Sins of the Future #01: Reflection

February 23, 2015:

The X-Men Red Team as well as a student from the Institute help the NYPD investigate a grisly murder, drawing them into a vast conspiracy far bigger than any of them. (Emits by Rachel)

//New York City -- Queens//

An older neighborhood, with two-story homes built when they had decent sized yards.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Big Apple. New York City.

After hearing about the murder of a group of Mutant Activists (including a handful of Mutants, See: +bbread 16/7), Roberto had gathered up several members of the Red Team and at least one Student from the Institute who was coming along to get some field experience; field trips were awesome if you were going to school around X-Men.

The house was located in an older neighbourhood full of two stories homes with decent sized yards, a rarity in the new houses that were constructed; you didn't actually have to hear your neighbours through the wall.

The full facts of the case had not been disclosed to the media or the public, that's why Investigator Rick Bronson had called in the X-Men discreetly; this was definitely something they were better suited to handle.

There are at least four marked cruisers outside of the house and several more unmarked vehicles parked throughout the street. A handful of uniformed officers guard the police taped off yard, the yellow POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS unmistakable even at this late hour.

One of the uniforms waves Roberto towards the house, "Inspector Bronson is inside, he said to head on in. If any of yall need to take a look around outside, go ahead but keep it discreet." The NYPD likely didn't want the media or someone snapping photos of civilians doing their job.


Audrey at least looks professional. Young, but professional. She follows Roberto with the air of someone who's been through a few unpleasant places before, looking around sharply for any hints of what might have happened. The only thing that mars the perception is her tendency to hunch her shoulders a bit, as if she's uncomfortable with walking in the open. Right past potential cameras and public.


Lunair is surprised. But hey, a field trip. And it's Nazi-free. She has a long, military style olive coat on with heavy boots and looks more like a vaguely out of work detective or something. Nevertheless, she keeps a nice scarf over her face and a hat on to hide even more. She knows better than to risk others if she's out and about.

She follows the others, quietly. There's sort of an unease, as she looks around. Interesting field trips indeed. She's not walking around too much - don't step on the clues, Holmes.


For likely the first time, Roberto has turned up for Red Team business dressed discreetly. A long black coat over red scarf and gray sweater, with jeans, boots, and a beanie — for once, he isn't looking to draw attention from the news cameras. He doesn't want the investigators to regret calling them in, for one thing, but more importantly, he isn't interested in drawing any more crass media attention to what is, after all, a somber event.

He ducks past the police tape, then holds it up for others to follow after him, breath foggy in the icy air. "We'll try not to draw any unnecessary attention, officer," he says in his gentle accent. He flanks Audrey, keeping between her and the cameras, without looking like he's doing so intentionally. Like Lunair, he is careful not to disturb anything within the roped-off crime scene as he joins the group entering the house.


Fly on the wall. Mike Drakos has already sent his advance scout into the building: several dozen moths, a brace of wasps, and swarms of ants and beetles, of various sizes. They assemble together in the basement, forming into a single camera-equipped flying machine, in a totally unnatural and utterly uncharacteristic way, and somehow still hovering, move through the house capturing visual and chemical traces, scanning for micro-clues, etc. This has doubtless already been done by the forensic team which means anything useful is already discovered, removed, and classified, but Mike's probes are really, really efficient.

Meanwhile, outside, Metal, in his red-and-gold X-Red uniform with the white piping, that covered by a leather coat that conceals its uniform-ness, is being unusually taciturn as he walks along, not really talking to anyone. He's barely in his body really; most of his attention is running the systems in the probe.


Falling in next to Berto, wearing a winter jacket with heavy boots, Doug Ramsey is fumbling on his tablet, trying to get -things- working while wearing winter gloves. Those things just weren't -made- for the touch-screen. Hopefully, at least, the house's warm enough that he can at least work with it.

"How long has it been now…?" Doug asks, as he… hurries to keep up with the others.


When you enter the house, it looks like a fairly normal home without any real sign that anything out of the ordinary was going on here. There was two bathrooms on the main floor, a kitchen, dining room, living room, single bedroom and small solarium in the back. On the upper floor were another two bathrooms and four more bedrooms.

