Beauties Rescue the Beast

January 26, 2016:

A joint group of X-Men, former X-Men and JL:A rescue Beast and X-23 and a whole lot of others. (emits by Cyclops)

Morlock Underground

The building where the Morlocks live.

Characters

NPCs: MeMe, Beautiful Dreamer, Artie, Leech, Masque, Bliss, Morlocks

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The great snowstorm of 2016 has passed. As New York has dug itself out from the over two feet of snow that fell. Once the tunnels were clear, the Morlocks returned to their usual ways - gathering and hunting for supplies. However, Masque is dealing with another problem. Two, actually. Down in the fountain area that he has come to make as his council chambers, he's meeting with MeMe and Bliss. "There's been no report from Scaleface for three days." Bliss says as she looks through the file. "No sign of arrest either. She was last working at Subterfuge - her boss called, saying she didn't show up for work last night."

Masque frowns. "I have warned that child about eating on the job." he mutters, anger barely contained as he looks around. "Make sure once she has returned from digesting her latest victim, she comes directly to me. I will not have layabouts ruining our plans."

"Speaking of plans. I'm ready to smash." MeMe says, glancing towards where Beast was supposed to be guarded by Laura. "When are we getting rid of that elitist?" he asks Masque, turning his attention back to their leader.

"Soon, MeMe. First, however, we need to make sure that our other preparations are complete." With that, he rises to his feet and he and the Council head to a small fortified area that had been originally been created as a boiler room, but now it is used for storage of a small arsenal.

And what an armory it is. Thanks to the attacks from the Purifiers and the Ravagers, the Morlocks have gathered several arms and weapons, some of them taken from dead Purifiers or ripped directly from the genetically altered Ravagers. Mostly assault rifles, there are also scatter guns, rocket proppelled gernades, and other ranged weapons, as well as quite a few melee weapons. A pair of mutants are working on preparing the weapons, cleaning and arming them.

One of the mutants, a young woman, with tentacled arms - she can work on two guns at once! - is wearing a knockoff iPad, but it is her T-shirt that has grabbed Masque's attention. She's wearing one of the first 'Take Back the Night' t-shirts, proudly sponsored by several stores in Mutant Town, and some out of it, including Murdock and Nelson, Attorneys-at-Law. Masque growls, and his anger finally bubbles to the surface as he grabs the young woman by the shirt and rips it off of her, exposing her sports bra and bare chest beneath. "WHAT IS THIS?!" he roars.

"I-I needed a new shirt!" the young woman stammers. "My old one was worn out and threadbare and they were just giving these away!" she drops the guns, covering her chest with her tentacles.

"This is not a new shirt. This is propaganda. This is surface dwellers making their token effort to show they control us still!" He holds up the shirt. "Find who is responsible for this. This Debra Manning! We will make the same example of her as we will of the Elitist!" he growls, as he hears the rifles hit the ground, and he grabs the young woman by one of the tentacles. He immediately calms. "Shh, child.. it's okay.. it's okay.." he whispers. "I'll make sure you're okay.."

The woman whimpers for a moment, tears coming to her eyes, and then she screams in horrible pain as her upper torso is mutated and mutilated horribly by Masque's touch. Her chest looses it's shapely form, becoming a melted and twisted mess that noone will ever find attractive or even determine is a human chest ever again. She falls to the ground, huddling and crying piteously.

"The next person I catch in one of these shirts will have much worse done to them!" Masque declares as he turns to storm out. "Clean up that mess." he barks over his shoulder.


Meanwhile, across the compound where Laura and Hank were, Beautiful Dreamer has come over with breakfast. Her veil is still in place as she hands over the food. "It's time. He's going to be gone for a while longer, and the area where we're going is unprotected." she says as she waits for the two to help lead them to the escape point, the turncoat Morlock tamping her 'cigarette' as she starts off.

——

Up above, a half-mile from where the Morlock encampment is, Ravager has found the old encampment - where the mutant massacre had occurred. After battling not only Lightning Bug's ghost but also Scaleface. Information was gained from interrogating Scaleface that the maintenance entrance for the Morlock tunnels. Just south of the subway platform, she found a large pile of bones and decomposed bodies at the sealed maintenance hatch. While locked from the outside, it has suffered the same decade of decay that the bodies here in this burned out area have.


Morning. And Laura has barely slept. She's still in the same spot she was when Beautiful Dreamer last saw her. In front of Hank McCoy's cage. She's in a relaxed crouch just the minute, though when the young woman's scream is heard, Laura can't help but straighten upward. Her hands will fist at her side, even as her bright green eyes turn towards the area the sound came from. Sadly, however, she can't quite tell what's going on. Not without moving away from her position to investigate, and she won't. Not with her current mission being what it is.

When Beautiful Dreamer comes near, Laura will step slightly back from the cage, so that all three of them can see each other. At the mention of Masque being tied up for the rest of the morning, X-23 will nod.

"We must leave."

Turning towards the cage, X-23 will look towards Beast, to see if he's ready.


Beast gives a start awake at the scream…not that he's slept all that much or all that deeply during his imprisonment. He looks over in the direction of the scream, "How can the people here not see what a monster he is? Surely he couldn't overtake everyone if they mutinied. Nevermind that he's inciting them to a suicide mission, but the fact that he's disfiguring those who displease him out of sheer spite…" his voice trails off as Beautiful Dreamer arrives with food and instructions.

