Ghost Town

April 10, 2017:

Reader leads Scott, Jean and Rogue to a mysterious city where the denizens there-in have disappeared for an unknown reason…

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…


Well it was a simple request, see if the X-Men would be willing to go with Reader to the city of Orollan. He let them know he wanted to see if they had Terrigen, but Terrigen in its solid controlled form. Something to give to the Royal Family in case they found a way to destroy the cloud. This way their way of life isn't completely over. Of course it came with a warning, he was never the most welcome person in the city, he would have no idea how they will react to his appearance.

That was of course a good reason to take the plane to Greenland, and find a nice landing spot for it near the city, don't want to risk spooking the isolated Inhumans who could be there by landing too close you know. The walk itself to the city would be uneventful, and only a couple of miles, with Reader and Forey leading the way of course. The blind Inhuman showing others the way does seem kind of funny to him as he leads them. "It is not that much father from here." He says as they get closer to the city.

But then he stops. There is definitely something wrong in this place. He said it was a city, but even if it was a small village, it is just too quiet here. No talking, no animals, nothing making noise at all in the area. Anyone with enhanced senses or other special abilities are going to notice that besides those that came with Reader, the city is completely void of all life, for now. But buildings and everything else are completely untouched.


Rogue had spent the majority of the flight on her cell phone, just seated in the back of the jet in her gear, thumbing at the glass of her cellular device. She'd sat there quietly whistling little songs to herself while playing video games, or swiping away fugly men who'd been leaving her messages on her profile page.

When they arrived, she'd been quick to float up to her booted feet and follow after the others. Her phone had been slipped into the right side pocket of her leather bomber jacket and she pulled a black hood up over her head to conceal her face from some of the ambient light. Her green eyes swept about as they moved/followed Reader and Forey.

Once they arrived in the ghost town it didn't take her long to speak up. "This is some Stephen King kinda stuff…" She said in a quiet and soft voice. "Where are all the people at?" She'd look to Reader and Forey expectantly.


Who flew? Scott. Scott has permanent dibs on flying the Blackbird. It's usually not disputed. Upon touch down he does a quiet once over to check systems and then everyone on board, routines, protocols, they're all mapped and even if casual conversation or the simple things are being overlooked - he usually steps ahead and in process. Everything has a checklist, especially when it comes to missions.

"Our guide is a blind man. We may not have the right place." No humor in his tone. He may or may not be joking. "Reader, what gives?"
Cyclops is in Cyclops mode. Going by his 'mutant' name he is dressed in the skintight deep navy blue outfit that covers his hair, eyes sealed by hind the ruby quartz visor and the only bit of flesh showing on his person his jaw. That stylized X proudly in place through strategic gear placement.
behind* not by hind*


Jean moves with the group, but the closer they get to the city, the more concerned she becomes. She can't actually sense any life within it. Most cities she can 'hear' miles away. This one… not so much. At first, she wonders if it's simply because the InHumans have some sort of technology to prevent 'leakage', so to speak. Because, really, it's not out of the realm of the possibility. But, as the others start picking up on the 'wrongness' as well, she reconsiders.

"I'm not sensing any minds at all," she tells them. "The city is… empty. I'm almost sure of it."


It has been years since he has been 'home' of course, but well there were people living here before he left. "I do not know. It has been years, but the elders of the city were not the type to move. We lived here for generations without incident." Plus if they were discovered, there would be signs of some struggle, or something else, perhaps signs of looting. Reeader kneels for a moment and places his hand on Forey, the dog himself is very tense, but not growling or anything. "Forey boy, I need to borrow your eyes." He grabs one of his cards and rubs the fingers along it, 'SEE'. Yes he hates using a first read on something like this, but sometimes it's needed.

He stands up and Forey looks around for him, since he can see through the dogs eyes now. "I do not need to tell anyone to be careful I assume. You also do not need to follow me if you do not want to. But I do need to get a closer look." He doesn't wait for an answer of course and keeps walking. The dog with him is looking around for him.

He keeps walking with the dog and well eventually stops again. There he pauses and is looking at two things. One is a dwelling, but it has a burnt look to it, but very old, like something happened a long time ago and it was just never fixed. Beyond that farther away in the city but now visible are graves. There are a lot of them of course, and well they are newer at least, only a couple of months old.

