The Facility: Part 2

March 14, 2017:

Illyana, Laura and Nate explore the Facility lab. As expected they find nothing they like.


NPCs: Clones!



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

(continued directly from log 5461)

llyana wrinkles her nose a bit when Nate provides the odds. Two against one wouldn't be terrible even if they were awake. If they can't handle sleeping people they should probably get out of the superhero business entirely. "Hey, it'd be boring if we knew what was around the corner." Illyana replies lightly to Nate's words of caution… but she does appear to be keeping her eyes open and alert.

The uneventful descent is just that, until Laura opens the final door. Illyana pulls a face at the waft of chill air and the medical smell. "Just once, I'd like there to be a private party on the other side of one of these doors. One with a free bar and where we're on the VIP list." Illyana says, her voice a little quieter than usual, the surroundings seem to demand it. "I'm just saying."

"Still sleeping," comments Nate, looking around for cameras and other security devices. "Did you spot any satellite antenna outside, Laura?" He asks, wondering if they are being observed. The lack of guards is worrisome. It looks to modern and powered-up to be just a depot. He snickers at Illyana's comments, "we can have a party afterwards, blondie."

Like Illyana, the medical smell of the buried bunker bothers Laura, as well. Her expression, however, doesn't shift as her alert gaze flicks left, right and even towards the ceiling. Her nostrils will flare ever so slightly as she pulls in another lungful of the cold and sharp air - searching for any tidbit of information she can locate within the various scents that create the unique smell of the bunker.

When nothing jumps out at her, the slim assassin will start to drift further into the room, her footsteps silent. "The scents are old." She states, her flat voice even quieter than normal - thanks to the caution she currently feels.

If Nate is keeping a 'mental eye' upon her, he'll find her coiled tighter than a spring. She's just waiting -

- Waiting for the fighting to start. Thankfully, Nate's question is enough to turn her attention away from that internal pull. "I did not." She states in that monotone voice of hers and while she considers what that could mean, that doesn't stop the young woman from stepping further inside.

As for Illyana, X-23 did hear the other woman, she just doesn't have any witty rejoinder.
Their trek through the compound will continue to show various used and unused lab equipment, as well as computers and laptops. It's clear that X is leading the trio towards the back - towards those sleeping minds that Nate has sensed, as her purposeful steps lead unerringly towards the shadows.

It's only when they arrive in those shadowed areas that the view finally changes. Six cylinder pods can be seen ringing the back room and while there's no glass viewing window to see what's inside, Nate will be able to tell that's where the sleeping minds reside.

It's only when the trio arrives into that small alcove (really it's X) that something happens. Six faint clicks can be heard and with each click the rush of air escaping can be heard. The status lights upon each pod suddenly flash from green to red and just like that, the doors of the human sized capsules open with a rush of air. Within each capsule is a person - to be charitable a young woman - but most look as if they've contracted some terrible flesh eating disease. But even with the misshapen faces, to those that know Laura, they'll see the similarities between herself and the six housed within the pods.

And just like that, all their eyes open, with all having that same familiar vivid green of Laura's.
Confusion (for the moment) reigns within each gaze of the six, but, that won't last long. Not when suddenly a familiar scent drops from hidden nozzles held within the ceiling …

“Laura, mask, now!” After all they took gear from the X-bunker for something. Nate turns to the awakening minds and grimaces seeing the sleepers. Failed clones? Experiments? No idea, but he reaches telepathically and attempts to push them back into sleep. “We triggered an alarm, I suppose. Where is Gambit when you need him?” Oh yeah, they kinda left the Xavier’s compound in a huffy. Illy is their (unexpected) backup.

"Concealed, abandoned science lab that no-one's every heard about? This has horror movie written all over it. I didn't miss a warning written in a victim's blood somewhere back there, did I?" Illyana asks, jerking a thumb back the way they came.

It should be noted that she doesn't sound particularly uneasy. More intrigued by this prospect.
Illyana doesn't lag far behind Laura, although she does look around with interest - at least until those pods come into view. Illyana opens her mouth to make an appropriate comment, but then… click. She probably should be revolted by what's revealed inside the pods, but instead. "You got the good genes, huh?" She asks Laura.

