The Black Horseman; Famine

August 25, 2016:

Rogue goes to Muir Island's Mutant Research Center to meet with Moira MacTargget only to find things are not quite what they seem.


NPCs: Moira MacTaggert, Dark Riders (Dirtnap, Deadbolt, Barrage, Hardwire, Psynapse) (emits by Gambit)


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Heavy winds, showers, dark clouds for as far as the eye can see and rocky cliffs being battered by a churning Atlantic Ocean. Rogue has definitely found herself in Scotland. Muir Island to be exact, the Professor promised the mutant he would help her any way he can and this is part of the process. The Mutant Research Center co-founded and largely funded by Charles Xavier is located here, one of the most advanced and knowledgeable institutions in the world for metahumans, notably mutants, harbingers of the X-Gene. It also hosts several cells for very dangerous mutants that governments refused to touch and unlike the United States it shares a strong independent working relationship with it's local government authorities.

The facility itself is a squat structure, with a glassy ecodome, helicopter pad and wharf. Cutting edge and entirely habitable with numerous live in staff, the most famous of them is one Moira MacTaggert. A leading authority in mutants, something she earned a Nobel Prize in regards tom co-creator of Cerebro and Charles Xavier's ex-fiancee.

Lighting is at least something they are considerate enough to produce, the helicopter pad is illuminated, lamp posts around the MRC also allow for plenty of visibility. Also Rogue's exceptional eyesight can pick out what looks like a cigarette. The embers of it sweeping about as if someone just switched hands. Someone was standing outside in the pouring rain waiting for her?

Clouds lit up, a flicker of light behind what seemed ro be a massive grey swathe of cotton and smoke. The sky was dark and foreboding, the only movement that of the whirling cumulus pushed by the storms wind. What seemed like would rain cats and dogs, it also released a figure that could only be discerned once she got closer to the light.

Fabric snaps an lashes out, the unmistakable sound as it is grabbed, twisted, and jerked into a twist just before resetting in capture to fan out behind Rogue, mimicking the way it also swept her hair upward in a spiral of soaked waves. Auburn and white, darkened by the rain to nearly blend with the backdrop of green and white cloak - the hood long ago given up on in this maelstrom.

Boots touch down, thigh height losing grip where excess folds over the white belted bands that keep it upon toned appendages at thighs and just below knees. Emerald eyes sweep over the helipad, gloved fingers loosening from expectant fists for a fight she takes a deep breath, smearing the hair that slaps down in wild strands, from her face… Pausing as the embers are seen and followed.

"Come on out sugah'" Stated boldly through the storm, suspicions there that on one hand brought a small smile, though the obvious pensiveness returns with enclosing fingers back to fists. Charles may have sent here here for help, assuaged with the mans assurance, but trust still is best earned.

A black trenchcoat is visible first, followed by a thin hand of a slender man, blonde hair and blue eyes, a grey t-shirt with a red smiley face worn underneath that jacket. "'allo there, I was just out here to havin' a fag. It's awful nice out." He has to be joking. It is raining cats and dogs. The man is not anyone Rogue will or would recognize, he at least is wearing a friendly smile.
"You sound American." The mans accent is a English, lightly so. "And wow, you look very American."

"Come on in out of the rain." That smile again. Full on.

The man that revealed himself made Rogue stop her approach forward. The one she expected on the other end of the cigarette was not who she expected… Bt of course Remy was not the only one who smoked in the world. Call it a hope for a friend in the unknown.

"Sound American? I can get on with that. Look? Should I be offended?" Arise of brow, arching flesh in a manner that has the rain that ran down from forehead changing path to trace the contour of her face instead of stream down the middle.

None the less, Rogue steps after the man, slow paces with a glance back once and towards the sky where she came from. "If this is what ya call nice, I'd hate ta see it -bad-."

"Offended no, not at all. You are just magnificent… but I did just now catch that look. You disappointed I am not somebody else?" The man looks down, patting his own body in places as if looking for something or just putting on a show for her. "Nope, only me. Names Griff Chesley, I'm an intern. " He flips the laminated badge on his pocket up and down. A chuckle and he pushes the door open behind him, holding it, "Come on in, luv, you look absolutely knackered."
"Don't mind the quiet. It is late, not many of the residents are up and about these hours." The hallway inside is lit, a nice deep maroon rug going down a cozy enough looking length of interior. A table, plants, doors. Absolutely as expected.
"You here for anything in particular? Maybe spot of coffee or tea."

