In the Mind of Madness

June 28, 2015:

Situation is dire in the Medical room of X-Men Headquarters.

X-Headquarters

Characters

NPCs: Hospital Staff and Xorn.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

'Sounds like you are lost'
'Right behind where you are almost are'
'What are you doing here?'
'Swiping what I have to say about that?'

It is I.
Making sure that no thieves take
the golden honey from the hives. —— "Little Golden Girl"

MEDICAL BAY:

Those who venture forth are met with a harrowing sight. The medical personnel that was in charge of Jean's recovery stood at the precipice of the phenomenon. There were only three left; for the rest of the staff, ten in total were swept within the torrential storm that has them moving at a snails pace, rushing towards the room. Time did not stop there; not at all. There was no type of power of that caliber here, but that didn't mean that they were not slowed, for the way their knees were bent, fingers slowly clasping, the panicked look within their eyes that seemed real time told a different story.

And that little quarantined area was a mess. As the past few days when whatever eternal battle was reaching it's point, every instrument that was meant and made for healing slowly strafed through the air, a hand could reach and cut through the telekinetic field but not be swayed by it's manipulations, yet the push of a scalpel could send it soaring at the same snails pace across the room. It was relatively safe here, even though the dangers were imminent.

The patient however, remains in bed. Wires attached to machines that hover above her, IV lines feeding medication sway within the orbit, eyes remain wide open and yet, there was no green. Only a pulsing red that seems to accompany stars. Fingers grip the bed railing, tension there within the body, the heart rate a steady, rapid thrum like the flutter of wings.

Above the bed, the blue figure of Nightcrawler remains, the same red glow that tempers his eyes along with the twinkling of the cosmos, hung within that orbit and trapped within the mind that /burns./

But watch the step…
Any closer…
And the feel of a hand touches the neck?
And pulls the mind under..

Betsy stands outside Jean's medical bay, chewing a thumbnail in an expression of consternation she's not permitted herself since before coming to Xavier's. It's unsightly, but offhand, the leggy psychic can't remember the last time she was so frantically worried. It's /Jean/ in there.

For several hours now she's been poking and prodding at that hellish mental mindscape, trying to find an ingress that would permit her inside to help Jean- and Kurt- without risking capture again. Jean's psychic presence was phenomenally powerful and coercive, and even Betsy had almost slipped into playing to the role inside the dream instead of anchoring herself sufficiently.

"Come on, Jeaniebean," she murmurs to herself. "Give me something, darling. You have to give me an in. There's always a key. What is it this time?"

Within the trap of Jean's mind, Kurt is relatively calm. He faces off with the redhead, the two of them seated in what seems to be comfortable chairs, a chessboard between them. He's losing, frankly, more than a few of his pieces already captured. He was never a master strategist and certainly not as quick as Jean at such things. His only advantages are patience, daring and the ability to remain unflustered.

He knows it's all an illusion, of course, but that doesn't mean it's not real at the same time. He's engaging her, trying to draw her out, both metaphorically and literally. He's pledged himself to stay with her until she can find her way out, back to them. Whatever the cost.

"Ah, my bishop seems to have gotten himself into trouble. Which I find unsurprising," he says with a slight smirk. In this safe space, the chaos of Jean's mind is, at least for the moment, behind doors, sealed off. The footsteps, the voices, the occasional argument, the flare of fire which sometimes casts lighit under the door…he keeps it at a distance. He needs to focus on her. The rest will come in time - and, if it doesn't, he suspects Betsy and the others are searching for other solutions while he tries to help the best of them keep her sanity.

Rachel had been unsettled by her mother's condition and when the psychic backlash going through the area was picked up on by her, she rushed to the medical wing with no hesitation or time to spare.

Arriving in the area, her first order of business was to begin constructing Telekinetic shields of energy in order to shield the medical staff, Psylocke and Nightcrawler.

As she called upon her powers her body was wreathed in an ethereal fire reminiscent of the Phoenix and a mark appeared over her left eye.

"Hold on Mom, I'm coming." Rachel whispered as she reached a hand up to her forehead and concentrated on entering Jean's twisted dreamscape she had been trapped in.

