Making A God Bleed

October 12, 2016:

Ozymandias the Scribe of Apocalypse shows his true colors and the X-Men suffer. Cameo by Rogue.


NPCs: Blaquesmith, Apocalypse, Ozymandias, Husk, Gauntlet, War (Mikhail Rasputin)


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Several days after the defeat and capture of Famine.

Baltimore, Maryland.

Clouds hold together in a tight cluster above the private wharf located just shy of the Inner Harbor. Nate Grey knows this place, he and Remy LeBeau were rescued by the time traveling mutant Blaquesmith and taken here a little over a month ago.
It looks mundane, normal, almost welcoming if not forth the gray overcast, chill intermittent breeze and occasional raindrop. One lonely aged boat sits at the docks. A nondescript and almost plain vessel named the USS Drake.
Why are the X-Men arriving here now? Rogue is kept here, held safely in stasis inside of a containment sphere.

Striding towards the arriving X-Men, Gambit lifts up a half-gloved hand, several fingers exposed as he waves, "Bonjour les amis, it is good you're showing up now, I was getting bored. Turn out, Blaquesmith a big fan of Star Trek though, he an' I been watching Enterprise while we wait."
Yes, the Cajun was expecting them. Blaquesmith and Ozymandias had suggested perhaps magic would be the way to find Apocalypse and ultimately Beast who is yet still unaccounted for. Now that they have Rogue they may have an easier link. Who better to have handle such things than Illyana Rasputin. Quicksilver's presence? Simple field experience.

Sorcery seems a good idea since Illyana noted she was able to find Rogue from Limbo a couple times. Apocalypse didn't expect his enemies to use magic? Seems a serious flaw in his defenses, but as Nate noted before, it is about time they had a lucky break.

And looks like Remy is in good mood too. "Hey, Cajun. How is the lady?" He also nods to Blaquemith. Star Trek, who would have thunk? Is Illy around already? He mind-scans around. "What is the plan?"

"Hah! First day as an X-Man! What could go wrong?" In childish excitement, Pietro Maximoff joins the scene accompanied by his teammates. His smile, always radiant, mischievous, and as swift as his movements, is always present. "So, you took down Rogue without me, I see. Sad. I really wanted to see the face of the only person who has beat me down before she was caged." Perhaps saying she was the only person could be exaggerated, at best, but he doesn't seem to care. "Just promise me I will be the one to take Beast down. I've been practicing some sweet movements I want to show him, very personally." The Transian speaks fast, to no one in particular. Maybe even to himself. That would not be strange, at all.

His silver hair falls lazily, partially hiding his azure gaze, and direly contrasting with his black leather jacket, which in turn covers a Floyd shirt.

"Remy, it is nice to meet you!" The speedster greets warmly, avoiding comments about Star Trek. It is better this way. His rambling would be as long and nerdy as it always is when Star Trek is talked about. His phone is pulled and he sends a quick text before it disappears, just to reappear in his pocket. Mutant abilities, always handy. "So, X-Men party, I hope?"

Is Illy around? She certainly is. When the duo enters the boat, they'll find their numbers have increased by a factor of one.

A quick flash of light behind Nate and Quicksilver and Illyana's foot falls can easily be heard, as the blonde offers a curious look around herself. It's only when Gambit approaches their small group that the blonde blue-eyed sorceress will turn her gaze towards the Cajun.

The mention of watching Star Trek earns a soft snort of sound from the demoness, as she says, "And here I thought I lived in /Hell/." Clearly, Illyana isn't a Star Trek fan, even if Pryde /has/ made her watch the majority of the Original TV show and /all/ of the various spin-offs.

All of them.

Either way, when Nate asks about the plan, Illyana nods. "Yes, what is the plan?" And while she has some idea of what might be wanted, she doesn't offer anything more than that; especially once Quicksilver speaks. A slanted look will be sent towards the Transian, "Way too much caffeine today, buddy. Way too much." With her words a faint smirk will be offered to the speedster.

"De lady? Rogue. Mais oui, she okay or so Blaquesmith says, she not moved a single muscle. You'd almost think she was dead." Gambit shrugs but is clearly not as blase about it as he would like to pretend. No trench coat right now, just the sleek body suit, tac belt and those armor plated boots he commonly wears.
The Cajun looks tired, he is close to Rogue and in part blames himself for a lot of what she is going through, it was him pressuring Charles for help with her that ended up having the woman sent off to Moira MacTaggert's Muir Island where she was initially taken.
Crimson on black eyes settle on Quicksilver, "These our teammates you talk about. Mind what you say, homme." Looking past Pietro towards Nate and Illyana the Cajun jerks a thumb in question at the speedster. Not so welcoming as he would normally be.
"Petit diable. You maybe the key."