Rogue flushed at his pointed question and reaction to her look. In fact, she looked down in that humbling moment that was not only embarrassment but flattery.

Stepping out of the rain and inside she inspects the badge he flicked and gathered up her own smile to reciprocate to him. "Ah'm sorry, I just had hopes for someone Ah knew to be here. Never been here before and Ah don't even know this Moira I am supposed to meet. But it's good to meet you, Griff." Answering one question and smiling once more at the offer.

"Oh a large glass of sweet tea would be amazing right now." At least a taste of home will do.

"Oh, you're here for Moira! Moira MacTaggert. A doll she is, an absolute doll. You'll love her." A chuckle escapes Griff, "Sweet tea? I don't know if they.. we.. have any of that here." A shrug of his shoulders and the intern is studying her very closely, perhaps too closely but with Rogue's looks she is probably used to that. "So are you a mutant?" He is guiding her down the hallway, to the end of it where they take a right.

A scream is heard, muffled but heard, just barely.
"Pay no mind to that. Some of our… residents are criminals, they're locked up in the East Wing and get loud when they're antsy. It's best to just avoid the side of the facility."
"Sweet tea though, never understood how you yanks stomach that."

The way he is studying her should have made Rogue feel uneasy, but instead it is almost invasive once she got past the fact she may have hurt his feelings. Past the apology - one and done. "Ya know Ah'm a mutant. Ah did not land in front of you in a plane, sugah." Though now she is pushing that mass of wet hair back from her face and watching him a bit more openly in return, the scream making her give pause, despite his words.

"Criminals or not, Ah don't think they should be screamin' and ignored." A tilt of her head and she looks around, a bit more keenly, with an edge of inspection though with every breath she is trying to remind herself she is being overly paranoid. Charles would never send her into danger… Although she thought that of her mutant-mother as well…

"Yank? Ah'm from the south, darlin' there'd be a great debate on the fact of that term for me. None the less, it ain't good unless it makes your teeth ache, tastebuds burn, or smothered in gravy."

"She is not being harmed. Just a noisy prat." Griff assures as they turn in to what looks like a kitchen. "You can keep calling me sugar though, I like it." Opening one cupboard after another it is obvious this man doesn't know his way around a kitchen, "I know it is somewhere… "
Another scream is heard. Followed by someone shouting at said scream. It doesn't sound like nice words are exchanged in the ordeal. Griff's head is buried in a cabinet so he likely doesn't hear it enough to make a fuss or tell her its nothing. "You like the view from back there, do ya luv? Since I been here I've gotten lotsa running in on the beaches. Who knew this bloody island would be so pretty. Well ,when it isn't raining." Small talk. Fancy that.

What is with men with accents being rather… flamboyant about their depravity and allure. Yes, it might be nice to look at, but if you spit-polish it, it loses lustre.

"Prat?" Questioning the word and it's meaning as well as why an intern would seem so uncaring at the bstle going on that only seemed to get louder and more aggressive seeming.

Both brows furrow now at the backside of the Brit. Like the view? If she was looking for a well placed target for a heavy rabbit punch. Say anything, though? Nope. If and when he turns around, Rogue will be gone, following the screams.

"Here it is. Sweet tea in a tube. Hope that is… " Griff looks around only to see Rogue has dashed out of the room.
Rogue's quick movement brings her back down the hall, opposite they way they had went to the East Wing. The end of the hall a doorway lies open, a creature straight out of a horror movie stands inside, a skeleton sheathed in blue flames. He is clawing and scraping at a door.
"WE AREN'T ALONE!" Yells Griff from down the hall.
The walking skeleton turns to see Rogue. Over his shoulder she can see a video screen encased in protective glass, a monitoring screen in to the room beyond, it would appear people, a lot of them, including Moira MacTaggert have sealed themselves inside for shelter and protection. A makeshift panic room.

Griff is running down the hall flanked by another, an ugly man with stringy white hair in a blue and grey tactical uniform. "You fuck ups. How did she get in?"
"I let her in, Barrage. She woulda got suspicious if I didn't. Let me talk to her… " Griff grins and steps closer.

Rogue's run is fast, a motion boosted by the ability for flight, but not that she could fully unleash in these halls without knocking things aside. For now, she was just going to look and be sure, so no need to make a disruptive haste. But what she comes upon has the red runner rug beneath her feet crinkling and folding up before her feet as she came to a sudden halt.