There may not be time to eat and that's all right with him. He'd just rather this be done with so he can help those who have been misguided by Masque. A nod is given to Laura as he quickly pockets whatever scribbling he did on the paper that was provided to him. "I'm ready."


Finally Nate has been given the go-ahead to rescue Beast. In his not very humble opinion, it has been long enough. And since he has Rose at his side, he is pretty sure they can pull it out.

Currently, he is directing his thoughts to X-23. He established a weak psy-link the other day and it has not faded yet, so finding her is easy. And once he reaches her, he scans briefly around, finding another familiar mind. “I think I got McCoy. I guess I could try a four-way mindlink. But I don’t want to spook Laura. Or alert other telepaths.” So just Hank for now. «Hello, McCoy. You okay?» He projects into the blue-furred X-Men’s mind.


Joining in? One orange and white feline with black stripes, otherwise known as Tigra. With some information passed along to the JL:A, one of their newer, somewhat provisional members has answered the call for help. Underground, she moves nearly silently with the others, senses on high alert for whatever they may encounter. "So, what's the intent here? Are we going in loud, or trying to be as sneaky as possible?"


At the old entry the large metal door surrounded in a burial chamber of their own induced death Ravager runs her hands along the metal. If only she had the tact of a lockpick or a skilled master thief. But she does not. What she does have…

The brush of fingertips run down along a seal and then her other hand slams a C4 to one hinge, wires extending to do the same as another explosive is planted and the same goes on for two more placements.

Scaleface had been battered and had healing to do, at least someone else took the questioning into their hands or breathing would hurt more on that draconic Morlock. Rose may have put in a resignation from the X-Men, but she did not resign from her friend and that has her lovingly stroking the door just before she turns, walks away and traces her thumb just as lovingly over the detonator.

«Let it begin.» Silence had come for a moment, but the resonant echo of calm before the storm comes with the press of the trigger and behind Ravager she blows the door wide, likely rocking the tunnels and bringing some down with the concussive force.


Dreamer nods at the two once they're ready. She lets out a breath in a tendril of smoke, not to incapacitate, but just out of nervousness as she starts off. "This way." she says, as she slips beneath the flap of one of the shop lean-tos and starts on her way down the dirty path behind the shops where the garbage is dumped to be collected later. "We turned the old entrance into a burn pit." she explains as they walk. "The tunnel beyond, follow it north, you'll find the former subway station for M-Town. It'll lead you out. Once you're there, run."

Just as they're arriving at the last path that leads them to the burn pit, there's a loud noise as one of the tents is pushed aside, and the massive form of MeMe makes his presence known as he lumbers out into the opening. He's picked up a few.. helpers.. as human forms stretch and grow grotesquely from his skin, making his form even larger. "Going for a stroll, Dreamer?" he asks the young woman, slamming his fist together.

"It's not what it looks like, MeMe!" Dreamer starts to protest, backing up slightly from her mountain of a man. "We just.. just.."

"Just what?" Masque says from behind the threesome, as he steps out. "Do go on, Dreamer." he demands quietly.

Dreamer pauses, and then turns to Masque and walks towards the disfigured mutant. She kneels down to him and takes his hand to kiss it. "I did just as you asked." she says as Masque lays his hand against her cheek as she she turns back to Laura and Hank. "I'm sorry.." she says, and then giggles. "…that I had to act." She pulls back her veil, revealing her face - restored to the normal beauty that she was. "I made a deal with Masque, I'm now his second in command. And I didn't even have to sleep with him." Another little sinister giggle. "There's your traitor, Masque." A gesture to Laura.

"Leech!" Masque demands, as the young mutant comes out near Laura and Hank. As he closes the distance, the two will immediately start to feel the effects of his mutant powers - while Laura can still snikt, she will find that she's not healing the wounds that it causes. Hank suffers worse. His vaunted strength and size start to diminsh, his blue fur vanishes, as he becomes a frail.. if brilliant.. normal human. He still has his acrobatics training, however. It seems he only negates mutant abilities, not innate and learned skills.

"Not so scary are you now…" Masque says with a sadistic glee as he turns to announce the execution of the two - before the muffled explosion rains down dust and debris upon the encampment, drawing startled and scared noises from the encampment. Masque growls. "What now.." he says as he turns to Dreamer, "Go find out what that was. MeMe, watch the prisoners." Pulling his purple robe around him he starts to head off to try to calm those that are murmuring. "It may have been a gas line explosion! We're checking it out, be ready however!"


The door of the cage will be quickly and as silently as can be opened. Once Beast is out and Dreamer is leading, X-23 will follow. Her vibrant green eyes will rove around the area about them and beyond. Looking for any possible threat(s). The rest of her senses will also used for detecting any possible danger, and when the three of them go behind the tent and towards the tunnel opening, X-23 turns slightly.

The wind shift just enough to offer a second or two of awareness that this is a trap and while she doesn't deploy her claws, just yet, she does say, "Trap."

Of course, when it's revealed that Beautiful Dreamer was the one that betrayed them? X-23's gaze will go to the other woman for just a moment. A brief flash of puzzlement will filter across Laura's face, before the mask of an assassin slips into place. At the sight of Masque, X-23 can't help but growl ever so slightly, the only emotion currently being expressed by the girl now.

