From the Ashes

June 18, 2015:

A strange storm forms outside of New York City late at night. Falling Stars prompt the involvement of a group of heroes, whose presence may not have been as coincidental as it seemed. They reunite with a woman who rises from an otherworldly fire and destroy the last remnants of a nihilistic death cult.

New York City

The Outskirts of New York City. A secluded woodland.


NPCs: The Last of the Dark Sisterhood



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Late Night

Outskirts, New York City

After the heat of the day, a large storm front has begun moving into the area showering the area in rain.

Thunder claps loudly in the distance as lightning strikes in frighteningly beautiful arcs that seem all too close for comfort. While the conditions for the formation of the storm may have been natural, the turn the storm had taken was clearly not a natural occurrence.

Amidst the chaos of the storm, even from the city a massive fireball can be seen descending through the clouds towards the ground; falling at high speeds towards a patch of forest outside of the city.

Whatever it was, it would impact shortly.


"Why the bloody hell did I not check the weather report," Betsy grouses at herself. The tall psychic is pulled over at the side of the road, with one tire flat and her silver Aston Martin slumped lopsidedly forward. She cranks the convertible roof into place just in time to avoid the biggest deluge, then goes to the door.


Betsy's scream of rage is lost to the winds and rain, but it sounds like she might be inventing some curses on the spot. Keys. Cellphone. /Purse/. She struggles with the door handle, trying to get it open, and then with an effort of focus, tries to unlock it from the inside. She immediately stops when she hears the rumbling squeal of metal protesting the force she exerts. "Jean's never going to stop laughing at me," she mutters. Forcing herself not to shiver as her yellow blouse slowly soaks through, she holds her arms stiffly at her side and starts walking down the road with a leggy grace, even in her high-heeled wedges, towards the gas station a half mile away.

And at that moment, she sees the fireball hit less than two miles from her.


She goes back to her car and with a stricken look, breaks the window with an elbow. She clambers in and starts sending a few text messages. …naturally. No signal.

Betsy bangs her forehead against the steering wheel, then goes to the boot to root around for a little silver suitcars she /never/ travels without having at hand.


There was a bustle of activity around the shelter. Karolina Dean never was a night person - her powers were tied to that great big ball of lovely heat in the sky. So she stirred to wakefulness slowly, pushing the sheets aside as Wilma - the woman who normally bunked above her, was staring outside and pointing. "It's another attack!" she calls out, wailing - which sets most of the other women into various states of panic or action.

For Karolina Dean, it was action. She tended to not have sleeping clothes, so she was sleeping in her top and jeans - slipping on a pair of sandals as she pulls her jacket off of a peg.

"Karolina!" one of the women says, "You can't go out there, it could be dangerous!"

Karolina Dean turns, pulls a hand through her sleep-mussy hair, and gives the woman a wink, before stepping outside. "I gotta check on someone."

Outside, she pulls the medic-alert bracelet off of her wrist, giving her hand a flick. The stored solar energy bursts to life throughout her form - surging through her hair and causing it to float, and surrounding her body with a rapidly-shifting rainbow colours. And she is off, a multicoloured comet - much smaller in magnitude - racing towards the point where the fireball was seeming like it would impact, her eyes narrowing.

Her heart feared more Majesdanians coming. She knew nothing about them as a people, but if they were anything like her parents…


Twin lights flood through the window of Betsy's car. Some may have concerns that is the gaze of some demon coming in from a misty night, a stranger with evil in their heart and mind. They're not all wrong. The vehicle in question is a large green van, a fresh dent in the hood, vehicle rumbling weakly as it comes to a stop behind Betsy's parked vehicle.

Frank leans back in his seat, listening to the placid crooning of Sinatra's Blue Moon, reaching for pills kept in the glove box. A handful is scooped out into his palm, then tossed down his mouth as he studies both the woman and the vehicle.

Finally, the door is kicked open, the metal hinge squeaking.

'You saw me standing alone, without a dream of my own, withou a lo—'

"Hey. Need a hand?"

Morien just arrived back at his penthouse after having watch at the WatchTower. He starts his nightly routine by monitoring his own systems. After looking over all of the data that pertains to his business and the local crime beat, Ozymandias decides that there is nothing that requires his immediate attention.

He is about to start removing his uniform, when his equipment picks up the fireball falling to the sky. A frustrated sigh escapes his lips and he starts to refasten his equipment, and do a quick check of his weapons. He fires his grappling hook out of the open rooftop window and begins to make his way into the night.


An owl can be heard hooting in the trees near Betsy's broken down car and Frank's van as a little squirrel peeks his head out of the underbrush to curiously observe what is happening; his whiskers twitch a little as a rain drop hits his nose.

The fireball continues to descend, smashing into a group of trees in the distance and setting a small fire which can be seen from a distance.


"She arrives." The scarred woman pulled the hood of her robe up over her face and looked towards the dozen women with her as they moved through the forest.

Another woman with hair as black as night and pupils to match sneered, "You place too much faith in this, even if we acquire it, there is no guarantee we can control it."

"It is all or nothing, the mother willed it to be as such." The scarred woman replied with a certainty as they moved towards the place the fireball had descended to Earth.


Betsy's Aston has a boot up front, as God intended. So when Frank, in a gesture that proves that God both has a sense of humor and is a /dick/, pulls up, Betsy is fortunately rather well shielded by the lid from the rain-besotted beams from his headlights.

Which is convenient, because the woman is naked and halfway into wriggling into her signature leotard. Her eyes fly wide and she glances at the oncoming lights, clearly debating the merits of diving for cover behind the car or climbing into the boot. Then Frank speaks and her eyes screw shut.

