I Was Seen

March 16, 2016:

An emergency call from Sunspot has members of the X Teams responding

The Bronx - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's mid-afternoon in the Bronx, and Roberto da Costa is in over his head. Dressed in his full X-men uniform, comprising an armored chestplate, gauntlets, and boots over skintight pants, he sprints across the roof of a brownstone building, gathers solar energy into his fiery aura, and makes a rocket-powered leap across a four-lane road. Behind him, unidentifiable figures in sleek power armor pursue him, undaunted by the gap thanks to what would otherwise be really cool jet boots.

"Merda," Sunspot hisses, glancing over his shoulder and continuing to run. He smacks a transmitter built into his collar, blurting out, "Sunspot here. I did something dumb and now I'm being chased by guys in robot suits and I could really use some help!" The X-men's equivalent of Siri compacts this into a an SOS push notification and sends it to anyone X-affiliated in the surrounding borough. Roberto doesn't have time to be grateful for the handy system — energy blasts are sizzling through the air toward him from what feels like at least half a dozen points.


As it happens, Prodigy is nearby — heading through the Bronx on the subway as he returns from meeting a friend in Queens. Despite the fact that he's underground, the push notification comes through on his HUD. He scans it, then yanks the cord to stop the train, much to the ire of his fellow passengers, and escapes into the tunnels. There's a city worker on the train who knows all of these tunnels, and the fastest way to get to 'Berto is up — a ladder on the wall of the tunnel that will lead him through to the streets, coming up through a manhole half a block from the scene of the chase.

"On my way, Sunspot," the young man says as he climbs, and his HUD captures words, assuring 'Berto that help is on the way from at least one direction.


In the X-Red HQ, Brin receives the call and arranges for anyone present who wants to join to be transported to Berto's location by Stepping Disk. On our way, Sunspot.

Wearing her X-Red uniform, a black jumpsuit with red side insets, heavy black boots and a belt that crosses over her hips. Stepping Disks open and the brunette steps through, to be deposited not far from the running mutant.


Gabriel really was planning on reading through the afternoon but at the call he had overheard his eyes had followed the Brinley as she had gone into the Stepping Disk location and naturally the man just followed. Deposited shortly after the burnette is, he arrives in his standard uniform. Jeans, a T-shirt, and a cowboy hat that is pulled over his features. His first few steps take a moment to stabilize himself and he looks around. "That… was interesting." The comment is made mostly to himself before he begins to crack his knuckles. "What's going on?"


A distinct metallic report behind him tells Roberto that someone just fired a rocket. "That better not be heat-seeking," he snarls as he makes an instinctive evasive leap. The man with the sun powers has very distinct opinions about such things. Of course, the RPG arcs enough to detonate nearby and send him caroming through the air, ass over teakettle. "I HATE HEAT SEEKERS!" he yells, just before launching himself upward with full solar thrust. He can only actually fly for a short time before draining his solar batteries, but it's the only way he knows to get his vector under control before he ends up a smear on the pavement.

Of course, the coronal flare he flies on paints a huge target for any other heat-seeking munitions. Two of his power-suited pursuers have stopped, aiming with rocket tubes to take advantage of this; the one who already fired is leaping back to the chase. Several others are running and gunning, using sidearms that emit crackling blue energy beams that burst into azure fireballs on contact. So far, none seem to have noticed the reinforcements Sunspot called in, which gives the newcomers a chance to get the drop on them.


David comes out of the tunnels just where expected, street level, an alley right below the battle. He stops there, staring upward and letting the information come to him. In a moment he knows how to pilot the robot suits. He gets a bunch of other information, but much of it doesn't seem terribly relevant. If he could just get his hands on one of those suits, though…

"Down on the ground," he informs the others. "If one of you could put down one of the mech drivers, I could take over for them pretty neatly." This does not necessarily seem likely, though, and David starts climbing, seeking a better view of the suits. He's got other skills of which he can take advantage.


