Clubbing Gone Wrong

April 13, 2016:

Laura couldn't sleep and so reached out to Nate for some company. Nate decides to drag her to a club to learn how to dance. Kimura has other ideas, thanks to some unseeing eyes that are keeping tabs on Laura.

Characters

NPCs: Kimura

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's late night. That time of evening when most sane people are in bed, safe, sound and warm. For Nate and Laura, that isn't the case, thanks to their own unique internal clock and the odd hours they typically keep.

Either way, sometime during the early evening, Nate would have received a text message, or e-mail, or something, that would have alerted him to a proposed meeting with Laura. It simply said Meet at Mutant Town in two hours. No specific place to meet at, just that rather vague message from Laura.

Now the time has come and Laura is simply standing near the closed cafe that the two had recently been at. She's dressed in her usual outfit, black shoes, pants, shirt and her battered red jacket.


Sure, Nate was awake. He is awake all too often, and seems to go fueled by coffee and junk food. Not a healthy living, but then again, what he does for a living is not healthy either. He copes with his demons in his own unique ways.

"Nice night for a walk," he greets. And it is compared to the last few weeks, although chances are there will be rain before dawn. "What do you have in mind, girl," her message was about as detailed as her usual conversation. And he saw her just a couple days ago, for the magic show.


While she may not have looked alert, she was. All her senses were being used to pick up the various scents, sights and sounds, that were out there. Sure, there's not /that/ many people out and about, but there are still some. Mutant Town is the Town that never sleeps. Truly.

Because of that, she's not surprised when Nate 'seemingly' appears out of no where. Only because she was able to catch his scent and his own unique walking gait (everyone's is unique, it's like a fingerprint).

Pivoting upon her heel, Laura will turn in the general direction that Nate's coming from. His question earns a slight head tilt from the dark-haired assassin, as she considers his question. "I could not sleep." She finally answers, in that ever present tone less voice of hers. And while her statement doesn't necessarily answer his question, as he would expect, for Laura it does.

She knew he'd be awake and now she's attempting to socialize at this very late hour.


Nate's unique walking gait still includes favoring his injured leg. Although the wound was almost fully healed and he has been undergoing rehab for a while. Nate looks otherwise alright within his usual scruffy self. Laura's reason to call him… makes him blink slowly. "You had insomnia and instead of watching some TV came all the way to Mutant Town and called me?" Pause. Of course she would. "Oh, fine. Want to watch a movie? Or go dancing?"


The slim assassin watches Nate process her words and when he offers that pause after his very rhetorical question about her calling him, X-23 likewise stills. She's taking that overly long moment to process what she's done as a bad sign from Nate. While she understands that she's no longer around people like Kimura or the scientists, she still has many knee-jerk reactions to unlearn and a pause from any of them was never-a-good-thing.

Thankfully, when Nate speaks again, it's clear enough to even Laura, that he didn't take it badly. That poised stillness that had tensed her body is slowly shed, as she considers the options he has now presented to her. "I do not have a preference for either." Which means, Nate gets to pick.


Nate looks at Laura carefully, as if looking for second intentions or something… but of course she is completely guileless. "Dancing it is; I think you would enjoy it more. And be good at it too." And despite the time of the night there are some open places in New York, particularly in Mutant Town where some rules are hardly enforced.

Just not particularly classy places, though. Nate leads Laura to an underground club, she can hear the loud music from the street. Loud beat many won't even call music. The crowd is likewise loud, mostly young. Bikers, punks, gangers and mutants. Loud music, sweaty crowd and flashy lights. Her enhanced senses would protest about it, but apparently a lot of people find it fun.


As guileless as a new born babe. When Nate picks Laura simply nods and when he moves, she easily falls into step beside him. Her gaze will constantly track around the two of them, but when nothing pings as a threat, all she can do is turn her attention back to Nate for a few seconds.

And then suddenly, the noise starts to hit her ever so sensitive ears. It's enough to cause Laura to almost reconsider the decision to give Nate the ultimate power of picking where they would go.

But, this is Laura, so she doesn't quite speak up. Instead the vaguest of wary expressions flashes across her features, as the two of them enter the club. It's not just the music, that bashes against her super-hearing, it's also the smell and the sights. The flashing lights, the press of (sometimes unwashed) bodies, it's enough to cause Laura to stop mid-step to assimilate all the new data pouring forth.