"Yes! No, I mean- I'm fine, thank you!" she calls back in cultured if panicked British tonals. She wriggles desperately into the leotard, a process the rain is complicating, and leans around so all that can be seen is her sopping wet purple-black hair and her face, the rain fortunately not affected the hydrophobic makeup Honey Lemon had given her. "It's all fine- NO STOP, DON'T COME OVER HERE!" she shouts, her angular amethyst eyes narrowing dangerously at the sight of feet swinging out of the car.


In the night, Karolina's light might be more obvious - although less so of a spectacle than the fireball.

Karolina's light ends up nearish Ozymandis - in fact, she banks his way when she sees a superhero type swinging on a grappling hook. She was trusting in her glowy personality and exterior to smooth any misunderstandings over.

"Fireballs over New York!" she calls to Ozymandis, trying to change the speed of her flight to hover nearish him as he goes along.

"You ever see anything like this before? Think it's… um…" Karolina pauses a moment. "…aliens?" she asks, her eyes going forward again as she starts to see the forest coming up. "We'll be there in a minute - are you gonna be okay using that hook in the forest?" she calls to him. "I could give you a ride!"

Big smile.


"The hell are you doing?" Frank asks, as Psylocke desperately struggles with her pantyliners. One hand, his left, slides into his coat. He is measuring the clues that he has, which include a culmination of things that go has already made him regret this act of kindness. He doesn't draw out a gun which is more a blessing for him than anything. It's a flashlight instead, which he shines in at the car and the woman as she peeks out the side of the car. That, considering context clues so far, frightens Psylocke a whole helluva lot more than his Glock 40 hidden beneath his coat.

The light flickers to the window she busted through, back to her face, and he starts to walk forward despite her obvious wishes. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. His gaze is pulled up, past the car and his suspicious new aquaintance, to where a fireball arcs through the sky.


There is a flicker of light. It's closed, small, as if it were held in the palm of one's hand. No, between two hands. It's a cigarette lighter, and someone in the shadows is lighting a smoke.

Gambit is just out of the rain, on a terrace, looking down, enjoying the view. His trench coat is getting wet, but the rest of him is dry enough. The end lights up as he inhales, drawing in the oxygen through the filter. He holds it for a moment, savouring the sweet taste that only a smoker can know, and he slowly exhales, his smoke forming an 'X' as he moves his lips and cheeks just so.

Silently, he comments, "it was good for me too, chere." Another puff. He's been trying to cut back, to quit, and this is how he's decided to do it. Instead of finishing it, he just flicks it into the rain, the end going dark, and he pushes up off the railing, leaping down, and lands on the pavement. "Everyone can relax. Gambit has arrived."

When he hears Karolina's voice, he shakes his head in response. "Well, not exactly fireballs. There has been weird stuff in the sky, but normally there is some sort of obelisks that has appeared before any disturbances in the sky. He swings towards another rooftop and runs across it and fires off his grappling hook, "I was planning on traveling more on foot once I got to the forest, but I will not refuse a ride. As he prepares for a lift, Ozymandias smirks behind mask, "I promise I will not sting you either.

Above you, several more shooting stars break through the clouds, impacting with the forest near the road; causing the supernatural conflagration from the primary impact to spread despite the rain that was beating down upon it.

Even from this distance, you can feel the impacts shake the ground.

Unfortunately, with cell phone service out it would be unlikely emergency services would be responding. The only people who likely cared were the few astronomers scanning the night skies.

As Karolina and Ozymandias fly over the forest, they see one of the fiery orbs strike the ground not far from Frank and Betsy; incidentally this is not far from the isolated home that Gambit had recently exited.


Thank god for relatively deserted outskirt roads. Also, superhuman speed and ninja balance. One can, literally, put on their thigh-high boots both feet at the same time. Just as Frank looks away, Betsy slams the car lid shut, standing with a hand resting on one hip, weight cocked out over her foot and a red sash dangling wet around her left leg. Near-shoulder length opera gloves protect her arms, only her hips and shoulders exposed to the elements. A dark-steel katana, held zatoichi- reverse-grip- in her left hand, gleams sullenly in Frank's car lights, tucked in a traditional resting grip against her back.

"You colonials are /unutterably/ rude, betimes," Betsy sniffs. "I wasn't decent. Thank you so much for asking permission to approach, though. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to find out what is creating that awful din."

Dismissing Frank, she turns to the woods and takes a step, preparing to break into a jogging run-

-and then gasps and staggers, then falls to her knees and then one hip, head almost on the pavement and fingers digging into her head in incredible agony. "Oh god… m-my head," she gasps, writhing. "They're… all dead, they're…" she shudders, teeth grit into a rictus of pain… and yet an expression of dumbfounded awe, shock, and terror there, too. "Oh god. No. It can't… it can't be back…"

"Ph… Phoenix…" she whispers, hoarsely.


The 'ride' that Karolina offers was maybe a little tricky - she extends a sort of force field platform that he could crouch or hang on or off of however looked the coolest or just however he wanted. But the flight to the impact site wouldn't take that much longer. Narrowing her eyes and crinkling her nose at Ozymandis' explanation, Karolina sets her jaw a bit. "Obelisks?"

Eyes glance up towards the clouds - at least, until he makes mention of the scorpion and the frog.

