

One fragmentary word in five bleeds over the commlink. Grissom's acrylic helmet vibrates as the little top spins madly. Pitiful puffs of fire aren't helping.

"Goddamn, Russkis attacking us," yowls Young to a listening audience of many.

On the Intrepid deck, they need only hear two syllables. Russ- -ttack to get a response.

"Dear Diary.." Jean starts, fist pumped out into the air, the other tucked at her waist as she curls her knee as if it would give her more speed. Though in reality, keeping both legs straight were a pain, one needed to flex them here and there to keep circulation going. At one point, a child even saw her bicycling in the sky..

"Flying when it's close to winter sucks. The air is cold, these suits aren't well insulated. One could be grateful that she isn't wearing heels." Jean would laugh to keep from crying. The panic and the dread, it was coming up close. "How fast and how high can you go Jean? Let's see! It's only Monday, right? Bad things -always- need to happen on Monday. Let's play a stupid game.." She says, picking up the speed with but a thought, her back arching as she slams her outstretched fist against her thigh to breach the clouds. "..win a stupid prize.."

At least the Lady was listening to her..

Russ- -ttack? Tony's first thought is about rust, his old nemesis. No, that's not it. It's gotta be the Ruskis. Not Tony's favorite people. Blue fire spurts from under his feet as he lifts off the deck. He rises higher, and it occurs to him he should ask Captain Smith if he really means putting everything up in the air, or if he's talking in general about the planes. He shoots off the deck at speed, up up and away. Yeah, he should really ask about that.

Now for a closer look. Tony knows there's a limit on how high he can fly, but he did mess around with some anti-icing solutions, so he's not sure where those limits lie. He has a feeling he's going to find out.

USS Intrepid

Soviet is the only word they need on the broadcast for the battle formation to shift off rescue mission footing to martial. These boys aren't all fools. Some are on their final tours, Korea burned into their memory. Senior officers know the battles imprinted across the Pacific and Atlantic theatres. Scrambling their assets takes on a smooth precision, helicopters whirling up. Pilots and support crew careen across the rough decks to launch those birds, for what little point there is. Two hundred clicks up. That's well outside the range of nearly every plane in the USAAF.

Captain Smith is hurrying back to the bridge, his XO flying down the deck. "Go! You earn your paygrade, you can get up there, go! We can get one of the guns to launch tracer fire, but…"

Jean's assault on the clouds puts her flat over the deck. Above her is the limitless blue, the limb of the Earth barely drawn in a curve. If she looks hard to the southeast, a brilliant spectacle burns in copper-bright flare, chased by a silver dart.

Superman stood high above the Atlantic, floating. He was contemplating, considering something, before preparing to continue flight. That would have to wait. He overheard it on the USS Intrepid. 'Unable to re-establish radio signal', 'Russ- -ttack'. A frown slowly came over the hero's face…before he flew towards the USS Intrepid, a blur, landing on the deck. Blue suit, red S, red cape. A superhero who'd made headlines when he stopped a jet crash - Superman.

"What's the situation?" Superman asked, as he stood forward, before spotting Iron Man. There's a nod to the other hero, as Superman glances upwards, trying to see if he can't see or hear anything. After he gets any response at all…he launches, moving up into altitude to try and pick up what's going on.

Penetrating the clouds was something that she's always dreamed of. Finally high within the air, a thin barrier of TK surrounding her to keep the freshness in, allowing a few cracks here and there so that the air could filter in and out at pace in which the wind blows. Her mind was a constant work, her eyes were scanning, for a moment, she seemed at peace.. until!


A mental thwack causes her head to snap southeast, the flaming apparatus a little bit far off, and something along with it was flying. What.. what was going on with the world today that did not involve children or people in need? What.. what was.. If she were to snap her fingers and take the time to think, whatever was happening with that flaming thing that falls towards the earth would actually kill someone!

No time to monologue or go through the motions of speech, with a rear back and a blast off within the air, the trail of fire lingers at her feet, creating almost the same as she races and rushes towards it. Her TK? It melts. It forms. It guides. It expands and stretches out to try to hold whatever it was from falling too far without knowing how heavy it was.. it would be the -true- test of her might to instinctively catch it!

"Supe," Iron Man says, taking the hero's presence in stride. Blue glowing eyes peer from an expressionless metal face, up into the sky. Jets scramble for the air around them. "Look for a flaming… there, there it is." He points toward the same thing Jean races toward. "And what the hell is that?" He starts to trail along behind, just in case backup is needed. "Apparently the Ruskis are shooting our guys out of the sky now. You up for taking a looksee up where the oxygen gets a little too thin for guys like me?"