The urgency in Nate's voice gets her attention. "Are we leaving?" She asks him, her voice suddenly shorn of its previously flippant tone.

While X-23 doesn't necessarily show her surprise like others do, she is surprised. Her eyes widen just enough to show her shock at seeing six fully grown clones. Clearly something is wrong with them, but to have six fully grown clones, it's enough to cause Laura to hesitate from the emotions rolling within her.

As for those clones, that confusion doesn't last long, as the trigger scent is released. It's clear that they've been conditioned by it, much like Laura, as their expressions turn from confusing to something more feral. Unlike, Laura, however, are their claws - instead of adamantium laced claws, all that pops from their hands are bone claws. All sharp, even if some of the bone claws are deformed.

So not viable assassins, but viable watchdogs, perhaps?

It's Nate's words and even Illyana's that finally kick X-23 out of her surprised stupor. Whirling about, she'll snarl harshly to Illy, "Yes, leave now." Her gaze will flick towards her 'siblings', even as her hand reaches for the mask that Nate shouted about, "If we can imprison them take them too." Comes her hard words, even as the mask is slipped on with very little fuss. Then, like her sisters, X-23's readies for battle - though in control versus berserk.

"Leave now!" Comes Laura's demand, even as the closest clone leaps from her pod towards the group. She'll hit Illyana first, should her attack be successful.

Nate’s jaw clenches when his telepathic commands get drowned in an ocean of rage. It hits his empathic senses pretty hard, too. Sixfold trigger-scent rage is not fun. “Yana, get some distance,” he offers, trying to catch the first mad clone mid-jump with his telekinesis and pin her against the ceiling. His left eye glows brightly as telekinetic energy reinforces his body. “Or leave, we will handle them,” but the failed clones probably will be a little too quick and strong even for a rather competent fighter as she is to handle.

Not even an answer, not a twitch, not even a flatly-voiced agreement that yes, she got the good genes? Illyana knows that Laura's surprised, or what passes for surprised with her. That's interesting… and perhaps even slightly unnerving.

Not that she'll show a hint of that when Laura's snarling in her face. "If? /IF/?" Illyana, despite the situation, summons up some fairly convincing mock-outrage. The Soulsword is in her hand all of a sudden, but when the first clone pounces, Illyana just waves a hand and the clone is swallowed by a glowing disc before Nate can get to her - only to be spat back out, face-first into a wall. The noise of the impact is unpleasantly wet. "And RUN? No respect. At all." Illyana grumbles, and thrusts the Soulsword toward the ceiling. A huge circle of light appears around them and rushes up toward the blade, and when it fades, they're somewhere else.

The air is hot, drained of moisture, and they're in a huge stone amphitheater, cut down into the rock. Drifts of sand swallow some of the ruined steps, but it's still clearly recognisable for what it is. And there are some darker patches where the ancient blood hasn't quite been washed away by the action of wind and sand. Illyana, at least, isn't surprised by the transition, and shouts a single word, sweeping her Soulsword around to encompass the X-23s, and with a groan, columns of stone rise from the ground, shaking the dust of centuries from them as they twist like living flesh, reaching out to grab for limbs and hold their targets immobile.
"IF." Illyana says, the word dripping scorn.

When the first one leaps out of her cocoon, the rest soon join, as they shake of the confusion for rage.

Nate will easily snag one with his TK, much as Illyana does, with her portals. For X-23, her claws are up and out and she's readying herself to leap for the nearest one. Thankfully, that leap stalls at the sight of Illyana's sword and then portal. It only takes a handful of seconds for the six morbid looking clones to disappear, as well as Nate, Laura and the Mistress of Limbo, Illyana. When they reappear within that stone amphitheater X-23 will look for her would-be sisters -
-Her claws dip slightly when she sees the other women there and already imprisoned by those pillars of stone.

The women struggle - it's the only thing they can do, thanks to that trigger scent evoked rage. There's much snarling and snapping of the air, as they twist and control trying to find freedom to kill.