Karolina didn't quite get the reference, but she got the context, giving him a wry grin. "Well, I'd hope you wouldn't - or I'd have to blast you," she says. Lifting her chin though, as she sees that last mentioned orb strike earth, she says, "Let's go that way, if you don't mind," banking that way if he was still with her. Betsy, Frank, and Gambit - as the figures drew near, were each given a discerning glance. Not that the rainbow Karolina could possibly hide in the night sky. Maybe she would even be mistaken for a fireball too!


Frank takes his lecture with a deepening scowl. "You look ridiculous." There's several matters to resolve, one of them happens to be that the fire is still falling from the sky. His eyes widen, pupils narrowing to dots as mental calculations are made in a heartbeat. Danger Close, and he turns to extend a hand toward the Ninja Pyschic. Too late. Her natural sensitivity to senses he doesn't even know exist robs her of strength and he watches as she collapses just as the ball of fire comes to its final descent. He comes out from behind the car, head low and legs pumping to the side of the woman. "Up!" He wastes no time in letting her do so under her own power, instead grabbing at her arm and pulling so hard that she'll show bruises tomorrow…. but bruises seem better than risking being struck by loose debris from falling stars.


"Yes, Obelisks have been appearing in different areas of the world. There was one in Moscow that caused problems recently." Ozymandias decides not to elaborate on the problem, because he would have to explain parademons and all the other craziness that was there in the battle. Ozymandias watches the fireballs falling from the sky, "This does not seem to be the same thing, bur I will probably let the Justice League Avengers know what is going on just in case."

When they arrive near the site, Ozymandias jumps from the platform, and performs a triple flip as he lands on the ground. He begins to do a quick scan of his sorroundings.


Now what would Gambit be doing in the middle of nowhere? The cabin was stories tall, with a nice balcony, but there were no lights on in there, no activity to speak of, and no cars parked outside it. But still, there must have been a reason.

And a reason there was. Nestled inside his jacket pocket, there was a pen. Yes, a simple, ordinary pen. But this one was a historical artefact. It was used to sign some document or other, and thus, was worth money. Gambit didn't need it. But it was the prized possession of its former owner. He planned to use it as a bargaining chip to get something else he wanted.

But as far as Frankie, Betsy, and anyone else around are concerned, Gambit just jumped off of a second floor balcony. "She look okay to me," he says to the Punisher. He might have said 'look who's talking', but the fewer references to that film, the better.

But then it begins, the rain isn't the only thing hurdling down towards the Earth, and he dodges, leaping to the side. Without even thinking, he reaches for his staff, giving it a good shake and extending it to its full length. He uses it to leap out of danger, "what going on here?"

Hidden in the shadows of the trees, the group of dark robed women remain on the other side of the road; watching and waiting. Someone always on the alert like Frank Castle might even catch a glimpse of them moving through the bushes, little more than shadows cloaked with psionic emanations.

The shooting star that had fallen near the group consumes the trees nearest it before the flames begin to subside slowly, flickering away with an otherworldly light.

Emerging from within the center of the dissipating fires having been cocooned within was a young woman with pale skin and red hair. Despite the fact that everything around her was blackened and charred, she remained untouched; rising from the ashes around her.

Rising to stand, she begins to move towards the group assembled near Betsy's broken down car. A hand raises to her forehead and she asks of those present, "What year is it?"

The Phoenix was a cruel mistress.

Gambit and Psylocke would recognize that Rachel was no longer a teenager as she had been months ago when they had last seen her.



"Rachel!" Betsy says, shaking off her stunned reverie as she reclaims her psyche from that terrible yawning chasm she'd stumbled into. Her wedge heels skitter and kick as she gains traction, and she starts running- then sprinting- and then she's moving faster than any human has a right to, prticularly in wedge heels.

"RACHEL!!" Betsy screams, fear and joy and elation all at once crossing her face. Purple psionic energy coils around her hands and trails across her body, and her face- for a brief moment- is outlined in a field of amethyst power that vaguely resembles a butterfly around her face. She stops running and for one rare moment, /flies/ at Rachel, skimming off the ground and aiming to catch the staggered redhead in her arms, before immediately slamming the most powerful psychic shield she can create into existence around them.


Karolina Dean might have to ask the man later what he meant by obelisks appearing everywhere. Coming to a landing site nearish the group, Karolina lifts her hands up, a forcefield shimmering into being around her front, between herself and the new arrival. Even if… well, Psylocke seemed happy to see her.

The Runaway glances towards Frank Castle, and gives the man an awkward little grin.

Gambit was glanced at as well, but only due to the… moodiness of his appearance. The trenchcoat, the scent of cigarettes, the litheness and the weapon he held. Her eyes widen a bit at that, but her attention was mostly stolen by Rachel.

"This… look anything like you are used to?" she asks the man, somewhat hesitantly. It seemed they were in new territory now. The shield snapping up around the pair seemed odd, and 'lina glances towards the others. "It's… 2015. Are you… from space?" she asks Rachel.

Frank looks up at the arrival of Lina and Ozymandius, a strange night that continues to throw strange things at him. He does not dare to hold onto the british ninja's arm, flashlight flickering from Gambit to Rachel, and then past them to the silhouettes that of hooded cultist. "God dammit. All because I stopped to help." He finally draws his sidearm, securing both his weapon and his light with a harrier grip, left hand brought under his right wrist and shining his flashlight in the direction of the cultist. "Somebody. Anybody. Cliffnotes."

He takes a step forward, planting his hip against the side of Psylocke's car, to shield himself from the approaching hooded magi(?). If Karolina was going to shoot him with anything but a smile, she'd have done it by now.


