Hello, Rachel Grey

March 22, 2016:

Rose, Nate and Rachel discuss tracking down the bad guys who tried to use Laura to kill Rachel. The bad guys find them first.

Bronx Park - New York City


NPCs: Kimura, Rapture, an unnamed sniper

Mentions: X-23, Psylocke


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

A walk in the park? Why the hell not. It was a nice day for once after the fluctuation of temparatures that left things unknown in regards to what to wear or even where you want to go. Inside or out.

Rose decided on a place near Xavier's and far enough to have people stay out of her head to meet. Just outside of the park are shops they could hit, but first food and idle chat, but waiting on company to arrive? Nope. She did not expect any to be honest, so the bag of Thai food take out still harbors other dishes while a box is oened like a lotus in her hand and noodles are fished out with chopsticks, laden in vegetables and a spie that will burn anyones nostrils sitting downwind.

Loose fit black cargos hang low on waist, belted into place with a few rings and chains, all bearing tecch trinkets to match the necklace. Crafting with TIMMIE time is paying off in accessorizing and adding to her already 'blingbling' attire. Heavy soled boots are placed on the seat part of the picnic table, the pants tucked within and held in place by the buckles and laces over the leather footwear. Holsters hang upon the outside containing clips on one side with bullets, the other throwing knives. Looking quite like decor to the 'Demonia' footwear, but a keen eye and close look will tell you it's very real.

Abdomen is bare, leather straps showing hints og back holsters arching up over hips, but the drop of leather bomber jacket down her back covers what lies there, all fitting to the platnum haired girl now sporting a very asymmetrical haircut, shaven on one side and that longer razored angle over the other to cover the milky white of bionic eye.

Beside her is a tablet, right now sitting face down and black-screened. Company come or not, she has work to do and was starving.

Of course company is coming. Nate told Rose he would be dropping by. Well, he said he would try. It all depended of other things… like convincing Rachel of coming. As opposed to being dragged again into Harry's. Which is fine, but it can get boring.

So Rose gets a wave, and Rachel a semi-apologetic smirk. "And we can steal Rose's food, so that's a bonus," or a dangerous dare, depending how hungry is the white-hared swordswoman.

Rachel's healed up, or at least healed up enough, from her misadventure with Laura, and she's decided it's time to get some answers. Since it was Rose who predicted there would be an attempt to take her out of the game, Rose is where Rachel's decided to start. Of course, she doesn't exactly have the white-haired woman's contact details, but that's where Nate comes in.

Which explains that when he came calling, Rachel needed suspiciously little convincing to accompany him to this meeting.

Recent history aside, Rachel isn't stupid - or at the very least, she can learn if the experience is painful enough. So for all intents and purposes, the 'Rachel' who's accompanying Nate isn't the one that might be expected. Courtesy of a telepathic disguise, her flaming red hair is now black, neatly framing a face that isn't hers. The features hint at a vaguely asian ancestry, and to top it off she appears to be wearing a pair of glasses with thin black frames. And at least she isn't wearing that red hoodie any more, instead dressed in a reasonable facsimile of what Laura usually wears, for all the leather jacket is the red of dried blood rather than black.

"Sounds good, I'm starving." Rachel says, although she doesn't look at Nate when she says it. Instead, her eyes - and her mental senses - are subtly moving across her surroundings, before settling on Rose. Who gets a crooked smile.

Come and get it or not, it wasn't a concern of Rose's, it'd get eaten either way, but not all by her that's for sure. She bought for more then one. Nate's wave has eyes lifting and the dangling rice noodle sucked in past lips, the flick at the end before it passes into mouth is the wave he gets in response. She's not relinquishing her food - there's a bag beside her for them and the chopsticks stab its direction.

"Can't steal what I don't care to lose." Though the one next to Nate gets a cold and assessing stare with a very slow and very scathing rise and fall from toe to head scan.

"So you're either collecting all the new females like Pokemon, or… Black covers red much better then blonde." A wild guess, but many factors lead her to suspect exactly who is standing beside Nate.

"Good guess," replies Nate, taking a seat at Rose's side and peering into the bag. "I think she would have looked hotter as blonde, but maybe that was what that was the point of being brunette," he smirks at Rachel again, offering her a box of noodles before she decides to stab him with the chopsticks. "Anyway, nice to have a decent day at last. We can have a picnic and plot bloody revenge on certain assholes that think using Laura to kill Rachel was a great idea."