Taking a moment to assess the situation, crouching down behind part of the roofs superstructure, Brins eyes widen at what, or who, is chasing Sunspot. She'll find why once this is done.

"The bright spot is Sunspot, one of ours, there's another coming in, the rest we need stop and disable." She has given Gabriel the 'no killing' talk, right?

"This is Mana, I'm onsite with Gabriel. We're presently situated on a roof to the east of Sunspot locations." she reports.

A glowing green and gold bow appears in her hands which she takes a bead on the nearest pursuer, targetting cracks and crevices in the armour and lets a glowing bodkin fly.


Gabriel looks at Brinley as she explains the situation to him. There's a few moments as he tracks the sky to find the bright spot then the other objects chasing him. He lifts the brim of his hat up some as he looks into the sunlight but finally the man nods his head. "Disable the things chasing the bright one. Got it."

The man looks around him there on the rooftop trying to find something. Spotting what will hopefully work he walks over towards the small structure that provides the interior stairs access and the gray box that is resting there with the electrical symbol plastered on the front of it. "I need energy." He comments over his shoulder towards Brinley as he rears back to kick the metal door of the circuit breaker box open. Reaching in, he starts plucking things out to create shorts that he begins to feed into his own energy cycle to begin the process.


"Oh, put one down. Why didn't I think of that?" Sunspot snarks in response, more than a little bit manic in his desperation. Still, he cuts thrust, spins in place, and fires a wild solar blast back at his attackers. It's a good thing he does, as that's the moment two more rockets fly at him in quick succession. One cuts upward, losing tracking, to detonate harmlessly at high altitude. The other manages a proximity detonation just above Roberto as he loses altitude, knocking him down to skid to a halt on a nearby rooftop.

Sunspot's blast goes wide, but Brinley's finds its mark. Immediately, it's apparent that these rigs are not Iron Men — the projectile pierces through the side, knocking the target to the edge of the building. His arms flail as he tries to maintain his balance, parapet digging into the backs of his knees, but the suit and his injury are hampering his movement. Two of the others swing away from pursuit, trying to track where the psychic construct came from.


David comes up alongside the suit that's been damaged, and grins, below and behind. This seems a good opportunity. He scans his new knowledge, searching for information on how to open the suit from outside — there must be a way, and if he can eject the user of this suit he should have no trouble claiming it for himself.


It won't take the pursuers long to work out where the arrow came from, Brins been practicing and another two arrows fly in quick succession. She's under no illusion that her arrows will have limited effect - she's aiming to slow things down so those with the stronger more active powers can cinch the deal.

Even in battle, the brunette mutant is aware of her team and lets her empathy reach out to try and find them.

"Gabriel, be careful." Be careful not to let his power overwhelm. "Lean on me, if you need it." Seeing David messing with the suit she adds to her teammates "Prodigy looks to be acquiring a suit, try not to aim for them."


Gabriel takes a few moments with the sparks and starts drawing the energy from the external source into himself, focusing on that task for awhile before he turns around and walks back towards where Brinley is, eyes glowing a purple color. There is a small, but serious smile on his lips as he glances down at the burnette when he steps up to her side. "I will be careful. As they attack us, their energy will feed me, so be prepared to disable me if I get overwhelmed."

His attention shifts then towards the flying suits and his hands lift up sending out two bolts of plasma energy through the air in the direction of them. If there was any doubt where the other X'ers were located, streaks of purple energy might eliminate them.


There is indeed an emergency release on the suits — twist catches on the belt and each shoulder. Tough to get all three on a mobile suit that's fighting you, but David's target is hurt and desperate to maintain his balance. The mutant will have to be fast, but it's possible.

Of the two airborne suits hunting for Brinley, one takes an arrow to the knee, cutting the fuel line to that jet boot. The boot's thruster sputters and goes silent, kicking the flight system off balance and sending him plummeting. So much for that guy's adventuring career.

