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Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:26 am

-( In the Jungles of Cuba )-

Benjamin moved forward slowly, almost in disbelief of what he was seeing. At first he was trying to hold back his amusement as the mutant before him tried to speak. His smirk and the look in his eyes quickly changed however realizing the depth to which Cornelius' mutation had changed him. He figured the words were there but it was akin to being locked in. That didn't matter though, his friend was some how still alive, and Cornelius found him. Ben stopped when Snap stood on his hind legs, towering over him. He locked eyes with the mutant seeing the same guy he'd met so many years ago. He was so caught up in the moment that he didn't mind the dragon's breath or the leaves and dried mud being pressed into his clothes.

When Snap began looking for Hisui, Ben figured she was long gone by now. He hadn't felt her presence in their immediate vicinity for a while. "She blames herself for Genosha, we we're there when everything started. Some of us were seeking revenge, stolen comrades, but she was looking for you in particular..... A lot of people died that day and nothing has been the same since" he said as the reptilian mutant continued to search the area.

When Snap waved to him, Ben started moving towards him. "I'll find her, she couldn't have gotten too far yet. We still need to talk..." With that, Ben closed his eyes and did a wide scan of the area. When his eyes opened he stared into the jungle in the direction she had taken off to. "Let's go!" he said to Snap before he started into the woods after Hisui. Even with her head start, it wouldn't take too long for them to catch up.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:18 am

[ Skadarlija, Belgrade in Sector 29 ]

When Juliette pressed Koren away, his hand jerked upward. It clasped around her wrist, holding it there, but his grip was light. Without changing expression, Koren continued to gaze forward like a broken machine. Perhaps grasping her hand was merely a lingering defect within him, but it didn't seem to serve any purpose. He merely stared with eyes that had lost even the slightest glimmer. It was like locking eyes with a corpse. His pulse, however, was very much alive.

"You are necessary. I need you."

He seemed to correct himself, but the monotone removed the sense of misstep in what would have been a regular human voice.

"Juliette Einbert. Vision. If taking the others is a requirement of obtaining you, then I will acquiesce. You will play a key part."

After what seemed like ages, he finally removed his hand from hers. Koren apparently intended to answer her question, but the long pause indicated that putting the process to words was not something he intended to manage. Koren before had always been quick to come to a decision, his mind whirring away at light speed. But compared to Wiseman's talkative conceit, putting thought to word now seemed a daunting task for Kresnik.

"After Southeast Asia and the mainland, my destination was already Latveria. I had data indicating where former X-men were likely to be located, yourself included."

He blinked. It was alien after watching her every move so intensely.

"When I pledged myself to the Master, your name was present in the databases. It was... coincidence. But I knew you had lived."

In a soft voice, Koren droned a chilling message.

"I am the only X-Man who should not have survived Genosha."

By the way he structured his words and his enunciation however, his meaning was entirely different.

I did not survive Genosha.

It seemed Koren wanted to return to Latveria as quickly as possible, to seek the favor of a moment's meeting with Doom. What was it Koren desired? Was it even the same as what Kresnik thirsted for?

"Time is running out. I must speak with him."

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:55 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

The odd noise approaching from his side, made by no animal on Earth save one exceedingly unique one, swivelled Hiram about. For a moment, the starry blue light in his eyes flashed over Tag’s head, towards the undergrowth she’d emerged from. He thought she’d seen something.

In comparison to the various things that could have followed her out of the bushes, the berries were a welcome surprise. It had been just over a day since Hiram had last ate, and while this was by no means out of the ordinary, he was beginning to find the taste of his own breath somewhat off-putting. He missed surprisingly few things about civilization, but proper toiletries were becoming one of those things.

Scraping the berries up from Tag’s palm, he poured all but three into the pocket on the breast of his jacket. Those last ones went in his mouth.

“Thank you.”

As if to lend some weight to the otherwise airy and dead tone of his voice, he patted the crown of Tag’s head. He wondered briefly if her brain associated the action with anything in particular, before banishing the question into the abyss of things not entirely relevant at the moment.

Up ahead one of the trees curved out over the slope, providing an ideal niche of shadow. As they passed under it, Hiram placed a hand on Tags shoulder, signalling a stop.

He was a little tired. Though he didn’t burst into frenzied motion at every opportunity, part of him resented being contained just as much as Tag did – and that part of him had been bolted down since long before the truck. Now the road demanded much of the time he once would have filled with meditation (or even, once every so often, a few hours of genuine sleep), and the urge pushing out at the borders of his being was beginning to weigh upon him. It was stronger than it had been on Kailash, and he was weaker. Less focused.

It was good that they were nearing the end. And they were so very near the end.

He caught himself smiling a little as he slumped down into the shadow of the tree, and some of the tension in his frame seemed to uncoil through the cool earth. Latveria was close. He could sit down for a while.

He ate another berry, and let himself recline back a bit.

In the distance, something kicked a tuft of dust over the furthermost slopes…

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sat May 12, 2012 1:31 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Hiram seemed very tired, but even then he didn't eat more than a few berries. Tag let the man pat her on the head. Through the strands of her hair, Tag could make out the ridges of Hiram's calluses. The man had been at the wheel for too long. Tag didn't volunteer to take his place though, nor would she ever. Her first drive had been enough for a lifetime, she preferred her feet.

Something caught Hiram's attention and Tag followed his gaze. A dust cloud. Trouble. Tag seemed to know it in her bones. Anything that could kick up that much dust was just a problem waiting to happen.

Tag's eyes were more than perfect, but even she couldn't make out what was making the dust cloud. She needed to get closer. Without a word, Tag made a beeline for the trees and disappeared into the forest. Whatever was making the dust cloud, they wouldn't see Tag coming.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Tue May 15, 2012 3:41 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

The universe, it seemed, did not think that Hiram had earned a rest.