It's only when she feels the deadening of her senses that X-23 will finally strike. Over her shoulder, she'll simply say, "/Run/." Then, she attacks. Masque's words are ignored, as well as his rather gleeful words. All is ignored now, except for the fight at hand.

*SNIKT*

Both claws within her hands and feet pop out, and immediately X-23 launches herself at the biggest target here. MeMe. She's aiming for an underhanded gut stab to the big man.


Peter stuffs his hands into his pockets and looks around with both his eyes and mind to make sure they're not being spied on. He's never met this 'Hank' but like he told Rose, the Institute took him in so he owes them. At least till they prove they can't be trusted. He's never met this Nate guy either but she's vouched for him so he's not too worried about being set up. "I could have done that." he points out. "Next time save your explosives."


The mental contact causes Hank to give a start but there's almost a sense of relief as he thinks back, I'm fine, Mr. Grey. We're on our way out… but the thought trails off for a moment before a very heavy sense of betrayal and some colorful curse-words are thought. I stand corrected… comes the next thought before he's focusing on the situation at hand.

Without any mutant abilities…this is pretty much a first for Hank. He hesitates a moment after Laura instructs him to run…but it really only takes a nanosecond to realize that he will be of no use in this fight. So he takes off at a sprint in the direction of the explosion. Sure hope that was you, Mr. Grey.


Nate narrows his eyes at Tigra. A Morlock? But then he remembers. “You must be the Justice League member Cyclops mentioned, welc…” And Rose blows up the door. “I guess not very sneaky,” he smirks. Sure, he could also have kicked down the door, but explosions do make a statement.

Fortunately the explosion didn’t make him drop the link to Hank, «what is going on? Yes, it was us. Not alone. I got three friends. Is Laura/X-23 with you?» He glances at the others. “I got Beast, he ran into trouble, we better hurry,” and to set example he flies ahead protected by a telekinetic forcefield. He can play the role of the ‘tank’ when Colossus is not around.


Tigra nods once to Nate. "I'm kind of one of the noobs there, but that doesn't mean I'm inexperienced." Far from it, really. "Loud it is," she says more to herself as Ravager goes about opening the door in a very specific way, and the cat-woman isn't hearing a whole lot else for the moment given the fact both hands are clamped firmly over her ears to help lessen the impact of the sound. Once it seems safe to proceed, she considers Peter with them. "Give me a quick rundown of what you can do? Shouldn't be hard to guess with me. On second thought, forget it. We don't have the time. I'll just find out." There's action going on, and a tigress leaping through the door to see what she should go after first.


The walk away has Ravager closing down mentally, don't knock, she is not answering. The bomb closed more then one thing down, opening a path that may or may not end up adding to the boneyard.

Standing behind the pillar her half-mask is pulled to encircle her biobic eye and conceal her in a beloved and yet tragic operatic style. From her tac belt a styringe is pulled and the adrenaline enhancers are pulled free, not just one but two, a needle for the top of each thigh, the plungers pushed with thumbs and then flicked up and out to add to the falling debris of the already unsanitary tunnels.

"I like my explosives. Fair warning, may want to stay back about….10 feet or so." A waffly gesture is made by hand as the injections begin to kick in. Varying factors to this but with every pulse of her heart that begins to increase in rapidity Peter and Nate can feel something inside them wavering. Powers slightly faltering - dampening. Hands tremble in that waffling and then steady as she reaches back for her swords and draws them from the crossed and holstered position at her back. No hiding on this entry. Shoulder rigs bear two SIG's, pink, Hello Kitty. They were limited edition. Don't judge, though it'd be demeaning as hell to die by them.

Lower back bears a modified holster of two additional Glocks and two large Magnum throwing blades, unlike the smaller kunai strapped around one thigh. A small smile and wink to them and Ravager is sprinting through the opening. "May want to tell me where to go."


"Oh, I was hoping you'd come at me, girlie." Masque growls. "You think you're like Sabertooth. I fought him, you won't be so lucky!" As she stabs at MeMe in what should be an incapacitating manner, she'll discover that the blow instead comes to an area where there's little to harm except to draw blood, from one of the others that he has trapped within him. His mutation doesn't allow him only to absorb and access others, but to rearrange his own organs to protect them from the very thing that she's trying to do.

Grabbing Laura by the wrist, she'll find herself within his suction as he starts to draw the mutant into himself. "I bet you're gonna feel real good inside me, girlie.." he says as continues to reach and trying to absorb her within his large frame - to join with her. And he didn't even buy her dinner first.

The tunnel up above is nearly a half-mile in length, and when they arrive at the grate above the fire pit - which is the converted swimming pool, filled with trash, debris, and a body or two. They get a larger view of what the room, however. A large building footprint, there's about two dozen or so Morlocks that are visible, with most of them being away. There are some that are evacuating, trying to get away after the explosion until it's safe. While there are others that are working their way to the armory to grab weapons in case this is an attack. Masque, in his purple robes, is on the dais, directing and calling for calm as he hears the commotion at the grates. "There!" he gestures towards where Nate and the others are arriving, firing a pistol towards Nate, a round slamming uselessly into the telekenetic forcefield.