A gruff-looking man with salt and pepper colored hair with a beige trenchcoat is standing at the top of the stairs smoking a cigarette. Bronson looks every bit the part of the hard-boiled detective, "Thanks for comin'. The name's Bronson. As much as I'd like to shake hands with y'all and become best friends, that's not why I asked you here."

Bronson removes some police tape from in front of the basement door and starts to walk downstairs, "Follow me, you'll want to see this."

While Metal had already been getting a view of the basement, he hadn't gotten his little camera-bot inside the locked cellar door just yet.

As you step down the stairs, you can see the basement is mostly unfinished with a couch, a television and some other stuff off in one corner and several open doors; another two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a third door that was locked from the outside with a large dead-bolt as well, that's the door Bronson is heading for.


Audrey flashes a brief, grateful smile at Roberto when he steps between her and the cameras, some of that hunch fading. Once they're inside, relatively sheltered, it's gone, replaced with a more military bearing. Yes, the police have been here. That doesn't mean she isn't still clearing the space as she moves through, even if it's a subdued version. As she searches, she lets her eyes unfocus a bit, checking the area in the less visible spectrums of light.


Lunair looks around. Peer. Peeeeeer. "Pleased to meet you." She doesn't answer much past that. Best to let people with… actual social skills do that. She seems duly serious, even if Lunair has a problem with her face being completely blank and expressionless as a default. She likely is fine, bundled up as she is. No one suspects a militarized penguin with a scarf. But her mind is less on the people trying to modify her and more on what's at hand. Poor people.


Roberto returns Audrey's smile with a slight one of his own, but doesn't comment further. Once the group is inside, he's not surprised that those with perceptive abilities, like Metal and Lux, zone out a bit. That's how they can help set this right. His role is to make things go as smoothly as they can on the administrative end.

Which might not be as easy as it sounds. The Brazilian's face twitches slightly as he listens to Bronson's gruff greeting spiel. Pretty much the last thing he would be likely to do is uncritically embrace the NYPD, given the department's history with mutants in certain precincts. Still, this is about building bridges, so he bites back any snarky comments and instead says, "We'll be happy to help in any way we can. Were the victims living together here, or is this one of their families' home?" The thought of a household open-hearted enough to support a mutant child being put through this tightens the muscles in his jaw.


Mike would be happy to point out to Doug that they make gloves that do work with tablets, but he can't spare the attention. He's a meat carbon fiber and mixed metal slurry puppet at the moment, operating on an approximation of his actual mind while the real him is snooping the house before so many people coming through can mess it up.

The officer's kind words don't even get a change of expression out of him. If he was showing an expression, it would be rising excitement. His specialized psi-detector says that there were probably a dozen mutants using powers here, some recently, some fading as it's been a few days. His thaumic scanner reports that there is definite dark-tainted magic — Magik should be the one to investigate that. The weird thing, though - one of his odd field scanners finds a high level of tachyon/neutrino bound pairs, the classic 'chroniton particle' decay product. There's been time travelling here. This is not good.

The probe darts into the room, past the officer, scanning more thoroughly in the regular frequencies and taking some photographs. If Forensics was here, there may be tape outlines, which might explain some things too.


Getting no response whatsoever, Doug grimaces, removing his gloves, and checking in to see what was public knowledge, pausing briefly to look back up towards Bronson. Gruff, harsh… was he bothered -by- needing to have mutants present?

Attention drawn to the dead-bolt, Doug tilts his head. A locked-room mystery…?

Mike's unnatural puppet-movements is a bit odd, at least, and Doug inches closer. "What are you getting…?"


"Yeah, sure thing." Bronson gives a curt reply to Lunair as they walk down the stairs, Berto and Doug had definitely picked up on the fact that he wasn't exactly too pleased with having mutants working with him.

Removing the police tape and opening the dead-bolt he responds to Berto, getting right to business, "All of the girls lived in this house except for two, at least of the thirteen we were able to identify, the other two lived with their parents."

The dead-bolt has been slid off now and he belatedly tells Doug, "Been a day kid, g'damn forensics are the ones who requested we call you lot in because they were too scared to move the bodies. You'll see why, hope you've all got strong stomachs."

Bronson's face softens a moment and before opening the door he says to the girls, "Girls, you may want to look away, this isn't the kinda thing you want to see." Chivalric or Chauvinistic, it was up for debate.