Perhaps that was for the best, he told himself, as Tag skittered off through the foliage. And perhaps it was nothing anyway. Perhaps.

He dragged himself to his feet and set off after Tag, every now and then glancing through the trees at the intermittent flourishes of dust. They were getting closer, weaving to and fro between the hills, presumably along the road. A vehicle, most likely, or something that could cover ground at comparable speed. Though Hiram didn’t know what kind of vehicle could be heavy enough to churn up that much dust.

The answer came as the hills evened out somewhat and the road ahead revealed itself.

“Tag!” He hissed. “Stop!”

The rifle slipped down into his hands, its weight somewhat less familiar now after the months of canned beans and sitting behind the wheel. He brought the scope to his eye and grimaced at what he saw.

It was a pair of jeeps, military grade, filled with a motley assortment of men and women (he counted six each, drivers included) and brandishing the colours of Mutant Prime. Not a weapon between them, as far as he could tell, which meant that their armoury was encoded into their genes. What was kicking up the dust trailed behind them on the end of a thick weave of chains. It was a Sentinel, its eyes dead and body sundered almost in half at the midsection. A trophy.

They’d be passing below in less than five minutes. They’d hit the truck in less than thirty. He didn’t even entertain the notion of hiding – even with the advantage of a straight run back, they’d never get back in time.

He glanced over at Tag and withdrew the revolver at his belt.

“You’ve seen me use this, haven’t you?”

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Wed May 23, 2012 7:29 am

[ Skadarlija, Belgrade in Sector 29 ]

His reaction to her pushing him away was shocking, especially when Vision would not expect him to actually grab her wrist like so. The initial shock was quickly gone, and so was the shocked expression on her face. Despite his grasp was light, Vision did not snapped her hand back for some reason.

He began to speak again, and she focused from the grip of his hand to hear him, yet finding herself slightly annoyed once again. She was not certain on why he needed to even say she was necessary, but it sounded as if he asked Doom himself to actually send her over rather than the idea that it was Doom who planned to have her monitor Kresnik. If that was the case, she would not be too surprised.

But still, at least he relent and agreed this time to allow for the subordinates to follow her. Vision really preferred to have her canine companion with her as her guiding eyes rather than using the high-tech glasses she had to wear. She also had the feeling the canine was getting rather restless. When Koren finally released her hand, she drew her hand back to herself and gave him a long, silent stare as he began to repeat on how he needed to speak to her mentor.

Still, those previous words of his about the Genosha incident had kindled a sort of sympathize emotion within her, and she cursed herself internally for that. If she was like the previous Juliette, she would had gave him a comforting hug. But she was not, and really, she hoped she was far from her very weaker, old self.

".. Alright. Give me a moment." That was her response to Koren, despite she was really reluctant to do so. Taking the communication device from her belt around her waist, she flicked it on before speaking through it. On the other line was Lieutenant Anna as she spoke through it, sounding relieved in a way to hear Vision's voice. Still, the woman gave a peculiar order to her teammates which made Anna silent for a moment, "Connect the line to Master. Yes, I'm sure."

It only took a few moments for the connection to be made and soon the voice of Doom sounding from the device. Despite feeling slightly nervous, Vision went on and asked for his permission and mentioning about Kresnik needing to see him. The answer from Doom surprised her. The brief talk ended soon after with Vision looking over to Koren, her stare was blank as she said, "He will see you. Please follow me to the aircraft and we'll head to Latveria as soon as possible." Turning away, she adjusted the glasses over the bridge of her nose as the woman suggested to take the truck to head to the aircraft where the crew who had tagged along with her would had been waiting this whole time, along with her canine.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu May 24, 2012 12:02 am

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Tag glanced at the revolver and then back up at Hiram. Her first reaction was to answer plainly, but her brain managed to catch up to her mouth for once. Was he giving her the gun?

Arming her. Which meant that these jeeps were not friendly. Something Tag had already assumed, but was now confirmed. Adrenaline had already begun pumping and her muscles tightened. Tag had almost missed this sensation, this was as pure of a relationship as Tag could have. This was the way of the wild. No muddling or mucking about, it was now kill-or-be-killed. Simple.

Tag liked simple.

Guns were not simple. "Yes," Tag answered finally before turning away from Hiram and reaching to the ground, "But I like throwing things." She smiled and squeezed the rock in her hand.

Without waiting for another word from Hiram, Tag darted again into the woods. A small thought registered in Tag's mind that Hiram wouldn't be happy with Tag, but it was drowned out by the pound of blood. Another thought that didn't even break surface, but rang dully was that Tag for the first time in her life, was actually having fun.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sun May 27, 2012 9:15 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Hiram’s brow furrowed at Tag’s assertion that she’d prefer to remain low-tech. To be fair, her mutated capabilities guaranteed the muscular dexterity and force required to turn a stone into a deadly instrument, but it was still

“Inefficient. That’s a habit we’ll have to”–

She cut him off by scrabbling into the undergrowth, leaving him to curse inwardly at her sudden eagerness to be cracking skulls.

Holstering the revolver, he set off on her trail, moving low and fast though the slowly-thinning shadows of the trees. It wasn’t long before he trotted to a stop beside the cover of a particularly low branch and watched her vanish out of sight. On flat ground, and at his prime, he’d have caught her quickly enough to make a difference, but it had become very clear very fast that she was better suited to the bristling foliage than him. Even if he caught up, it would be too late to significantly alter the flow of events.