However, that's not all that is there. Down below at the edge of the pit, Beautiful Dreamer lifts her arms, and tendrils of her 'smoke' rise towards the three as she attempts to fill the air with the sweet smell of her suggestive powers. «Forget you are here..» she whispers as the scent of black currant and vanilla waft to the team. «…return to where you came from.» Her power isn't telepathic, it's a strong psionic suggestion to them, directly upon the brain of the rescue team.

As Hank is running, Leech is trying to keep up, but really, short stubby legs on Leech can't keep up with the longer strides of the scientist, as he gets far enough away, he starts to feel his bulk returning to him and his blue fur is coming back in.

"Leech say stop!" the young mutant calls after Hank. "Please! Leech don't want to be in trouble!"


Even though her attack doesn't necessarily incapacitate MeMe, that doesn't stop X-23 from withdrawing her claws for MeMe's gut. And while MeMe and most of the 'bad guys' love to chit-chat while they fight, X-23 is different. She simply stays silent, except for a growl or two when she's frustrated, or enraged. For now, however, she stubbornly stays quiet, even as MeMe grabs her wrists and begins to pull her closer.

It's his hand that holds her that's attacked next. She'll also be resisting that pull of his, as she lashes out with her free hand. She's intending to cut the hand off that holds her, even as she brings a claw-tipped foot upward for a groin kick.

Yes, her plan might not work, but that's the plan she's going with right now.


«Yes, she's here…she's attacking…» is offered mentally to answer Nate's question while he runs. However, as Leech chases him and calls out for him to stop, Hank actually slows and turns to face the kid. Maybe his fur and strength fade again as the kid closes in, but he can't let this opportunity go. "Come with me, Leech. We can help you…we can keep you safe and help you learn to control your powers. There are others your age, others going through what you're going through. But you'll be safe, warm…you'll get to go to school and learn. You'll get to play sports and walk around in the daylight."


Peter watches Nate fly off and nods as he remembers something Scott said about other psiots. He's about to answer to Tigra when she tells him to forget it and he just nods at her too. It's all good. Though Rose's warning gets a curious look right up to the point he can feel the light telekinetic shield he's been keeping up start to waver. Yes, he's definitely going to be staying away from Rose and will let her go first. As they head down the tunnel, he firms up his force field and seals it now that a fight is quickly approaching. He'll let the other throw the first punches since he's not even sure who the good guys are or what they look like. The 'smoke' just wafts around his shielding but can't get in.


Getting shot first is why Nate went flying first. Bullets are not a serious threat to him, but he shots a few relatively weak telekinetic bolts to the armed mutants, to keep them busy and keep their attention. He is also looking for Hank (no big blue guys on sight – weird, because his minds feel close) and Laura… who seems on trouble. So he flies towards the dark-haired girl, reaching telekinetically to grab MeMe and pull him away.


Once they've broken on through to the other side, the rescue team finds just what's in store for them. Just prior to that, Tigra openly stares at what Ravager's up to, then she shrugs it off. They have business to attend to, and each person will have their own methods of dealing with it.

However, Tigra's first going to have to cope with what's coming from Beautiful Dreamer. As the first whiff of whatever she's smelling registers, she clamps a hand over her nose and mouth. Think someone's suddenly wishing she'd brought a gas mask with her? "Take her out!" she shouts, then covers as much of her face again as she can, pointing at the source of the problem. Already, she's slowing in her approach as she tries to avoid directly inhaling any more of it. In fact, she ducks behind a pile of debris and rummages around for something she can use to cover the lower half of her face. A rag, a piece of cloth, anything to block some of it out before too much of it leaves her stuck obeying.


Ravager burst ahead like she was off to races, but when they round the corner and come in contact with Beautiful Dreamer, her stance shifts, a moment of hesitation, a moment of doubt in her placement here, a long and slow blink that does not block out Tigra's words, in fact as Ravager is trying to figure out the why once again, Tigra gives it all away.

The walls in place by force of will alone to keep telepathic interference out slip and then slam back into place, not taking away the sole -reason-. Nate's blast forward to take on MeMe with the unknown other also help seat it back into being. No breath in, her breath is held on Tigra's warning and when the haze of intuition begins to falter Ravager is lunging for Beautiful Dreamer. A rapid motion that has her sliding along the ground (smoke rises!) to bring the swords to the front and sweep them upward, attempting to gather Dreamer off her feet and then fling her towards Peter, hopefully making enough of a distraction to shut her down and allow them to pass.

Make it fast, girl can only hold breath so long while exerting energy…and on drugs!


"Leech can't go, Leech not alone." Leech looks sad as he comes close to Hank, but keeps his distance from Hank so he doesn't get his. "Others Leech age? Artie is Leech's age. He Leech's best friend." Turning to look off into the distance, he points to a pink mutant no taller than he is. "That's Artie. He's Leech's best friend!" he calls out, waving to Artie. "Can Artie come with me to school?" he asks, looking to Hank again. "Leech not like it down here. But Leech scared. Afraid others make fun of Leech and Artie. Leech not look like others."

X-23 gets in a hard strike on MeMe. Meme's eyes cross as he lets out a loud groan of pain. His arm is hacked into, and he falls over, landing on Laura, absorbing the woman whole as his large flabby frame lands upon her. Scccchhlllllurp!