Audrey wrinkles her nose as her gaze passes over the couch. "I don't think it was just girls who spent time in this house," she murmurs, blinking a few times to settle back into normal vision before heading into the locked room. Bronson's warning gets a quirk of her brow, but she doesn't argue with the man. Too many explanations. Instead, she simply steps inside.


Lunair doesn't have special senses that she's aware of. Intelligence, yes. But she's not aware of it. So she quietly listens, looking around. She hmms softly at Bronson. She gets it now. She just - settles quiet. There's a quiet sort of sadness. She grunts softly at Bronson's words, not saying much more. If she's going to look or look away, she doesn't say. She follows.


Perhaps surprisingly, Roberto doesn't immediately charge into the room. In his teen years, he probably would have been eager to prove just how strong his stomach was. Instead, he raises one eyebrow, nudging past Bronson and opening the door a little wider so that he can inspect it as others pass through. Super-strength doesn't come in handy all that much in this kind of investigation, but it does give him a bit of practice in judging structural resilience.

(In this case, of course, 'practice' means ripping enough doors off of their hinges that he was embarrassed into paying better attention.)

"Bolt on the outside, and the door is like tank armor," he comments out loud. He should know — he's ripped a couple of tanks open. He glances seriously at Bronson, then over at the group. "They had something in here that they really didn't want getting out."


The camera drone hovers in front of the titanium door, and Mike-inside thinks 'why is this door not just regular wood or steel-core?' … a moment of 'conversation' ensues, as he tries to wake up the door and talk to it. Sometimes, you can learn a lot about what goes on from things like this. It may have been impressed with its purpose by the people who installed it - that makes it technology with a purpose, as well as metal forged and given purpose. He can, if things go well, talk with that.

'Door. What are you guarding? Who put you here? Why do they need a door so strong?'


Summoned by the magic that is Roberto's aide, Simon (white magic if ever there was). Bobby arrives. Which is a nice way of saying that Illyana went and fetched the cold twin, giving him a smirk moments before she dumped him out four feet from Berto in his running clothes. Ahem. "Um, Hi."

Arrival by Magik isn't unknown to Bobby and he's had enough time to get used to even going through Limbo in short jaunts but he still isn't used to being plucked from what he's doing to be suddenly somewhere else. He rather suspects that's part of the charm. In any case, it's taking a moment for him to get his head in the proper gear. Right. Not running anymore.


Wrinkling his nose, Doug asks a question, hopefully getting it in before the door opens. "Don't you have, uh… something to put in our nose if the corpses have been left like that for a day…?"

The distracted Mike is left then as Doug holds back from entering, waiting to get acclimated to the inevitable smell that was likely coming.


Illyana appears off to the side a bit, looking like the cat that ate the canary. She's got those heavy boots of hers with low-riding leather pants and a cropped t-shirt with the Anthrax logo on it. Arms crossed and hip cocked, she waits to hear what's going on since she was playing Fetch-The-Bobby.


'Wish I knew. They put a sheet over me on the other side. Hey pal, mind playing with my dead-bolt a little? A door gets kind of lonely. The door responds back to Mike, hopefully he really did expect some kind of reply.

"Use your shirt or your jacket kid. Personally, I expected you types to be a little more used to this sort of thing." Bronson shrugs and opens the door pushing past a dark curtain which he holds open for the group of you.

Mike's probes rush in ahead past the curtain and into —

The first thing you notice is the smell of the corpses, even if the police only found the crime scene a day ago; it's clear that these corpses were here for more than a day. The stench is almost unbearable and the sound of flies buzzing can be heard before you see their bloated forms.

The interior of the room is rather spacious and it definitely was a special addition to the house, probably an old bunker meant to survive a nuclear fallout from the cold war era. Instead of normal lights, archaic looking chandeliers hang from the ceiling, but a closer inspection would reveal them to be rather cheap; the kind of thing you got at Wal-Mart.

Then you see the corpses. It's a grisly sight.

13 of the corpses are arranged in a concentric circle, hand to foot touching as if they had perfectly fallen that way. Two more corpses are arrayed in the center of the circle, forming a triangular shape with the bottom half.

It's immediately noticeable that all of the corpses are inside out, their organs are on the outside and no skin is visible; a terrible way to die for anyone and an obvious reason as to why the NYPD might seek outside help despite their misgivings over it.