" Merde!" Remy explains, surprised to see Rachel Summers. He wasn't very close to her before her disappearance, but he did know the girl, lived on the same property as she did, fought alongside her. And then she just vanished. But that surprise is a fleeting emotion. Before long, he's looking her over, noting things. Like how she's changed. She seems to have aged since he last saw her, and not by the passage of time.

Moving forward, he gives his staff a shake, and it retracts with a brief, barely noticeable sound. He quietly places it in a pocket on his trench coat. His footsteps are light, barely leaving an indent in the Earth. Long ago, he learned to move silently, and regardless of the terrain, he continues to do so. It's all the more impressive that he manages that in those weird technological boots of his.

Extending a hand as Betsy embraces the girl, he says, "good to see you again, chere. Jus' couldn't stay away from Remy, no?"


Continues looking through the woods at the different shadows that seem to appear and disappear in the moonlight. Ozymandias switches to thermal vision to look at the different shadows that are hiding in the darkness, but their psychic emanations again block their figures from being revealed. The lack of heat from a shadow that is moving would be easily enough to be discovered as a threat with someone who was not gifted with mystically enhanced intuition, so for Ozymandias he is quickly moving to isolate the threat.

Ozymandias turns to Rachel and Elizabeth, "It seems that you are getting we acquainted, but could you hold off on that. Right now, there is something here in the shadows. Ozymandias eyes where Punisher is pointed at and throws a knock out gas bomb at the shadow he is pointed at.


Bobby had been driving by when he saw the fireball descending. It had taken him some time to get from the road to where he saw the thing come down. He likely looks… just a little bit silly. His clothes are light for the weather (because he doesn't get cold) and he doesn't have any kind of light (because he can see thermals) so its a not horribly impressive looking ice nerd that finally finds them. "Hey! Hello? Psylocke? Gambit?" He's not sure if they're here on mission so… "Woah, okay, who else is… wait… Rachel?"


Rachel could hardly believe her good fortune at those who had been in the area when she arrived. She hadn't known when or where she would arrive, but it was good to be back home; she could only hope she had not been brought back here for a reason

The greeting from Psylocke nearly has her knocked off of her feet and she embraces the other woman tightly, "Betsy!" Strangely enough, the difference in appearance didn't surprise her one bit; maybe she knew it was going to happen.

"Remy. Bobby. It's been a long time."

The Psychic Shield that Psylocke had erected would prove to be useful as the attack began without warning the moment Ozymandias threw his knockout gas bomb; which is flung back in the direction of him telekinetically by one of the robed women.

Rachel's greetings are cut short as electrical energy is harnessed by a malicious force and re-directed into lightning strikes that impact the ground near the group.

There was no more sense in hiding in the shadows, the attack had begun.

From across the road, a dozen women wearing dark robes with hoods obscuring their faces reveal themselves; no longer taking the form of shadows.

The X-Men would recognize them as The Dark Sisterhood.

They were the last of their kind, on a final desperate mission to save their own future. Little did they know, the future they hoped to save; no longer existed.

The woman with the scarred face stepped forward and declared, "Every man has his day to die, walk away and this day does not have to be yours. We only want the girl." Her eyes are fixated on Rachel, making it clear what she wants.

Despite the attempt at 'Parlay', there is no respite or pause given.

Six of the robed women open fire on the group of you with small automatic weaponry; MP5s and Uzis for the most part.

One woman charges towards the group with claws sprouting from her arms, her mouth open wide and filled with teeth. Another woman joins the charge with her, her skin hardening into a spikey surface before she begins to fire thorns like a porcupine towards the group.

Three of the women hold back, concentrating together in some kind of circle; a portal of unstable energy beginning to open above them.


"Not the time, Remy," Betsy snaps, throwing Rachel behind her with a protective fierceness as the women attack. Too much- too many people- too many-

~Linking in,~ Betsy says in everyone's mind at once, at the speed of thought. Images flash through everyone's brain, all the participants of their arrival suddenly aware of everyone else's position. It's a bit unnerving, but the sort of thing Psylocke is an expert at.

~Bobby, give us some fog for cover. You two~- her words flash images of Karolina and Ozymandias- ~assist us by flanking their shooters, or clear the area. You,~ her thoughts focus towards Frank- ~get those machine guns out of your trunk. We need suppressing fire immediately on those shooters.~

~Remy, see if you can take down the chargers. Don't hold back. Rachel, I'm helping Remy- keep your shields up and don't let them in. I'm going after the trio,~ Betsy projects, already moving forward with another explosion of motion, vaulting over the nearest attacker to go after the three women summoning that storm of power. All of it happens in less than a second as Psylocke brings order to the battlefield.


Well. Karolina knew vaguely of the phoenix force. Just… vaguely of a galaxy-destroying entity. But to see Psylocke go from screaming to hugging - well, maybe she misheard. What was a more real and present danger was the Punisher. Not that she could tell enough about him just from Frank's look to connect him to the Punisher…

But the presence and energy of the man was intimidating.

So it takes a second for her to realize just what he - and Ozymandis - were saying. Ozymandis seemed friendly enough. So Karolina keeps that shield up between herself and the cultists? And maybe, just maybe, she had an edge against Frank as well.

"You ever have that dream where you get all dressed up, and go to a wedding - and you end up at the wrong one? No? Just me?"

Then the world goes to pieces.

A bullet snaps off of Karolina's shield, and her eyes go a bit wide and wild, the woman stretching a hand out, and providing a bit of cover - if the car wasn't enough - in the form of a force field for Frank.

"Hey… uh… you!" she shouts towards Ozymandis, her alien mind still reeling from the psychic assault of Betsy. "Are you okay?" It was a lame question - but the man seemed like he could take care of himself.