A short hooded figure makes himself present as well, the hoodie he is wearing several sizes too big intentionally, it makes sure to obscure his very E.T. looking features, his body stocky, three fingers and a thumb, grey skinned, large smile, "Hello, X-Men. I am Blaquesmith and your friend is very well, she is in a trans-temporal stasis containment sphere, it will keep her 'out of sync' so Apocalypse's alterations to her physiology will not progress. She is very strong, we don't want her getting loose."
"We are awaiting another ally to return, he is to aid us in a ritual that will utilize your gifts Magik and his knowledge to pinpoint Apocalypse." The traveler seems happy with that idea. "Do any of you want to come inside? Refreshments and pretzels while we wait? I have root beer soda pop."

"Of course I mean Rogue and…" Nate shuts up and frowns at hearing she has been 'contained' and she is not even awake. That is not good, she looked terrible the last time he saw her, consumed by her own warped powers. "Maybe we should move her to Limbo," he suggest Illyana. "She would be far from Apocalypse's influence, at least." Even the idea of free food doesn't make him lose the frown.

Pietro shakes his head bemusedly, "Not as much as I would like, Illyana. Not as much!" The grin fades into a mutter, "But that could change. Maybe there's some around?…" Oh, yes. He has all the time in the world to find it out… but not right now. The speedster shrugs at Gambit, not really apologetic, but he understand his point. He was not close to any of the now-Horsemen before they tried to kill him, but he can understand the point and leaves it at that. "Ok, I'm sorry. But, for the rest of our teammates, please don't follow their example." Well, he almost left it at that.

The short figure that comes near certainly catches his attention. And his words… that too.

"Refreshments? Pretzels? Root beer? Soda?" He echoes soft and lovingly. "You, my new friend, know how to make Quicksilver work. I will do any ritual you want, after I test the quality of said products. I'm starving." He might be. His fast metabolism (and his uncontrolled love for food) makes him eat almost all the time.

For someone who knows him well enough, he is not nearly as joyful and intensely happy as always. There is worry, deep inside, but that worry he is not willing to show.

So many things going on and so many things being said.

It's enough that Illyana will allow the others to talk, with the blonde demoness only offer an amused look here and there; mostly for Quicksilver's antics.

Finally, however, when the stranger in the hoodie speaks up will the blonde focus her attention on the seemingly friendly stranger (to her, at least). Her blue eyes will narrow slightly as she considers his words, "What friend?" She will ask, with just a hint of suspicion to her voice and then she'll flick a look towards Nate and Gambit, "And we could potentially use Limbo as a staging ground for those changed. I can effect great change within Limbo - " Which means she could potentially cure Rogue and with that thought Illy's blue-eyed gaze will return to Blaquesmith now, "- With or without 'friends'."

"Great change in Limbo." Blaquesmith chuckles, "For better or worse? I know enough of Limbo to know this, it is mercurial and it tends to bring out the worst. Would we truly want to risk tossing a woman or anyone already planted with a dark seed in a place where it could only fester? This is a more sure bet. This is science and an admixture of my own talents." A tap to his forehead under the hoodie and the grey mutants smile widens. Nate knows that Blaquesmith is a telepath of some considerable potency.

"If she can cure Rogue, maybe we should let her make that attempt." Gambit presses.

"Much riskier, she is unfamiliar with Celestial technology and Apocalypse games, I am not. But you want to try that route, by all means. Do not let me stop you. Pretzels and root beer, yes, come in, it would appear our friend Ozymandias is late." Some worry creeps through Blaquesmith and those paying close enough attention as he passes through the ships entry portal he swipes his hand over a console, the ship arms itself.

The interior of the Blake is much larger, deceptive even, it doesn't look aged it looks futuristic, consoles, open space, smooth floors, wide viewing windows that see outside the ship in all directions, booths built in to the walls, plants situated around it. A massive 72 inch screen tv with an episode of Star Trek paused on it and in front of it, the aforementioned pretzels, cups and soda. "Please, help yourselves. I will be but a moment… "
Rogue is not kept in this room. This ship, the Blake is massive. There are definitely other rooms.

"Whats happening, mon ami?" Gambit inquires of Blaquesmith. "Ozy not here yet.. "
Nate also looks around for Rogue. Hmm, this seems too big to him, but mutant powers are involved and maybe the aspect of the ship outside was fake. Not important, is it? The food is sampled, but he is much more interested in Rogue's health and what she has to say about Apocalypse plans than pretzels. He remains near Illyana, though, "so, have you checked with your brother and your friends already?" He asks.

Pietro does not join the conversation about magic, limbo, good and evil. Not only because he is the least versed on the matter among the presents, but because it brings… bad memories. Very, very bad memories.

As the group enters the ship and the food is presented, Quicksilver can already be seen, half pretzel in hand and a soda in the other.

But, still, something has changed.

That childish smile and shiny eyes? They are gone, replaced by a cold gaze that carefully inspects everything around. His features are somber, thoughtful, and for more time that it should, he remains silent.

He doesn't feel right being so close, relatively, to Rogue, and the uncertainty around doesn't help.

Illyana's blue eyes narrow slightly at both Blaquesmith's chuckle and his words. While he speaks the truth about Limbo, rightfully so even, that doesn't stop the flare of annoyance from the demoness. "Yes, because science isn't what put Rogue in her current situation, /right/. Let's all continue to go with science as a good means of curing her." And while more could be said, it isn't, as the group moves into the boat and Illyana will follow them.