That's not the only oddity though, burned into the walls of the room parallel to the corpses are the shadows of the victims; some of them even overlapping to create a macabre piece of artwork not unlike the victims of a nuclear explosion.

Bronson turns to look at the X-Men now, the smell apparently not bothering him, "So, do you guys have any friends with these kind of powers? Turning people inside out? Burning their shadows into the wall?"


The smell is not great, that's for sure. Audrey pulls the neck of her shirt up to cut the worst of it, but aside from that…It's not pretty. Nobody sane likes to look at dead bodies. But they aren't the first ones she's seen. Maybe in the worst shape, though, inside-out is pretty gross. She moves carefully around the corpses, doing her best not to disturb any evidence. "Not a single person, no," she answers Bronson honestly, ignoring any implications that they might be involved, or know people involved. "Besides, even if mutants were the target, there's clearly something ritualistic going on here." She looks to Illyana, then, trusting in her opinions on that.


Fortunately, Lunair is unaware of DoorChat(TM). She sends Bronson a vaguely baleful look. She's pretty violent as mutants go, and even still… the smell. It's enough to make you want to throw up. Fortunately (again), Lunair doesn't start the vomit chain. Her eyes widen. Okay,yeah. She's not tortuously violent. How strange. She shakes her head. "No, I don't know anyone with that sort of power," She admits. She puts a hand over her face. They certainly aren't the first bodies she's seen (or will they be the last), but …eugh. "I wonder if maybe - what kinds of things burn shadows into walls?" She's a little distracted at the moment.


Braced for the unpleasant scene in the locked room — the one he's already starting to think of as a cell — Roberto is glad for the momentary distraction of Illyana and Bobby's arrival. "Bem-vindo," he says, his voice grave. "We're just about to —"

The door opens behind him, and the smell hits with near-physical force, causing him to involuntarily lurch away from it. The back of one gloved hand goes to his mouth and nose, and he turns to glare at Bronson over the top of it. "We're kids, not killers," he snaps, hands balled into fists. In spite of those words, his posture suggests he's seriously considering jumping the man for what he's implying. He fights back the urge by reminding himself what an unfair fight it would be.

Turning his back on the cop, he forces himself to look at the grisly scene in the basement room. He's too shaken to make much of it quite yet — he's just forcing himself to accept that it exists.


AND that's the downside to talking to strange hardware. You sometimes get a door that leads into an old bomb shelter that was used by the original owners as a place to escape the kids, with three or five of the owner's best friends, and … well. It was the sixties, it was a different time. Mike tries not to judge. He does, however, send the door back to sleep. Any trace magic fades to background noise when he does this.

The scanner continues to capture what it can while Mike has his emotional responses turned off, and then it returns to his main chassis, melting into the hand that reaches up and catches it in flight.

"Heavy magic use, I defer to Magik for the details. Time travel, based on the extremely high chroniton flux, and don't yell at me, I didn't name it, von Doom did. And before we all came in and started using powers, I was scanning residual power activation signatures for twelve or more different persons. I can't tell you for sure what their powers were, my own presence messes up the scan enough to make it hard to read."

OH yeah. The main chassis had its olfactory sense turned on. His chassis isn't designed to vomit. However he does have to turn off his nose.


Grimacing, Doug mutters under his voice, "Should've brought some tiger balm ointment", as he lifts his sweater up and makes an ad-hoc mask, to cover the smell.

A brief suspicious look is conveyed towards the door. He wasn't even -aware- these doors could talk, and yet there it was, the clicks and squeaks barely notable. "… incompatible hardware, Mike, incompatible hardware," he replies, though it's more of a sequence of clicking his tongue. "Just give it some lubricant and move on."

His mind at least eased, somehow, by that improbable sequence, Doug steps in, breathing through his mouse to avoid the stench.

"Trust us," Doug responds with a muffled voice. "They wouldn't be friends of ours if they did this. Maybe enemies, but none we've run into so far."


Bobby winces at the sudden stench. Corpses? No, those are a bit out of his wheelhouse. He does - barely - manage to make it without loosing his lunch, turning away from the scene and concentrating on the problem rather than the corpses. "Shadows burned into the wall? Heat flash. Normally associated with nuclear detonations. But if there were that much energy release I wouldn't expect there to be a building left so… paranormal powers… or mutations." Though mutations aren't usually… that well controlled.