Frank clenches his jaw, pushing off the car with his left leg, and circling toward his van as fast as he can. Why? Simple. The cannister of some unknown substance was flung and then redirected back into his direction, and damned if he is going to suffer whatever toxin it'll releases into the air. Karolina's forcefield saves him from taking a bullet in the back as he flings open the backdoor of his van and leaps inside. Bullets whizz through the air, sparking off the cars and splintering against strange forcefields but they no longer concern him.

Frank throws his weight into the front seat, his face visible just briefly before he pulls hard on something in the dash, and metal shutters CHUNK downwards. What's this? Disobeying a direct order from his superior, Sergeant Thigh-Highs? Well, it has been many years since he was a marine. Initial impression suggest he is fleeing the scene with squealing tires, leaving the collected metas to their own problems.

Not the case at all. All he has on hand as far as weapons go is a broken AK-47, his Glock 40, and a Remington concealed in the backrest of the passenger seat. His cover fire is more like a cover van, as he slams on the gas and hauls ass like a lumbering tank, his grill aimed right at the collected gun(wo)men.

Remy LeBeau's mind is quite dark, as if there were some kind of psychic barrier, allowing him to keep his thoughts to himself. It has been theorised that the static has something to do with his powers, but it's not conclusive. No matter, when he does wish to transmit his thoughts across the link Betsy had established, it works well enough. But it might come as a surprise that he chose to transmit . o ( I like a woman who enjoys pullin' rank )

As instructed, he heads towards the chargers, a deck of playing cards in one hand, and his staff in the other. He manages to spit some cards out, charged with pinkish-purple kinetic energy, as if they were being fired by compressed air. He charges the end of his staff to give it more force when he goes for the gut of the spiky skinned one, "Gambit not dat kind of guy, he don't go all de way on the first date."

But then he has to worry about his 'ally'. With friends like the Punisher, who needs enemies. He dives out of the way of that tank, "hey, watch de road!" he calls out, even though there really isn't much of road to speak of.


When the knockout gas comes back at him, he quickly catches it and cups it in his hands to force the gas towards him. The gas swirls around his head and quickly dissipates. There is a slight smirk behind his mask because he knows he doesn't breathe, but the smirk quickly disappears when someone enters his mind.

"Out of my head, please."

Ozymandias furrows his brow, "I do not wish for any part of my mind, body, or soul to be touched without my permission!" Ozymandias pulls out his Zulu style shield and his assegai. He turns to Karolina and answers her question in a causal manner, "Of course, I am Ozymandias.

He quickly looks over the battle scene and brings his titanium shield in front of him and lets out a war cry. He superspeeds towards the group with his shield in front of him to quickly knocked down anyone that gets in his path.


Bobby's a bit more used to telepathic intrusion. No fog, sorry, unless you brought a Magma with you. She was a lot of fun to work with. If you need cover though… The ice nerd's first instinct was to raise barriers to shield himself from gunfire. Little halfdomes of ice. He adds to these, making them appear elsewhere for the benefit of others…

I can give you a bit of weather though. Hail. It very abruptly starts hailing over the gun toting sisters. Big hail. Like, baseball sized.


"~Got it Betsy.~" Rachel's psychic response to her friend and comrade is almost immediate and the psychic shields around the group are reinforced; preventing any intrusions from the attackers.

As Rachel uses her telekinesis to change the trajectory of bullets heading towards her allies; ethereal flames begin to surround her entire body. Thanks to Karolina's energy shield the rest of the bullets from the shooters are harmlessly deflected.

The gunwomen open fire on Frank's van peppering it with bullet holes as he drives towards them, two of them manage to jump out of the way in time but the other four are hit by the grill of the van or run over as they trip in a grisly fashion.

A few of the corpses twitch, but there was little life left in them.

The remaining two gunwomen continue to fire on the van with Frank still inside even as the hail rains down upon them from Bobby. Unfortunately for one of them, she finds herself in the path of Ozymandias and is knocked aside easily.

Spikey, the porcupine quilled woman engages Gambit in combat; staggering as a few of the cards thrown by the man impact her mid-air. Despite this she continues on to fight and when the staff is aimed towards her cut she grabs it and pulls Gambit towards her, screaming loudly at him and sending a cloud of noxious gas directly towards his face. He could see her sharpened teeth, capped with metal; she was a cannibal of some kind.

Klaw, the other mutant woman rushed towards Bobby using her mutant claws to shred the ice barrier and attempt to impale him in the gut.

As Betsy moves to attack the trio of women summoning the portal, the scarred face woman; Skar moves to intercept her. From within her robes she draws a long curved blade and beckons for Psylocke to attack her, "I'll make it quick, Sergeant Thigh Highs." Clearly she was a powerful psychic to be listening in on shielded thoughts like that.


Betsy screams and launches through the air, landing squarely on the blade with a choked gasp. Blood squits, and the kunoichi goes limp, falling to the ground.

So it comes as a moment of surprise to probably everyone, then, when thirty inches of steel rips through one of the witches' breastbones from behind. She flails, silently, and her friend turns to her just in time to catch a silvered blade across her throat, laying her neck open to her spine. The body on the ground shimmers and vanishes, and the witch, startled, whirls around, just in time for Betsy to slam her fist- coalescing with amethyst energy- into her chin, up into her brain.