The other gets speared by one of Gabriel's plasma beams. The plasma is superheated enough to catch the flight suit material on fire, panicking its occupant. He veers downward and away, swatting at the flames in desperation.

Of the five remaining suits, three are now vectored toward Brinley and Gabriel, whom they have identified as the primary threat. Two land rapidly on the roof where Roberto crashed and is still prone — although he seems to be moving. One draws a bead with his energy blaster; but the other still has a rocket, and aims for an assured kill shot.


David is fast. Fast and still unexpected. He climbs directly from the building up the back of the suit, reaching over the man's shoulders to twist the catches there. And he's behind. Even as the man starts to notice he's being attacked — or, rather, being climbed — David is going for the belt catch, hoping to yank the man out of the suit before he can put up much of a defense.


"You've got this…" Brin murmurs to Gabriel. How on earth the man expects her to disable him is beyond her.

The bow disappears and glowing green and shield appears between Berton and the remaining two suits, the small woman trusting that Gabriel will keep them safe.

"I'll drop that shield on your mark, Sunspot." She's full faith that Warm Twin will be up momentarily, giving the full strength on the field of play.


Gabriel looks at Brinley and smiles at her when she offers a vote of confidence in him. Taking the empowerment of her thoughts, he steps up in front of her to act as a shield between the woman and the incoming suits.

"Need something to blow up, or some more energy from someplace." The amount that he took from the building was enough to get him started but it is not enough to sustain him in a longer confrontation. Nonetheless, he against lifts his hands to send out a pair of plasma bolts that have less energy behind them then the previous onces since he must now conserve until there is enough for him to feed off of to a sufficient level.


Surprised, David's target yelps as he realizes that there's someone climbing on his back, putting him further off balance. "Get off me, ya mutated piece of shit!" he snarls, swinging back at David, but by that time he's already disengaged from the suit, and the empty shell gives Prodigy cover. Bleeding from his side, he stumbles away, unarmed and clearly afraid of whatever powers David might display.

Of the trio homing in on Brinley and Gabriel, one takes a hit from a plasma beam and one manages to evade, but the diminished power leaves only a small flame guttering in an armor pad. The other two sweep forward in a pincer maneuver, laying down azure fire with their pistols. The one who was hit hangs back, hovering and going for a rocket shot.

Shielded, Roberto lurches to his feet, his armor looking much worse for wear and a nasty skid burn running down the side of one leg. The power suit covering him with the rocket growls, not wanting to waste his rocket on the shield, and gestures for the other to start blasting. Sunspot draws as much power to himself as he can, then unleashes dual solar blasts, one at each attacker. "Now!" he yells, signaling Brinley.


Powers David might display. The only power David is displaying just now is the power of kung fu. Or, rather, Aikido. David does not go after the downed man but takes up a position between the man and his suit. "You have a choice here," he says in a pleasant baritone. "You can go away, and know you were bested by a mutant, but that you escaped with your life and your freedom. Or you can try to take back your pathetic armor and see what I will do to you."

Bullies are such cowards.


On Berto's call, Brins shield disappears just as the azure fire comes shooting at her and Gabriel. Tumbling to the side, the brunette is too slow and a searing blast hits her shoulder, knocking off the edge of the building….

Gabriel is going to have to deal with the rocket shot.

As she tumbles, a wave of emotion washes over those nearest - predominantly fear mixed a dose of shock.


Gabriel raises his hand up as the rocket comes flying in towards him, a shield of energy wrapping itself around him to cause the explosion to hit prematurely. What is beneficial for the man is that the explosion creates multiple forms of energy. Chemical energy, kinetic energy… all of which he begins absorbing into himself further and further. The greater the energy start up the more he can pull.

