Meanwhile, Out In Santa Monica

October 21, 2015:

The Cult Of The Deep have kidnapped M-Town Mutants and headed across country.

Santa Monica

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Sometimes, if one knows the right people to listen to, you can hear about things in the greater mutant community. To the extent that there is one. It'd be a mistake to view mutants as monolithic. They're people, like any others, but outside pressure often forces groups to be more cohesive than otherwise, so if one has been paying attention to the whispers, one might have heard of mutants, taken from M-Town and transported quickly and quietly across the country to a warehouse along the beach south of Santa Monica. Outwardly, it's a warehouse. People don't pay attention to warehouses, even when they're always closed. Especially then. Inwardly? Well that's hard to say. But a telepath would pick up on the minds of a number of panicked people within.


A telepath, mind, who is using all of her considerable self discipline to remain utterly undetectable. Betsy had bare moments to decide whether or not to follow the truck- she'd sensed something amiss while cruising past M-town in her Aston, and then realized something was /very/ amiss when she focused her talents on the terrified and confused babble of voices inside.

And then, the longest car trip of Betsy's life. Her talents were fairly well developed, but tracking a particular car full of a particular group of people, going cross-country, and doing it for hours on end without arousing any suspicion, from over a mile away, had ground her patience into a fine mill dust and left her with a ringing headache.

Four hundred yards away, on the other side of an invisible line separating the warehouses from the more populated thoroughfare, Betsy opens the boot of her Aston and starts opening the cunningly concealed panels inside it. First and foremost- water and pain pills. She keeps a 'lock' on the passengers while she withdraws a nondescript duffel bag and slings it over one shoulder, locks the Aston and arms the (not inconsiderable) anti-theft measures Leiko had installed, and moves to a concealed area to quickly change into her 'working' attire- complete with catsuit, ninja equipment, and sword.


Taken across the country … fortunately, it's not hard to get there when you have the right contacts. Having been alerted by Bobby of the pending attack, Brin has been keeping an eye open for unusual 'movements', which is why they have let the rest of the X-teams know and she's jumped a stepping disk to LA.

The brunette mutant is currently sitting on top of a nearby building observing, watching, waiting… she's made contact with local authorities and she really hopes she'll get back up soon. Oh, yes, Bets will probably detect her - she's not making any attempt to hide her physchic presence.


Aside from Brin the Psychic can tell there are six people and the prisoners. Or rather six minds that are not panicked or worried. Those six minds are focused as if on a complex task and… if she's listening in Bets will get hints of some language that sounds both inhuman and ancient. The security on the warehouse itself isn't anything too serious. Secrecy was the armor of this particular operation. Brin will be able to see that too and if she can't read minds she can at least read emotions.

There is one other mind focused on this area. And it belongs to the thing circling in the sky, something high up that isn't an airplane. Actually it looks kind of… draconic? Whatever it is, it's getting closer. Quickly.


~Hullo, Brinley,~ Betsy projects in her crisply clear atonals. ~They've been static for some time now. I think this is their ultimate destination,~ the kunoichi offers. She (carefully) folds her clothing up and stows it in the duffel bag, and slides it under a dusty counter where it's out of sight.

She starts attaching various weapons to slits and hooks on her grey catsuit, finally wrapping her red sash around her hips. Somehow it blends despite the sanguine color, and she finally wraps a hairnet over her indigo locks and a red sash around her lower face, effectively disguising her.

~Brinley, any new intelligence?~ Betsy asks. She steps into the back of the room and breaks into a fast, smooth run, vauling over a low fence rather effortlessly and making a hidden but direct path towards the warehouse.


~Psylocke~ Brin projects back, still watching the warehouse ~Can you detect the incoming presence?~ Brin can at least detect its emotions ~I can't tell if it's fri… wait, it's likely to be a friend. Exercise caution.~ She thinks for a moment ~Tell me what you need from me… ~


That thing above them is getting closer. If either woman looks up that is most definitely a dragon descending on the area and, much like them, doing it rather quietly. It looks like it's about to land on the roof. When it does… well… how quiet things will stay is a good question.

The warehouse grounds are easy to get into and once breached the outer halls are mostly empty. It's the inner area that the minds are coming from and even from the outer areas the glow of something rather sickly sea green can be seen and a good deal of rather otherworldly chanting can be heard. This is… probably not good. The minds of the mutants flash with horror. Something just happened… or is about to.


Betsy rather effortlessly conceals herself against a wall, peering up at the soaring saurine. ~I /think/ I recognize those thoughts,~ Betsy projects, after a moment. She expands her awareness incrementally, trying to pick up on the periphery of the dragon's telepathic emanations without betraying her own presence. If it's who she /thinks/ it is…

Betsy opts for a second-story entrance, unlocking the simple window latch with a concentrated focus of her telekinetic talent, and eases into the hallways. She attunes herself to the ebb and flow of the warehouse, opening her awareness to the sound of every little motion, every stray thought, in a gestalt knowledge of every potential threat ahead of her. She cuts a beeline towards source of the fright.

~Brinley, I'm locking you in. Move up to this position,~ she says. Abruptly, Brinley possess access to that tactical overlay Betsy possesses, giving her an instinctive knowledge of the area's layout and even where individuals are congregated. A window flashes in Brinley's mind, which should give her a good location to break into the warehouse and aid Betsy.


Brins glowing green and gold wings appear and she alights from the roof, heading for that location Betsy showed her. The 'dragon' descending is unnerving enough… so … she tries not to look at it. ~ On my way, Psylocke. And it's Mana in the field. ~ A good natured chide across the link.