From a room across the way, a muted conversation, one sided, grows in vocal intensity. What had once been a conversation too muffled to make out escalates, until words ring out through an open door to echo into the corridor beyond.

"Well I don't care, Professor, we need you home, right now!"

Scott closes the X-communicator and throws it across the room, where it shatters into three pieces upon impact with the far wall. When he emerges from that room and walks down the corridor, he looks an utter mess; his hair is far from perfect, his shirt unpressed and clearly slept in, stubble upon his face. Perhaps most surprising is the beleaguered, slow pace in which he walks the corridor, headed toward the medbay holding Jean. Ruby glasses remain fixed upon the medbay door, uncommitted to the other two who have gathered outside. He'd tried to visit, knowing that Jean had wanted him there, even so far as requesting via Rachel that he sleep on the cot with her, but he couldn't. The sight had been too frightening, too deeply concerning, and he could not afford to become trapped in the same place where Kurt and the medbay staff had gone.

Regret, of course, is a vicious thing.

With Rachel seemingly locked in her aura of focus, Scott directs his voice, both grizzled and worn out, toward Betsy. "Any progress?"

Those slow movements of the staff keep faithful eyes upon those that gathered, even worried glances in their current stasis keep their gaze tilted up, one hand reaching up towards Kurt as if they were attempting to coax the man from the ceiling once everything had imploded.

INSIDE:

Jean leans forward, one elbow pressed against her knee, fingers curled into a knuckles grasp as her chin rest atop fingers, her mouth contorted so easily as she watches the chess board at play. Kurt was stalling, she knew this.

"You're stalling." Knowing comes to light. "But I appreciate the visit." She leans back now, her eyes closing as she draws out a slight sigh. "But you know the real reason why you're here. You're lonely. You cannot hide and stay here because you're lonely."

OUTSIDE:

The first of the crew finally passes by Betsy, it was a long and tired track, passing the brink of the breach to stumble and fall forward, a glance back in fear is given towards the two as he scrambles to his feet and dash himself away from the area.

RACHEL:

Her penitration was successful; her mind dipping right into Jean's but yet into a separate dreamscape, the scene right there in front of her but only figments that aren't able to be touched and passed through.

'Rachel. You do not understand. Keeping the program secret from us, taking off with a few people who may or may not have been experienced when it comes to a mission or.. fighting. You could have gotten them killed.'
'Nobody wants to see you on some kind of leash.'

The biting words fill the air, played through over and over, a figure that looms in the distance slowly paces forward to cut through the crowd that lingers in that errant room. The woman, almost as tall as Rachel, stands there, body armor worn of the most perfect silver, a familiar sight, the mask lit as the eyesockets glow a startling blue.

"Oh. It's just you." The voice says, almost mechanical. "Turn away now, little girl. My quarrel isn't with you."

MEDICAL ROOM:

Perhaps, because of the anger that was felt, the grizzled and worn out voice calls to her limbs to move, her feet slowly wriggling toe by toe as her fingers begin to clench against the railing to cause it to bend.

"No," Betsy replies watching Rachel fling herself headlong into things. She remains cool. Struggling to be as detached as she portrays herself to be. Scott might be one of the only people to recognize the subtle signs of worry on her face- tension beside her eyes, a nervous tick of muscle in her neck. And, she's chewing her nails, which is something she only does when extraordinarily stressed or during particularly riotous matches with Arsenal football club.

"Scott, calm down," she murmurs in those utterly level tones, squeezing his forearm despite herself. "We have to stay in control," she says, sensing Jean's roiling anger before she sees it in action. Her eyes lid as she catches quiet trembles of that dialogue between Rachel and the armored figure, sorting out dream from reality and words from emotion.

"There's… someone. A presence," Betsy murmurs, quietly. "I don't… I can't place it. It's hazy. Jean isn't /letting me in/," she says, trying to quell a frustrated tone, brushing her hair back from her face and pulling it over a shoulder. "I don't know if I should bull in or hold back… I don't know what to do," she admits, struggling to stay composed. "And if I get lost in there again, there's no one here who can pull me back out the other side."