When Quicksilver seemingly reappears, with food and drink in hand, she can't help but flick a look towards him. A smirk quirks a corner of her mouth upward at the speedsters antics. Sure, she may not know this particular Quicksilver, but he amuses her none-the-less. It's only with Nate's direct question to her, about her brother and friends, that Yana will turn her attention to the telepath. "No." She says quietly to Nate, even as she stays quite aware of her surroundings much like Pietro does, "Not yet. You and another are the only ones who know yet. I'd like to keep it that way for a bit."

And with that said, Illyana will turn back to the room at large. The TV is given a dismissive glance, as is the food and drink and it's only when her eyes land upon Remy that the Sorceress will say, "I'd like to see Rogue before we attempt anything with my magics."

"Science and magic. This is a debate we can go to length, young mutant." Blaquesmith is clearly amused by the Demoness, maybe even goading her a bit for his own enjoyment but not maliciously so. This is his way of being entertained. A motion towards the door beyond, "She is within, safely contained by science." That smile, it only grows somehow. He is indeed making serious jest on behalf of the Sorceress' and his own differences.

"Ignore him, petit. He like to argue nonsense." Remy manages while flopping down in to a seat near Pietro. A rootbeer hissing open with a thumb flick. "She in next room jus' like he said." A waning smile is given and Remy unpauses the television, a curious glance at Quicksilver. "Familiar lookin', we never met, eh?"

Nate's mention of Illyana's brother has Blaquesmith canting his head to the side in a very Avian like manner, is it Blaquesmith's place to speak of Mikhail Rasputin or not? A loud question to himself. A good question and one with enough clarity it can be picked up by a telepath who is aware enough. Not that Nate meant Mikhail of course, he meant Colossus.

It is then the ship's A.I. speaks, "Incoming. Identified Ozymandias. Passcode confirmed." It would appear the final guest has arrived.
Nate snaps a glance to Blaquesmith when he notices the other telepath is thinking about… Illyana's brother. But why? As far as he knows Colossus is working with X-Red more or less secretly. After all he was Brotherhood when he was younger.

«What is up with Colossus?» He asks the time traveling mutant.

"Oh good, at last," he says out loud, about the arrival of Ozymandias. Not that they had to wait five minutes, but he is ever impatient.

The speedster tilts his head as Illyana speaks, showing clear interest. Magic is something controversial, at best, in his eyes. In part, magic is what gives his sister her powers, and a higher capacity than many to help those in need. But, on the other hand, magic is what clouds his memories of her… Magic is what keeps him from his own sister… But, somehow, Illyana's words are strangely comforting. She sees magic as something else. Something he is interested in, not something he fears, for a change.

"I have done my research." Pietro answer softly to Remy. "I spent a year living in the Institute. Then I made a life in New York, but it seems all the ways lead to the X-Men." He smiles a smile that is also a sigh. "I never crossed words with Rogue before we met, that day. But it felt like I knew her already. You know? People, out there, normal people, are both fascinated and terrified by mutants." The oldest of the Maximoff twins finishes his soda, tossing the can in the appropriate disposal place and returning to his original spot in the blink of an eye. "I am exactly the same." His hand puts the messy silver hair to a side, fully revealing his burning blue gaze. "I've studied mutants for so long, that every time something like /this/ happens, I cannot be something else than terrified." The Transian accent more present than ever.

Somehow, a smile is drawn.

"Luckily, I'm fast." He grins, trying to dismiss the sad moment. There is so much fighting inside his mind, right now. So much he cannot say. But, even now, there is challenge. There is an enemy to defeat. And that, challenge, is the fuel that makes Quicksilver move. "Let's see what happens." A second can of soda (speedster, of course) is equally disposed as before.

"So, the party is about to start, I see?"

Blaquesmith's teasing, or rather his mention of a debate finally earns a less severe look from Illyana, as she says with confidence, "I would win that debate." And with that said, the blonde demoness will move away from Nate and the little group, as both Blaquesmith and Remy point her in the direction of the scientifically ensorcelled Rogue.

When the ship'sA.I. speaks to inform all that Ozymandias has arrived, Illyana will lift her eyes towards the ceiling of the room, even as she steps into the other room. She seems unconcerned that the last member of their particular party is arriving; late or not.

"Would you win? Challenge accepted."
«Colossus? No. The other one. Nevermind, Nate, It is unimportant for now, one challenge at a time.» Blaquesmith is about timing and right now is not it.
"We have been patient Ozymandias, the magical component is ready for us to begin our scry."

//I've studied mutants for so long… // The hair, the eyes… Gambit frowns, something about Quicksilver stands out. Maybe if Remy read dossiers he would already have known this information but he doesn't. It'll come to him."Ozy here now we can get this on the road an get our River Rat back."

Ozymandias is present now, standing near the entry or more hovering, a slender stone man who looks very much like Jafar from Aladdin if Jafar was made out of granite. Only something is off, one side of his face is cracked, splintered and broken. "Scrying will not be necessary, my friend. It would appear… I have brought them to us." A motion behind him and the A.I. chimes as if in tune with the man's gesture. "Incoming. Unidentified. Incoming Unidentified. Incoming Unidentified."