Betsy knows the minute Brin touches down … and Brins wings disappear to be replaced by her scimitar. She'll use that to break through the window if she can't open it … and then.. well, she'll see what happens next.


The dragon has landed and… well that bump causes a fright from everyone in the room. Betsy's inquiry is confirmed a moment later. She does know this dragon and he's about to tear the roof open.

As Betsy and Brin find the source of the fear one of the mutants is being dragged into the midst of what looks like a glowing magical circle. There are five… men would be one thing to call them… standing about the edge of the circle and sixth within it, holding the struggling mutant with a knife at his throat. It's fairly clear what's going to happen here. Fortunately, the X-Men seem to be just in time..>


Despite what Hollywood says, throwing knives and shuriken are actually rarely lethal. Even in very expert hands they're rarely a good substitute for a gun.

In /mutant/ hands, however, they're an entirely different ballgame. When you can throw a poisoned knife at fastball speeds and telekinetically guide it with near perfect accuracy, their lethality grows to exponential new levels.

~Mana, give me a distraction. …now!~ Running at full tilt on completely silent feet, Betsy snaps a small throwing knife- coated in a paralytic derived from the fugu fish- at the man wielding the knife, aiming for his arm. Not as effective as aiming for his throat, but guaranteed to paralyze it instantly. She wings her remaining three throwing daggers (coated with dart frog poison) at the other cultists, then draws her sword and readies herself to go to blows with the remaining cult members.


A distraction, Brin can do. Smashing the window, loudly, with the hilt of her sword, the brunette tumbles through the window "Uh hi! I was looking for a friend… got told he might be here." Is that enough of a distraction, Betsy? As she's talking, the sword disappears to be replaced by her bow and arrow.

Quickly nocking an arrow, she aims at the circle on the floor and lets loose. She's going to try and disrupt the ritual, whilst Betsy does the rest.


Well it certainly sends people scattering and crying out with alarm. The man with the hostage is instantly paralyzed by Betsy's knife but that leaves Brin and Betsy to deal with the other five who are coming at them with curved daggers that seem to writhe of their own accord, like… almost like short bladed whips.

And then the roof caves in. Rowan rips it open and pours lightning inside. Two of the attackers just collapse from the shock. Literally. The other three are on Betsy and Brin in and instant. In the fight the two might notice, even if they can't use the information right away, that all these men seem to have fish like features. Scales. Gills. Webbed hands. Not even across all but some features are there on all of them.


Sensing Rowan's arrival long before his lightning heralds it, Betsy charges fearlessly forward into the aftermath of his crackling breath as it sears the flesh of the fish-cultists.

Betsy is smart enough not to close to hand to hand with someone using a weapon with which she's unfamiliar. She slides to a halt and handsprings backwards, hurling coalescent amethyst energy at the most mobile of the fish-men. She doesn't pull her punches, either— she aims that psionic blast at his skull, where there's a high chance of scrambling his brain into pudding.


Three on two… and Brins not really a fighter … but she's not bad with that bow. Well, after she gets over the shock of the lightning spitting dragon falling on through!

Aiming at one of the oncoming fish people, to disable rather than kill, she lets loose her arrow, quickly nocks another and starts aiming at the next one…


The arrows and psychic blasts are what do it really. These fish men, if that's what they are, are enthusiastic but not exactly well trained. They must use something or someone else for muscle when they need it. Either way Betsy scrambles one, two of the attackers and Brin puts an arrow in another's knee. By the time Rowan has come on down, in more or less human form this time, it's all but over. He looks about, spear pointing warily as the caprive mutants look at their three rescuers in shock. "More Cult of the Deep." The dragon blue says with some disgust.


Betsy dances with the last cultist, luring him away, and priming a precision strike. She cuts a thin lance of energy at his brow to knock him out without scrambling his brain and watches him go down.

Whipping her sword in a neat circle, she sheathes it in the scabbard at her back and starts going from one cultist to another with a short curved knife, systematically making sure the ones that are down, stay down. It's gruesome work but she does it with a cold efficiency.

"Good timing," she tells the dragon, looking up at him. "I encountered some of these a few days ago in New York. I'm surprised they're so far-flung."


"Cult of the Deep" Brin takes a deep breath and looks around before moving towards the hostages. "I'm Mana, from X-Red in New York." That's as much for Rowans' benefit as the hostages "We're going to help you, ok." She speaks quietly, undoing any bonds they may have and looking for injury. Glancing over her shoulder at the other two "Thanks for the help Psylocke. I expect we'll see Law Enforcement here soon." if the woman wants to 'git' now might be the time. "There's a report in the systems, when you get back. I filed them not long before coming here to check things out." Rowan gets a small smile "And thank you, for your help."


"They're… old, we think." Rowan sighs. "And we have reason to believe that they may be getting ready to conduct some kind of ritual in Los Angeles using mutant blood as one of the main componants. I'd say they can use it for more than just that, judging by what they were doing here." He shakes his head. "I can tell you more but not here. I trust you have the captives in hand? I've got to meet with the others coming to investigate. They're not as… adept on the surface as I." And with that the man sprouts dragon wings and leaps upward, quickly disappearing skyward.


Betsy finds some wire laying about and crudely but effectively hogties the one living survivor. "I'm off, then. Thank you, Mana. Let's rendezvous when we both get back to New York. Regrettably, I need to drive the Aston back," she says, sighing. "And I need a shower beforehand."

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