Filled now with energy, Gabriel looks to his side at Brinley and finds she is not there. She is missing and he looks over at the suit which fired at her. Purple hued eyes begin to glow brightly then and Gabriel turns to face it fully. As his arms raise, the energy created from the missile explosion is redirected outwards, once again in the form of plasma as it fires from both his arms and his eyes towards the suit flying man; the look of anger and rage on Gabriel's face quite clear.


There's no question what choice the unsuited fighter will make. He backs away toward the fire escape, unwilling to turn away from Prodigy but equally uninterested in fighting an unknown mutant with his bare hands. "Suit's all yours," he says contemptuously, clutching at his bleeding side. "Good luck learning to fly it in the next five seconds."

Shows what he knows.

Gabriel's target is engulfed in violet flames, screaming and dropping out of the sky after Brinley. The other two turn in shock, then redouble their return fire, blasters blazing at the man still on the roof. Their natural anxiety at the display of power is only augmented by the wave of fear coming off of Brinley herself. They've obviously counted Mana out of the fight, but whether they'll be proven wrong is anyone's guess.

Roberto's sudden blast catches the rocket-armed enemy full in the chest, sending him flying over the side of the building. The one already shooting at him only takes a glancing hit, staggering backward but recovering fast enough to return fire. Roberto takes three hits — two bursting forcefully but painlessly on his armored chest, the last striking his bare abdomen. Even with his corona siphoning off as much heat and light as it can and his powers boosting his constitution, it's clear that the hit hurts: he doubles over, gasping out a burning breath.


David shakes his head. "Idiot," he murmurs as he turns away from the foolish thug. That one will get away, but now David has a suit of his own. He climbs in, activating the machine with the combined skills of all of the pilots. "In the words of Randy Quaid," he pronounces over both the X-Men communication channels and the in-suit radios, "Hello, boys! I'm BAAAAAACK!!!" He leaps into the air and fires off a pair of missiles at the suit that's just managed to hit Sunspot so brutally.


It takes a moment, but as Brin falls a pair of glowing green and gold wings appear on her back. Spiralling, it takes a bit of work for her to pull out of the plummet but as she does that wave of fear emotion dissipates.

Rising swiftly she lights on a roof to the side of the mecha-encapsulated people still firing on Gabriel, wings disappearing, and bow reappearing … followed by quickly aimed and fired arrow, which will be affected by that wound on her shoulder.


Blasters have energy, energy that Gabriel craves like any addict would. He does not shy away from the shots rather he reaches out to pull the energy to him to add it to his own as the purple in his eyes spreads to start touching the skin around them. The waves of anger, of hatred pour over him but then Brinley arrives next to him again and he glances at the woman beside him.

Staring at the burnette for a moment, the man looks back towards the fliers and fights down the urges that threaten to completely consume him. "You should retreat." The hollow sound of his voice is directed towards them but he does not attack, not yet, instead he speaks to Brinley nearby. "I have told them to retreat. They have shot at us and tried to kill us. When am I allowed to end them?"


Sunspot's attacker doesn't even register that one of the suits has been hijacked until he's hit with a devastating dual explosion. Roberto himself is far enough away that it's just a lot of heat that he can drink in to re-energize himself. Handy stuff, these absorb/redirect powers. He's still hurt, but he's back in the fight.

"Obrigado, Prodigy," he says, straightening and scanning for more enemies. He spots the first flier Gabriel ignited, flames doused, jetting back toward Brinley and Gabriel's rooftop. He takes aim with the classic finger pistol gesture and looses a blast of solar force strong enough to slam the weakened powersuit against the building it was flying around. The one he knocked off the roof a moment ago, however, managed to activate his flight systems before hitting the ground, and has popped back up behind him, ready to catch the Brazilian unaware with that unfired rocket.