Slowly, Laura will turn her attention back to Nate and Illyana. Her claws will be retracted back within her hands and forearms and once she's able to, the mask that covers her face will be removed.

Then she struggles to voice the thoughts in her head –
- There's so many and thank you should definitely be one of them. A thanks to Illyana for teleporting them away.

“She is such a showoff,” states Nate, smirking at Laura. “See, that is why I told you that you are actually less dangerous when you are affected by that scent. Charging thoughtlessly against teleporters is not always the best approach.”
He glances around at the amphitheater, he had never been in this part of Limbo. Or maybe this particular Limbo. “Nicely done,” he says to the blonde. “No adamantium claws, so they are going to stay there.”

Illyana sweeps her eyes across her furious captives, assuring herself that they're not going anywhere. The look on her face is stern, her hands on the crossguard of the Soulsword, its tip planted in the rock of Limbo. Here, it's apparently as solid as she wants it to be. She narrows her eyes on one of the clones, draws in a breath… and then hears Nate's comment. She looks around with a grin, the stern and imperious look vanishing from her features.

"I am." She agrees, shrugging and adding, "I had to have ONE flaw." Raising the Soulsword, she rests the blade on her shoulder and walks over to join the others. "Oh they're going to stay there." Illyana confirms, smugly, before a hint of actual concern filters through. "So this is you, on a bad trip?" She asks Laura, although the answer is self-evident. "Something to work on." She says, a touch of sympathy in her voice despite her choice of words. She pauses for a moment, then continues. "You weren't expecting them." It's not really a question. "Want to find out if there are any more?"

A look is given to Nate - he may be teasing, but clearly, Laura is not in any sort of teasing mood. Especially now.

The only thing she will add for their defense is, "Even without the trigger scent -" She begins, voice flat, "- They would still not have known Illyana is a teleporter. It does not make them any less competent."

Still, that nicely done of Nate's is enough to bring Laura's gaze back to Illyana and while she was just about to offer her own thanks, several of the demoness' words cause Laura to pause. The trigger scent is something she needs to work on, yes, that's not what she says, however. "I .. Was not expecting them." She begins, her gaze trailing back to the struggling incensed women. "But I was expecting a trap, yes." She clarifies in that same monotone voice.

It's only at Illyana's last question that Laura will cant her head to the side. "More." She states, or rather asks, thanks to that slight rise to that one word. She had not considered there might be more clones thanks to still grappling with the current ones they found.

Thankfully, it doesn't take her long to decide. "Yes." Then, "How."

Nate snorts at the ‘one flaw’ bit, but it is in a good mood. “We should return. Get as much intel we can from that place. If it was guarded, I imagine there is something important to guard.” He steps closer to Laura. “It will be okay,” he murmurs. “Mission first, then we can go over what is going on and come up with a solution,” or mope about it. Either works. She has reasons to be even more upset than normal about the Facility crap.

Surprise after surprise for Laura today, it seems. And not a single one of them pleasant. Illyana's had days like that, too. "That's the easy part." She says, confidently… but then Nate intercedes. Her expression flickers, brief annoyance that she's not going to be able to satisfy her own curiosity first. "Let's find out what we're walking back into at least." She suggests.

"You might want to stand back a little." She says nonchalantly, then extends a hand, palm out, to the sand-covered covered floor of the amphitheater. Under her breath, she speaks a few rapid words that seem reluctant to stick in the memory of those who are listening. There's a sudden heat haze, and then the sunlight is gleaming from a perfectly circular disc of vitrified sand. It's not her scrying pool, but it'll hold a reflection and that's all that matters. Illyana crouches down beside it and passes a hand across the surface, images beginning to form.

Nate's words bring Laura's blank expression back towards him. "Agreed." She says, at his mention of there obviously being something to guard. And when Illyana cautions to step back, Laura will take said step backwards. She understands that Illyana deals with magic, but, the assassin still feels a sense of wariness when it concerns those mystical arts.

It's only when the polished circle of sand is revealed will Laura once more step forward to peer into its depths. She also makes certain not to step upon the shiny surface, either. Who's to say what would happen if she did.