The chamber Illyana finds herself in is dimly lit, rounded and in the center of it are three spheres, one of them occupied the other two empty. Curled in on herself is Rogue, nude as the day she was born yet still pale as Famine with the darkened circles around her eyes, the skin pigmentation changes that signify her status as one of the Horsemen. She is in slumber, stuck 'between' now, then, whenever and being monitored. The only way to reach her his through non-physical means. Like those below Magik can hear the alert from the Blake's A.I.'

"You worm!' Blaquesmith snarls.

"Yes, I am that but then, we truly all are before My Lord. I am nothing without Apocalypse and I realize this even more so now. He is the Master and I am what I have always been his servant and you, all of you, are nothing more than tools." Opening his hands up Ozymandias drops several trinkets on the ground, odd techno-stylized flowers and each of them is about to blossom in a glowing eruption.
It would appear it is indeed about to be a party.

Nate tries to remember if Illyana has other brothers. No… he doesn't think so. But then again, variants. Where is the blonde, he heads to the other chamber, "hey, Illy…" he stops, glances back. Someone slapped the granite-man really hard?

Then the alarms flare out. Betrayed! "Yana. Get Rogue out of here now!" He yells, raising a telekinetic shield between Ozymandias and his 'flowers' and the others. Visible as a golden wall, he doesn't want Pietro smashing against it.

"No. Way. See? This is what happens /EVERY SINGLE TIME/." Pietro shakes his head as Ozymandias makes his flashy entrance. "That's why we cannot have pretty things. And I'm /not/ talking about Rogue." He certainly isn't.

The golden walls rise and Maximoff steps backwards, glancing towards the others, and specially Illyana who is closest to the caged Horseman. In a heartbeat, he is already by her side. "Do you want help getting out of here? Or do you have another plan? I'll stick with anything." He whispers, still always aware of the other three companion's position at all times.

Challenge accepted.

Illyana does like challenges. She likes defeating people even better. Those thoughts are cut off, however, when the blonde finally spies Rogue held within the stasis module. A frown will now tick the demoness' lips downward, as she considers the obviously changed Rogue. "What have they done to you?" She murmurs quietly to herself and Illy will take one step towards the sphere and before she can take a second, that A.I. chimes its warning. Looking away from Rogue and back towards the door, Yana says in a somewhat dry tone of voice, "Well, that doesn't sound good. And here, I thought a friend was coming?"

When Nate appears within the doorway, suddenly showing out an order, Illy offers a twist of lips even as a hand raises upward towards Rogue's chamber. "Already on it." She says and with those words of hers, a portal of yellowish light starts to open beneath the pod to whisk it away to Limbo.

Along with that portal opening Illyana's soulsword and some armor will suddenly flash into her hand and over hand, shoulder and arm. With the sudden appearance of Quicksilver at her side, the demoness blinks, before she flashes him an easy smile. "That's cute - I'm a teleporter, I got it covered. Don't worry."

A.I.'s voice one final chime, "Incoming. Identified Apocalypse."

It feels like time stops for Blaquesmith as fear clutches him and he draws up two batons, "We should run!" He declares, "We are not prepared for this. There are too many and the tyrant himself is here."

"Merde, Blaquesmith… you had to say it. Good luck getting Nate out of here now!" Remy says, that soda can in his hand charging with explosive kinetic energy.

The other side of that golden telekinetic barrier becomes a colorful barrage of explosive fire exuded from those 'flowers' Ozymandias had dropped. The ship itself is savaged by the assault, a massive hole punctured out of the side and alarms in all directions begin to blare. The Baltimore harbor becomes visible to the X-Men as does En Sabah Nur himself.

The External is towering at 5 meters in height just beside the Blake. One massive hand clutching a side of the ship and peeling it's burning shell open further.

"Look no further, X-Men, your time has come. Are you ready to serve now or shall you be tested further my blind little children?" The voice of the titanic sized elder mutant booms forth. Pours across the bay. Near him are others, the brawny creature known as Husk and a slender gunman called Gauntlet, both individuals the X-Men had tangled with on the Sakhalin isle.

Even the chamber Illyana is in quakes with the onslaught, the walls themselves pulled apart by the actions of the High Lord. She is as exposed and visible as her teammates even as Rogue is spirited away to elsewhere.

Nate nods as Rogue psychic signature vanishes. Then braces himself telekinetically as she ship shakes. "C'mon, we were looking for this bastard and he finally left his hideout and showed his ugly mug." He grins at Apocalypse. "Was that a serious question or it is you just love how your voice sounds while spewing bullshit?" His real answer is blasting at Apocalypse's face with a telekinetic bolt.

"Oh, teleporter, right! I thought you were joking that day. Because that's what people do. They all are like 'Oh, so you're a speedster? Guess what? I'm a teleporter so I'm effectively faster than you!'" Pietro laughs and disappears again, dashing to Gambit's side, but he is stopped by the impromptu ship's rupture and the appearance of yet another person to the ongoing party.