If anything, Rachel's smile becomes a little more obvious as Rose's gaze rakes across her. She expects the other woman to catch on, and she's far from disappointed when she does. The disguise, such as it is, isn't for her. A slight nod, a broadening of her smile to a quick grin to commend Rose's perceptiveness, and then Rachel's settling in at the table across from the other two.

Rachel snorts and fixes Nate with a look. "You keep telling me I'm your sister." She tells him, "So you're not supposed to care how hot I look." She still smirks at him, though, and then shrugs and adds, "Maybe next time."

Rachel's eyes shift to the food, but Nate's commendably quick in passing a box over to her. The smell alone is almost enough to make her forget why they're there. Almost. The dark flicker in eyes that aren't her usual green betray her. "Yeah." She says, the bantering tone that she used with Nate fading from her voice. "Thanks for the warning, by the way." She says to Rose. "You were half right at least, but I didn't expect anyone to move that fast." Her jaw tightens. Stupid, she berates herself. "Nate told you what happened?"

Rose pauses mid-chew and glances sidelong at Nate. "Rachel -is- your sister right? Because if there is something else there I can get my lunch and leave this for two. On me." The statement and a lot had Rose confused and she wouldn't be caught dead calling any of her kin relative to the word hot unless they were being fricaceed. The look moves to Rachel then and a flare of nostrils almost denotes the moment of agreement there with mild annoyance and then she moves on after deciding she was done eating with her box set aside.

"Nope. No one told me, as I said, who and what I am does not belong near those I wish to not endanger any more then I already have." Pausing she picks up her tablet and powers it up, all the while speaking. "Well if people maybe asked instead of spending time being pissed at me it'd have been relayed earlier." Bitter much? Not only yes. But. fuck. yes. Especially now that she feels awkward.

"You see, there is a price on your head for dead because of the threat level you are. Then a price for alive. Alive…well… I am sure Nate can explain, but let me." A pause as her tongue drops to click and a finger picks between teeth, a few taps on the tablet and she is opening a page, zooming so access and site is not readable but what is there, is: Rachel (old Rachel's) face, images of her at all angles, and beside every image prices.

"This is what I do. What I used to do was work in a lab that conditioned me to handle supers they conditioned to serve their purpose. If they get unruly, take them out. Only excuse I can see why anyone would want you alive and kicking. Old you. Sorry. I opted to take the bid for dead on old you, because those horrors keep even me awake…some nights. What they'd do to you. Make you do. Put you through. Better off dead. I'd thank me."

"But I am supposed to tease you, I read it in the manual of brotherhood-ing," Nate is new at this of being a brotherhood, give him a break. He would quip something else, but Rose brings in the tablet and he loses all good mood. "Yeah, like Cyberdata. Or Laura's 'Facility'. Looks like there is a market for superhumans, and doubly so for mutants, mutant crimes are often ignored by the law-enforcement agencies. This is one of the reasons I'd like to see what SHIELD has in their files."

Rachel takes it upon herself to answer Rose's question, since Nate isn't going to. "Definitely nothing else." She says flatly. In the short time she's really known him he's been a surprisingly good brother, but come on. She glances over at Nate when he protests. "Keep working at it." She tells him.

When Rose reveals that no, no-one's passed on the news, it puts Rachel on notice that the time for banter is at an end. Rachel's eyes flick to Nate, her brows rising a bit in a silent question that doesn't involve telepathy. You didn't tell her? Rachel's expression says. And given the bitterness in Rose's tone, Rachel's eyes stay on Nate a moment longer. Rachel doesn't know the details, isn't going to pry, doesn't WANT to know the details. But Nate has work to do, she so obviously believes.

Rachel starts to pick at her food as Rose speaks, some of her appetite having disappeared. "I know about not wanting people hurt." Rachel says carefully. "I'm just worse at it than you." Laura's been hurt already. Who's next? Rachel's carefully neutral tone shades into disgust at herself, and she thinks better of whatever else she was about to add, instead turning her attention to Rose's tablet.