Kurt Wagner would try to hide the wince, in his flesh, but, of course, in the mind, you cannot disguise your expressions so easily. Of course he was lonely. He was a freak surrounded by beautiful people, a strange man in a strange land who almost swore himself into a life of contemplation just to find piece of mind. "Well, I am not staying forever, of course," he says. "But you are all the company I require for the moment, mein freund," he says.

He reaches out, moving a piece on the board, "And I think, perhaps, it is you that are stalling. We can have a frank discussion anytime you like, but I appreciate that things do not always seem so straightforward. But, until a path is found, perhaps I, a lonely man, am the one best suited to stay here with you. After all, I have no one to be bothered by my absence."

Rachel winced as the old memories came fresh into her head, hearing that familiar conversation once more. She was no longer aware of what was happening in the room, her subconscious only barely focussing on maintaining the TK shields she had erected before.

Stepping towards the silver armored figure she replies with a faint frown, "If your quarrel isn't with me, explain why you're doing this? Who are you?"

Likely the being or Jean was aware, but Rachel was just stalling; reaching out to try and learn more about this woman before her; so familiar yet so alien.

Still not committed at looking toward anyone else, Scott only glances downward when Betsy squeezes his forearm. A long and deep sigh is given forth after far too long a time, but fortunately, Scott isn't as bullheaded or stubborn as he was in his twenties. He's got enough wisdom to listen.

Turning away, he looks dead at the opposing wall, considering his frustration, his anger; all rooted in his perceived inability to do anything.

It was a lie. He knew as much, but his concern over Jean was so powerful. It was clouding his judgment.

Betsy's report draws him back. He turns around, arms folded, feeling a certain numbness familiar to him, the type that creeps in when he steps out of himself and opts instead to be the leader Charles always wanted him to be.

"Don't bull in," he recommends quietly. Betsy was right; until Charles returns from abroad, she, being the telepath not yet entrapped in Jean's control, needed to stay out. "Rachel," he whispers quietly to himself. "Show us what you see…"

KURT:

"But you want to."

Across the dreamscape three screens slowly drop down from the metaphorical ceiling. And across each dreamscape, two of the outer screens begin to display the two death of Jean's that had already happened within this timeline. The first; the space and the fast descent of the blackbird as it pummels to the Earth's orbit, the radation that begins to tear throughout her body, the look of agony upon her face as she forces herself to keep hold, to keep the ship together until they were all landed and save.

The second, Xorn.. standing above jean upon the ground, the masked figure.. one that currently stands with Rachel now, looming over the redhead as she begins to bleed from her eyes.

"I see your guilt. We're your greatest failure, Kurt."

MEDICAL ROOM:

It was subtle, of course, the way the power begins to creep and crawl upwards, starting from the tips of the toes that slowly began to move, the fingers that clutch and grip the bedrailing. Her skin was burning hot, a red glow that slowly begins to envelope.. and at it's harshness.. peels the skin away.

RACHEL:

The screens were on display for her, as the masked figure slowly turns to alight upon what she sees. There was a low laugh, her head shaking as she turns to try to walk past Rachel to continue on her path.. but something above catches her senses… was it the voices of Scott and Elizabeth?

"Xorn the second." She states plainly, finally answering Rachel's question.

"She is." Jean finally says, stepping in from behind Rachel, reaching out to place a hand upon her shoulder. She grasps hard now, her jaw tense. "And for your sake.." Jean murmurs..

"I am not your mother." Xorn snaps, her hand snatching out to press two fingers hard into the middle of Rachel's forehead. The projected screens were shown throughout the chaos of the medical room, as the silver, metal clad figure draws through the back of Rachel, a figment made real.

*TSHHHHHHHHH!*

Was the sound that came from the mask as she stood upon the other side of the glass, her head slowly turning back to view Jean upon the bed, and to those within the room, one hand reaching up to begin to twist the bolt that keeps the mask in place.