What was she thinking? Running headlong into a convoy of mutant soldiers would mean a quick death. She was smarter than that, but… but she normally wasn’t quite so keen.

He flattened himself against the dry grass and put an eye behind his rifle’s scope. They were close now – too close for his liking. He had less than a minute before the procession and its grisly trophy would be passing parallel to his position. Less than a minute in which to make his move.

Tag must have had a plan. She wasn’t a simpleton, despite all appearances to the contrary. She must have had something.

Or she didn’t. Or she was just going to get herself killed.

He stilled his breath and let the world beyond the scope vanish away into an iridescent haze of nothing. In the next second she could be bursting from the undergrowth. In the next second she could be cut in two, or riddled with quills, or burned to ash. Instinct pulled the crosshairs into place, like fate moving through him.

He slammed back the trigger. The rifle coughed out its flash of death.

Short screams – of metal and of flesh – cut through the air as the one of the grenades strapped to the belt of the lead vehicle’s driver detonated. Swerving on tattered wheels, the jeep careened over, smearing what was left of its crew across the gravel. The second vehicle ploughed into it a second later, almost catapulting the driver and front-seat passenger straight through its windshield.

Men swore and shouted at one another as they tumbled out, most of them clutching at sore patches of flesh where the collision had not been so kind. Movement under the upturned wreck that had once been a jeep drew his scope away from them for a moment – it seemed one passenger had survived the initial phase of the attack, and was shrugging off the weight of the wreckage as though it were nothing more than a blanket. Anything soft or sore on him had vanished under a thick coating of beetle-black, exoskeletal armour. Hiram couldn’t even see holes for eyes.

Troublesome. If that stuff was capable of defying the onslaught of a close-range grenade then the only firearms likely to punch through it were the kind Hiram would have needed to roll in on tracks.

He assigned the chitinous behemoth a more personal death somewhere down the line and took aim at something softer.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Mon May 28, 2012 4:21 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]
Hiram would shoot. The man would not give up first strike, not to the enemy and certainly not to Tag. Tag had affronted Hiram's authority, he would take the lead again at the first chance and Tag would follow. While she waited, Tag moved through the brush, trying to position herself to the back of the convoy. As she went, occasionally her hand would dart to the ground and snatch up a rock. Tag was not being quite so picky with her missles as she usually was, the only criteria seemed to be that the rocks would be no bigger than pebbles.

Tag saw the spark of light erupting from the truck before she heard the crack of the gunshot. As the explosion just began to unfurl from the unfortunate mutant's chest, Tag stopped moving. She had 50 or so pebbles and she spread them out between her two hands. The jeep twisted from the force of the blast and was just starting to flip in the air. Tag pulled her right arm back and let the muscles tighten up. The second jeep crashed into the first, it's back wheels spinning uselessly in the air for a split-second as it experienced the sudden loss of forward momentum. The pebbles in Tag's right hand went straight up into the air and disappeared immediately. Tag pulled back her left arm now. The hostiles began to crawl from the wrecked jeeps, hurt. Except for one, the only one to emerge from the first jeep at all. A man covered in a black sheen. Tag's left arm catapulted its load high into the sky and her body entered back into running mode.

Hiram had shot a little earlier than Tag would have wanted, Tag was more perpendicular to the jeeps than she was behind, but it would do. Tag burst from the treeline and into the fading dustcloud the jeeps had kicked up. The dust could barely be considered cover, but Tag hadn't expected much from it.

Pebbles like shotgun pellets rained down on the downed jeeps and its former occupants. The metal of the jeeps would only be dented, but the people who had exited the jeep wreckage were completely vulnerable to the barrage. Two pebbles tore through vital organs, but the four other mutants were only scratched or otherwise unscathed. Tag was closer now and she still had one good rock. The second barrage arrived just ahead of Tag and tore holes through arms and guts. No one seemed to fall down for good, but the screaming was more intense than ever.

Tag was close enough now to see through a cracked window that there was still one more person in the second jeep taking cover from the pebble artillery. Tag was against the side of the wrecked Sentinel, taking cover in the crevice of its neck, unnoticed under the cover of dust and pebbles. She primed her arm and fired her one good rock at the jeep. Tag heard the satisfying crunch of metal being torn apart and a squelch of flesh doing the same.

Three down, three hurt and one big guy. Tag wasn't ready to jump in just yet, but it wouldn't be long knowing Hiram.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Wed May 30, 2012 9:54 pm

命❀~In the jungles of Cuba, Hisui~❀命

Contrary to Ben's beliefs, Hisui could move quite quickly through the jungle. As soon as she had slipped out of his sensory range, she began to jog through the trees. It wasn't a terribly fast pace, but one that she could keep up for several hours if she absolutely had to. Her skills in hiding and deception went to good use as well. Several times she doubled back on her own trail before heading in an entirely new direction, and at one point, she walked almost a half mile in the center of a stream in order to prevent Cornelius following her by scent. As long as she stayed out of Ben's radar, it could take them several hours to find her, if they managed to find her at all.

The sun was sinking into the sea by the time Hisui finally stopped moving. She was exhausted, but felt that she had most likely laid too confusing a trail for Ben and Cornelius to find her before dawn. Finding the area she was in suitable for a campsite, she dug herself in between a dead log and an incredibly thick tangle of undergrowth, she removed her backpack and laid down, using it as a pillow. She was completely hidden from view, even without her illusions, but she kept them up anyways, never taking chances and finding herself more comfortable that way anyways.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Soldiers scuttled for cover as a hail of stones cut through the dust. Luckily, the battered old dirt track offered little in the way of it, and they resorted to scattering between the wrecked jeeps, one of the smarter ones realizing that the only true refuge to be found was behind the armoured bulk of his hulking comrade. Hiram doubted that any of them had yet realized that they were being pelted by nothing more than wayside pebbles – at the speed Tag was launching them it must have seemed more like someone was levelling some kind of flechette launcher upon their position. If it weren’t for the relative quiet of the assault, Hiram suspected that they might have even assumed mortar fire.