"The next… person… who makes a joke about my fashion taste… is going to regret being born." The witch screams, loudly, shrilly, voice carrying. It's a symphony of horror and unending agony as Betsy /doesn't let her die/. She screams over and over, clawing and flailing uselessly as Betsy burns her brain into ash from the inside out, smoke slithering from her eyes and ears and nose, eyes melting.

The blade vanishes and Betsy turns on the rest of the battlefield katana in one hand, psi-knife glittering on the other, and looking like a Fury made manifest, all tension and rage. She's about as sexy as a coiled snake.

~WHO IS NEXT?!~ Betsy screams psychically, the noiseless fury as explosive as a gunshot in any unprotected person's mind.


When the whole thing turns into a gun battle to the death in a heartbeat, Karolina Dean looks like she was on the verge of being overwhelmed, the Majesdanian (who still felt like an Earthling), not quite ready to counter violence with violence. So what she was doing was flinging up force fields where she can.

Stomping her foot at the earth, a forcefield erects in front of her, the little pings of bullets like someone throwing popcorn kernals at the back of her brain.

It felt weird, but not necessarily painful. Not yet.

Karolina's mind was a mixture of fright and a certain… well. She had been in situations like this before. She just never quite found that edge on how to handle them. It might be obvious to someone who was in her mind that… well, she wasn't quite human in the way she structured her thoughts, either. It might be a little hard to read her, a little weird, like reading a book upside down, perhaps.

Cringing to herself as she sees the van strike the gunwomen, Karolina's eyes flickering elsewhere. She couldn't focus on that right now. So Karolina focused - Ozymandis and Frank - as far as she could tell, they were using real guns and normal weapons and not fantastic powers. And she was used to working with 'normal' kids. So she would serve as an overwatch of sorts - bringing up shields or whatever to deflect fire where necessary away from them.

The psychic shockwave to her brain threatened to cause her to lose focus a moment, her eyes flickering towards Betsy briefly.


Bump. Bump. Bump. Crunch. Squeaaaaaal. Shrieking. Frank drinks it in like a man possessed, more comfortable in the midst of violent chaos of cultist and viscera than he was pulling off the side of the road to ask if Betsy needed a tire changed. He plucks up his shotgun from beneath the chair, sliding over the console to the back of the van. On the slow march to the back door he sees Ozymandius zip past and collide with bone breaking force with one woman, and pulls on a gas mask. The infamous white skull on black that was missing now stands like a grim visage of death on his face.

He kicks open the back door just as the last gunmen turns toward him to let out a volley that sparks and bounces off one of Karolina's timely forcefield. He pumps the shotgun, levels it, and his return blast is widespread pellet that tears through robe and skin as he hops down from the van and onto the grass. The radio was unfortunately jarred in his theatrics.

'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood….'


The cloud of noxious gas cannot be a good thing, and Gambit knows better than to waste breathes making witty comments about her need for a breath mint. Instead, he retracts the staff, hoping to catch her off balance. He drops down into a crouch, rolling over, and then doing a back flip to his feet, before he sends a boot flying towards the back of Spikey's knee. He fights to win. He fights dirty.

But knowing a little bit more about her powers, he decides some distance would be beneficial, so he moves, throwing a few more charged cards, but backs away, creating distance. He can throw his cards at her from afar. Too bad they don't seem to be having much effect on her. Well… there are rocks, so he kicks up, scuffing one of his boots, plucks a large rock out of the air, charges it, and hurls it at her, creating a large explosive, "you got to learn chere, dat no means no."


Bobby starts to move. Since none of the gunwomen are aiming at him he has a chance to break cover and look for an opportunity. Or he did until… "Ack!" Yep. There's a woman with claws. Bobby quickly is covered in ice but she does manage to stick those claws right in his gut.

The Ice Nerd lets out a pained cry and spits up blood. He grabs the womans arm… which starts to coat with ice. As do her feet. He's going to put her in an ice cube rather shortly.


Quickly looks at the remaining villains still standing, he recalls stories of a group of females that fit that were very similar to the females that he was now facing. He quickly pushes this thought back out of his mind as he looks at the remaining villains.

Ozymandias sees Ice Man who helped save him, when he was in his alter ego, from attack from THe Hand, and decides to go to his aid. When Ice-Man begins to freeze the woman, he just raises his arms in a shrug. He goes to scan the battlefield again when he again hears someone in his thoughts. "Really! "


Psylocke was impressive, but the Scarred-Woman also had her own tricks; abilities she had learned or absorbed over a lifetime of trying to complete her own mission. She had once been young and beautiful like Karolina, vibrant and filled with vigor like Betsy and held the same convictions and determination within her that Rachel did.

The woman that Betsy had killed is revealed to be one of the women who had been opening the Portal, the scarred face woman standing from amongst the group; she had body swapped.

She would not be an easy opponent, not one that could be dispatched by a single individual. Reaching out towards her two remaining comrades, she grabs their skulls and begins to absorb their life essence.

The scars disappeared and her age relinquished itself into youth and beauty, power crackled at her finger-tips and she smiled at Betsy.

"I hope you know what you've done. You aided her, you destroyed the future. The past was never supposed to be altered. I may have failed, but I won't leave this life without taking yours."

The formerly scarred-faced woman, now a vibrant young blonde beauty smiled before unleashing a devastating psychic assault upon everyone that momentarily causes your ears to begin ringing and your mind to feel like it's melting.

It may have been truly crippling if not for the intervention of Rachel, focussing all of her own power on countering the other woman, "Do it! I can't hold her off forever." The psychic assault ceases as Rachel does all she can to hold it back, dropping to one knee as she does so; looking like she might collapse.