As for the picture, it reveals a lot. Boulders, dirt and rocks is all the impromptu scry crystal reveals. Laura's expression will turn pinched, as her eyebrows lower downward in confusion? Consternation? Perhaps a little of both.

While the six women continue to struggle against their pillars their movements are starting to slow, as the trigger scent begins to wear off.

Nate pats Laura’s shoulder and peers at the vitrified glass. He frowns at the image, which seems to hint their target as vanished. “For fucks sake,” he growls. He glances at the prisoners. Disposable clones or what? “Port us outside the building? Maybe there are still some clues we can salvage. Not another dead end.”

Illyana's lip curls at the implication of what's revealed. "Good thing we didn't stick around to play." She says darkly, and looks up sharply as Nate's temper threatens to boil over. "No." She replies, with a firm shake of her head. "At least… not yet. There's something we need to do first, and we need to do it here."

Straightening up, Illyana stretches out a hand and a small stepping disc deposits a hide-bound grimoire in her waiting palm. She pages through it briskly, then pauses to look up from the pages at Laura, with a secretive smirk. "You wanted to know how, didn't you? Blood tells. It always does." She leafs through a few more pages, then stops. She doesn't precisely show anyone the page she's stopped at, but you might get a glimpse of three reddish-brown spots on the ancient paper, and a drawing that looks suspiciously similar to da Vinci's Vitruvian Man… only female. And with claws.

Positioning herself next to her improvised mirror once more, Illyana stretches out a hand, then pauses. "I'm going to scry for you on Earth." She explains, with an impish smile. "Since you're here, it shouldn't work." Her eyes gleam. "Could be interesting." She speaks dark, atonal words, the book shivers in her hands, and she looks into the depths of the glass with an expression of hopeful expectancy.

Nate's pat upon her shoulder is felt and while she would typically acknowledge it on a better day, today is just not that day. Her attention is still focused mainly on Illyana, as the demoness summons that aged tome within her outstretched hand. The frown that's been lingering upon her face only deepens further, when the sketch of the woman is seen and Illyana speaks of blood.
Blood definitely tells. It tells everyone's secret, even the deeply hidden ones.

When the atonal words end the improvised scrying crystal slowly clouds over and for many minutes nothing happens. For Laura, seeing the crystal cloud over so, causes her to feel a modicum of hope. That hopefulness soon crashes, however, when suddenly the mirror shifts.

Instead of a singular image, it starts to pull multiple images, each image housed next to each other. The first image to appear is a lab much like the one they just left. Within in sits a now familiar pod; only one, thankfully. But then a second image appears, then a third, before finally it shifts to a fourth image. It's with that last image that the mirror finally stops pulling upon the magics of Limbo as the spell completes.

All four images show a similar set-up of labs and pods. Each lab has one pod versus the six they encountered at the lab within the desert.

Nate doesn’t like to wait. They can do Limbo scrying anytime, but investigating the lab before it takes even more damage could be critical. So he watches with a scowl how Illyana uses her magic to find… what? Some more clones?

No, wait. More Weapon-X labs. Or at least places where the Facility is storing clones. “Can you pinpoint those on a map?” He asks the blonde sorceress. “Looks like we are on for a few more side trips.”

Nate being an impatient sort of person isn't really news to Illyana. Ordinarily that alone might be enough reason to make him wait, but this time she really does need to do something now, while Laura is in Limbo, and by her reckoning it's a bit more important (and certainly less mucky) than grubbing through the ruins of the destroyed lab.

At least she didn't stick her tongue out at him when he scowled at her.

The blonde sorceress watches her scrying glass with interest and, perhaps oddly for her, doesn't seem to get bored when nothing much happens for a couple of minutes. She has a feeling…. and then the images start to form. "Well." Illyana says, when it seems that no more 'Lauras' are about to be revealed. "Looks like you've got more family than you thought." She rolls her eyes with a smirk when Nate questions her. "Of course." She confirms. "But shouldn't we do something about them…" She nods towards the imperfect Laura-clones they already have. "First?" Her eyes are on Laura as she asks the question. It's her decision.