Illyana might be the only one aside from Mike that looks mostly unmoved. And she doesn't have the ability to turn off her heart. Some might argue that she doesn't have one…

The blonde's boots have a heavy tread as she steps into the room, her eyes gone as glacial as any of those who know her have seen. She gives a slight nod as Mike gives his assessment, mouth pressing into a frown. "The other room," She waves to the one they were in, "That one held the touch of darkness. Corruption." She starts to walk a slow circle around the mangled bodies. "This one… The basis of the magic was something," She purses her lips, words so inadequate here. "clean. But tainted. Likely by whatever was practicing in the other room. I'd guess this happened a week ago." She frowns, turning to look at the 'shadows' now. "These aren't magical."

As Bronson's questions? She just arches a brow his way, looking over to 'Berto. She's fairly sure that he doesn't want her to answer those questions.


"Look. I get ya sense my hostility, can ya blame me? You people can do things that I read about in comic books as a kid, things us normal folks only dream of. If I didn't think you were the good guys, I wouldn't have let you on my crime scene, it doesn't mean I have to be happy y'all can do what ya do. That's why, I saved ya this."

Bronson reaches into his trenchcoat and removes an unlabelled evidence bag, it's a sacrificial dagger with a curved blade and a hilt that looks distinctly futuristic; it even has some kind of LCD display with a different language unlike any seen in the present.

"We found it embedded half-way into the floor above this room, had to cut it out with a saw. It's was fused into the wood of the floorboards. I'm no spring chicken, but I'm pretty sure they didn't build the floors around this." Bronson hands the bag towards Berto, a definite sign of trust.

"You let me know anything else you need from me and I'll get it to you, but you need to promise me; you will help me find out who killed these girls so I can bring them to justice. Help me, for their families." A moment of softness from Bronson if there ever was one.

He then reaches into his jacket once more and hands Berto a list of the girls who were killed here: Judy Lang, Tori McGuire, Esmeralda Tores, Michelle Singer, Gina da Costa, Margaret Wong, Samantha Grey (Isn't that Jean Grey's last name, maybe not a coincidence!) - the list goes on and on until it hits thirteen names. (Hint: Good time to ask for any other info, evidence, searches of the area/house etc.. since the police will likely be cleaning up the crime scene after you guys leave!)


"Maybe something that was used to power either the ritual or the time travel?" Audrey suggests in regards to the shadows, taking a few more careful steps around the area. "Either would have taken a ridiculous amount of energy to achieve. If it was equivalent to a nuclear strike, then that could explain the shadows. Though not how it was contained here. Unless that's what the ritual part was about." She frowns, though the furrow of her brows is all that can be seen from behind her shirt. Once again, she unfocuses her eyes, scanning the room for things outside the visible spectrum.


Lunair just sort of sighs softly. She doesn't say much, then peers at Bronson. There's an owlish blink. "Yeah. Thank you." She nods at Bronson. She's a little sympathetic, at least. She nods at Audrey, though - it's tough with no real detectivery. "Did they find any footprints going in or out? I guess if they can teleport, it's probably a moot point…" She taps a finger with a chin. Or signs of break in, but … Theories run around her head. Corruption and shadows. Lunair is kind of at a loss.


Pulling his hat off and holding it in front of his face, Roberto lowers into a squat and takes a couple more shuddering breaths, elbows on his knees. He maintains that position, eyeballing Bronson as the man's thoughts become clearer. Finally, he stands and accepts the evidence bag, holding up the device to peer at it through the clear plastic.

After a second, he passes the bagged device over to Mike, who will be able to learn something from it if anyone can. "So: phasing, magic circles, flash incineration, dimensional fuckery and time travel?" he says, his voice slightly muffled. For reasons that will only be clear to others with history at the Xavier Institute, that last seems to be something the Brazilian finds particularly galling. "Merda. This is bad. This is very, very bad."