Betsy pales, stepping into Scott reflexively at the overwhelming cavalcade of thoughts and emotions ripping around- the burning skin, the crushing metaphor, the overwhelming presence of Jean's ininhibited psychic charisma- bright as the sun, almost painful to look at. As Jean's powers manifest, she winces and turns a shoulder into him for just a moment, averting her eyes from the sight. For a moment, a feeling of wild depair tickles the back of her mind.

And then abruptly she stiffens her back, eyes flashing. Damnit. Damnit! She reaches down- into her belly, into the howling pit of her emotions, and grabs the one thing that always, /always/ delivers- that righteous, towering fury that she keeps bottle up so often. Anger at her parents for dying. At her brother for trapping her at Oxford. At Mastu'o, for enslaving her. At the monestary, for trapping her. A litany of objections to two entire lifetimes, to two women forced to struggle and fight, to adapt and overcome.

"To hell with this. I'm going in," she snarls. Betsy pushes off of Scott, steps to the medical bay door, and fairly knocks it off the hinges with a shove from her blocky shoulder. Rachel's telekinetic fields help buffer her from the swirling melee, the riot of force and energy twisting around Jean like a tornado. She steps up to Jean's bed, and stares down at the woman. With a sneering moue on her lips, she makes a fist and a familiar amethyst blade snaps into existence above it.

Her hips twist and she drives that telepathic shard of thought into Jean's skull, passing through skin and flesh without disturbing either.

Inside Jean's mind, Betsy's thought-lance cuts and drives, smashing through walls and defenses and mental barriers. She pushes herself along that coruscating line of thought until she's standing right in the middle of Jean and Kurt's chess game, where it slowly melts away.

"Pardon, Kurt," Betsy says, politely. She's even wearing her notional designer slacks, still. She walks over, kicking the game board over, and with a huge motion, *SLAPS* Jean's brooding, twisted avatar across the face, ignoring Xorn, ignoring everything else as she goes right for the heart of who Jean really is.

"WAKE UP, YOU SODDING GIT!" she barks at her friend.

Kurt Wagner grits his metaphorical teeth, although he's likely doing it in truth, his body reacting to the torment in his mind. He looks at the images, his tail drooping somewhat, wrapping around his legs the way most people might hug themselves in a time of stress. "Perhaps," he says, "Sometimes even my best is not enough, it is true. And, if I have failed you, I will never forgive myself, it is likely."

He steels himself, though, finding reserves deep within himself, "But I do not have to forgive myself to keep trying. And I do not have to accept that failure is permanent. Even if what you say is true, I will keep fighting, Jean. And so should you. For yourself, for those you love. For Rachel and for Scott, for Hank and Warren, for Charles…for the little girl in the pigtails who grew up too fast, who saw too much. You have to fight, Jean, and I will fight with you," he cries.

Rachel could vaguely hear the voices outside, recognizing them and doing her best to send a little bit of her concentration elsewhere to give Scott and Elizabeth a view of what was happening; although the latter seemed to be elsewhere.

Rachel screams loudly, both a psychic echo that backlashes in the astral plane and a terrifying physical scream in the real world as a shock of pain travels through her brain due to this 'Xorn' figure.

Inside the dreamscape she starts to collapse despite the hand on her shoulder, "Mom" Her knees buckling before her resolve hardens.

It might be too late, but she attempts to lash out with psychic energy at the silver figure in the hopes of harming it.

At the sight of burning, flaying skin, Scott grimaces, fingers tensing, the muscles in his neck bulging. When Betsy turns into him, he puts a hand on her shoulder, perhaps for comfort or to keep her from barging in, as he knows that he wants to do. It would have been a foolish gesture.

"Oh, God," he laments, as tears well up behind his ruby glasses.

Scott might have done something to stop Betsy, were he not torn to anguish over watching Jean's self destruction. He reaches out a hand, but it's too late.

"No!"

Scott cries out and follows, dodging the door as it comes free and falls before him. He bursts into the room behind Betsy, but skids to a halt just beyond the threshold of maelstrom, throwing his arms up in preemptive defense.