They were starting to organize now; the shouting was becoming less frenetic and more punctual, though the distance and Hiram’s loose grasp of Kazakh language fumbled the lines between individual words. Someone was obviously taking charge.

The sights of his rifle swivelled away from the one crouched down below his armoured friend – a shot through his skull could only come from one direction, and if his comrades had even a scrap of real combat experience between them they’d quickly determine the position of the shooter. His vision came to rest upon a man to his right, who was clasping his hands over his head and lurching back as if preparing to sta –

His foot hit the ground hard and a deep groan churned through the earth. All around them, the ground began to sprout teeth – tall, broad stalagmites that jutted awkwardly towards the sky. Cover.

He raised his foot a second time, but it never hit the ground. A well-timed shot bisected his knee on the way down, leaving him screaming at the centre of a growing pool of blood. Hiram didn’t bother with a second shot; the man was out of the fight for now, and he suspected that it wouldn’t be long before an overarm pebble finished him off for good.

He turned the rifle towards its next target just in time to see one of the mutants hurl something into the air. Something bright – bright enough to force his eyes shut for just a second or two. Whatever it was, it shot up over the treeline and stopped somewhere high in the air, pulsing silently overhead.

Hiram felt the meagre contents of his stomach billow upwards as gravity reeled out of control. A rushing sound filled his ears and suddenly the ground was hurtling away from him, the world spinning wildly through his eyes. Leaves, grass, soil – bits of undergrowth teemed through the air with him, snapping by in half-conceived flashes.

Flailing for anything resembling purchase, his fingers closed around something rough and loamy, and the moment his vision thudded back into coherence he realized what had happened. He was at least fifteen feet off the ground, circling beneath that strange dot of light, his hands clasped around the branch of an old oak. And he wasn’t exactly alone. The inverted pull of gravity had gathered a belt of debris. Dirt, wreckage, corpses, trees – even the battered sentinel-leftovers had been drawn up into the slowly-turning ring.

His gaze swung down towards the road, where the chitin-faced creature was pointing up at him. One of its comrades – the one whose power had yet to be ascertained – was pushing off the ground now, converging vectors of wind carving a visible spiral of dirt into the road beneath him. He shot towards him like a stone from a sling, and would have cannonballed straight into his target had Hiram not used the closest branch for leverage, twisting himself around into a zero-gravity spin.

The air cackled in the mutant’s path, scrawling out a double-helix signature before exploding outwards. Wood twisted and burst apart, driving fang-length splinters through Hiram’s coat. The tree shattered straight down its centre, the branch Hiram had relied upon for purchase hurtling loose. He grasped out at anything he could conceivably reach as the shockwave pushed him – surprisingly gently – backwards, his grip eventually settling upon something earthy and gnarled. One of the roots.

He barely had time to affirm his grip before the aerokinetic dropped back down into the corner of his vision, swooping in close with a twisting bundle of what Hiram could only assume to be pressurized gases clutched in his palm. He was ready this time – only just, but enough so to twist hard against the bulk of the root, planting the tip of his foot deep into the oncoming soldier’s ribs. It was unlikely that he’d broken anything, but the desired effect was achieved; the man’s flight path tipped off-kilter and left him swinging that cloud of air-pressure in entirely the wrong direction, where it dispersed with a vicious rattle.

Acting quickly on what might have been the only chance this man would give him, Hiram hurled himself off his little spit of purchase and grabbed a hold of his foe’s jacket. Another handful of weaponized currents screeched through the air at him, but by then Hiram had pulled himself over the man’s shoulders.

The aerokinetic didn’t even notice Hiram drawing his knife from its shoulder-mounted sheath, let alone see it coming down.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:03 pm

Maddy Decadance - [ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Maddy's legs twitched in the air playfully as she sat inside the tree. She grimaced as sunlight flashed through her binoculars for a moment, rather stingy, but kept on watching the scuffle going on. She had heard a car in the distance, or something motorised, and dashed up a nearby tree. She stayed hidden for about five minutes after the sound stopped, because it hadn't simply droned off. Curiosity got the better of her though and after a few minutes of carefully, very carefully, peeking through the leaves to look around, she started searching for movement in earnest. She was fourteen at the moment, good sharp eyes while flexible and light enough to not move the tree around. She's pumped a little energy into it also, making it bloom slightly for better cover but it seemed that had been unnecessary. She had been thankful for it when she noticed the dust cloud, pulling back into it but it must have got the attention of the owners of the car. There was a good little scuffle going on now.

She'd already decided to go up to the car-owners if they won, despite an odd rooting for the mutant prime team. She wondered why her personal preference was towards them this time, but put it aside to concentrate on the fight. "Ooh." she whispered, wincing slightly. The man who had attacked the Prime group was nasty. She decided that she wondered betray and kill them unless absolutely necessary, or, there was a really easy chance. She paused for a moment, studying that feeling. Why didn't she like this man? She didn't even feel the mild respect she should be feeling for him. He hadn't even used any powers as far as she could tell. Her thoughts scattered again as she grabbed a branch for support, a stray gust of wind brushing the tree. It was on the top of one of the larger hills, whilst it gave a great view, it also stood out against the horizon, but there hadn't been any other cover she'd been willing to risk making it too. If she'd ran for something else she'd have been fine though, they were a few hills away from her.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:28 am

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

The broken Sentinel started to lift from the ground and Tag felt every hair on her body stand up as the world it knew with such certainty turned upside down. The orb in the sky had a gravity of its own strong enough to offset Earth's if only for the time being. If it had been only a vortex of wind than the Sentinel would have barely budged, but with gravity it was only a matter of time until the Sentinel - and Tag with it - crashed into the pile of crap the orb in the sky had already collected. The only way to truly break free from gravity was to outdistance its grasp.