"So, this is Apocalypse. I pictured him even uglier. But, that's how it is. Never have high hopes for some crazy monster, because they always let you down." He sighs, glancing around and realizing running on water would be too risky, but the solid surface is getting smaller and smaller as the ship collapses.

The silver-haired mutant uses a moment to run beside Blaquesmith, then to Nate, then Gambit and then Illyana, just to return to his original place. Each of them, in turn, when they had the speedster by their side, may have heard a whisper. "Run."

To Apocalypse, another word is directed, but not a hushed one. It is a strong, challenging shout, instead.

"Hey, freak! Do you even think you can catch me?"

A smile is cast towards his teammates, expecting them to take the opportunity to flee if the monster decides to pay attention to Quicksilver.

As soon as Rogue's stasis pod is out of harms way (well relatively speaking) Illyana will turn her gaze back to the trembling walls. It doesn't take long for them to be ripped aside, or even, for Illyana to hear that booming and hated voice. No matter what reality she's currently in, Apocalypse is a foe that needs to be defeated, destroyed even.

The whisper of run is given an incredulous look by Illyana; run? Her? Not likely. Well, not likely yet. She does, however, call forth a portal. With a flash of a grin, the demoness will disappear inside of it. Then, within a blink of an eye, a second portal will re-open upon the ship, this time near Blaquesmith. Stepping half-way out of her portal, Yana will say, "You. Get in here. I think you should sit here with Rogue and watch the stasis pod. Make sure it doesn't break." Or something break it, like her demons.

Even as she says those brisk words to Blaquesmith, Yana will turn her gaze towards Nate, Gambit and Quicksilver. "Boys." She mutters to herself, though that's more for Nate and Quicksilver at their apparent 'heroic' antics. Turning her blue-eyed gaze to Apocalypse and his minions, Illyana will flick a wrist towards the fearsome group. A mote of yellow energy will flare to life above Husk's heads and when the portal opens, several large-dog sized demons will start to drop from the stepping disks. The demon-dogs look part frog and part pit-bull and the pair of demonic puppies have a lot of teeth.

A lot.

As before the alpha mutant of his reality is able to stagger Apocalypse with his attack. The Forever Walker despite the irritation of being stricken does not appear phased, his growth continues, from 5 meters to a looming 7 meters and one massive fist has transmorphed in to a weapon, a canon.
"Impressive. Perhaps you are now ready. You see, after our initial encounter I had to pry in to just exactly who and what you are, I determined you are essential. You will help me ascend." Apocalypse is fixated on Nate. Quicksilvers taunt does not go answered by the towering mutant. Instead a laser shot is fired off at Pietro, a blast that zigs and zags in the air (much like Darkseid's Omega Beam), fired from the one eyed creature near Apocalypse feet. "A speedster. I love killing those."

Husk's body around the shoulders bubbles and warps, smaller Husks begin to peel free of his flesh, these Underlings were preparing to go after Magik, Gambit and Quicksilver but instead she is coming to them. Demon frog-bullies are engaged with Underlings.

"No no. We ALL should run not just I and Rogue… we are not ready. None of us are ready!" Blaquesmith yells at Illyana as she teleports him away.

Gambit's soda can sails high and smacks in to Apocalypse, fizz and kinetic eruption pops outwards with less effect than Nate's attack. He isn't bred or created to fight the Son of the Morning Fire as X-Man was. He damned sure will try though.

As the X-Men scramble to action Apocalypse takes aim and that canon fires off a wave of purple-pink energy envelopes the Blake and if none of them move or defend themselves, them as well. With the sheer current size of Apocalypse the beam barely needs to be focused on any one of them, it is a wide attack radius.

"If with 'ascend' you mean die, sure thing," growls Nate. This time he has not been fighting anyone and feels fresh and full of power. When Apocalypse shoots his arm-canon, he just stands there and attempts to stop the blast with a telekinetic shield. «Why do you think we should escape? He came with just two minions, not McCoy or that Russian energy manipulator. He would be stronger in his lair.» Nope, Nate is not a great strategist.

Pietro sighs softly. "Ok, ok. No running. We will fight the Big Freak and then get a pizza. It has been forever since I ate that pretz—" he blurs out, preventing the beam by a slight margin.

The one-eyed creature's words are received with a soft whisper in its ear. Indeed, Quicksilver is already behind it. "I won't kill you. But you will beg me to do so when I'm done with you. I will save you for last." His words, poisonous and highly entertained, fade as Maximoff returns to where he started, still evading the huge beam that is fired.

"Only a coward would refuse a race, by the way, freak!" He shouts again to Apocalypse.

When Blaquesmith finds his way into Limbo, unwillingly or not, he'll find himself in a huge throne room. The majority of the room is empty, with only a throne sitting on a raised dais sitting near the center of the room and a many-faceted crystal that hangs high in the air. The crystal slowly rotates though the facade of said crystal is quite cloudy, currently. A few demons can be seen within the corners of the room and while they look at the new arrivals, they don't touch. Just yet. They figure their Mistress (who is still hanging out of her portal between Limbo and Earth) will be right back.