Mouth ajar, Scott stares at the blinding cacophony, his unkempt hair blowing about. He leans back, trying to conjure up some way to help. His arm drops back; his fingers fumble about for the back pocket of his jeans, and the optic visor that sticks out of it. He should know where it is, so why is it so difficult to find it? They were his jeans. He's had them for years, carried all sorts of items in that damned back pocket, so why can't he —

Finally, his scrawling fingers catch upon a length of durable plastic alloy, and he pulls the visor free, gasping for air as the anxiety threatens to overwhelm him.

Its Rachel's scream that quickens him. The glasses come off, eyes clenched tightly shut until he can fix the visor upon his face. The glasses are ripped free to join the cyclone of items within the room, and he fumbles for a moment to secure the tactical device in place.

LOG NOTE: just before the threshold, not behind.

LOG NOTE: just before the threshold, not beyond. Fuck autocorrect.

KURT:

"You can't fight with me, not with all of that guilt that reigns in you—-" Her words were soon cut off as another mind draws down, the piercing knife threatening her senses as she's thrown back from her chair. Not so much thrown, as she stands and skitters away, her avatar promptly slapped, her head whipped towards the side as she draws back with a faint arch, launching herself forward with a headbutt to end all headbutts.

"You're so fucking controlling Elizabeth!" The mask soon melds upon her features as she stares down towards the psychic ninja, one boot lifting, readying herself to crush her throat with the weight of her metaphysical anger. "The future is better off without you!"

RACHEL:

"Rachel!" Jean screams out, quickly leaning forward to grasp the girl around the waist, following her towards the ground with a bended knee as those glowing red eyes look back up towards Xorn with malice. "WHAT DID YOU DO?!"

But that was all she could say towards the silver figure; for Rachel's blast of power sends her flying, the laughter soon drawn all around the room.

"Rachel.. Rachel.. focus.. I have something to tel-.."

OUTSIDE:

*ZSSSHHHHH!* Another bolt was loosened as she staggers back, not minding the push out of the way in the path of Jean. All it did was to seek to buy her time until she could pull the mask away, thick, Red hair falling from her shoulders as she soon launches herself towads Scott, her forearm produced to pin him hard against the wall as he continually fumbles.

It was a strange thing, really. Every object within the room ceased it's orbit, remaining high within the air as the skin upon the current Jean begins to peel. But this Jean? Xorn? The one that had him pinned against the wall was furious. "I'm too late!"

Jean's mistake in that psychic realm is engaging Betsy in fisticuffs. Once upon a time, that might have worked. Maybe. But this isn't Elizabeth Braddock- this is Betsy/Kwannon, Psylocke, a woman with a literal lifetime of martial training behind her. Hitting her? Laughable. Betsy steps aside in that psychic realm and snaps her hands around in vicious arcs, upsetting Jean's balance, kicking her metaphorical feet literally out from under her.

"You'll have to do better than that if you want to hurt me! C'mon, you fat bint!" Betsy goads, taunting. Her psychic avatar shifts and changes, emphasizing every insecurity she knows Jean has about herself and mocking it in a parody of perfection. "If you think you can hurt me, then hurt me! But you're going to have to try harder!"

She backs away, tauting, /goading/ the woman over and over… and very deliberately trying to untangle the unholy mess of personalities and emotions that are rampaging around Jean's brain, from her self to her avatar to Xorn, broadcasting her damnably British superiority like a matador in front of a bull.

In the real world, Betsy stands with her eyes shut. That knife hovers in Jean's brain like it's planted in her skull, muscles corded in Betsy's arms. The heat and fire and debris flays her skin, but the kunoichi knows the discipline of pain all too well, shutting that agony out while she assaults the darkest parts of Jean's uncertainty and anger.

The sudden tumult has a shocking effect on Kurt, not in the least because Jean's power lashes out with his suspended body, flinging him hard into the wall and sending a spasm of pain through his body as she tests the resilience of his ribs, coming close to cracking them. It'll hurt him to breathe for a few days, at any rate. His spiritiual self is shocked by the blow, but he can't let it hold him back, watching as Jean and Betsy begin to engage in psychic battle.