He doesn't wait for an answer. He goes all out to pursue Jean. Not to stop her, but to fly under her. If she's hostile, he'll rush her from below when the determination is made. If she's a friendly, then he'll spot her. In case she drops the flaming thing falling from the sky. Hey, no one would judge.

USS Intrepid

On the deck, commands are issued. Guns rotate on the Intrepid and her sister ships, following the lumbering old WW2 behemoth the way that young men line up behind an old general. They never intended to load those guns, but by God, they will. Turrets rotate. Towers don't gleam, the grey paint of solemn death.


That burning light grows in radiance. Not by much, but high in the air approaching the ionosphere, it's possible to see that spark roaring at rapid speeds locked with the orbit of the planet. The silvery light that burns hotter red around the leading tip narrows the distance, but it's easier for Jean to see at her high elevation than the people on the deck. No way is there a plane scrambled that can reach those heights.

Their inevitable ballet is clear. The front speck won't outrun the following one. Terror overwhelms the two men screaming into their useless comms gear, the primitive tech they can rely on to get them home stressed to the max and fuel running out.

Prayers don't matter. Harrowing shrieks and the bubbling malice that careens against the faded void of space gives the rat race something a little more dramatic.

For Jean, one thing is pointed about that speck: it's not small. It's moving at high speeds. And it's shaking itself to friction-bright pieces.

"Iron Man." Superman spots it as he points it out, and nods when requested for assistance, because Iron Man is already moving. He's moving to fly higher than the rest, where the oxygen is thinning towards being gone, and see if he can't get a clear view of the situation…or what the silver light is and where it came from. The screams of the men rake at him, not fast enough, as he thinks, and focuses his senses. Where is this coming from…and what can he do to get these people down to ground-level?

This is where dreams go to be born. The dream of being a superhero of epic porportions, the dream of fighting the fight and probably living to see another day. To have your name written into the cos—..

"Holy Shit!"

Yes. She swears. For in that moment she realizes the thing that she's attempting to grab, that houses the frightened souls that she could -feel-, was larger than life and something she was sure that she couldn't handle. But desperation causes this, that need to stop with a half skirt in the sky, both hands reached out as if she were to catch a falling babe, not imagining, not willing, but -knowing- her TK and how it reaches out to grab the falling death-trap from it's trajectory with a hard stop and a forcible yank closer.

And it -hurts-.

Iron Man could obviously see the strain written upon her face, how parts of her skin that was visible turn red, how her shoulders light aflame as fire-wings unfurl from her shoulder-blades, the head of the Phoenix Raptor tugging itself from her neck as it's head shakes itself free to unleash a cry into the sky.

"Got it!" She screams out, and yet.. there was something else! It..

"OH MY GOD ITS IRON MAN!" One can never stop to show admi—..

"Is that a bird?" She asks aloud in lieu of Superman's flight. The Phoenix Raptor, sentient as it was, shakes it's head in dismay and launches from her shoulders to fly towards the capsule in it's own form of support.

Tony peers, "Is it a plane?" There are enough of those zipping around. Not this high, though. He turns his attention from Superman in flight to the flaming wreckage coming down on him fast. He's used to this, except usually it's metaphorical. "Ma'am," he says to Jean, and his hands come up to take a some pressure off her. There's no way he could lift this entirely by himself, but he can at least take the edge off.

Those blue-glow eyes examine Jean. Least appropriate place to flirt, and the expressionless mask for a face makes it a challenge. "We're good. You got this," he tells her, and the voice is too mechanized to have much of a tone. "Why, I'm barely holding it at all."

Oh god, let the suit hold. It's all he can do to stay airborne.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d20 for: 20

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d20 for: 1

|ROLL| Tony +rolls 1d20 for: 3

Low Earth Orbit

Gemini 2 burns. The heat shield's smoldering and the ruined backside is scorched in a way. Pieces of metal have fragmented, bolts are melting, slag is forming. Breath is a hard thing for two men in their white suits to grab when the heat is cloying and arrays popping. The drag of anything netting them is like a parachute deploying, ripping them around into a spin, bumping and turning wildly. Their screams are probably terrified.

The second dart in the air is actually larger, somewhat more streamlined. Long tines erupt from the back, supporting a singular tail that thrusts with considerable more power. Engine superior in all ways to the American craft, the streamlined body is only impressive from afar. Up close, it honestly look like some kid glued together metal panels and took components of a junkyard of space ships — which doesn't exist — in a Soviet republic, smacked them into a needle-like frame, and launched it. Somehow.


Sure as hell that second thing probably looks like a plane, and it's plenty aerodynamic. Way more than it should be, hanging inverted, and casually firing. One of those silvery bolts forms a strange orb that goes tearing towards the Gemini capsule. They don't have shields. They don't have a hope.