He walks back into the unfinished area of the basement, forcing himself not to hurry in spite of his natural instincts. "Doug, go upstairs and try to find anything connected to the knife. Look for that language in particular." As the linguist runs off, he turns to the others. "Illyana, you said the evil magic was centered out here? Can we get a more specific spot, or something that might be tied in with it? What about those names?" He glances over at Bobby and Lunair. "Gina da Costa… that sounds like my mother's name. Can you dig up anything on them?"

He doesn't offer any suggestions for Audrey, who seems to be pursuing her own investigation without any prompting.


Metal frowns, his face actually showing an expression. There's a thing he might do. But it would disturb… well, probably not more than whatever happened in here would have. It will look very creepy. It might be worthwhile though. He looks at the knife, says, "In a moment, please," and hovers into the room, floating just above the bodies. And he reaches out gently with the faintest whisper of his power over metal, and finds the calcium of the nearest girl's bones, the iron in the heme in her blood, and he tries to wake it up. "Tell me what happened," he says, voice echoing in a way that should unsettle nearly anyone. "Can you remember what happened to the body?"

It won't raise a ghost, no. He's not practicing necromancy, but a peculiar form of metallomancy. The bones know, sometimes. At least, bones and blood might give an echo of what happened in their last moments, because it's the strongest impression they'd have right now.

It's probably for the best that Doug has left for the upstairs to follow up on that knife. Mike's pretty sure he knows why that was there - the time travelers materialized with it held too high. And that triggers a second consciousness to spawn and analyze the scans. Hey. they're inside-out. How do they know they were the girls? In fact, he'll have to go through the images with the coroner to find out if they're even the same people. What do the shadows look like, extrapolated back based on a point-source white hole? Is there enough information to determine what cast them?

Two heads can be better than one, but Mike hasn't proven this yet.


Bobby nods, still pinching the bridge of his nose and thinking. "Heat Flash. That' approximately - at least - sixty three terajoules of radiant energy by conventional standards." Which is a lot. You can destroy cities with that much energy. Magic makes the most sense here since the physics of the matter simply doesn't pan out not matter which way you flip it, and Bobby's been doing that since he saw the corpses. "Right. Dagger. Berto when you're done with that I'd like to take it back to the lab and do some spectrum analysis on it. At the very least we can find out what it's made of and whether or not it's been subjected to any kind of unusual energies. Provided it's unique enough I might be able to tell you roughly where it came from and when. Just depends." He glances over at the corpses.

"Any chance I can get the autopsy report on that? I'm not medically inclined but I can look for indicators of energy exchange. We get an idea of what happened to them, exactly, that might give us some clues as to why. That's assuming of course that whatever did this isn't in the habit of casually running over the laws of reality and not leaving a note." And the ice nerd is well aware that there are things that do that. One of them is in the room with him. She's a good team mate, even if she has a wicked sense of humor.

"Sorry, I don't know how much help I can be. But I'll contribute whatever I can. Lab over at DCI's got some pretty good gear we can repurpose for certain kinds of forensics."


Illyana has come to a stop, head tilted down and thinking. "Well, once the place is cleared out, I could try to see if I could ping the spells. Magic is personal, and I might be able to trace it back to the caster. Especially if that blade meant something to them." Illyana says with a nod towards the bagged evidence.

"I might also be able to scry backwards through the murders, but death on this scale can… disturb things." Certainly, the deaths are disturbing.

When Mike works on trying to ask the corpses what happened, she gives him a sharp, annoyed look. No, it doesn't taste of necromancy but he's treading a Line that she's not terribly keen on.


Bronson shakes his head when Lunair asks her question, "Aside from the usual foot traffic, no, besides, the snow does a good job of hiding that sort of thing."

The calcium in the bones doesn't really tell Mike anything, although the corpse does sort of shudder around a little bit as he tries to engage in his metallomancy. He does however get the distinct impression of a brilliant flash of light, it's all the bodies have left to give him.

Mike finds out based on his scan that the shadows match the proportions of the bodies on the ground, each parallel shadow matching up. A uniformed officer arrives, putting a hand over his mouth and holding a bag of identifications up for Bronson, "Sir, the Coroner's Office is here for the bodies. These are all the IDs we gathered in the next room." The guy apparently had a poor sense of humor because he then said, "Davies also said to tell you they got a hit on all the names. All the girls belonged to a Facebook group, he sent this over."