At the sight of Apocalypse growing, Illyana will say, "By the dark abyss."

That curse then turns into a hiss when the monster shoots that rather bright and menacing ray out towards the boat and its occupants. Stepping out of her portal, Illyana will allow it to close before another portal opens. Instead of being near people, this portal will open to try and swallow the ray into its depths.

"I think Blaquesmith is right on this one, boys. We need to jet." Yells the sorceress, even as she flings open that stepping disk of hers. "Seriously."

The demon dogs will snap and bite at the Husk underlings and should their mouths get a chance to close over a limb, or body part, that person will find the demon dog's jaws lock down quite tight. They'll even shake their heads from side to side, trying to tear and rend as they go.

Magik's portal saves Gambit and likely Nate from the ray, a beam which melted through the attempted TK shield. The heat is felt by Remy and he snaps free his staff, giving a stray Underling a swat upside the head, it's body weight less than impact casts it away from them. "We need the rest of our team. Petit Diable and Blaquesmith are right in 'dis. We have no reason to stay an' fight, Rogue is safe… "

Effortlessly the zig-zagging energy shot is evaded by Quicksilver as is the 'mega ray' that Yana's portal absorbs BUT as he had dodged the first it is weaving around through the air back towards him while he 'speedports' up behind Gauntlet. Gauntlet sneers, "You're a mouthy young pup." The Dark Rider taunts and throws an energized knife at the Maximoff. A distraction to keep his attention off of that 'homing' laser Gauntlet had earlier fired. No slouch Gauntlet is eager now to destroy Pietro. Can he keep up with the speed though…

Husk's brawl with the Limbo Demons has him completely wrapped up in a struggle of beasts vs beasts. This allows for the X-Men to focus upon their immediate threat(s). Namely Gauntlet and Apocalypse, there is no sign of Ozymandias, he was last seen in the explosion that has clearly destroyed the Blake.

"Foolish, you only slow the inevitable. I will have all of you kneeling or as corpses." Apocalypse steps forward, a kick that obliterates the ship underneath them and places him closer, his fingers opening up above them, digits on each becoming lancing laser shots that will force them in to action again. "SUBMIT!" The command so loud it is almost a weapon itself.

Nate grunts in pain when the blast seems to melt his shield. What the hell was that? And Illyana thinks they should pull back too, and he respects greatly her tactical abilities. So he hesitates. Just… it is Apocalypse there.

So when the ship shatters under his feet, he flies up, putting himself in a position where Apocalypse can't nail him and anyone else if he uses the canon again. Several lasers hit him, but he has raises a personal forcefield to reinforce his body and they only leave narrow burn marks on his uniform. "DIE!" He replies to his command, his left eye flaring brightly as he shoots another forceblast at the ancient mutant.

"Wait, wait, wait. Did you just say Blaquesmith is right? That's a good plot twist." Quicksilver jests, running around to avoid being killed, for example, trying to ponder who should receive a supersonic punch first, but the answer comes fast. In the form of an energy knife.

"Huh, so you wanna dance, after all?" He mutters under his breath, while the fire of his gaze burns towards Gauntlet. "Guys, let's get out of here! But I need to do something first, real quick." A silver blur crosses, cutting the air as a furious blade, as Maximoff throws a punch, at supersonic speed, to Gauntlet's face.

Elsewhere within Limbo the ray finally hits home. A large swath of the Wilds of Limbo lights up and finds itself (demons and all) vaporized within seconds. Within the throne room several of the demons turn their eyes elsewhere, sensing the damage done to Limbo.

While Illyana wasn't necessarily hit by the ray beam of death, it was close enough to feel the string of its bite and coupled with the stretch of absorbing so much energy within Limbo, the demoness staggers a step. "Dammit." She mutters, even as the ship suddenly starts to collapse thanks to the antics of Apocalypse.

That staggered step of hers turns into a second more sure step and beneath Illyana's feet now sits a portal and easily she slips back into Limbo. As soon as she's within her realm, specifically her throne room with Rogue's stasis pod and Blaquesmith, Illyana will make her way to her crystal. A touch upon the faceted surface will bring the crystal to life and it'll show the battle still raging onward. "Stupid stupid stupid stupid." Her crystal is much like a tv in the fact that she can hear what everyone says. At Quicksilver's words, since Nate is all about the death, Illyana will call forth portals near the three men. One near Gambit, one near the Speedster (well somewhere near his last position) and one near the now flying Nate.

The portals will show the throne room and Illyana within (along with the others) and as soon as the portals are open, she'll shout, "Get your butts in gear. Now."

Apocalypse is hit once again, a rip appears across his shoulder it begins to heal as quickly as it was placed. Not that Nate doesn't have the power to continue the assault. A backhanded swing is sent towards X-Man from the Forever Walker. Large hand incoming swiftly with superhuman strength behind it.

A supersonic punch is a definite counter to even an augmented Inhuman like Gauntlet. His personal shield splinters, his face turns in to that of a Pug dogs and the ocular piece over his eye erupts in a shattering explosion then gravity hefts him in to the air and he sails like a fastball pitch only to skip twice across the waters where he will then disappear in to them.