Tag understood absolutely none of this. At least on a mental level. But the laws of physics were ingrained in the very body of Tag. Every fiber inside of her was all too used to feeling the weight of air pressure and the pull of the Earth's gravity. The muscles knew what was wrong even if Tag didn't and the muscles told Tag to get away from the orb... or fix it.

Fight or flight. It always came down to those two.

The broken sentinel was already making its way toward the gravity orb, picking up speed with every moment.

The mutant who threw the orb had the misfortune of not knowing about Tag. He had thrown the orb towards the forest from which Hiram was shooting from, putting himself between Tag and the new center of gravity. In other words as the Sentinel and Tag fell up (mostly sideways), the mutant would be directly below (or above depending on how you saw things) Tag. And that was never a good position to be in.

The mutant was alone now, his comrades dead, too injured to care or too covered in armor to notice the wiry teenage girl leap downwards onto the improvised rock face from before, finding holds in the rough edges, knife between her teeth. The mutant was too focused on his orb that he did not notice the girl until she rammed her knife into the point where his neck met his shoulders, severing his spine and then his life.

Maintaining the orb of gravity must have taken a considerable amount of concentration because it vanished almost immediately. Objects in air dropped immediately as the Earth took rightful hold of them.

Most noticeably was the 50-ton Sentinel which crash-landed directly into the heavily-armored mutant who hadn't moved a single inch since the start of the battle.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:37 am

-( In the Jungles of Cuba )-

After a few hours of chasing a ghost that didn't want to be found, Ben stopped moving forward through the brush. Unlike his red, scaly friend he had a group of refugees he was responsible for now. No matter how much he wanted to explain his position and find Figment, he couldn't up and abandon them. It wasn't long after he stopped that he heard a mournful howl through the woods. Luna was calling out to him.

It wasn't until he heard his dog's cry that he realized the sun was setting on the horizon. It would take a bit for him to get back on foot, so he figured he'd fly back. Then there was the matter of Cornelius. He turned to his friend. "Hey, I can't keep going and I haven't had a bead on Hisui in a while. You're welcome to join me if you want, but I 'd wager you'll search until you've found her again huh. " Ben then removed his bandanna and wiped his face with it. He then held it out for Snap to grab it. "So you can always find me"

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:14 am

~Snap; Jungle of Cuba~

Snap held out his arm and waited till Ben would tie the piece of fabric around his biceps. Claws were handy when it came to carving out pieces from a kill, or tear the bad guys a new one, but they were quite a handicap when it came to fine motor skills, like tying a knot. After the bandana was in place Snap gave out a grunt and vanished into the undergrowth. He was angry and annoyed; he was annoyed that Ben couldn’t find her, that he had to go back to those weaklings, as much more important things were at hand. But he was angry at himself. He has gone soft, relied too much at Ben’s powers to follow the girl. All those flashy telekinetics, the flying, the ‘radar’... well, they couldn’t do a damn thing.
It took him hours to find her scent again. Why didn’t he find it before, when they both came along? Maybe he wasn’t paying enough attention, and was just simply following Ben. Maybe she was masking it with her skills. No matter, he had a trail. A quite twisted trail, but a trail. Bunch of loops, trails simply stopping, ha had to go back several times and to find the branch where she really turned.
And there was the stream. Ohh, she was quite a clever one. Which direction up or down? By the sound of it there were some rapids downstream. She couldn’t climb down there in the water, so she would have to go upstream to go enough in the water to mask her trail. But one has to be sure. Two more hours passed, but Snap was now sure that she went up streams. Then there was going zigzag the whole way, checking both banks, as he couldn’t know on which side she will leave the water. It took several more hours, but finally he managed to find the scent again.
From there on it was kind of simple, probably she thought that stunt with the stream was enough to get away, or maybe she was getting tired. Anyway her scent was kind of easy to follow, for a while... then it vanished.
Snap went back, searched the surroundings. Nothing. Her trail, her scent was simply cut off, like she was vanished from existence. The sun already started to rise, when Snap realized how much a fool he was. She was right there, masking her presence, that’s why her scent simply vanished. Snap looked around with his ‘heat vision’, letting his tongue slide in and out his mouth, till he finally found her. She was still sleeping, curled up under a big bush, next to some dead wood.
Then the exhaustion hit Snap like a hammer. He just realized that he was on the move the whole night long, barely stopping to drink. And he only had a few bites of snake to eat yesterday noon. It was a very good snake, and a big one. Some scavengers probably got it by now, and it was miles away, trying to get it back or hunt something new was out of question. She would wake up in the meantime and would be gone for sure. So he simply lay down at ground a few feet from her and watched the point where she is supposed to be, sometimes checking her heat signature. He was sleep and tired, but he was not in the position to take a nap, she would vanish while he was asleep. And he simply had no heart to wake her up, besides he didn’t want to scare her. He scared her away list time. Maybe she didn’t realize that it was him, he was a monster after all. So he waited for her to wake up.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:45 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

The first sign was in his stomach. It curdled unnaturally, creeping minutely towards the ground below. Almost before he knew what he was doing, Hiram had manoeuvred the leaking corpse of his assailant under him.

And the world had righted itself.