And Rachel sees herself. Only… she leans forward. No. Not herself. At least, not the Rachel in the mirror this morning. Slightly older, not quite as underfed, and Rachel doesn't wear her hair that way. She shivers a bit. It's an unsettling experience, to see a you that you don't quite recognise. Rachel looks up, away from the tablet, as Rose explains. "I've been used before. I won't be again." Rachel says the words as though they're an article of faith, maybe one she's trying very hard to believe. "If it happens, I'd thank you, too." She doesn't say any more. They covered that last time they met. What Rose would do, and what Rachel would want her to.

Rachel takes another look at the tablet, then sits back again, thinking quietly while Nate speaks, nodding her agreement when he's done. "The more information we have, the better." Rachel leans her elbows on the table and meets Rose's mismatched gaze. "Speaking of which, you should have been told. I should have found a way to tell you, before now, but there it is. Laura was manipulated into attacking me. Someone else…" Rachel smiles grimly, "…thought that killing me was the better option. I got a claw in the side before I could stop her. So. Yeah. Laura got hurt because of me." It's an odd way of looking at it, but Rachel seems serious. "How do we find them, and how do we stop them?"

The mention of SHIELD brings a moment of obvious tension to Rose that she rocks off with a shifting in her positioning, leaving her resting on hip instead of ass so she can scroll through, show the list that not only declares Rachel a wanted, but others, including Laura and Scott. But X is only wanted alive.

"That statement is ironic." And that is all Rose has to say about SHIELD with a thinning of lips. There's more, but she is working through one thing to get to another and ignore the rest.

"Money talks. And I'm in the business for money and my own redemption. You're not the only one that has some things to fix mentally and physically." But as Rose is scrolling through pictures it shows more uploads, recent. X and Rachel, the day of the fight, X, Rachel, Nate, Rose, Psylocke all sitting at a table…

…And one uploaded of this moment and time after the small pinwheel finishes the load process. The three of them sitting and eating in the park. And then the tablet is blown from Rose's hands and scattered into shrapnel.

Rose's shove to Rachel's chest is impactual, one that sends her rocketing off the table and onto the park floor while she uses that shove as momentum to roll back as well into a tucked combat roll behind. The moment between them is ended, silenced bullets riddling through the table, taking out even the Thai food in a chum-like splatter while the picnic table slowly becomes akin to swiss cheese.

"Apparently we don't have to find them." Already the pistols are in hand from the holster at the small of her back.

Nate is not one for hiding, but on the other hand he is not one that doesn't pay attention. He prides himself of knowing when someone is tailing him, and being a telepath certain helps. That someone took pictures the day he met with Betsy, Rachel and Rose (and it was when Ray got drunk, too!) without him noticing is quite alarming. Forge would scream at him.

"Well. Fuck. They might be trailing us," but he usually flies when coming and going from New York precisely to avoid that. Now that mutant detecting technology is available, even that might not be enough. But Xavier's is shielded, isn't it?

His train of thought gets derailed when the first bullet hits the tablet. Nate raises a TK shield almost instantly, if too late to save the food. He feels bullets impact his leg and back. The first draws blood, the other two hit the armored jacket and will leave ugly bruises. The next few bullets bounce off him and he turns, left eye glowing brightly, looking for targets.

Rachel finds it hard to stop her eyes dropping to the tablet as Rose scrolls through the pictures. There's something unsettlingly hypnotic about seeing pictures of another her scroll past… and then it IS her, Rachel realises with a jolt. She recognises the pub, the table, all of them sitting at it… that must be it. Laura sitting at the same table as her, and despite everything she'd been told, Rachel hadn't taken any precautions. She'd trusted that they were safe enough, that three powerful telepaths would have been enough to detect any threat, and she'd been wrong. They were seen, together. What happened to Laura was her fault. Rachel clenches her fists. Nate is saying something, but she's too busy choking down her useless anger to pay much attention.

But the next picture. THAT gets her attention. Because it's right… Rachel's head snaps up, eyes wide - just in time to see Rose's shove coming.

Rachel isn't just pitched back out of her seat, she's sent sprawling on her back in the dirt, and that's the only reason that she doesn't get perforated by the fusillade of shots that chew through the table. Shock doesn't last long as adrenaline rushes through Rachel's system. Keeping low, she rolls over onto her stomach, and a telekinetic shield of her own snaps into place, the air becoming hazy with a translucent red-gold glow. "Nice of them to save us the effort!" Rachel calls back to Rose. She's not content to just play defence. She's reaching out, telepathically, scanning for the shooter and any other minds broadcasting hostile intent. "Where are you…" She says, under her breath.