Nate grabs MeMe to heft him up, but all that's left of Laura at this point is one boot that is sticking out of MeMe's rather sizable frame. And of course, one of the 'others' that MeMe has absorbed launches up, pulling the skin to try to wrap it's arms around Nate to start to pull him into the mass as well. There seems to be no limit as to exactly what the large man can collect.

Dreamer realizes that her smoke isn't having an affect on the approaching team - and as she does, she decides to practice the better part of valor as she turns to start to run and join in the evacuation. She's not ready or even willing to take on several heavily armed mutants. Even as there are others that are taking up arms with sporadic small-arms fire. Nate's bolts cause them to return to cover. They're not a trained militia. They're scared and frightened, and just wanting to protect their only home. And many of them are experiencing the same fears they felt when the first Morlock Massacre occurred - several mutants, all super powered, attacking them, slaughtering them. That feeling could be overwhelming to the telepaths, that general ball of anxiety and fear.

Dreamer doesn't get far, however, as Ravager overtakes her, she swats ineffectually at the woman before she's flung backwards towards Peter, smoke trailing from her body as she's ragdolled back towards the others. Masque growls as he sees Dreamer go down and runs towards Ravager, attempting to grab her before she can return her attention to him so he can start to warp her limbs.


While other heroes might shout for help, or even a no, as they're sucked within a person's body, X-23 does neither. Instead she takes a deep breath before she's schhlurped into MeMe's form.

Several seconds pass and truly, it almost may seem like X-23 is lost, but finally there's movement within. There's a stretching of skin, a second stretching even that's not quite reaching for Nate, instead this stretch of skin almost looks like a head reaching straight outward. While it seems like that hand within is about to burst through, abruptly the outline of a hand disappears. Again seconds pass, before finally two sharp claws finally appear from within.

The claws finally breach through the skin of MeMe's back and almost like an alien bursting forth, X-23 reappears. Her short frame is covered in blood and gore and it's a safe bet she'll need /many/ showers after this. The sound of her held breath being release is heard, before the miniature Wolverine whirls about. She's looking to see what sort of threat MeMe is now. Even as she looks towards MeMe, X spares a quick glance to the rest of the fighters, both Morlock and non.


"Yes, Artie can come too," Hank offers, looking over as the friend is indicated. "I don't look like the others either. You saw that. At this school, they understand differences. They understand having powers and looking different. You would not have to go out begging or stealing, I promise."

As the others make their appearance, he looks up sharply and takes in a breath as if to call out something…but it's too noisy. Instead, he tries to think at Nate, hoping that he's still maintaining telepathic contact, «Most of the people here are innocents! Take out Masque and the others should surrender!»


There's a woman being flung at him. Almost absently, Peter swats her away telekinetically, sending her crashing into a wall. He's preoccupied by the thoughts assailing his mind, head shaking back and forth to try to dispel them, knowing it's not going to work and reaching up to hold his head. He's used to the constant noise but the fear and images they're projecting are something else. « No. Surrender. » he projects, trying to reach as many minds as he can that are assaulting his own. It's not a suggestion but a telepathic command. «We won't hurt you if you stop. Surrender.»


As things begin to return to normal instead of the state they'd been going toward before Beautiful Dreamer is effectively stopped, Tigra gets back into the fray but stops short of attacking any of the Morlocks on the run. "Don't hurt anyone unless you have no other choice!" she shouts. "Most of them are afraid!" She's not a telepath, but there are still things that can be figured out when you have her senses.

Chances are what X-23 just did to MeMe counts as 'no other choice,' but it's a good thing Tigra isn't looking in that direction right now. She's spotted Beast, furred or not, with Leech, then there's Ravager moving along, and now Masque. For now, Tigra moves closer to provide some backup, keeping Masque in her sights, but if anyone tries attacking her she seeks only to disarm, not maul. She's keeping things under control. "We aren't here to hurt you! Honest!" Seems she's not the only one trying to get them to believe it.


Nate's attempt to grab MeMe only has him sinking as well, but MeMe's gluttany is about to give him a lesson that you can bite off way more then you can….chew? Absorb. Whatever! It seems almost as if Nate is allowing it to happen and just as his head is about to be swallowed MeMe begins to look like a nuked Peep, using his tk to bubble and blister from within…

But X-23's hand carved exit strategy brings him to a stop as they both come spilling out of his insides in a pile of…schloop. No time to shake it off, he risies back into the air to join the others in their resonant calls for ceasing this attack, tossing down a barrier that will physically stop further approach of some of the onslaught if the words and mental suggestions do not work.

Ravager spins in time to be caught by Masque, the touch a thing that warps her suit, not meant to deflect that of mutating attacks, melting it from her body to come in contact with flesh and just as she is hefted up her arms begin to bubble, blister, and peel…and then it all stops if not significantly slows. The mutation attempt on her limbs giving her enough wiggle room to spin her lower body like a cats. Jaw set firmly against the pain of the attempt the twist of her body is to firmly -kick- Masque, but with that kick of booted feet the blades implanted within soles switch out and she uses them as mountain climbing bracers to run up his form, embedding the blades with each step - thigh,stomach, chest, face!, and flip attempting to wrench free of his grip and land a few feet away, while leaving her path along his body a mottle of holes.