They came down on something metal. He felt the impact smash the dead man’s chest to pulp, and somehow, between pain and adrenaline clotting up his brain, found room to hope that it was the only thing the fall had broken. The man had been wearing Kevlar, but it did little to protect his remains from caving in. It was only just enough to keep Hiram from suffering a similarly gruesome end.

Whatever had crushed his makeshift cushion offered no purchase, and he tumbled on, hitting the dirt on his back. His head sputtered between the dark behind his eyes and the morning glow hanging over the trees, the thunder of the fall echoing in his ears. It was a second or two before he remembered breath, drawing in the dusty air in slow, deliberate sips.

His lungs were unhurt, it seemed. He wasn’t sure that the same could be said for the rest of him.

Judging from the pain bunching in his shoulder, that’s where he’d come down. He’d tried to even out his body’s equilibrium somewhat, but the fall hadn’t given him much time. He had to quicker in future.

Chiding himself inwardly, he attempted to push the battered corpse off his chest, only to be met by a very firm series of complaints from his pain centre. Grunting, he instead resorted to wriggling out from underneath it.

The road around him was strewn with wreckage, both human and machine. Anyone that still drew breath was either in the same state as him or worse. The metallic bulk that he’d hit on his way down, it seemed, was the great hand of the shattered Sentinel. Even in death, it had found a way to hurt one last mutie.

Shuffling up against it, he checked his shoulder. Dislocated.

Comparatively, that was a cause for relief. The solution, while painful, was simple. Biting down on the hem of his jacket, he snapped the joint back into place. The pain bulged through his torso for a moment, stirring his guts up something fierce, before quieting, mostly.

He let his head rest, just for a little while. The Sentinel's steel skin was hardly much of a pillow, but it was better than nothing. He was tired. He’d been tired before this messy train of events had begun to unfold.

“Tag!” He shouted over the metal-smitten road, watching for signs of movement. His better hand drew his revolver from its holster, just in case. “Tag!”

She had to be out there somewhere.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:24 am

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

The fall had not caused Tag to black out, she had already been on ground level when she had killed the last mutant, it was the shockwave from the broken Sentinel crashing into the ground that did it. Not even her impeccable reflexes or hardened muscles could prepare her for the sheer force of the fifty-ton meteor's crash.

Tag's lapse of consciousness lasted longer than it should have. Even injured, Tag could always find a way to spring back to her feet whether through adrenaline or sheer survival instinct, but like a computer with a new update, rebooting took a little longer for Tag this time around.

It wasn't till Hiram started calling for her, that Tag stirred. She sat up and immediately noticed her right side was all wet, with a quick sniff Tag immediately knew it was the mutant's who she had stabbed just before. She took another breath and did a brief diagnostic of every muscle and fiber in her. Nothing more harmful than a bruise.

"Tag!" Hiram called again and Tag finally decided to respond as she stood up.

"Here." Tag said quietly. She had already figured out Hiram's exact location from his cries and staggered footsteps, but she was quickly learning that you didn't move up to a person without saying anything unless you planned on killing them.

"I'm over here." Tag said a little more clearly.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:31 am

[Undisclosed Location - Sentinel holding facility]
- Penelope's Room -

Surprisingly, the machine heeded Penny’s request, and the monitor flickered off. The visage of the man she knew as Daniels vanished, and in his place was a completely black screen with a single blue line across its center. It was easy to conclude that the blue line represented frequency, altering and moving based on the voice that spoke. In spite of this stunning new visual representation however, it still spoke in the reproduced voice of Daniels. “A peculiar question,” Master Mold remarked, in response to the mutant’s latter question. “My primary directive is to preserve humanity. The fact that you are a mutant does not change the fact that you are human. Unless you prove to be a threat to that directive, your termination is unnecessary.”

Suddenly, the black screen faded away into what looked like various documents. Upon closer inspection, Penny could see that the files all concerned her. It was like someone has opened a complete dossier of her. “Penelope Silver. Age 24. Part of an unnamed resistance movement located in Sector 15. Resistance movement currently pacified. Mutant has displayed several abilities, including abnormal strength, speed, and endurance,” it stated, reviewing brief, but unnervingly accurate details about her. “You are an unexpected variable, Penelope Silver. Never have we encountered a mutant who has exhibited the extreme physical feats you are capable of. The ability to tear a Sentinel apart solely utilizing physical strength, even if amplified, is remarkable.”

The screen of files then cut away to a video of Penny tearing apart the machines as if they were made from cheap plastic, and denting their armor like it was wet clay. Not a very flattering recording for the normally overwhelming Sentinels. The recordings stopped and were once again replaced by the frequency line. “We believe that a detailed analysis of your capabilities would be of great benefit to us, and by extension, yourself,” the machine remarked. Suddenly, Penelope felt the ground shift beneath her, as if her room itself was being moved. A small jerk and a thud later, her room was suddenly opened, and an empty hallway was presented to her. “Please proceed to the training facility.”

- John's Room -

John awoke again in a familiar setting, in the unchanging sterility of his white prison. He had been roused quite a few times since the… incident with Sanjit. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), he had not seen his teammate since then. The little trick he had pulled seemed to satisfy all of Master Mold’s curiosity of him temporarily, and he was returned to his former routine. It seemed the machines were unaware that leaving a human, especially one like John, to dwell on their thoughts was far more dangerous than it seemed. Something of a lucky break, if there was any to be found in this situation.

Suddenly, a part of the wall gave way, and a familiar monitor appeared in its place. Like before, it had taken the image of a youthful Miranda. “John Allerdyce. We require your assistance for one final test. Sentinel OX-0032’s efficiency has been brought to satisfactory standards, and need only to test this final iteration. If you would please proceed to the training facility,” Master Mold remarked, as John felt his room jerk forward, and then suddenly stop after a few seconds. The wall in front of him then opened, leading down a familiar hallway.