It might be a step or two before Nate realizes he's lost his erstwhile magician's apprentice.


Oh really? Nate looks careless, but he is not. Not only he is aware of Laura's mind and position, he seeks and identifies all bouncers in the club with a mix of glance and mental scanning. He even scans for gangs doing business and drug pushers, although he dismisses those as irrelevant quickly.

Two seconds after Laura moves more than three feet from him, he turns and looks for the small brunette. "Relax. This only looks dangerous. It isn't."


When Nate turns around and shouts his 'calming' words to her, Laura can only look at him a silent moment. Finally, however, she moves. One slow foot step after another. "It is loud." She says, voice rising in volume thanks to the rather loud 'music' that's all but obliterating her poor super-human hearing. This must be what normal hearing people feel like.

"And it smells." She adds, but she's still moving, even as her eyes flick around the area. Much like Nate, she's categorized everyone in that glance. While he's ignored the obvious hookers, pushers, dealers and pimps, X-23 doesn't. Instead, she'll look at a few of them for longer than necessary.


No need to shout, she can hear him just fine, right? At her words, he smirks. "That is people for you. Loud, smelly, in your face. You should 'hear' what they are thinking and feeling." He taps his temple, "it is wild, like life. This is also life, Laura. Being part of the crowd. Herd… maybe pack? Hell if I know," he grans her hand, "come!" Into the thicker of the dance floor.


With Nate, perhaps he doesn't need to shout, but the rest of the crowd's individual words are lost thanks to the overwhelming noise that is generated. She can't quite pick out individual conversations right now. She definitely can't pick out individual movements within the crowd. It's all one giant block of movement noise to her now.

While she could have resisted Nate's hand grab and pull, she doesn't, instead allowing him to pull her to the crowded floor. Blame it on still assimilating all the information that she's currently dealing with.

His words and the tap to his forehead are finally referred to, as she queries, "How do you manage with all the noise?"

And if he expected her to just start dancing, he better try again. She just stands there, eyes flicking to the people around them. If she were claustrophobic this would be bad, thanks to the crush of people so close.

And while the two are swallowed up by the crowd, a woman with slate black hair idly bounces through the crowd. She's taller than most woman, but still dwarfed by some of the men around her.


"Go with the flow," advises Nate. "Do not fight it, become one with it." Which also works for dancing, but he is going to have to teach her about it, isn't he? "Look around you, see what they do… correction, what they try to do. Not many manage to really dance. But most manage to have fun."


Go with the flow? A quizzical look enters Laura's gaze as she considers that statement of his. Usually going with the flow for Laura involves much violence. And damage. Let's not forget blood, either. Still, that doesn't stop her from turning her green-eyed gaze to the patrons around the two of them.

Their gyrations do not seem to fill the dark-haired girl with much confidence as she returns her gaze back to Nate. "I do not think I like dancing."

Yup, that's all it took for Laura to make her decision.

And while she would have liked to take a sniff to see what Nate was feeling, the surrounding bodies simply won't allow it. The sweat, perfume, Cologne and all other assortments are overriding of those scents closest to her.

The dark haired woman, who seemingly bops easily to the music, continues her path through the various bodies and crowds. She's barely making waves, as she's easily fitting in with the crowd. Her clothes are very club-esque (read leather), her hair is pulled back into a simple pony-tail, and any and all weapons have been nicely hidden beneath said leather jacket.

It's her eyes, however, that WILL give her away when looked into. Even though her mouth is quirked upward into a smile, her eyes are quite cold and intense, and they consistently keep Laura and Nate in their sights.


Nate grins at Laura, "I don't think you know what you are talking about. Take my hand, and start slowly," he offers. Carefully, he pushes away the dancers closer to him telepathically, to give Laura some breathing room. "You are too comfortable being in the shadows, avoiding everything and everyone. That is not what living is about. Dare, try something else. Dance tonight and decide if you like it or not tomorrow."


The push at the dancers around them to move definitely seems to help her. Her shoulders come down a notch, as she considers just what Nate has said and his extended hand, as well. "It is easier to be in the shadows." She admits in a very honest way to Nate, now. Perhaps admitting just the tiniest bit of 'fear' there, after all, fear is a small portion of what holds her back. Fear and not knowing any better.