With no sense of what he's doing or if it will even help, Kurt Wagner mutters a quick Hail Mary and flings himself into the fray, trying to use what meager psychic presence he has to try and help wrestle Jean enough to give Betsy a chance.

Rachel's mind is reeling with what is going on, almost forgetting where she is for a moment as she feels her mother's arms around her waist. Was she awake or was she dreaming?

She shook her head and crimson hair whipped around her shoulders. No, she had entered Jean's mind. She knew where she was now.

Rachel began to focus, looking up towards Jean with concern and concentration alike, "I'm focussing. What do you need to tell me?"

In the real world her face seems to be contorted in pain, but she didn't want to snap out of it; she couldn't just yet.

In the medbay, Scott wrestles for a moment, before relenting. This seems to give Xorn the upper hand, but he's only looking for an opening. The words, however, give him pause. Whatever action he'd planned, Scott is stopped dead.

"Too late for what?" He cranes his neck, glaring at the person who's seemingly beaten him. "Tell me!"

KURT & BETS:

Jean was positively angry, each throw of her arms and snaps send her sprawling to the ground. With each hit that landed, parts of her armor draw visible from the guise of Jean that Xorn wore. She had to expend herself, use her powers within this borrowed mind to draw herself upright like a temptor from the ethers, raising with both hands to draw herself into a degree of melee with Kurt and Bets both, Xorn fast losing her hold she has upon .. her younger self..

RACHEL:

Jean glances upright as the figure of Xorn slowly rises from her felled position, her hand soon grasping Rachel's to loop along her shoulders, hoping to pull her daughter from the kneel and to her own feet. "This.. this is me.." She manages to get out, trying to drag Rachel away from the area, at least into that barroom, her only sanctuary. "You need to get out of here Rachel! She wants to kill you!"

"BECAUSE IT IS ALL THEIR FAULT!" Xorn hollars, in hot persuit..

OUTSIDE:

The older Jean narrows her eyes towards Scott, glancing towards her younger.. it was too late. Her skin had already begin to glow, the psionics taking hold as it transforms her into a being of pure, red light. That light itself seeks to burn the very bed that she lain upon, Kurt teetering upon the balance of falling into those flames and being set afire himself.

"Too late for this.." Her hand reaches up to press her thumb into the middle of Scott's forehead, forcing upon him a myriad of images.. they flicker fast, though slow enough for him to catch, all the while she speaks. "You've lived too long in my world, Slim. I tried to come back before she happened. Before I happened.." She presses further, tears within her eyes.. ".. But I came to fix it all. With your death, a new world will be reborn.."

Scott. Rachel. Kurt.

Oh god.

It freezes for Betsy. All of it. That extended awarness, that gestalt of everything- the hard-faced future Jean advancing on Scott. That flailing, terrified woman hauling Rachel to safety in a manner that tugs on Betsy's heartstrings. Kurt, close to pitching headfirst into that conflagration. Betsy is good at multidiscipline- she's a gift for it. She draws strength from dividing her thoughts and objectives. But Jean…

The knife shifts. Betsy ignores the flames licking at her forearms, the seared skin, the sweat beading on her brow. The psychic knife cuts deeper, probing, looking for… looking for a little corner of Jean's brain. A place Jean never lets anyone. A place Betsy had only found once, by accident, and been rather hostilely ejected from. She probably never could have gotten in there if Jean wasn't so scattered and distracted, by Scott and Rachel, by Kurt's ambitious and courageous stand…

But there it is. And Betsy is /in/. In that corner of Jean's mind that is somehow larger than the entirety of the woman. She averts her eyes, to no effect- it's bright. Too bright. Too bright for her to address or cower from, but she pushes against that tiny portal in Jean's mind that opens into something Betsy Braddock has never- would never be- permitted to touch. To that corner of Jean that exists forever suspended in time and space and protected from anyone who'd compromise it.

"Help me," she begs. Just those two words, cast into the burning white hot void.

Kurt Wagner does the only thing he can, grabbing a hold of the version of Jean that he has and clinging to her, holding on, wrapping her up in him. He wraps her up in his dedication, his friendship, his love, his determination. He wraps her up in his faith and his trust and his hope. He wraps her in every bit of strength he has, in the mutant boy who nearly died at the hands of a mob and took the hand of Charles Xavier long ago and somehow learned not to hate.