Realizing that their shots are only fueling Gabriel's powers, busy dodging Mana's arrows, and both tapped out of RPGs, the brace of enemies who have been challenged to retreat exchange a glance. David will be able to hear the following exchange over their comm system: "The Purifiers aren't paying us enough to die out here." "These are X-men. I hear they don't kill." "Well, they set Corky and Weeks on fire, and I think Chavez just exploded. Pretty fine distinction, if you ask me." "Hmm. Fine." Warily, the two jet away, still covering their backs with their sidearms. That just leaves the one about to ambush Roberto.


Prodigy responds in Portuguese in turn. "<It's nothing,>" he says mildly, though his eyes have gone wide behind the faceplate of his new armor at the explosion — he had thought the suits better defended. If he's actually killed the man who was wearing that other suit of armor… that is not what he does. It's why he let the other man get away. He'd thought the armor would protect its wearer much better.

So rather than firing off another missile at the man creeping up on Sunspot he calls out, "Behind you!" even as he's flying toward the last of the attackers, set for a collision.


"We disable them, Gabriel." Brin winces as her shoulder pulls. "We don't end them." A sticking point between her and Partisan. Wincing as her shoulder pulls, she looses another arrow at the backs of the departing power-suits. "If we can stop them getting away, the police will deal with them." She's going to trust that Gabriel will be able to control his power.

Berto's flight towards them gets her attention and her eyes widen as the flier appears behind the Brazillian "Sunspot, behind you." and with a not quite smooth motion, another arrow is loosed at the ambush.


Gabriel looks after the two that are flying away, retreating and is about to let loose another barrage of plasma in order to try and bring them down; so the police can address them as Brinley suggests but the sudden calling out of the woman and her arrow fired in another direction has him turning to see what is happening.

With the plasma already charged, it is instead redirected towards the one that is ambushing Sunspot, flying along a similar trajectory as Brinley's arrows with the purple crackle igniting the air as they travel from his hands.


The plasma is fast enough that it actually hits before the arrow, again igniting the flight suit. The arrow jams into the rocket assembly, making that weapon impossible to fire. Roberto responds quickly to the warnings, but still, by the time he's ready to defend himself, it's unnecessary. The two retreating enemies pour on speed, dive to rescue their burning partner, and swoop away from the fight, staying low between buildings.

As the smoke clears away, David will be relieved to note that the armor did a passable job of protecting its occupant from the explosion. It's just that the force of twin explosions sent him slamming a few inches into a brick wall, and obliterated all of the onboard systems. He'll be in traction for a very long time, but he'll probably live.

Roberto, for his part, raises an eyebrow at the Portuguese, but then laughs. "Certo — I forgot that you can do that," he says. "I should be used to it with Doug around, but I guess I'm not." He smiles and makes his way over to the corner of the building nearest Brinley and Gabriel. He's hunched over and limping — clearly he did not come out well in this fight, but it would have been a lot worse without the timely assistance. "Thank you all for the help," he says with sincerity. "Brinley, David, and… ei, I don't think we've met."


David goes over to pry the man out of the wall. "Language is a skill like any other," he observes. "We'd best call the police to get this fool out of here. They were sent by the Purifiers." He pulls the armor down to the ground and twists the releases before climbing out of his own suit and starting to apply first aid. A glance up at 'Berto and Brinley — the ones who seem to be injured. "You two need any immediate help?"


Gabriel gets a look of approval from the small brunette. He did good.

"Nothing I'm not used to." Brin offers with a small smile but if she sounds a little distracted, it's because she's examining 'Berto. He looks a little worse for wear and that EMT qualification comes in handy.

"This is Gabriel. He's staying with us at X-Red for a bit." She doesn't know that he and Wanda discussed a codename for him.

"Berto, I'm calling in Rescue. They can treat you and me and then we can speak to the Police." The news from David that the attackers were sent by the Purifiers gets a nod from the dark eyed woman. "I'd like that armour, if we could, David. We might be able to track down who made it and maybe, just maybe, find out who is arming them." That's been an issue for the Xers for a while.