BUT, she does finally reach for his hand. Her grip is as strong as it normally is and then she's looking to Nate and then to the people around her. When her gaze circles back to her teammate, she'll given him a silent look before she takes a step to the left. Then to the right. It's not much for a normal person, but for X-23 this little bit of foot work is definitely /a lot/.

Behind them, Nate specifically, the dark-haired woman continues to move through the crowd. She's mostly keeping behind Nate, using him as a visual shield (as well as all the other people) to stay out of Laura's line of sight.

With all the minds wrapped around Nate and shouting so loudly, the cacophony might be overwhelming enough that Kimura's rather silent and composed mind might easily be overlooked. Until that last most, at least. The moment when she commits to the strike. Oh, she could try to kill him, but that's not what this is about. This is more about psychological warfare and as such, the dark-haired woman will slither her way right up to Nate's back. Then with a flick of wrist a knife will appear in a hand, before she lashes out with said instrument of destructions.

It's aimed for a kidney stab, but hopefully that little bit of oddity of her composed mind will be forewarning enough for Nate to turn just enough that the kidney stab turns into something much easier to heal from.


"Easier is not better. Easier is not for us," replies Nate with his trademark smirk. Little steps. Well, that is what Laura is doing. He won't laugh. Seriously.

The approach of the assassin should be easy in the crowded place. But Nate is not a helpless civilian. He is wary, and he is a telepath. He spots Kimura at the edge of his perceptions, he feels how she ignores the telepathic pressure to give Laura space, and then the flash of dark glee when she lounges. He turns swiftly and the knife slashes his side, meeting the tough armor-like material of his shape-altered uniform. He is cut, but it is swallow, and his reply is a swift open-palm strike to the woman's face, telekinetically reinforced to break a normal human' bones.


Easier isn't for us. Isn't that the truth. And while Laura was just about to respond to Nate's somewhat depressing words of wisdom, there's a faint flash of a familiar scent. A scent that X-23 knows all too well, but that brief snippet of scent is smelled far too late, thanks to the press of washed and unwashed bodies.

Just as X-23 begins to react, Kimura makes her appearance and her move. "Nate!" Shouts Laura, and yes, it was a shout, but her warning is far too late as the strike at Nate hits home. Thankfully, the damage is somewhat averted by Nate's own quick reactions and armor.

As for Nate's attack, it hits home alright, but there's not satisfying crunch of bone. In fact, all his attack did was push her back a few inches from the two and cause a grin to split her features. "Oh look, you both have claws. Isn't that cute. A shame they won't really help you here." Which is the truth. For Laura, at the very least.

Even knowing as such, X-23 automatically deploys her claws with a *SNIKT* of drowned out sound. Along with that aggressive movement of hers, the crowd has finally started to figure out that /something/ isn't quite right here and has begun to turn their attention to the trio.

"Tut-Tut, pet. I wouldn't try any of that, if I were you. Bad things might happen." Speaks the black-haired tall woman, as Kimura reveals what is held in her other hand. A small vial is held between Kimura's thumb and first finger and within the vial a liquid with a greenish cast can be seen. "Wouldn't want to cause a /scene/ would we?"

The trigger scent. That's what's held within the vial and upon seeing that, X-23 freezes. Only her eyes move now, as they immediately flick to the people packed within the club.

As if reading her mind, Kimura continues to grin like the Chesire Cat, as she finishes with, "Yes, wouldn't it be terrible if this was accidentally released."


"Didn't I throw you up a building last time?" Growls Nate, shifting a hand to his side to check the wound, but keeping his eyes on Kimura.

He is bleeding quite a bit, but it doesn't feel very deep. Good. Now, what is in that vial that scares Laura? He takes a step back, to stand between both women, and his telekinetic forcefield comes up around his body, causing his left eye to glow brightly. "Is there any good reason I shouldn't crush her mind like a bug, Laura?"


Nate's question earns a rather innocent look from Kimura, as she asks/says, "Did you? I don't recall." And while she could have absolutely said more, she doesn't, not when Nate steps between the two. His flashing eye is noted, but not reacted to, as Kimura simply smiles or rather grins even wider at the pair. It's finally his last question, however, that will earn an amused look from Kimura and a reaction from Laura. "NO!" She almost shouts, as she reaches out with lightning reflexes to grab Nate's arm. Another first for Laura, it seems, as she's not always the type to easily touch people. "Do not." She says in her much more normal flat tones, "She holds the trigger scent. Even if you shut her mind down, she could still accidentally break the vial."