"Well that is odd, who could have dug them all?" He just asks out loud, mainly to Forey, cause well he always talks to the dog. There is more walking after that, and one more stop. Well could be easy to see what happened here, there is a cocoon in the city. Opened one of course, "An Inhuman caused all of this. Someone that should not went through the Terrigensis process."


Rogue would glance over to her team mates in Scott and Jean, but after the two of them added in their two cents she'd lift up into the air and silently float a good thirty or so feet off the ground as she hovered above everyone and continued gliding along like this, for somewhat of an eleevated 'birds eye' vantage point on the situation.

"A'course." Rogue quietly said when they came upon the graves. She floated then back down to the group and looked between them. "I got a bad feelin' about this, ya'll." The southern belle quietly quipped in a fashion that would make Han Solo proud of her.

A look was given to the dog Forey and then Rogue would lift up higher again and fly toward one of the buildings to look into the windows, lifting her gloved hands up to cup them over her face on either side to peer inside. "Langoliers." She quietly said now, entirely to herself. "Comin' t'eat us all up…"


"Agreed." Cyclops replies to Rogue's Han Solo moment. The graves being pointed out has more questions springing forth, "So there may be survivors, either masked or gone from here. Try again, Phoenix?" A request, Scotts gone a long way in toning down his typical demeanor and mannerisms since Storm took over leadership. It's an active exercise.
"How many lived here once, Reader? Numbers… " A bit of awe carrying through Cyclops deep voice. This many dead and lost? It's enough to stir some form of emotion out of even the most stoic.
*psionically masked


Jean also rises into the air, seeking a better view. More than that, she wants a little distance from the familiar minds of her team mates to see if there's even a singular InHuman mind to locate amidst the desolation. She closes her eyes, reaching out with her mind over the full city, probing and searching for any sign of life — even if it's a reaction of a bird or rodent to a larger body, like a person. Not, mind, that there's a lot of wild life here, either. Maybe a crow or two, scavenging after the fact.


"I am not sure of the exact number, hundreds at least." There are definitely hundreds of new graves in that grave site. Looking into the builds reveals that nothing was taken from the place. So that would rule out any looters coming across the place. But in some of the buildings there are signs that someone was there recently. Just like things moved around by the way the dust has settled, little things like that.

Reader and Forey just look at the cocoon some more, trying to figure this out. "To cause this much death, they had to be stronger than most Inhumans." Even fully rested Reader could not cause this much death, not to a place as large as this. "The Inhuman either felt guilty after this happened, or someone else came around and took care of all the bodies."

As if on cue there is a flash of blue light not that far from the cocoon, and a large person, along with 3 others have now joined them in the city. One has black chains coming from his body, that are moving around, the other a male who has a red tone, almost looking like he is on fire. The 3rd a large female, with fists and spikes made of bones. The large male who stands in front of them is the only one to speak, "You do not belong here anymore. And you bring outsiders, that is not allowed!" Said large male does not wait for anything, instead he just points at Reader and a blast of blue energy flies towards him, hitting Reader and sending him backwards.


Rogue uncupped her hands after peering inside the window. She'd seen all the stuff inside just like it had been when the owners had vacated the building. "Like Chernobyl…" She quietly said before turning around to float through the air a good tweny feet up.

The southern gal floated over Scott's head and in a wide arch until she saw the arrival of the 3 threats. This caused her to freeze where she was and raise her gloved hands up, balling her fingers inward she held them in fists out to her sides, and glared down at the 3 new comers.

When Reader was BLASTED, Rogue flew toward him at a bullet's speed and she reached out to catch him to keep him from having to slam into anything harder than her arms. "Now that is no way t'treat guests." Rogue quipped back at their new found attackers. Her flight course would take her back around, with Reader, to bring him back in the direction they'd come from originally.