The portal continued to form above the woman, a curved blade in her hand once more as she charged towards Betsy with focus and nerves of steel.

Frank and his shotgun make short work of the remaining cultist with her submachine gun, the pellets impacting all over her body and sending her falling to the ground with a dying scream before she goes silent.

The explosive force from Gambit's cards and explosive rock knocks the Spikey woman backwards into the shotgun blasts from the Punisher, gravely wounding her. Despite this, even as greenish blood leaks from her wounds she desperately tries to fight on, clawing and biting in Punisher's direction.

As Bobby begins to freeze Klaw, she does the unthinkable.

She stops him from freezing her by slicing off her own arm where Bobby is freezing her and takes one final slash at the man despite her condition. Ozymandias was luckily in a position to intervene, but it would likely not be a peaceful intervention if he was to stop her from hitting the wounded ice nerd!


Betsy is a powerful psychic. A remarkable telepath. A stunning model, and a pretty good dancer. She doesn't cook, though- but one thing she is /very/ good at is swordplay.

So she fights fire with fire. Instead of dancing backwards, she lunges forward. No psychic ghosting. No tricks. Just steel and speed. She moves towards the blade and snaps the zatoichi blade around as if to parry. She misses. The dagger moves towards her beautiful, composed features, and misses her by a few scant inches.

All part of the plan. The ninja's other hand snaps around, another blade- one of pure psionic power- snapping into existence. It passes into and through the witch at her hip level, devastating her nervous system, shorting it, paralyzing her from the waist down. Betsy keeps moving, hair twirling. The reverse katana snaps up, taking the woman's stabbing arm at the shoulder.

She hooks the blade up, down, raking the back of it to pin the witch's arm to the side, and with a perfect (ironically named) phoenix eye, hits her precisely at the join of skull and spine, snapping it firmly in half to the point where the spinal column juts sideways through the skin.

All in a flowing, single motion that takes less than a second.


The rather… brutal way some of these poor women were being killed was causing Karolina's rainbow complexion to favor blues and greens more than brighter colours. Smile falling, she gives her head a shake. But she tries to remain focused - not that she really needed shields anymore. The witches were dying by the droves.


Frank sets his feet, lifting the shotgun, and puts three blast into spiky. It's not enough. He pumps one last time, but then the psychic scream hits him, and he slams his back against the van to keep himself from falling to his knees. So distracted is he that he is unable to do anything but bring his weapon across and hold off the monstrous shapeshifter. His lenses reflect her razor sharp teeth as she bites repeatly inches away from his face. Unfortunately, keeping her teeth off his throat means that her claws rend through his leather coat, ripping open a round on his right shoulder and chest.


A combination of enhanced reflexes, superspeed, and muscle memory developed over almost thousands of years of battle allows him to catch the arm of the swinging at Iceman. He quickly traps the arm, while bringing his other arm around back of her neck to form a standing arm and triangle choke. He sings softly in her ear an ancient Kushite lullaby.

Iceman's previous attacks that froze her foot prevents her from maneuvering from his grasp. Ozymandias looks over at Ice-Man and asks him, "Are you going to be all right? He continues to hold the woman in the choke until he sure she is of no threat.


Ozymandias' intervention prevents Iceman from having to follow up with anything. Which is good because it means that he can concentrate on removing the claws from this gut. He's bleeding, obviously. "Ow… probably…" He… looks about and… ugh… okay. THere doesn't seem to be much to form a compress with. Ow…


Ozymandias succeeds in putting down the woman who had been assaulting Bobby as she falls unconscious but not quite dropping due to her frozen legs.

Frank may have been wounded but his attacker quickly had the life fading from her eyes after so many shotgun blasts and the clawing became ineffectual as she slumped down at his feet in a final weakened death throe.

The Leader of the Dark Sisterhood was silent as her life was ended by Psylocke. She felt nothing. Even her failure was no longer a concern. History would forget them.

Like Rachel, they were paradoxes, the last vestiges of a future that no longer existed and now they were no more; even their bodies slowly begin to disintegrate into ash, blowing away into the sands of time.

The storm that had begun earlier ceased and the clouds parted, allowing the moon to illuminate the area as peace settled over things once more.

Rising from the ground, Rachel used Karolina to help stand before smiling, "I think it's over."


Betsy starts running towards Bobby, immediately- Frank's in pain, but Bobby's risking a bad gut wound. She flicks blood from the katana with a snap of her wrist and tucks it into the sheath on her back. "I'm here, Bobby, relax," Betsy says, shooting past Ozymandias to grab the Iceman, supporting him with hands under his arm and against his chest. "Go check on the other one," she tells the other hero, looking from Ozymandias to Frank, then craning her neck to look at Bobby. She settles into a kneeling position, cradling Bobby's neck in one hand until he's laying down, her weight settling onto her heels.

"Just breathe very shallowly. You took a very bad hit." Her fingers walk up and down his chest and neck with firm, jabbing prods, manipulating his chi lines and applying accupressure to reduce the pain. Her reunion with Rachel is put on hold while she tends to Bobby's wounds. "I can't fix this. Can… if I show you where you're injured, can you chill the blood- freeze it?" she asks him. "That would stop the bleeding much more quickly than a compress."


Frank pulls the gas mask off, reaching up to press fingers to his shoulder and bringing them back red. He scowls, jaw jutting forward as he pushes off the van, kicking the shapeshifter aside so it can disintegrate somewhere that isn't off him. He pulls open the back doors once more and tosses his shotgun and mask in ahead of him. He doesn't say a word to his impromptu allies or the strange girl who came from the sky. He just slams shut the doors, limps to the driver seat, and turns the key. Once, and the van rumbles before falling silent. Then again before it'll turn over, lights flickering back on. He puts the van into reverse, and with a bump, bump, bump over the bodies of the dead Sisters, he rumbles off back toward the road.