"Nate!" Rose's already pitching forward as the spray of impact and blood comes from him, causing her to land in a crouch just before him, both guns held at her sides while eyes sweep up to search. A trained stoicism despite the barrage of bullets that herald around them, the milky white heating to infra-red, looking for heat signals. Ones that are still despite the chaos unfolding around them and the sudden acknowledgement by other picnicers that shit just went south. Picnics abandoned and running and screaming ensues.

Rachel and Nate both will see what Rose sees, but -more- when it comes to minds. The gunman is a sharpshooter lackey and when his mind is tapped into and touched down upon.. Yes, stay. Right. There. Images flash of Nate and the interruption, but both are targets and viewed as in the way.

Another mind touches in, but a bit too late, and it is akin to Laura's. Rage, sheer unadultered rage and a burning hatred. This just as the blur of hoodied form impacts Rose and knocks her out of the way in a flurry of impacting fists that herald no holding back. Sheer brutality of a brick and in the fray Rose is pulling the trigger of her guns from the ground beneath the other woman while she stands up and the hood of hoody falls away, revealing sharp green eyes, dark hair, tanned skin. Laura, but taller. Laughter and a booted kick to Rose's side sends her flying.

Rachel on the other hand in her search suddenly is encircled in smoke, a dark haired woman with a network of ingrained wires running along her jaw appears before her and slams that red glowing shield with a malicious grin upon lips. "We were not sure until now. Hello, Rachel Grey." The voice of the woman is as cold as her smile before she disappears in the same cloud. Her mind? Radio silence.

Sure, shoot at Nate. Right now even an anti-tank rocket wouldn't do much damage. And he is barely feeling the bullet in his leg, too much adrenaline pumping. He stays right there, letting the sniper shot him, so he doesn't aim at anyone else.

But not idle, when Rose sends the feral woman flying, Nate snatches her mid-flight with a telekinetic grip. He grins, looking at the distant sniper, and throws the woman at him at near supersonic speed. Who needs bullets.

Nate? Rachel hears Rose cry out and feels a surge of fear for her somehow-brother. She takes a second that she doesn't have to switch her telepathic focus from her hunt to him, and she feels an equally potent rush of relief when she detects his powerful presence behind her, his mind undimmed despite his injuries. « That's another one I owe them. » Rachel's voice arrives in Nate's head, her mental tone grim. Betsy's right. She's not used to working with a team, and she needs to get good at it, fast.

Rachel switches back to her telepathic hunt. The psychic noise from the fleeing civilians is an annoyance, but she cuts through it. There. There's the gunman. Rachel dumps his position telepathically to the others, and moves on. Another mind… and if Rachel hadn't delayed to check on Nate, she might have have caught her in time. Rachel swears viciously as the woman engages Rose, and her eyes bleed to blank, white heat as she prepares to tear the assailant off her, only to jerk around when she's suddenly wreathed in smoke. No matter, she doesn't need to see to strike with her mind - and then she flinches back when something smashes into her shield. "Guess again." Rachel snarls, lashing out telekinetically - and connecting with nothing as the woman vanishes once more. Rachel grasps for her mind, but there's nothing.

For a moment Rose's mind is closed, it's like battering against a heavy metal door… With the kick that sends her sailing in a rag-doll roll it opens. Opens with a sudden rush just like the surge to her feet that comes with guns gone and blades drawn. «I will stick the bitch right in her eye…»

But she's gone, swept up in her charge to re-engage Rose to be thrown upon a rooftop, bullets that were littering the ground around the trio ceasing, making the opening that much more eased. No pause, Rose is racing towards the building just as the hoodie woman drops back down in a lunge that propels her outwards towards Rose, and despite all of that, not a scratch upon her, but the gunman? Silence. Deathly silence.

Between Nate and Rachel that smoke spirals up, not yet to gain a body as a voice calls to them, resonating in their minds as communication opens between. «"Come now, your shields and friends all you have? If you haven't seen, we know and one by one they will become ripe for the picking. Meet your RAPTURE!"» And when the suited woman finally takes full shape the weapon in her hand fires a kinetic blast upon Nate and his shield, holding no bars to spin and do the same towards Rachel.

Nate tries to follow Rose and his leg flares with pain, reminding him he got hit. He falls on one knee and glances down. Woah, that is a lot of blood. Maybe an artery got hit. No problem, he can fly. Unfortunately the second he takes off, he gets hit with a kinetic blast and goes flying through the park, smashing against a picnic table.