He channeled his own pain, his own suffering, his own disillusion, and used it to make himself a hero. And now he gives all of that to Jean, as much as he can without the psychic talents of Betsy or Rachel, just holding on tighit so that, hopefully, when this maelstrom passes away, he'll have some part of Jean Grey left…

Rachel managed to get back to her feet with the aid of her mother, finally starting to get ahold of herself after the furious psychic energies at bay here. She couldn't let her mother remain trapped, but she didn't know what to do.

"I can't leave you mom" She says as she's dragged towards the barroom, "We can stop Xorn together."

She wondered if the same familiar music was playing.

In one last ditch attempt to help her mother, she tried to lend Jean her own strength, focussing on her as she gripped her hand, "Take my strength, defeat Xorn." She felt almost powerless, all she wanted to do was stop this.

Scott's back arches, and his lips peel back to release a scream that vibrates his teeth. He'll be hoarse for days, but worse, the images are searing into his mind, meant to rend him apart. They would have stuck there, like gum on the bottom of a shoe, were it not for his impending death.

Thing is? Scott's always got a backup plan. Comes with the territory, behind a tactical genius. There was a reason he gave this future Jean the upper hand. Hubris has its own weakness.

Closing his mouth, Scott trembles beneath the onslaught. His eyes glance from one Jean to the other, confused and lost, but knowing full well that the one who'd lain on the cot is the one now aflame. Not this Jean. This one… is not her.

He finds the will to glare at his attacker and utter a single retort.

"Bullshit."

Behind him, Scott's got one free hand. It's kept him from being completely pressed down by his attacker, and he brings it around to whip the visor clean off his face. Though he falls back, he looks directly into the torso of the woman torturing him, seeing literal red as the unbridled optic blast rips loose and impacts at such close range. His eyelids are barely open, but there's still enough concussive force to blow a hole through two feet of concrete.

KURT & BETS:

Xorn was wrapped, older Jean that is. Manipulating the entire scene from the start. Jean was there but not, coaxed out by the wrapping of Kurt around her entire being, set in a slow fall downward..

…until the veil beneath what was hidden was punched and invaded..

…It was blinding. The light. And within that light a small girl sits, hair blonde, a little sadness within her features. "Is it time?" She asks Betsy, clutching the Raggedy Anne doll with the broken arm..

OUTSIDE:

The press of her finger digs into Scott's forehead, her teeth grit and bared, soon drawn away as her fingers curl into a fist. A red light, much like what the present Jean manifests curls around her fingers, forming into something sharp, obviously deadly…

RACHEL:

They were close, the slow cadence of the guitar plays, the same voice echoing through the air as the song plays.. it was soft at first, but increasingly growing louder with every haphazard step they take. The stop at a door, which almost seems miles high, warped through Jean's perception. She stops to look at Rachel, a slight frown curling her features as she steps in front of her, blocking Xorn's path towards Rachel with her own body.

'..All your mental armor…'

The borrowed power was taken, but redirected back towards Rachel as she gives her a shove against the wooden door, splintering wood, sending her flying.. "Rachel! Listen to me! They're com—-!"

OUTSIDE:

Everything seemingly stops. Time takes hold as Jean slowly draws herself from the table. She no longer looked herself in this form; a glow red, the cosmos within her eyes as with every step she takes, leaves a trail of glittering stars..

She lifts a hand to bat away a septum, and a scalpel. A hospital gown was even floating as well.. what?

The red beam that pushes through Scott's eyes slowly penetrates the stomach of Xorn, blowing a hole clear through her body. However.. it .. was still. It stood still as Jean reached forward to grasp the beam with her TK to disperse it into smaller shards of power. For who knows what lay beneath that concrete. But she was sure that Charles did..

She passes by them, one by one.. time slowly catching up as the light that encompasses her body begins to flicker, her hand reaching out to grasp the bed as one hand presses against her temple to foricibly ejected everyone…

"OUT!"