- Training Room -

If both mutants walked down their respective paths, they would find themselves in a large, square, and pristinely white room. John would recognize the facility as the room he had fought an altered Sanjit. Any evidence of their conflict, however, had long been removed. Beside him was his usual fuel for his power, and in the center of the room, a simple cylindrical capsule. It was large enough to fit a person in it, and it wasn’t hard for the pyrokinetic to guess what slumbered inside. Penelope, however, was dealing with a far more unfamiliar situation. She had no clear idea just what was going on, much less why she was in a room with a cylinder at its center and another human being across the room from her. Similarly, John could only guess the purpose of the girl’s presence, and whether she was really a person at all. This place had a funny way of twisting your reality.

“The test will commence in 15 seconds. Please make your preparations. You may seek to work together, or fight alone. Either will provide valuable data,” a voice spoke, distinctly inhuman and synthesized, and not the familiar false voice that either mutant would be used to.

- ????? -

Elsewhere, deeper within the dizzying array of machinery that was the facility, another mutant slumbered the closest any being could come to peacefully. While the world crumbled around him, Franklin had escaped to a better place, deep in the recesses of his own mind. He was blissfully ignorant to both his imprisonment, and how he was being used by the Sentinels for their own means. The mutant’s unusual ability to put other to sleep and induce lethargy proved invaluable in keeping the facility’s residents… tame. It was far more effective than any psychological or physical methods the machines could produce, and they needed only to move and unsuppress the mutant’s powers when necessary.

As he dreamed, others would be forced to dream with him, not knowing that they were falling into deep slumbers that lasted days, and at times, even months. The only time they were allowed to wake was when the machines allowed it. Franklin, alone, remained in his prolonged slumber. However, not all things can last forever. As the mutant dreamed of whatever paradise he had created, a strange and dark silhouette appeared before him. It seemed almost menacing in its stark contrast to the constructed world around him. But, when it spoke, it spoke in warm and soothing voice, even if unfamiliar.

“Franklin. Franklin Dempter…

“It’s time to wake up.”

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:57 pm

-?????: “A Dream Deferred”-

Franklin appeared as he did before the world as he knew it ended, younger, calmer, and for lack of a better term, happier, even if it wasn’t outwardly apparent. He sat quietly eating lunch in the institute cafeteria among friends and teammates.


John and Koren were busy having a friendly argument.


Sanjit cracked a pun that made near everyone in earshot groan. Franklin himself merely grinned and continued eating.

*munch munch*

Mickey and Kay were seated near himself, laughing, joking, and chatting about classes, homework, and their latest round of training. Franklin nodded and grunted in the appropriate places saying few words himself. It was still early and he wasn’t fully awake.

*munch munch*

Rosalie and Minerva were eating alone in their respective corners of the cafeteria. Rosalie seemed to be enjoying her silent reverie in the sun while Minerva had her nose deep into her great big book of everything, steadily turning pages as she ate in a more shaded corner.

Everything was as it ever was, normal as it ever was, happy as it ever was. Everyone was at the institute getting on with their average mutant lives as they ever had since arriving. It was… nice.

*munch munch munch*

A dark figure appeared before him, at once directly visible yet still in stark silhouette. A new student perhaps, joining them for lunch? Franklin would have paid it no mind had it not spoke to him. Its voice was strangely disarming given its appearance. Even so Franklin merely cocked an eyebrow from across the table. “But I am…” He yawned a great big yawn. “…awake.” Franklin said, his voice a mixture of confusion and indifference.

Mickey flashed a pleasant smile for the new guy waving it over to take a seat and join them for lunch, before teasing Franklin for not introducing his friend.

“But I don’t…” Franklin cut his sentence midway deciding to deal more directly with the silhouette, leaving Mickey confused. “Um… Do I know you?”

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:20 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

A long, relieved sigh rattled through Hiram’s lungs as he pulled himself up. His legs were shaking and his chest was probably one big purple bruise, but Tag was alright. And he was stronger than this. He had walked half the world. He had woven the miles into his bones and made himself something too strong for sitting and waiting.

He could have braced himself against the Sentinel, but that would have been easy. She wasn’t far anyway – by time he’d shuffled around the dismembered giant’s hand he could see her, sitting there amidst the wreckage and the death as if she had always been part of it. He envied that, sometimes. That oneness of self and surrounding. It was his estrangement from anything remotely resembling such grace that drove him to be ever stronger.

As he drew close his eyes caught the glimmer of blood on her clothes. It wasn’t hers – it only took a second to ascertain that – but it made him uncomfortable nonetheless. As he knelt to her height he felt himself pat the bloodied spot anyway, just in case.

“Good work.” Normally, he’d have left it at that, but before he knew it, today became different. “You amaze me, sometimes.”

Once again he failed entirely to smile, but he patted her head instead, in a manner he assumed comforting, or familiar.

“Come on, let’s see what we can get from this mess.”