"I.. ain't feeling so good." MeMe rumbles, as the grip on Nate slackens, and his arms, all of them grip around his stomach. And then as Laura disembowels him from within, everything spills out all over the place. Laura, other mutants that he had absorbed, all types of nastiness. MeMe goes limp, but somehow.. someway.. he was able to rearrange everything so that he lived through the attack, however, he's very much unconscious now as his body's own healing seals him up.

"Leech get Artie, we come with!" Leech says proudly as he takes off towards the other mutant, oblivious to the carnage around him - though it seems the way he moves, he may actually know what's going on as he's avoiding most of the retreating mutants and attackers, and grabs Artie's hand. "We go. School time!" Leech says proudly.

Artie, the pink mutant, no more than a child himself, seems immune to Leech's power as he projects the image of a schoolhouse back at Leech. He doesn't talk, instead, he's a mute as he moves with Leech back to where Beast has been fully restored for the time being. "Leech find Artie. Artie, Cookie Monster says he has school! We can go to it!" He doesn't know who Hank is, and really, what kid wouldn't confuse the big blue fuzzy with being the Cookie Monster.

As Tigra disarms one of the mutants, she finds out that her theory is right. "Please.." he begs. "Don't kill us.. not again.." he cries, dropping to his knees in sobs. It's settling in, the whole idea that they could all die today. Even as Peter's suggestion is taking hold and more and more are dropping their arms or running, Masque is not so ready to surrender his hold on this. "Invaders! Murderers! Elitists!" he yells. And then Ravager is trying to prove just that, surprise showing on his face as his power seems to have very little true effect on the young woman, as she starts to slam her bladed feet into his body and he falls to the ground, his hands clutching his wounds desperately, his own body the only thing that he can't heal before her punches send him reeling into the dais and he slumps to the ground, the blood coming from him.

"Go ahead.." he coughs. "Prove me right.. elitist.." he says to Ravager, spitting out his blood as he continues to bleed out.


One last sweep of the room and then X-23's gaze is settling on Ravager and more specifically, Masque. When the would-be prophet goes reeling from his wounds, Laura is quick to try and get closer. Her green eyes will focus on Ravager for a moment, even as she takes another step towards the now bleeding man.

With claws still out, X-23 will say, "He should die."

But she waits, having remembered that Cookie Monster (Beast) didn't want Masque to die, instead she looks towards the newcomers. Peter, Tigra, Ravager (again) and Nate.


"Don't kill them!" Hank calls out, "Not even Masque!" Even though he wants to eviscerate the man himself for what he's done to all these people, it would be as he said to Beautiful Dreamer and Laura: No need to make him a martyr! He looks back to Leech and Artie and gestures for them to stay where he just was, smiling some at the new nickname. He needs to do this first.

He makes his way back into the main area and over to where Masque is bleeding. "You're the elitist…you're the murderer, sending these innocent people on a suicide mission. You're the monster and they're seeing this firsthand. They won't follow you anymore. You're done."

It's said loud enough for his voice to carry to the others, he hopes.

Then, out to the others who have surrendered, "We're going to bring you help. If you want to come outside and live there, we'll help you. We'll do our best to protect you, but we can't promise that everyone will be welcomed with open arms by everyone. But know that we have your back. If you choose to stay here, we'll make sure you have food, clothes, books, the necessities. I promise you that I, personally, will do all that I can to see that mutants of -ALL KINDS- will be recognized and accepted as people who just want to live their lives."

His rhetoric done, he looks to the others who came to help rescue him, "Thank you. I'm…not sure what to do with him, but I don't think he should be running free. His power can cause great harm to people. Thoughts?" A glance to Laura, "He shouldn't be killed. We aren't the Law and we don't get to decide that."


Tigra's eyes sweep the area quickly, taking in every last detail she can before she chooses her next course of action. Masque's ranting and raving is enough to mark him as the cause of all this hysteria, and she takes care to do as she said, her strikes only knocking guns, knives, or other weapons away from the Morlocks trying to use them. This is only really needed for maybe two or three of them, but she assures the one who's begging, "Nobody here is going to kill you. I don't know what started all this, but we came to rescue people we know." She offers a hand to help the kneeling Morlock back to his feet, adding, "Come on, get up and move to a safer place for now."

Once she's finished with that, she's the one now advancing on Masque, Ravager, and X-23. "No. Whatever brought this about, nobody dies here. I don't even need to be a detective to figure this one out, with him feeding them his anger and insanity." See, Beast agrees. If she has to, she'll put herself between Masque and the other women close by, her tail lashing enough to suggest she'll act if she has to. She lets Beast make the assurances. Seems he's good at that sort of thing. "Masque? Is that what he calls himself?" She's splitting her attention between the apparent Morlock leader and the rest, paying closer attention to him to ensure no surprises if she can help it. "He doesn't get to run free and get others to do his bidding and die for him. He'll have to be taken somewhere."


As weapons drop, they rise again to get whisked off into a corner under Peter's influence. Hopefully the Morlock's fear will lessen a little when none of them start getting killed. He just wants them to get out of his fucking head. Should Masque die? Peter doesn't really have a horse in this race so it's of no concern to him. But since Beast asks "I could wipe his mind if you want." he suggests. "All or in part. Or place a command in it to keep him from doing this again."