The scrying glass is stared at for a few silent seconds longer, even as both Nate and Illyana speak. It's only at the mention of 'doing something about 'them'' that Laura's attention is finally pulled away from what the spell revealed.

While her expression is etched in stone with how forceful the blankness is, beneath it all, she's struggling to come to terms with what's revealed. To have this many fully grown clones -
- Clearly they must be using some other means for growth.

But, that's to be thought upon later, as Illyana does bring up a good point. Laura's bright green-eyed gaze will turn from the demoness towards the clones that are currently still caught within the stone pillars. The majority of the fight is now out of them and all six hang there limply. While they're alive and their minds are there, it should be clear to Nate (if he scans them) that the mental capabilities are not on par with the original Laura. It's more animal based instincts then actual intellect.

Her gaze will stay trapped with one of the other Laura's for another silent second, before she looks to Nate.

"I cannot kill them." Illyana was right in calling them family and while Laura is often very logical with how she handles situations where death is the best answer, this time, something within her balks at the thought.

Nate glances at the minds of the clones, and to the deformed bodies. “I suppose Xavier and McCoy could try heal them,” maybe with gene therapy? He doesn’t know what is wrong with them, really. “Right now… there are something wrong with their brains, I am getting only some very simplistic thoughts. And pain.” He spares Laura giving more information. Those women probably would be dead but for some form of healing factor keeping them there. Barely.

Illyana knows what she would do with them, and she has a feeling that Laura would understand, even though she's unable to do it herself. That, too, Illyana understands.

The trouble is, she doesn't think Nate would understand. And that's a big problem.

"They can't stay here as prisoners." Illyana says, flatly. "If you want to take them back to Xavier's…" She shrugs, not really trying to hide what she thinks of that idea. "I'll do it. But otherwise…" She glances at Laura. "I can end their pain right now, or I can let them run… until they find something nastier than they are. It's not a happy ending, but it's all the freedom I can offer."

Illyana walks around the scrying glass. "So am I taking us back to Xavier's?"

When Nate confirms her fears; that something isn't quite right with them (their scents let her know some of that), her expression shifts minutely. It goes from blank to something else - sadness, perhaps? Something akin to that.

It's only when Illyana speaks up that Laura will swing her gaze away from Nate and to the demoness. The Sorceress' words are considered, seriously considered, as Laura focuses upon the clones for a long minute. "To Xavier's." Comes her flat words, as she flicks a look between the two, "I must try to help them. If nothing can be done then I wish for them to return here. To find freedom for what time they have left."

Her green-eyed gaze will seek out Illyana's blue eyes, seeking an unspoken promise from the demoness.

Nate would prefer to get back to Nevada and do some investigation, but given they have a few ‘live targets’ maybe that is not necessary. Besides, he is going to be outvoted. “Alright, fine. Lets go and plan for the next step. Hmm, if Storm is not kicking us out,” mock-glare to Laura. “This time we try diplomacy… you know it bad when I am the one making the suggestion.”

Illyana keeps her eyes on Laura while she thinks over the options she's been given. Whatever she decided… Illyana would have done it, and damn the consequences. Once that decision is made, Illyana answers with a single word. "Deal." She holds Laura's eyes when she says it. The promise Laura's looking for is there.

With that promise given, though, Illyana turns back to Nate with a grin. "You're our spokesperson? Great! Go be diplomatic." A stepping disc opens vertically before them, large enough for both to walk through together if they wish. "Buzz me when you've found somewhere for me to drop off our guests."

When that promise is seen within those icy blue eyes, Laura's expression will ease a hairsbreadth. She knows that most of the X-Types wouldn't like the thought of allowing the clones to die, even from natural occurrences, but with Illyana it's different.
She understands.

As for Nate and his remark about diplomacy, Laura will simply give him a look, before she offers a singular nod. "Diplomacy." She'll state in those typical blank tones of hers, "Yes." And just like that the slim assassin will make her way towards the circular portal and step through. Once through, her gaze will flick around the room she's now currently within. The medical lab, it seems, a good choice.

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