Emerald eyes dart from one to the next, locking on the screen while fists quickly ball with a groan of straining fabric.

Rogues head snaps around as Griff comes in from behind with another and it is all solidified in just how clear this picture is. The contoured line of her jaw sets with a clench of teeth, their reveal coming in a smile that shows just how ready for this she is. "Done talkin'…. Sugar." A sudden burst surges Rogue from the ground and backwards from her position facing Griff and Barrage, aiming to have her slam into the monstrosity of blue flame and get him off the door. If impact is had her arms will latch around its neck and try to use the momentum to flip him and slam him with brutal force into the floor.
Deadbolt; the blue engulfed skeleton is swept up and crushed against the Mutant Research Center's hard smooth floor by Rogue's suplex. It is bone shattering and visible in it's effects on the Dark Rider. He manages to release a noise that is akin to a flames hiss.
"Oh hell!" Griff exclaims before his body is warping, his shirt lifts up and a mouth appears, on hands and feet he rushes at Rogue with a large open maw of teeth and swollen tongue, too big and deformed looking for the brain to fathom immediately. Fortunately for Rogue she was a member of the Brotherhood and is now an X-Men, she is used to the strange and bizarre. Unfortunately the thing that was once Griff looks like he intends on eating her.
"Hold still baby."

The man behind him, called Barrage lifts both hands up and pushes them out, energy starts to bulb up around his forearms. He doesn't have a clear shot, not with 'Griff' in the way, "MOVE Dirtnap! MOVE DAMN YOU!"
Moira behind the door is screaming and banging on it, mouthing the word RUN, over and over.

Standing over Deadbolt, Rogue's stance is ready, her hands still fisted in those green gloves that sheath her toned arms to just above the biceps. A small gap of skin is there beneath, but on shoulders a white ringed 'X' encircled leads into the top held beneath a cloak. Her head is tipped low and those wet strands of auburn and white hang lik vines along her face that is set in a determined facade of apathy… If it was not for that hint of glee that lights her green gaze. Rogue likes a good brawl every now and again, keeps things fresh.

Not even a blink (maybe an eye twitch) when Griff shifts and charges, because she is going for him head on, stepping on the flattened form of Deadbolt before her, and using him to kick off of. "Now ya wait to show me the sexy side. You gotta learn how to court a girl." A statement as they charge head on and as soon as impact is about to be made, Rogue feints to the right then shoots up in a run along the wall to the ceiling where she kicks off to become the human bullet and use her shoulder to try and drive into Griff from above.

Barrage is not forgotten, by any means, her position puts her right where she would want to be if she succeeds.

Moira, on the other hand… Needs saving. So do the others. Rogue doesn't run.

One down. Rather fast too. Rogue is a force of nature and these Dark Riders are learning this. "Shit! Get her quick!" Barrage is panicking a bit now but not backing down, to back down is to show weakness, to show weakness is to die. Dark Riders serve Apocalypse. Strength is life.
Rogue lands upon Dirtnap rough, it drops him underneath her force but his open mouth and limbs spastic-ally flail upwards, trying to engulf and wrap around her, tongue even encircling her arm to curl up, seeking purchase to pull her in to that giant maw. The sounds are perhaps the worse, like someone talking around a massive sub sandwhich. "Gretin, gretin my moufh, luv. Let me have thragt bod."

Dis. Gus. Ting. Not just the way it felt when she landed on him, but the way it felt when all the parts that should not be on a body start to move and try to cannibalize her. The tongue..

"Not on the first date!" One arm bound the other reaches over, grabbing his… tongue? Whatever disgusting bit is wrapped around her, ripping to the side in a frantic manner of fierce determination. "No. Touching!"

"Get down!" Barrage warns Dirtnap but doesn't give much of a gap. Two concussive blasts are fired off at Rogue and the other Dark Rider. Lances of pure force.

"Grargh…" What is that? No idea. Dirtnap is struggling against Rogue, shes far stronger than anyone he has ever tried to absorb before and it isn't exactly easy. Her strength alone is halting him no matter how agile or wiry he is, brute force in a grappling match is still brute force. He almost had a taste too, almost made her power his own… little did he know, this woman is also an absorbing sort. Who knows what sort of reaction will transpire if he succeeds.