"And wouldn't that be fun." States Kimura with amusement, as she shakes the vial just a little bit. "And I can't quite recall if this vial is shatterproof or not. Shall we test it and see?" And just like that Kimura snaps the vial between her fingers, releasing the liquid from its confines. Unlike others, she has very little worry about being tagged with the 'trigger' scent. She can withstand the assault of Laura's claws and with another flash of teeth, Kimura will easily tag the next person nearest her with the liquid upon her hands. "Have fun, pet. I'll see you soon."

And just like that, Kimura is fading into the crowd laughing and touching people with the trigger scent, as she goes.

Behind Nate now, because remember Nate stepped in front of Laura to shield her from Kimura, a growl can be heard. It's a guttural thing and immediately following that sound is movement. With a flexing of knees X-23 is springing forward in a light leap, for Nate's back. She's intending to burry both sets of hand claws in his back thanks to the trigger scent permeating his TK shield.


Nate tenses, and tags Kimura's mind as she leaves. With a little luck she will lead her right to her bosses and.. ack! Fortunately his forcefield is too tough for Laura to break, although the 'feeling' of those hyper-hard claws on the psychic construct is pretty nasty. "Laura, stop!" He yells, turning to face the berserk girl. Oh. 'Trigger scent'. It is what happened with Rachel.

And in a crowded club. Idiot bouncers are coming, as if they could do anything besides getting messily disemboweled. Something tells Nate he is not going to be allowed in here every again. «Stop!» He yells into the young girl's mind, trying to snap her out of the blind rage.


By this point the Bouncers, as well as the club goers, suddenly realize there are quite a few wolves within their midst. While the Bouncers continue to try and make their way to Nate and Laura, the crowd at this point begins to panic. "Oh my gawd!" A young woman screams, "She's trying to kill us all!" And that's enough to start a ripple of fear through the whole mob. People are going to be trampled soon if Laura doesn't get to them first, that is. Already the slow as molasses stampede has begun, as the first ring of people around the duo begin to push at the rest of the masses. "Get out get out!" The shouts can start to be heard, as the fear is picked up by everyone now. It's like a flash fire.

As for Laura, while her claws don't penetrate that TK shield of Nate, that doesn't seem to stop her. Bouncing back to her feet, the berserker young woman will lash out with a foot. With that movement of her foot, the lone claw housed within that foot pops out through Laura's boots. She's intending to slice him along his middle; disemboweling him with that strike.

Nate's mental shout doesn't seem to do much for the young woman, only to cause her to snarl even louder than before. And while Nate is her main target, for now, that could easily change as her redden eyes flick to the people trying to get away from the two of them.


Psychokinetic sparks in red and gold mark the line where Laura's foot claw scratches Nate's torso. But she can't cut deep enough to draw blood through that shield. For a moment, Nate considers to let her lash at him until she recovers, but when she turns her attention to the crowd he realizes that is not a good idea.

Instead, he strikes back with his telekinesis, trying to grab the small girl and pin her up, against the ceiling and away from the civilians. He will deal with the panicking crowd if he can keep Laura away from them first.


The telekinetic grab definitely snaps the girl up and pins her to the ceiling. Quite easily. Sure, she's a literal army and a half with her skills and powerset, but even she can't quite fight against an invisible psychic hold.

Though that doesn't mean she won't try.

As soon as she's pinned to the ceiling, the young woman will begin to struggle mightily. She's employing all her strength behind her struggles, as she tries to lash out with arms, hands, claws, legs and even foot claws. If she were in a less of a state she'd know that her struggles were pretty useless, but in this state, all she can do is try to kill anyone around herself.

So again, while she's caught, Nate might not have exactly been expecting the sheer amount of push back Laura is currently giving against that psychic hold of is.

As for the crowd …

Yup, it's bad. The Bouncers are stuck. Yes, they want to get to Nate and Laura, but the tide of humanity is too hard to fight. Because of that, they turn their tactics to trying to get the panic crowd dispersed. Shouts, screams and shoving is all occurring, as the people try to flee the fighting unaware that some of them have been tagged with the scent which has caused this.