Ow. But his shield held, so he stands up growling and looks for the mist woman.

Rachel can't find the mind of her own assailant, but the others? She feels Nate's power as he plucks up the other woman, her mind full of rage, and pitches her across the park. She feels Rose's locked-down mind take off after her, she can't feel the gunman… has she lost him? Is he dead? Damn it, NONE of them are fighting as a unit. Rachel makes a snap decision. She has Nate to back her up, but for Rose is on her own. And she's going up against a mind that Rachel CAN touch. Rachel gives up her fruitless mental search for the woman in the smoke. Locking on to the seething ball of rage telepathically is easy, and Rachel punches out an arm, fingers clawed, and then closes her fist convulsively. « Goodnight. » Rachel slams the woman's mind down into darkness before she can even reach Rose.

Rachel even has time for a nasty little smile before Nate's pain flares in her mind. Rachel spins around - just in time to see the smoke-woman take shape and blast Nate. "Not even CLOSE." Rachel tells her through gritted teeth, reconfiguring her shield at the speed of thought. No longer a bubble enclosing herself, it opens out and wraps around her opponent instead. Rachel's grinning, now, as the woman's weapon fires. See how you like being stuck in there with it.

One moment she has an opponent, one looking uncannily like the more diminutive X-23, and just before collision comes the body in mid descent from the rooftop goes from an attack pose of a jaguar in leap… To a flounder. The drop and impact is a sudden decline with Kimura on her side. Of all the things the woman is engineered to take, that was not one of them.

Rose's running pace comes to a screeching halt just over the body, the one kife sheathed at her back to draw her gun and take aim..

Kinetic blasts behind in the park resonate, a breeze that did not belong teases along the nape of Rose's neck making her turn in time to see Nate go flying (not of his own volition) and Rachel face down the suited woman.

As Rapture pulls that trigger a snap moment has her inside the bubble, the kinetic blast slamming her back aganst the TK shield hard, but as that impact sounds her body explodes into that cloud of smoke, scattering in a splay and then focusing to disappear all together.

Rose left the body and is holstering her weapons as she dashes across the park, weaving through the fleeing people to pass Rachel with light grab to get her to move with her towards where Nate had landed.

Behind them though, Rapture reforms just over Kimura's body, and just as she hefts the woman up with ease a white van interrupts the departing view, picking up the two and leaving in the herald of peeling tires and white smoke of burnt rubber.

Nate grunts when Rachel gets the job done. He is scanning for the mist woman but apparently she is a telepathic blank. He is also feeling dizzy, too much blood loss, he concentrates on keeping it inside with the telekinesis and hovers to join Rose. "Lets get outta here fast, and watch out for drones or whatever they are using to follow us. Mutant Town, I think."

Rachel thinks she's got Rapture, and her blood's up. Lips pull back from her teeth, Rachel's grin becoming something more deadly as Rapture's own weapon slams her back against Rachel's telekinetic shield. They hurt Laura to get to her. They hurt Nate, just now. They could have killed him, and Rose. For the first time since Rachel arrived here, she's faced with something she can fight. Not the shadows cast by someone wearing her face.

Then Rapture turns to smoke, and Rachel snaps back to herself. Nate. Rose. They're what matters. Rachel doesn't resist Rose's grab, and takes off running after her, towards Nate. She takes one look at him and doesn't like what she sees. "Nate, you're a mess. Let me." She's had recent practice, after all, and if he lets her she'll take over keeping his insides on the inside. Her fine control is probably better right now. "Sounds good." She tells him distractedly, then looks around to look Rose over for injuries, and shoot her a questioning look. "Got a bolt hole we can use?"

When Nate joins her she slows, and her eyes first focus on his wound, brows furrowing and fingers flexing in a curl to a fist and then relax. That is when she looks up to him and nods, her hand stayed by Rachel's swift motions to help. Not desiring to get in the way and add to it.

The look of concern darts away with Rachel's question, a sharp nod and the directions are not spoken, but mentally relayed to them both, the small apartment in Mutant Town where she had been hunting from. «Let's get there quick. All of my first aid is there as well.» Another flash and it shows the notch in the hardwood floor that holds… quite a bit beneath.

"There is no end to the messes with us." A half of a smirk offered.

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