Rogue's balled fist does not let go of that tongue, in fact, to unravel it from her arm she is wrapping it around her hand and jerking. "What's that? Oh! Rogue's got your tongue." If he does not release even slightly she is about to rip it from his maw, a leg rises up, scissor kicking into him beneath her all the while she is coming to a stand despite the pull against it looking like a ragged warrior emerging from a pit of shih-tzu like appendages, kicking and ripping.

The blasts that are aimed hit once, the second missing only by a fraction but only due to the fact that the struggle and force has her spinning to the side. A breath, a moment and her fingers make a disgusting squelch as they bite into the tearing tongue of one of her captors, her other hand gripping another limb and using this leverage (as well as the immense amount of welling rage) to wrench Dirtnap free of her and throw him at Barrage… Following up swiftly to charge.

Dirtnap's strange body slaps against Barrage sending them both in a tumble down the hallway. They look to be struggling against the onslaught that is Rogue, perhaps they should have chosen their actions a little more wisely. The woman is a wrecking ball made flesh.
A brilliant flash and the lights in the hallway flicker, flare and reveal two more figures standing within it.
"Harddrive, Psynapse, bout damn time. Take her down!" Barrage rambles off while preparing another set of concussive blasts.
"Mind your place, Barrage!" Snaps a man with long purple hair, slender, doesn't look like much of a fighter but he is handsome and has a dangerous look to his angular features. The man beside him is dark haired, stocky and covered in armor that looks made of computer components.
"Threat assessment. High. Mutant Detected. Authorized method of procedure… capture." The cyborg looking individual prattles in what sounds like two voices at once. One robotic sounding the other fully human.
"This one then?" His companion asks, carrying on in conversation as though Rogue was no threat and not standing right there.
"Affirmative. She is classified as suitable."
"You hear that, mutant? You have a date with the master."

Rogue is not stopping, the throw is followed up with her charge that has her finally taking flight down the slender hall… At least now through all of this it seems claustrophobic. Coming upon Barrage and Dirtnap her hands grip them in the flight path, hoisting them from the ground and intent on literally driving them through the walls until the lights flicker, a voice calls and Barrage responds with his own response. Slowly turning in the hover, Rogue lifts both of them by limb or attire where she had grabbed them from, slamming them together in a manner that, if successful, with sound like rattling toys clacking together before she drops them at her feet.

"Your master has to ask me himself." Breaths come in pants, ones that flutter a stray strand of white up and down before her lips, lips that spread into a grin that is born upon a deep breath of collection.

"I hope this isn't all he's gonna send me. Ah'm offended." And in a burst of concussive force in the rocket-flight path she takes for them, the wall behind her cracks and spiderwebs and anything in her path is knocked or blown aside.

Barrage and Dirtnap slap together in a crumple of bodies and then are discarded with violent abandon by Rogue.

The purple haired man, Psynapse opens his arms wide and smiles as Rogue sails towards him, darkness begins to engulf the world around her, his face, his eyes, they grow, enlarge, glowing, brilliantly glowing in the darkness and Rogue finds herself drifting not rocketing, a slow drift through something very much like or quite possibly the Astral Plane? This sensation is all too familiar, very much like when she was a prisoner of the Darkhold.

The Dark Rider is in her mind.

Towering above her is the man with the purple hair, "First, I am going to break you down, make you a puppet ready for the Master's molding. You're in my world now, Rogue of the X-Men." Psynapse's grin grows wider, a rictus of menace that spreads across his features.
Outside in the halls of the Mutant Research Center Rogue flies past Psynapse and Harddrive crashing in to the doors and slapping end over end across the earth until she skids to a halt. Unconscious or at least it appears that way, she is trapped inside her mind at least for a moment.

Psynapse reels back clutching his head, fingers pinching at the side of his skull, "TOO MANY!!! She is… she is so many personalities. What freak… mutant, human, lowly freak, I feel just filthy and ruined being in her mind… so many voices."
Harddrive just stares.
"Go on, get her and bring her to our lord Apocalypse. I need a moment… she is unique. I find myself wanting to see what else is in her mind but at the same time… that may very well be a mistake."
Harddrive continues to just stare. "Okay…" Stomping away from Psynapse the cyborg like humanoid moves to Rogue and hefts her up, light flickers through the hallway, a spark is spit from a wall mount and where Rogue and the Dark Rider was is nothing but empty cracked floor.


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