As Illyana vanishes through a portal Apocalypse roars in outrage, "You dare run! NO. I will not allow this, not this time, X-Men." The titan straightens up, one of his hands forming in to a large shield he places between himself and Nate. "WAR you are needed, bring yourself to me."

Gambit has vaulted over another Underling and is placing himself closer to Pietro in an attempt to assist him but it clearly isn't necessary as the speedster lays his adversary low. Gauntlet now a problem for the fish of Baltimore. "Lets go! Quick, he calls more!"

As Magik's portals appear so does yet another being, a green portal of his own announcing his arrival. Crimsons and blacks the tall imposing figure of Mikhail Rasputin aka War shows himself, his cloak billowing behind him.

"Snowflake… " The Russian muses as he studies those portals the Demon-Witch has conjured.

"Do not allow them to escape! There is no retreat this day." Apocalypse growls.

"Very well. Let us see what I can do." War's hands begin to weave in the air, fingers trailing green almost eldritch looking energy, his own powers of temporal and spatial manipulation begin to tease along Illyana's discs, one by one they are discolored, changing from yellow to a greenish hue. An odd sensation to have your powers hijacked by another, yet another who is related?

The portal near Nate closes then the portal near Quicksilver snaps shut. One more left. The one near Remy, it remains open.

"HURRY!' The Cajun shouts. "Pour l'amour de Dieu! Hurry!" Not a God faring man himself he still makes a shout out to the ears that will listen.

Nate takes the backhand (too large a hand) and he is sent flying several yards away from the stepping disk, momentarily stunned. He lands on his feet, though and immediately strikes back trying to grab Apocalypse whole body with a telekinetic grip and just crush him.

Mikhail arrival is noted with a grunt of displeasure. Hopefully Quicksilver and Gambit can handle him now the other two minions are out of commission. But why is did he say 'snowflake'. Only Piotr calls Illyana snowflake. Creep.

The silver blur goes back, after a successful punch that steals a wide smile from the speedster.

The closest portal shuts down. Could he make it in time to escape? Perhaps. But he didn't try. Instead, he focuses all his speed to grab gambit and toss him inside the portal that is closest to them. "It was nice to meet you." He adds before the thief disappears into the Limbo.

Turning around, and watching at the surrounding devastation, he takes a moment to stretch, tilt his head and sigh once more.

"It looks like I die today, huh?" He asks himself, loud enough to anyone around to hear.

His phone is in his hand. A new sPhone, which somehow still has signal. sPhones are too good. Fast fingers tap briefly across the screen, and the speedster waits until the text is sent. The phone is crushed in his fist.

"Nate, it was an honor!" He concedes, smiling. "And, if I die, I will do something first. Oh, yes. I've been wanting to since I saw you for first time." The blue fire of his gaze focuses on Apocalypse. "Freak."

The silver blur, just as it did moments ago, turns into a mutant aiming a supersonic punch. Just, this time, against Apocalypse's face.

Her scrying crystal shows everything -


And so, when War makes his appearance, the demoness frowns. Something. A memory. It tugs at her mind, but it's lost as suddenly as without her consent, her portals being to close one by one.

"What in the Seven Hells?" She exclaims, her hands automatically reaching out to pull forth her own arcane energy, as she reaches out to reinforce her last standing portal. While her portals are a manifestation of her singular mutant ability, those portals are so intertwined with Limbo that they are part of each other and thus, can affect one another. Her teeth grit, even as she feels War's touch skitter along that final portal and slowly begin to turn it away from its Mistress. "GET IN!" She shouts, knowing she can't open new portals, not without this one falling and she'll be damned to let this one portal fall to another.

Well, be damned even more, that is.

With Gambit tossed inside and then Pietro (as well as Nate) moving further away from her portals, Illyana will stomp her foot in sheer anger. "Damnation!" Her voice rises in her ire (which causes the demons within the throne room to tremble), even as she herself shuts her portal down; knowing that Pietro and Nate are lost - for now. And there's no way she'll allow War to use her own portal against her and allow them to invade Limbo.

Remy tumbles ass over elbows through the stepping disc before Magik closes it. "Merde! That damn fast… " Scrambling to his feet he spins around, "Send me back! We have to go get them out of there." Unfortunately, where the Horseman exists, no teleportations are happening in or out. The green energy barrier being emitted by the powerful mutant is canceling out such things by warping the dimensional frequencies out of place. It is a complete sphere of null for those with similar powers.
Illyana will 'feel' this almost instinctively. They can do nothing now but watch and wait for the outcome. War's serious expression remains as he stares at where the last portal was.

"Assist me War, Husk and Gauntlet have failed. We defeat them now." Apocalypse orders while Nate's telekinetic grip crushes down on him, his mouth opening again to speak and Quicksilver closing the gap. A hit rockets through the titan's massive body that forces him to visibly shudder, his massive head whipping back then forward..