LOGNOTE: change ejected to eject

Betsy kneels down in front of the girl, in a room of white hot nothing. Angry burns scar her forearms, her clothing seared, face pink with heatburn. Without any preamble or hesitation, Betsy wraps her arms around the girl-Jean's shoulders and squeezes, cheek to cheek, as reassuringly as she is able.

"Yes, darling, I think it rather is," she says, her cool tones full of a warm compassion that few would ever see from the British woman. "Let's get to it, shall we?" She touches Jean's cheek, smiling, and then vanishes in a glittering spray of amethyst energy.

The psychic feedback sends Betsy flying. Literally. She's slammed out of Jean's brain, the telkinetic knife blasting into fragments, feedback rippling up her arm and into her brain. The force of Jean's telekinetic thrust is nothing compare to the mountain-sized piledriver of force that hits Betsy's brain, blowing through her mental defenses like an atomic bomb.

She hits the far wall behind Jean's bed, nearly at the height of the ceiling, and collapses bonelessly to the metal floor with a meaty *thump*, without so much as a muscle tensed to arrest her collapse.

Kurt Wagner is flung out as well, his body tossed free and smacking hard into the wall again, sliding down and landing in a heap, his limbs tangled around him as he lays unconscious, body bruised and mind drained from the struggle.

The song was almost soothing, at least unlike everything else this had not changed. The fact that Xorn could invade even this space however fills Rachel with an unnatural sense of dread.

The lyrics to the song however were oddly fitting given the situation.

"Whose comi-" The words are never finished as she's sent pushed through the doorway, the splinters cutting her in the astral plane but leaving no marks in the physical.

Her eyes snap awake as she's pushed through the door, back out into reality thanks to her mother.

When Jean awakens and screams, she raises mental shields or 'mental armor' around everyone in the room, in a last ditch effort to protect everyone from whatever might be yet to come; if there was anything left.

She opens her mouth to speak, but is still too stunned and weary, her mouth unusually dry.

The sight of his optic blast manipulated, like some arc of crayon against paper, has Scott's mouth opening in shock.

Fortunately, when he feels himself lifted, his eyes squeeze shut. The skin around their lids are battered and bruised, reddened from the mutant energy. Flying blind, he throws out his arms to feel for wherever he's going, only to be spun about like a rag doll.

His chin cracks against the wall, flooding himself with fiery pain. When he falls to the floor, blood trails behind him, and one of his teeth lands next to his face. Fortunately, he's out cold, so his eyes are closed; but his face lies in a steadily growing pool of blood and drool.

'His visions lifelike and full of imagination..'
'It's strange to think they came from such a tiny head.' —- Scenes from a Nights Dream

The wreckage remains all around Jean and Rachel, the last two standing, as Jean herself presses both hands against the railing to keep herself steady. She breathes heavily, a flickering image of her new fangled power, drawing her a burning red like her astral image; spritish, back to her full fledged flesh. She grits her teeth to shake her head out, releasing a slight cry as she turns to see all of those around them, bloodied, unconscious, hurt..

"MEDIC!" She screams out, pushing her way from the bed, her hand reaching out to grasp Rachel to drag her to her father. So there was a tooth loose, that was picked up and held so that it could be returned.. Scott soon dragged into the waiting lap of Jean to cradle his head as she curls over him, crying. "I'm so sorry.."

DANGER ROOM:

The room itself desolate, the console still being repaired by a sleeping Beast, tools of the trade littering the console room, coaxials laying across a chair, microchips along the floor, buttons here and there that made the room itself work flipped upside down and often times around.

A wrench that lays atop of the console itself begins to twitch and rattle, sliding once.. twice..

*BING-TIK-TIK!*

..Upon the floor. There's a faint glow inside of the console itself; slowly radiating, pulsing.. as if it's willing itself to come alive..

Inside the danger room itself, many shapes begin to cycle through the holodeck; the first image is Cyclops. The second Phoenix. Next Psylocke. Then Marvel Girl. And the faces are ever expanding and changing, filtering and flashing until the room fills with it's past, present and current members today.

"I."

"Am."

"Realized."

THE END.

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