The uniformed officer hands the printed list to Bronson and leaves. The list is promptly handed off to Berto. It has the name of a Facebook group: ESU 4 Equality and a list of 26 members. 13of them happened to be the dead girls here.

Bronson then replies to Bobby, "We'll get those autopsy reports sent over, not a problem. Just find out who did this." He nods to Illyana, "The place should be cleared out in a few hours, I know the uniforms on duty, I'll make sure they let you in. Feel free to take a look around in the meantime, but I need you out of here before the Coroner's Office comes in. The less people who know you're all involved, the better."


"I can give you an image," Audrey says after a moment, unconsciously echoing Mike's thoughts. She holds out a hand, and the dimness in the room starts to shimmer as she builds the illusion of what was before everything happened. At the moment of whatever the explosion was, as if it had been captured on film.

The shadows start to take on features, rough images of what the girls might have looked like before they were inside out. An impressionist view. The two figures in the middle, though, are different. On each of their foreheads is a symbol that matches the fallen girls - a circle with a triangle at the bottom. And the center figures look very, very old in comparison to the other shadows.

As she concentrates, her shirt falls away from her nose and mouth, revealing a grimace. It's an impressively sized illusion, but it's costing her to hold it.


Lunair is quiet. This honestly isn't the strongest thing she can do. She furrows her eyebrows, in thought. It seems all so sad, and strange. "The LCD is definitely not something we have here," She comments quietly on the dagger. "But I bet-" She probably could replicate it. For now, Lunair quietly pulls out her digital camera and starts to take pictures. If Audrey wants, Lunair will try to take a picture of her illusion. She will also hold onto and look at anything she's given.


As he passes the dagger to Lunair, Roberto takes the sheet of names from Bronson, folds it, and tucks it into one coat pocket. With some distance from the bodies and the sense of his friends taking action around him, he is starting to regain his cool. He's seen violence, to be sure, but this kind of brutality is still on the extreme end of his experiences.

He plays it tough, and in lots of ways he is, but the simple fact is that he likes people. He connects with them and cares about them readily, and that leaves him deeply affected by this scene of excessive violence. Those were people in there — mutants, like him, and close to his own age. This is a scene that will haunt him for some time.

In a way, it's only fitting that it should start now, with Audrey's illusion. "Madonna," he whispers, taking in the details of the scene as quickly as he can. "Those two," he says, gesturing to the ones in the center. "They don't fit." His hand goes to the pocket with the list in it. "If these girls were approached by someone older, maybe the others in their group will know about it. We have to ask them — and warn them."

As Lunair starts snapping pictures of Audrey's mirage, he edges toward Illyana. "Take your time, camarada," he says more quietly, while the others are focused on the images of the past. This isn't for Bronson. "This setup, with the locked room, the symbols, the outsiders — we can't be sure that they weren't…dabbling. If they summoned whatever killed them, and I don't want you triggering the same trap they did. Be as careful as you can."


"GAH!" Mike says, pulling his mind back out of the bones, and sending them back to full sleep with a murmured prayer and a signed cross in the air. Then Audrey does what he couldn't. He captures the illusion, although he's not sure it will 'take' as a scan, because he doesn't know how Audrey's power works. Still, he's also committing it to memory, and he has an eidetic memory when he needs to.

After he has it down, he steps back and checks the things he hasn't done yet.

"OK. There's writing on the dagger. Cypher will be able to read that. I can probably talk to it, since it has pieces of floor embedded in it, which will feel wrong to it, and it might be willing to talk about who owned it if I can remove them. But Magik and anyone else who can do psychometry should do that first, because inanimate correspondence tends to throw off the accuracy of the results."


Bobby has contributed his bit frankly. He's on hand now to make sure investigations don't call something that needs iceblocked and then he'll be on his way home. Soon as he figures out where the hell he is.


Illyana can't help but smirk over Bronson's way, and as Roberto comes over he can hear her mutter in that mocking, amused manner of hers, "You'll have them 'let me in'. Cute." Robert well knows just how hard it can be to keep Illyana out of somewhere she wants to be.

The blonde shakes her head at her friend. "No.. they weren't trying to summon a demon. And if one had shown up, I think that *that* I would know." Like calls to like. "I'll see what I can get. And see if my library has anything on that symbol." She nods to the illusion before looking back to Roberto. "You do the social-talky thing. Leave the rest of us to do our thing. We'll get you something." And then Illyana steps back, to let Mike do his scans, and Lunair to get their recordings. She'll wait until the place is cleared out and she can bring a bit more magical power on tap before she tries to work through to some details.