When Brinley introduces him, Gabriel looks to the others and nods his head, cowboy hat bobbing upon the top of it as he does so. "Gabriel, as she said. But uhm… I have a codename thing now." Turning he looks at Brinley and smiles, "I decided on it last night."

"Vulcan."

He looks back to the other two and tips his hat upwards. "I should not be here when the Police come I suspect. Since I do not, well do not exist." There's a soft chuckle from the man as he looks at them all, trying not to feel terribly awkward.


The flat silhouette of Sunspot gives way, and if the way his hand was hovering about an inch away from his stomach wasn't already a giveaway, the livid discoloration already developing on his bare abdomen suggests a combination severe bruise and relatively mild burn. His leg looks even uglier: the skintight material used in X-men uniforms is far tougher than it looks, but his crash landing was comparable to being thrown from a motorcycle. The friction was enough to shred the outside of the leg and leave a raw burn surrounded by a pattern of dirty scratches.

"Good to meet you, Gabriel. I'm Roberto, or Sunspot," the Brazilian says, voice showing obvious strain in spite of his best efforts. "And since you mention it, the police could be a bit awkward for me, too." He gives Brinley a specific, apologetic look. "I was trying to follow the fake Natalia. See if I could get a line on who's pulling her strings. But I must have been spotted, because these guys came after me." Roberto? On a covert assignment? What a surprise that it went south.


Brins going to have to start carrying a pack with med supplies, clearly. Still she places the call to the Rescue air ambulance situated at X-Red. "When Rescue get here, you two go." she shakes her head. Whether that's for Berto's impulsiveness or the extent of his injuries, it's not clear. "Did you find anything out before you were spotted?" She'll speak with Berto in depth… later.

It won't take long for Rescue to arrive and transport the two out. That should happen before the police get there …

"Vulcan huh" she glances up at Gabriel "It's a good name. Remind me, tomorrow… We'll see about getting you some papers." Just don't ask her how she's going to achieve that.


"There were five attackers for you alone." Gabriel observes as he looks between the two more experienced ones. "That seems to be a large number for one individual. Is this normal for these Purifiers?" He asks it moreso to Brinley but does look at Berto as well.

"I am sorry I was unable to stop them from injuring you. I am still learning control."


"Not a lot," Roberto admits to Brinley. "But I think I caught her in the lead-up to some kind of important meeting. I'll fill you in on the details after" — he winces and hisses painfully as he leans back against an inactive air conditioning unit — "after I get fixed up."

He glances over at Gabriel and laughs, although that, too, seems to cause him to hurt. "I think I've made myself a bit of a pain in the ass, to be honest," he answers, sounding pleased with himself. "And last time we went toe-to-toe, I did sort of go nova on one of their Jericho knockoffs. Maybe they're escalating. Anyway, don't apologize; your help was very welcome." He smirks and adds, "Don't worry about the papers, either. You would be surprised how many ghosts without a paper trail end up on our doorstep."


"Right?" Brin tries a smile about the 'ghost' comment. "Rescue will be here soon." Those new air ambulances and the fact that they have a contract with Rescue Inc. has helped X-Red more times than not.

The wound in her shoulder was cauterised by the laser shot and although it hurts, as Berto will know from the tension around her eyes, she's supressing it by keeping busy.

"Those suits aren't knock off. According to Jericho, they're fully powered and his operate at about 40…." another shake of her head "From what Shift has said, they'll stop at nothing to ensure the security of the good U.S of A." It's a concern for them all.

"You did well, Gabriel. To some extent we expect to be hurt … though" and another look at Berto's injury "Not this badly. And yes, Purifiers normally work in groups of six from what I've observed."

They can hear the Air Ambulance approaching, it won't be long before it's setting down on the rooftop.


Gabriel nods to both of them, "I appreciate that," the words coming after the compliments of how he did and doing well. "Were it not for restraint…" He smiles at Brinley then, "Restraint won the day. And that is a good day." His attention returns to Berto. "You may count me as an ally in what you undertake."

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