Ravager sweeps her gaze over X-23 in her approach of Masque, a lsight shift in her mismatched eyes to bring a finger up and flick the warped suit and flesh beneath, flicking a hanging piece of skin and kevlar interwoven rubber to let it wobble in emphasis before she speaks. That is going to have her reeling once she comes down. But right now she feels basically nothing, and the power dampening aura pulses around her with every erratic beat of her heart or staggering draw of breath. But slowly she is calming, enough to draw a pistol with her offending hand and slap a semi-clear clip into the bottom of it, aiming for Masque's face.

Tigra's approach only gives a moment of pause, her head tilting slightly and the weapon lowering, almost as if convinced. Almost.

"You obviously haven't met my dad. Elitist. Tch." With that Rose fires her gun in a rapid rise of the dropped hand to try and shoot just around Tigra's frame, but instead of the sound of a bullets explosion the near whisper has the tranq releasing to plant itself in his neck.

"I got my pound of flesh, if anyone get's to finish him, it should be the ones he hurt doing this. And I won't stop them." From Tigra, to X, and then to Beast as that counted for him as well, meaning, she came for him - he was free, blow for blow her job is done. She won't protect Masque or seek anything else of him as long as he stays silent.


Masque spits towards Beast before the blood loss starts to take hold and he passes out. Outside, police sirens start to wail as someone had reported all of the mutants that were fleeing the building. While Hank may have this dream that the police are coming in to help, these police are lead by SWAT in SRD gear as they start to raid. "Hands up! Noone move!" They're calling out. There comes more screams of panic as tear gas canisters come into play. The old MRD habits are hard to break as they are coming into a mutant population with the intention to surprsee and then help. They're still far enough away that they can't quite see where the battle was and the heroes are recovering.

…the more things change, the more they remain the same, it seems. Even in Mutant Town, the police department is primarily human, and they aren't particularly humane. This is what Scott and Jean had told Beast about, with the prayer that Hank would never experience it firsthand - and now here it is, in his face. Not on television while safe in his lab. It's here now, in living color.


While X-23 takes another step closer to Masque, the words of the others do stop her. Instead of slicing his throat, like he deserves, X-23 will only offer a single nod to Hank, Ravager and Tigra. Slowly the slime and blood covered girl will make her way towards Hank, as she looks him over. His speech is ignored, as she asks, "You are unhurt?" Afterall, it was her mission to get him to freedom, even if that mission was given to her by Beautiful Dreamer. The true traitor here.

Of course, before much of anything else can be done the noise of the police or rather SWAT in their SRD gear, is heard. At the mention of hands up, X-23's hands do go up, but not in a non-violent way. Instead her balled fists come upward and her claws are released again with the audible sound of *SNIKT*. "People approach. Police."


Nate has been disarming the Morlocks equipped with firearms and now he has a little piled of them at his side. Most of MeMe's blood is gone, thanks to some telekinetic manipulation. The arrival of the police, though, brings him back to the others. "Now they come? Who the hell needs them -now-?" He grumbles. And with tear gas, not nice.

Almost as an afterthought, he pulls all the blood drenching X-23 off her. "Nice to see you again, you are coming with us, hmm?" The he yells loudly, "everyone back to the tunnels!" He points back, "we can hold them here for a while, get back… Beast, Ravager, can you go with them?" He glances at MeMe, in the case he tries to crawl away. "No, you and your buddies are staying."


Ain't nobody got time for this… Well, Ravager knows she doesn't, but she cannot speak for anyone else. As the resonant sound of the tear gas begins to pop and hiss and fill the tunnels, as well as the local police announcement, she is turning and finding another way the hell out of dodge, if any choose to follow her, her exit is silent save for any blazing of a path needed.

She has about 10 minutes til cooldown and until she likely needs to dump some peroxide and rubbing alcohol on her arms. "Already on it!"

Ninja, vanish -with any who choose to follow, that is.


"Great. Just great." This is Tigra's first reaction to the arriving cops in their extra gear and protection, not to mention their weapons. This, after she flinched toward one side as Ravager shot the dart past her to ensure Masque would be sleeping for a while. "Get behind me, fast!" she urges any Morlocks closest to her, advancing a few steps forward to help usher them and give herself more room to move.

Even as the tear gas begins to infiltrate the area, starting with the way in, they will hear the woman with the feline traits shout, "Officers, stand down! Do not shoot! This is Tigra, with the JL:Alliance! The threat is minimized! Again, do not shoot!" At the same time, she does raise her hands for them to see, adding, "This is a rescue operation and the one who caused it is subdued!" Her angle is a bit different than Nate's and Ravager's as well, on the surface. The only question? What happens next?


"This is a rescue operation!" Hank also calls as the police and SWAT team make their presence known. He starts to move back towards Artie and Leech when the tear gas canisters come into play. "Stop! We're peaceful!" is called out before he starts coughing and tearing up as the gas hits his sensitive nose and eyes. "Get them out…" is managed between gasps of air. "Get the kids to Xavier's…"


Peter looks over at the noise the cops are making and the tear gas canisters fly back toward the police before he puts a force wall over the corridor. That should keep out the cops, bullets and gas. "I'll stay and keep the wall up till you're all gone. She can talk them down afterward." he says, nodding to Tigra. And he can keep them from even knowing he was here.