Bronson looks around in disbelief, just shaking his head. It wouldn't take a telepath to see that he was jealous that these people could use such astounding powers and he had to rely on nothing but his wits and intelligence.

When the lightshow is over and everyone is done with their scans and photos of the basement he says, "Alright, we need to get these bodies moved out of here. Like I said, you can come back later when nobody is around. Trust me on this." He was probably referring to the fact that using their powers like this, only made suspicions and fears against them a little worse when it was clear that a being like them had committed the crime.

He steps out, checks his watch and says, "You have five more minutes down here. No more."

Meanwhile, the camera/scanner bot of Mike is bound to report back soon with some interested information; it also saves everyone else from searching the house manually.


Audrey lets out a breath once the scans and photos have been taken, letting the illusion evaporate. It's darker without it, the light she used to build them dissipating. "I have a feeling this is bigger than we'd like it to be," she says quietly, rubbing her thumb between her eyes as she tries to ease the headache that's come from the search.


"Thank you, Detective Bronson," Metal says. "As the information expert for Red Team, I can make sure our findings are made available for your forensics people, along with explanations of how we got it if you need that for any legal reasons. I may need to consult with the coroner to help identify the bodies."


A faint, sheepish smile sneaks across Roberto's features. "Certo. Sorry. You know what you're doing," he tells Illyana, taking a step back. He let himself get rattled and did what he usually does when agitated: started concocting plans and brainstorming out loud. That's really not necessary with this group. "Bigger than we'd like, maybe," he admits to Audrey, "but nowhere near too big for us to handle. We'll get the filhos da puta who did this."


"Thank you," Lunair looks up from her camera. "I trust my friend," She means Metal. "I'll share my pictures," She offers. "And it's nice to meet you, despite the circumstances." There's a sympathy for people without powers. A lot of her friends don't have them. "We'll do our best. Good luck." She really does wish she could've seen Illy and the others … a little more pre-murder investigation, but something like that. It's awful, really. It's especially cruel in its sudden loneliness. Of the people who just wanted to help.


Bobby puts both hands in his pockets and stands over near Lunair, still watching and mostly here in case anyone's drinks need freshening up… or someone needs to be told to chill out. He'll do his real work back at the lab. That's… generally how these things go.


As the group of you are heading out, a pair of young women with raven black hair move past you all wearing the uniforms of MedTechs; from the Coroner's Office and what seems to be a small army of people with body bags begin to move in; there was 15 corpses to move, that was a lot.

Detective Bronson leads you all out of the house and hands Roberto his card, "Let's keep in touch. I'll be checking out some leads of my own tomorrow, yanno, stuff that doesn't require powers. If I find anything, I'll let you know." Bronson smiled just a little bit at the members of the X-Men he passed, maybe in their short time together he had come to respect or even like them a little despite the feelings of inadequacy they superimposed on him and other normal folks, "Keep yourselves safe, alright?"


The little bot flying around managed to return with some information for Mike as they are leaving. It managed to come away with some success, mostly potential clues it downloaded from phones or laptops in the home; oddities of course.

The first thing the MetalBot finds is a small pamphlet that it scans and downloads in one of the young women's room. It's for a female wiccan group called 'The Sisterhood' and it talks about empowerment and taking control of your own destiny. An address for the closest 'Chapterhouse' can be found in Gotham.

The second thing that MetalBot finds is a list of names in the electronic diary of Gina da Costa, gigantic red flags considering he knew them or of them at the very least: Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Nathan Summers, Rachel Summers. A note beside the names said: Overheard The Mother mention these names when she was speaking to Sam, not sure who they are. Sam seemed troubled after. This entry is the second to last in the diary.

The last entry in the diary reads: Tonight is our initiation, we're going to become full sisters. I'm so excited, I'm not sure why Sam has been so nervous though, she's the one who convinced us all that we should pledge to become initiates. TTYL <3


Illyana gets the distinct feeling of an unknown presence, a feeling that something or someone is watching them as they drive away, it fades as soon as she detects it; disappearing into the night like a wraith.

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