He thought he’d seen an old military motorcycle strapped to one of the jeeps. That would make his morning a little less ruined.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:28 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Curiousity overcame maddy's feelings of distrust. They themselves weakened by her distrust of them. She wasn't used to irrational feelings, well, to be honest simply completely irrational ones. Anyway, once the fighting had ended, she'd slipped down the tree, sucking back some energy out of it, and slunk down the hill, hoping they wouldn't notice her in the recent aftermath of the fight. Once she'd gotten down the hill, she'd jogged tirelessly towards them, drawing from the reservoir of stolen energy inside her. She aged some years too, shedding and leaving her slightly childish looks behind her path for a more mature appearance, about 20 now, longer stride and more powerful muscles helped to increase her velocity towards them. It only took a few minutes for her to be within earshot. "Congragulations." She called out to them, slowing to a walk and waving, both her arms. Best to show she was un-armed at this time. "Good show my friends, good show. Spectacular to see. Watching the whole thing. I would have helped but...Well, let's be honest, that's a lie." She'd learnt not to be someone she wasn't in these times. Best to let people catch a glimpse of your true colours, if not the magnitude of them. "I'm neither that foolish or that kind-hearted." She finished as she entered, and stepped, carefully, delicately, through the battlefield.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:33 am

[ John's Room ]

Time. It passed but it had no meaning anymore. John followed the motions of waking and exercising and eating and sleeping, but at this point he could have been told that he was the machine now and it would come as no surprise. He showed no emotion, mainly because he didn't want to give the Sentinels the pleasure (if they could experience such) of studying his reactions. He'd give them the false impression that he had been placated and tamed but his mind still considered the possibilities of escape.

So far nearly every option was likely suicide. He still had no real idea where he was or the limits of the facility's security. He only had one advantage, and that was that the machines still didn't know the true extent of his powers. And they certainly had given him a lot of time to think.

Today had been different. The wall collapsed away and Miranda's voice returned. It still stung, knowing they abused her image for their obscene intentions. He refused to let that get to him anymore, though. If anything this was a good sign for a change. It was no secret they'd want to continue monitoring his abilities, and that meant he'd get to use them....

Perhaps today was they day he'd show them what they wanted to see...

[ Training Room ]

The long-haired, bearded John returned to the training room once again. This was familiar. He wondered if they were planning on having Sanjit attack again. He almost wished that was the case, because then maybe he could get both of them out of there. However there was an unexpected variable this time. A short, black-haired girl at the other end of the room. His eyes narrowed skeptically. Was she a human, a mutant, a machine? She looked young but one couldn't judge a book by their cover these days.

The voice informed them they had 15 seconds to prepare and that they could work together if they chose to do so. It didn't exactly prove that this girl was in the same boat as he was, but if that was the case then he could only wonder what her abilities were and how they could be utilized...

"I'm not here to hurt anyone so I suggest we work together.... Do you agree?" John called out to her with a voice that sounded as if it had been unused for months, gambling that she was, in fact, on his side.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:27 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Tag noticed the new threat long before it announced its presence. Debbie was in her hand, waiting and ready, but kept carefully behind Tag's back. Tag had learned just enough social skills that she didn't kill the stranger on sight, but she stood there tense and unblinking like a cat ready to spring on a mouse. The slightest sign from Hiram or of danger and she'd pounce.

The stranger spoke as she approached, arms raised, "Good show my friends, good show. Spectacular to see. Watching the whole thing. I would have helped but...Well, let's be honest, that's a lie. I'm neither that foolish or that kind-hearted."

There was something unnatural about the woman besides her speech. Tag couldn't quite put her finger on it, but something was off about the stranger. Probably mutant. Tag's muscles tightened even further.

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:28 pm

[ Kazakhstan – The Front ]

Hiram was chiding himself inwardly before he’d even turned towards the source of the voice. A second layer of thought, small and scattered, suggested that maybe the ringing in his head comprised a valid excuse for his inattentiveness, but it was quashed almost before it had formed.

The voice belonged to a slight young woman teetering upon the verge of her twenties, her enthused mannerisms seeming to displace her somewhat from the carnage strewn across the road.

That wasn’t the only thing about her that didn’t quite fit the frame of Kazakhstan’s unrelentingly austere borderlands. The dress she wore was a tidy, dark thing, unsuited to a life of wandering between roads. Her cheeks were not fallow and hungry, nor dimmed either by layers of dirt or layers of despair – she looked almost as though she had stepped out of the old world only yesterday, and certainly not like anyone known to life beyond the bounds of civilization.

She didn’t appear hostile, at least, though this did little to deter Hiram from resting a very deliberate palm atop the grip of his revolver.

“You’re not a refugee.” He said, the slate-like absence of tone in his voice doing little to indicate whether it was an accusation, a question, or simply a statement.

His eyes roamed over the twisted heaps behind her, and the hills behind those, before focusing once again upon thoroughly out-of-place young woman. It wasn’t likely that she was alone, and even less likely that she was without transportation. She showed barely a day of wear, and, provided Hiram was correct in judging her accent, was rather far from home.

Tag might have felt her hair rising as, in the air about Hiram’s shoulders, electrons began to slip ever-so-slightly out of atomic orbit.

“You can’t be alone. Where are your companions?”

Re: X-Men AoA, Issue #1: Reunion

Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:05 pm

Maddy paused, it wasn't exactly hard to see that these two weren't standing there with open arms. Understandably wary though, considering the context. She simply grinned at the man's statement, throwing the girl a wink before saying "Hmm...going to have to think about that." A finger tapped at her chin as she looked curiously at one of the fallen foes. "Let's see..The last bunch would be..." She started walking over to the body, keeping her distance diplomatically from the other pair. "About 500 miles north, 200 east, 6 foot down." She crouched and pushed him over, noting the holes in his flesh. No burn marks or anything. She starting digging into it. "Poor dears, ate some of these wild berries, which was fine, a few days later, ate these other ones, which was still fine." With a grimace, she popped out the pebble and looked at it with interest before turning her head to Hiram and Tag. "Turned out, eating them together, wasn't fine. Moaned and groaned til they died, but not from the berries. Your work?" She suddenly asked, focusing her gaze onto Tag, still grinning as she rolled the bloody rock round her fingers and thumb.
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