As the police approach, who wouldn't recognized Tigra, dressed down as she usually is, even in the dead of winter. Peter's forcefield.. is not helpful. In fact, it seems to be agitating the cops further. "If this is a rescue operation, why are we blocked out!" the commander on site yells back to the woman, anger rising in his voice just as he was about to start listening to the two fuzzies before that wall went up.


When the gloop, glob and blood is removed seemingly by magic, X-23 looks about; not quite certain who did that. That thought is forgotten, however, once Nate calls out to her. At his offer to come with, X-23 will give one last look around the area. Then she nods. Hank's gasped words about the children are likewise heard, even as she says lowly to him, "Get out." After all, he was her primary responsibility in this mission and it still holds true, it seems.

Then Laura is making her way to Leech and Artie, her claws finally being sheathed as she approaches the children. "Come with me." Her hands will be held out towards them, for them to take and while her expression is still quite devoid of emotion, there's a faint softening to her voice.

As for what smoke entered the area? While it causes X's eyes to sting and her nose to become irritated, the discomforts are ignored, as her healing factor easily compensates for it.


Why every telekinetic seems to be able to build better forcefields than him? Nate wouldn't be able to keep away the tear gas like that. But it allows him to come closer. "Relax, it because we don't have gas masks and tear gas is nasty stuff. Hell, Tigra has enhanced senses, you don't want to be the cops that sent a member of the Justice League to the hospital, right? We can remove the wall in a minute, okay?" He is also reaching into the minds of the cops to make them think it is all very reasonable.


Tigra glances toward Peter, not certain right away if his move will be good or bad. Seems it's potentially bad, even if only the first bits of tear gas finally got close enough to start having an effect on her. It's a minimal one, but it's still there and she coughs, having to rub at her eyes before she clears her throat.

"The..one behind this looks like he tried to arm the people here to fight and die for him," she calls back. She hasn't had the time to see exactly what sort of weaponry Masque had accumulated. "And when you came in with the gear and guns, we didn't want innocent people shot when they were already afraid. There are children in here. Lower your guns, and we'll lower the barrier. Let's work together on this, and I'll help you find the weapons so you can get them out of here. The people need help, and we plan to get them some." If the forcefield doesn't come down because the police decide to push the issue, they can probably go complain to the JL:A about it. Tigra will have her story ready.


Beast shakes his head to Laura, "I'm not leaving these people to be attacked by the police. Let them take Masque and give him a proper trial, but these people are innocent. Most of them." Maybe not Beautiful Dreamer, sadly. There's a sigh of relief as she takes the kids and goes to lead them out…hopefully they'll be taken care of.

He looks to Tigra as she works on the Police, letting her handle this as a member of the Justice League. Maybe that will be better recognized over a bunch of mutants.


Artie and Leech look up towards Beast, and Artie reaches to take Beast's hand after accepting Laura's. They're coughing and finding it hard to breath, but Artie wants to make sure Cookie Monster is safe before they go off with the young woman. Nate and Tigra are tag-teaming the cops, and it seems to be calming them down. As they finally see that none of the mutants are actually going to fight them. "Street teams, put up your weapons." the officer in charge, the Captain for the 11th Precinct frowns. He leaves the SWAT teams armed, just in case, but he calls out. "Clear the room, make sure that everyone is cared for!" he adds and picks up his radio. "I need all the buses we can spare, ambulances.. and someone contact X-Red, they're about to have a hell of a headache on their hands."

The Captain glances towards Beast and then back to Tigra. "He with you?" With him in blue fuzzy mode, he's a lot harder to recognize than the picture that was sent down to the District before the case suddenly.. vanished.

As Beast speaks, Artie finally lets go of his hand, projecting a sad face, but he turns to Laura so she can lead them back to the Institute.


"The gas will come in if I drop it now." Peter points out to Tigra. "But I can let the Captain in if he wants." He stays out of direct sight of the police, off to one side.


Once the children's hands are in her own, X-23 will give a look towards Beast, before she's leading them away from all of the hustle and bustle. She'll use the tunnel that Nate, Ravager, Tigra and Peter came in as their excuse. There's the stray thought of just where this Institute might be, but that can be saved for when the trio is outside.

Even if Laura can't find the Institute, she can at least bring the children to X-Red.


Taking the lead in a situation is not a role Tigra's been thrust into very often, but in this case it feels warranted with her doing the main part of the negotiations with the police. "He's with me, yes. And we don't want to get the worst of that gas, but a few of you can come through to help secure the area and go over the weapons. I don't want them ending up in anyone else's hands." She spares a quick glance Peter's way as she says this, since he's got control over the barrier. "Once the gas dissipates more, the rest of you can help. We just want to keep the people here as safe as possible, but we have a few responsible for this that need to be handled. We'll tell you what we know so far."


With the police, Tigra, and Beast tending to the Morlocks as X-Red is made aware of the situation, Nate, Laura, Peter and the kids are freed up to lead the way back to the Institute. Ravager has gone off to be on her own, as she has left the X-teams, but both her and Laura's missions are accomplished - Hank McCoy has been rescued.

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