"Not the… bleeding I'm worried about." Bobby's stab wound is starting to heal even as Betsy eases him back. He coughs up more blood. Which is cold. Half frozen. As he lays there the wounds start filling up with ice.


"Rachel," Betsy says quickly, trying to keep the worry out of her tone. "He's… I don't know what he's doing. Get over here and help me link in."


"Interesting, they dissolve like The Hand, but their remains are closer to ash than dust." Ozymandias kneels down at the ground and touches the ground. "What other one? There was someone else here?" There is a slight smirk behind his mask as Punisher's van leaves the scene. Ozymandias knows all about the culture of the street, so he doesn't have to guess the identity of the person that was here. He might agree with the Punisher's methods, but he sure that the powers that be behind the Justice League Avengers do not. "I think that mental stuff is causing me some problems. He doesn't even turn his head, when Frank's van rolls over the disintegrating bodies. Yeah, I should be fine in a few moments."


Despite her exertion Rachel moves away from the sparkly rainbow girl (Karolina) and kneels down by Bobby, smiling at the ice nerd as she takes his hand, "I really wanted to ask how your arm was doing, but I see you've got bigger problems right now."

If Bobby lets her she reaches into his mind and begins to numb his pain receptors, so he wouldn't feel the pain. She may have been skilled, but medicine was not among her fields of expertise.

Looking with worry at Psylocke, she says, "I think he might be going into shock."

The Punisher's departure does not seem to be a surprise to her and she gestures Ozymandias closer, asking, "Any way you can help?"


Bobby grunts in pain and takes another breath. "Not doing so hot." Which might be something of a pun the way he says it. Might be indeed, yes. "I'll be okay…" Bleeding's stopped already. The wounds are entirely filled with ice though and Bobby doesn't exactly seem happy about that.


Ozymandias looks into his pouch and frowns as he kneels down and looks at Bobby's wounds. He peers over at Psylocke and says, "Any of you guys have the ability to do anything with heat? I can take one of my bombs apart and pour something into the wound, but it is going to hurt like hell." Ozymandias says, "Option 2 is that I put my plasma blast on a low setting. It will cauterize the wound, clear the ice, but he will need someone to do an ultrasound for any internal injuries, and again it is going to hurt like hell. Ozymandias looks back at each member of the group. "I don't any herbal remedy will really help in this situation.


Betsy watches what Rachel does there with interest. That's an application of technique she'd never tried, before. Jean's the subtle one. Betsy's more the 'reprogram your brain' one.

"Okay, he seems stable. C'mon, let's.. oh bugger me, my Aston has a blown tire," she groans.

She looks to Ozymandias, and shakes her head at his offer. "He does, after a fashion, but he can only reduce it. Honestly at this point, you might do more harm than good if you heated his ice up." She looks to Rachel. "I'm going to have to call your mother, darling. I don't know who's on call tonight, but we've got to get a medical team here, and my cell phone isn't working. Remy," she says, looking to the Cajun. "Lend your jacket and help keep pressure if the wounds start bleeding. I need to try and talk to Jean and I need some focus to reach to Westchester from here."

She inhales deeply, eyes closing, and exhales in a slow breath through pursed lips, a faint butterfly aura around her head until she starts sending a singing, psychic message to a woman over a hundred miles away.

"Well, I can call the Justice League Avengers, and Shield will be able to send a medical team here very quickly, but I was thinking that perhaps you probably wanted to keep this situation on the down low. Ozymandias say, "If I am wrong, let me know?


Rachel winks at Betsy, "It will take someone just as long to get to us, as it will to get to them. Did you ever want a flying car Betsy? My dad has one." Or at least, Scott did last time she was around thanks to Mike Drakos; the mutant known as Metal.

She shakes her head to Ozymandias, "I think we'll be fine. Won't we Iceman?"

She begins to help him up and says to Betsy, "Help me get him in the car, he's heavy. I'll use my TK to fly all of us home."


A place she could not wait to see.


"Yeah… look, guys it's not that serious. Well okay it is, but not in the way you think…" Bobby actually… sits up and takes off his bloody shirt. There are several wounds visible on him. Gunshot wound in his left shoulder. A place where an energy blast hit his chest. A groove on the right side where a laser grazed him. And a pair of stab wounds in his gut. All are filled with ice. "So… uh, I have a problem but… not htat problem."

"Jesus Christ Bobby." Rachel couldn't help herself when she saw the wounds. When she last saw him, it had only been a single wound on his arm; now she could hardly believe what she was seeing.

Her expression grew solemn before she let Bobby go, she knew him enough to know that he could take care of himself if he said he could.

"You've made no progress on fixing the problem I take it?" Rachel bit her lower lip before walking over to her point of arrival picking up an inconspicuous looking bag filled with her belongings; at least the Phoenix had sent those with her.


Betsy looks to Bobby, levitating him effortlessly. "Come along, then- let's get to the Aston. I'll keep you stable, Bobby," she assures him. "Rachel will get us there in no time. I'll even ask Kurt to make cookies, hmm? Stay with us, darling," she says, trying to keep the worry from her voice. She moves briskly across the field into the woods and towards the silver Aston Martin, easing him into the convertible's small back seat, and then climbing into the passenger side to keep an eye on him and offer what aid she can while Rachel flies them home.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License