Nate can lift a tank with his mind, so keeping Laura pinned up there is not as difficult as it seems. Difficult enough he loses sight of Kimura, though. The crowd is on the way and too many panicky thoughts he needs to deal with. Some people could get trampled soon, so he closes his eyes and touches every mind in the club. In fact every mind in the building, trying to keep himself from those of in the streets.

«SLEEP» He commands. And he strikes in a waves around him, the clubgoers, the bouncers, the bartenders, they crumple down like a living deck of cards. Laura is also hit, although the wall of rage probably protects her from being forced into unconsciousness. But in ten seconds a thousand people goes to sleep. With the music interrupted a few seconds before by the fleeing DJ, the club falls into a sudden and eerie silence.

Bleeding now from eyes and nose, Nate glances up at Laura, assessing her mental state. What did Rachel to snap her out of it?


Eerily quiet now, yes.

Even Laura.

While she's not unconscious that command to sleep from Nate was powerful enough to cause her to fall limp. Her eyes are still open but within them now they hold a glazed look. That fury within her mind, however, doesn't stop. There's too much of the trigger scent still around and already it begins to rebuild, slowly pushing against that command to sleep as it reawakens yet again.

A twitch of her pinned hand, a grimace to her lips and then suddenly, Laura snaps to. Immediately she strains against the telekinetic hold of Nate's, her teeth bared in a silent albeit feral snarl.


And that won't do it. With a gesture, Nate tosses Laura out of the club. Fortunately the metal doors were opened by the first fleeing civilians. He flies out a second later, and he kicks down the closest fire hydrant about three seconds later. "Come here," he growls. Unnecessary invitation since he still has the trigger scent all over. But once Laura comes to him, she is going to receive a very cold pressurized shower.


Laura is decidedly tossed out of the club by Nate. The rage is there and still allows her to struggle against that hold of his. It's only, however, at his invitation that those rage induced noises coalesce into a snarl. Then, once the pressurized water hits Laura that snarl raises upward in pitch to noise of pure rage!

But, the water works. As soon as it hits Laura and Nate, as well, the trigger scent begins to dissipate, thanks to the impromptu shower. Finally, after a few minutes of the 'power wash', Laura will go limp and cease her struggling. Her dark hair is now plastered to her face and her clothing hasn't fared any better.

Unlike others, Laura doesn't struggle as the water continues to hit her; even if it is very cold and quite harsh. Instead, she just stands there, looking smaller than normal, as the water flushes everything away.


Nate doesn't bother to try to grab her again, letting her to slash at a telekinetic shield for a minute or two. He can feel a monster headache coming, so he preventively draws a couple pills from a belt pocket and swallows.

The water is also washing away the blood, and freezing him to the bone. But he is all too used to the cold. Once Laura stops flailing, he closes the water flow and steps forward, laying a hand on her shoulder.

There is a faint flare of light and he pulls the water out of their clothes and hair. Flash-drying is a nifty trick he learned a few years back.


Flash drying is nice. Not that Laura can vocalize that thought just this moment.

Instead her head is still angled downward, as she tries to get a hold of her emotions. Though not rage this time, thankfully.

No, this is almost despair. Twice now. Twice they've used the trigger scent on her and it's enough to cause her to feel something more than just her typical banked anger and bubble of emotionlessness.

Hands in fists at her side, Laura will stand just like that for a long moment, almost vibrating with what she's feeling.


"It is not your fault," states Nate. "Something is hardwired in your head, we gotta work in unraveling it. I think you need to talk with Xavier or Emma," and probably get a sample of the triggering substance to work in a deconditioning therapy. Add that to the list of things to do. "Come, I'll take you back to the school. Sorry the night got ruined, and… ugh, I need stitches." Again!


All of what he says doesn't seem to garner any sort of reaction from Laura. It's only with the mention of his injury that she finally comes out of her fugue seeming state. Her hands uncurl from their tight fists and with a nod Laura will actually look at Nate now. "To the school." She finally speaks, her voice even flatter than normal, "Yes. Then to the medbay." For his stitches, it seems, and silently now, Laura falls into step beside Nate as the two make their way to the Institute.


Umh, but Jean doesn't want him there. Then again, he won't say if Laura doesn't. "I'll fly us there. I want you to tell me about that woman, and we need to find out how did she track you to the club. I doubt they are watching mutant town, but maybe they are watching Salem Center's train station. We can take a look tomorrow."

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