The second one veers astray for reasons known only to the gods, because it opts to go after the second largest source of metal around. Ship, a hundred and some odd miles down. It swings on an arc taking it riiiiight by Tony. Hihi.

The men are still screaming. Which means they're still alive. Superman only says one thing as he's addressed, smiling. "I'm Superman." And then, it's time for business. That strange orb is going to destroy the Gemini-2 and kill those men. As said, they have no hope…but they should. Because they're not going to fall that easily. The Man of Steel blurs forward, the orb impacting into him as he moves to shield the capsule from it. With a momentary reaction, breathin in and checking the wound, he then dashes forward, moving to slam his fist straiht into the silvery bolt. He's not going to let it win that easily.

Whomever, or whatever that was, it flew high. Higher than she ever could hope to go and survive.

But one would positively be giddy at being called 'ma'am' from Iron Man; and yet all giddyness was set aside as the raptor attempts to clench its claws into the capsule, attempting to lift just slightly, and allowing Jean and the steel hero take most of the bulk. She was finnicky that way. "It's heavy.." She manages out, snapping her lips shut to keep her concentration going, slowly drawing herself back so that she could tug the capsule with the people within closer to her, so that she could promptly drop it in a safe place AFTER flying down a few clicks.

"I'm going to land it right there near the platform.." Probably in the water. "..you'll have to get them out, okay?" Lookit her! Attempting to call the shots! The thought of that draws a smile upon her face towards the steel one.. and a sudden look of horror.


Maybe it was premature, but Jean tried to help anyways! And from the looks of it? That was no fucking bird, or a plane.. its..

"Wait.. no way.." Yep. Superman!

"Sounds like a plan," Iron Man says, giving Jean a nod. She's calling the shots, and they're agreeable ones! If only not for the missile careening toward Iron man to throw a wrench in the cogs. "Son of a— you got this, cutie. I'm just going to…" Duck and weave. Duck and weave. And ruminate over how this is his life now. This is what happens when he gets out of bed sober. There's a lesson to be learned.

It's a strange trajectory he takes, vaguely self-preserving sure, but angling more toward the preservation of the people inside the capsule and the knockout keeping them from a high-impact death instead of a fiery one. Tony's got a bit of a death wish. If a missile want to kill him, fine, but no one else is going to get hurt by it on his watch.

That orb? An energy weapon, the likes of which don't exist in conventional arsenals. Proof the second that something is terribly wrong, a shock to the history books. When the energy crackles around and through Superman, have no doubt, even for a Kryptonian, it hurts.

The next soaring bolt roars past the others, a shot that should be aimed at the telekinetically-captured Gemini. Instead it's headed for Iron Man, who is probably doing his best dodging attempt. The impact of the second globe doesn't strike him as he moves this way and that, its lock instead on the slower, bigger object down there. Down. Down to hull…

The second ship in the sky shifts its trajectory too at this particularly annoying interception, and heads back off into the high orbit…

That's a hell of a strike. Some sort of energy…something that shouldn't be used, atleast. This couldn't be the Russians, could it? How could they sneak this over everyone's heads? As the next shot moves towards Iron Man, Superman is flying over to the Gemini, moving to assist with the push of it, despite the fact that his outfit is already /burning/ that quickly, melting through his cape. Silently, he's moving to help reinforce the capsule, as well as allowing his body to be used to take any more of those. The ship couldn't take it. He oculd.

Jean was already going down, but the absense of Iron Man made it a little bit faster. While the men were still screaming for their lives, Jean blotted out the rapid thoughts of them and attempted to keep going. Right towards the water where hopefully the fires would cool.. no wait. That would cook them! Think! Think!

The sudden weight of everything was taken off of her as Superman takes charge, allowing the raptor to screech and fly into the air. She needed energy.. she was tired.. but..

"Ooooh no no no no no!" Iron Man was busy, Superman was saving souls.. She's got this!

With a curl of her body again within the air and a launch downward to meet the trajectory of the bolt, she practiced the Team Redhead swandive, though this time with malicious intent. Firebird at her side.. soon attaching, soon melding to her skin to set her world on fire, Jean releases a final (not really final) scream to thrust herself forward to intercept the bolt and…

…she's gone. Just like that.

(Though, if anyones paying close attention? She just caught it and fell into the water with it.)

Tony barrel-rolls to avoid being hit, because it works, and because it looks cool. Then he dives for the rapidly descending debris-plus-redhead. Back to the plan! To rescue those two men once the capsule is brought down into the water. "Got waylaid," he says as he flies back into range. "Okay, let's get these guys—" Pretty redhead? Aroo?

"Was it something I said? Nah, couldn't be." He dives toward the capsule and its hatch. He'll look for her in a moment, but first? The mission. To save the damn day and look good doing it.

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