War responds, "If you are so strong you should be able to best them… My lord." A cold response.
"Such insolence… " Blood trickles down Apocalypse mouth, the God bleeds.

Watching the confrontation from Limbo with the others Blaquesmith balks, "They are beating him!? Perhaps I was wrong…"

"Now… you ask for… help?" Nate grins, raising a hand and closing his fist, his telekinetic field pushing Apocalypse down, psionic energy making his armor glow and crack. It is almost impossible, like pushing against a mountain. And he won't be able to do this for long; already he feels blood in his mouth.

But he feels Apocalypse falter, and so he clenches his jaw and pours even more power, a few seconds, that is all he has, and that might be all he needs!

Pietro's fist succeeds, but it is equally harmed in the aftermath. The mutant heals fast, but maybe not fast enough to recover a broken hand before he needs to hit again. And he doesn't care.

The speedster laughs frantically, with the feverish disdain of someone who has nothing to lose. Someone who hopes not to be alive tonight. The adrenaline rush suppresses most of the pain and fuels him to continue.

"Hah, it looks like the tides are changing. Don't you need more reinforcements, Apocalypse? But, know what? This is what happens when someone fights the X-Men." The god was not the only one to bleed. Quicksilver's hand, covered by blood, takes his hair from his gaze. A scarlet trail remains drawn on his face. "Mutant and proud." Maximoff growls before dodging to now try a new supersonic punch. He has two hands, after all.

"You wish a display of power!?" Apocalypse grunts and struggles as he is crushed and pummeled by supersped up attacks.
The External's shoulders bulge, arms press out and armor cracks, his size increases again, growing and a hand swings out enfolding around Nate to crush down, squeezing tightly like two entangled constrictors. "You are both impressive but much still to be learned… " From underneath his armor tendrils slither and snake out, chasing down Pietro Maximoff in an entangling mass of coils, they will touch, snare and free him of the earth to be held aloft.
As the hand closes upon X-Man and the pressure persists something else begins to change for Nate, the techno-organic virus! It is accelerating it. Apocalypse is forcing it with his technopathy and knowledge of it alone to speed up it's process. It is taking the young man over. A weakness exploited, a dire weakness that has been held in check.

War remains standing with arms folded across his chest, cloak billowing about. He spoke out against Apocalypse, yet takes no action. His thoughts are silent and he continues to be an impassive sentinel.

"Writhe and beg for mercy, worms of the Earth. You had your chance." Blood is spat from Apocalypse' mouth in a sickening glob and his face contorts in to a gloating rictus with all discolored teeth displayed. "You are mine now."

Nate struggles to contain Apocalypse, his left eye glowing brightly. His telekinetic fields break and reforms. When the elder mutant raises his hand, he prepares a last discharge to break it, and break him.

And then the technovirus flares up, driving a spike of fire through his skull. He screams, and steps back. His power weakens, absorbed by the alien metal and turned back against him, and when Apocalypse hits him, his forceshield fail and he is knocked down unconscious.

Both hands broken, trapped and unable to move. Quicksilver smiles sharply, with a strange sense of peace.

"I won't beg for mercy, but I accept you were a worthy opponent." He says slowly. Very, very slowly.

"Take my life now. I am useless now, anyway. But they will come for you, Apocalypse. Heroes from all over the world will come and hunt you down. And I just want you to remember, then, how one day the waters tasted your blood." Maximoff smiles softly. "People fear gods until they see their gods bleed. And then, the inevitability happens. They will rise to finish our work. But, now," He coughs, spitting blood afterwards. "Now finish your work. I won't beg for mercy."

"Kill me."

The slackened and unconscious body of Nate Grey is clutched like a prized trophy in Apocalypse's giant fist, held there aloft a moment in victory before his attention shifts to Pietro.
"Yes, such is the eternal struggle. They will always rise like bile and be laid to waste again and again. Such tests only make one stronger."
Apocalypse slams Quicksilver in to the ground several times, crushing his body a bit more with each thunderous pound, dashing him against the broken ruins of the Drake and the earthen shores around them, making sure the young mutant bleeds and is broken. Bones protruding from flesh.
"Rejoice and praise your own strength this day child, you have indeed made a God bleed and as a reward you will serve me, willfully or I will break you further, I will tear you down until you are but a speck capable of only watching as I torture your beloved Darcy in to madness. She will now pains beyond what the human mind can fathom. Just as you, my next Horseman shall experence as I rebuild you in to my likeness. So, yes, consider yourself very fortunate indeed you are one of the worthy."
Apocalypse shrinks now to his original still imposing height meanwhile dropping both of them to the wrecked ground and begins to walk, "Gather them, bring them. We have much to do."
Mikhail waves his hand opening a portal for those gathered, Husk and his Underlings in a shuffle gather up Nate and Pietro roughly, hauling them in a horde towards the gateways behind their leaders.
Gauntlet is left behind.

The storm clears and nothing but ruin is left behind. The X-Men have lost yet again.

Elsewhere in Limbo Gambit furiously begins to punch the ground as Blaquesmith lowers his gaze to the floor in defeat and Rogue yet slumbers.
"It hopeless." Remy whispers.

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