Cyclops was looking over a turned over cart, left behind abandoned, lost, the lack of dust on surfaces doesn't go unnoticed, Scott is no tracker like Wolverine or several others but he has a good eye for detail. "I thin-" Anything extra he is about to say gets cut off by the arrival of the trio.
"Reader!" Rogue is there on the rescue and Cyclops has spun, visor lit up and gleaming red as an energy arc flies off to rake across the ground creating a line in front of the Inhumans in the dirt and earth, an impressive display of mutant power but not harmful to anyone but the Earth.
"Stand down! We're not here to fight anyone." Unless of course they're the ones responsible for this massacre.
*kills his redundancy tonight


Automatically, Jean throws up a telekinetic barrier to protect them from further attack. «They must have telepathic masking technology,» she concludes, linking her mind with her companions, as the 'defenders' make themselves known. Because, really, that much anger and resentment, she should have been able to sense before now. «Otherwise, one of them is a telepath.» And likely a powerful one, if they can mask themselves and their companions from Phoenix.

She hears her companions' responses to the defenders, and decides not to add her own breath to the outcry. It's likely wasted breath, she's sure. Consequently, she's already silently reaching for a pile of debris to use as a telekinetic landslide, should they refuse to 'parlay'. Nothing is disturbed, yet. But she has the matter in her telepathic grasp… just in case her shield fails.


Well the guy seems to know Reader, or at least know of him, but well Reader can't say the same. He has no idea who the group is, so of course can not offer any insight on what they can do, or well any advice. Reader is learning the advantage to not being a loaner anymore when Rogue is there to catch him after he gets BLASTED. "I just came to see any Terrigen is here. We are trying to destroy the Terrigen Cloud that is traveling." Sure the blast hurt, but hey Inhumans are made of sturdy stuff, thank Randac for that!

Lash himself does listen for a moment, "What you came for is gone. We do not allow strangers or" there is a glare at Reader, and he says the next words almost like a curse, "outcasts and unworthy, here." The large guy looks back at his companions, "You know what to do." Once that is said the 3 others with him spring into action.

The guy with the black chains has decided that Rogue is totally his target. The chains shoot out from him, and go to try and grab the lady, if the chains do manage to touch her, she will feel pain where they are touching.

The large lady just goes charging against Scott. Simple reasoning, she's ground based, and Scott is the only one that appears as if he can't fly. As she charges and tries to get close those large bone fists are going to go swinging right at the guys head.

Which leaves Fire guy all to Jean! This guy is simple, he just fires off a blast of fire right at her. It's not super super hot, but still the heat will be felt, but not damaging through her forcefield.

As for Lash he has not acted not yet, but he still talks, "Do not interfere in this outcast. We will let those with you decide if these new Inhumans are truly worthy. If not they deserve death, like all the others that were not worthy of the Terrigenesis."


Rogue would move to set Reader down at what she deemed the safest location back behind Jean and Scott's position. With Cyclops blazing a literal 'line in the sand' for their opponents, this wasn't too hard to find which side of the new battlefield belonged to them.

"There ya go, sugah." Rogue said to Reader. "Nice place ya brought us… though next time, might I suggest a nice Bed'n Breakfest in Vermont?" She asked with a smirk before the CHAINS OF DEATH came at her and she zipped up into the sky avoided one, but the other grabbe hold of her by the right elbow!

Rogue would shriek at the pain, but she'd also lash back at the chain to try to use it to counter the wielder… she could manipulate upwards of 50 tons worth of weight, so she was about to test all of that to see if she could swing the Chain Wielder around this abandoned city of creepiness!


Teamwork is a default setting for many of the older X-Men, this group is of that number. Cyclops relies on the TK barrier produced by Jean to slow his assailant's initial assault enough he can redirect a shot her direction from that 'drawn line'. Aimed centermass the optical blast is unleashed, concussive force enough to knock the likes of Captain America on his rear. The initial shot is a testing one, he doesn't know this inhuman's capabilities, "Don't separate too far. We're matched."
"Last warning, listen to reason!" He'll have to have a talk with Reader later on the specifics about his people, their manners and what to expect next time.


The fire spreads out over her tk shield like a wave, but does not get near enough to Phoenix to be felt. "Cute," she says dryly to the flamethrower. "Try this on for size, hmm?" A bright, fiery aura appears all around her, a giant firebird screaming coalescing as its form. Telekinetic talons reach out to rip and tear at the pyrokinetic — or, more accurately, to try to lift him off the ground and into her control. She can use her power to cool him off some… if she can get a hold of him.


Jack Chain smiles triumphinty as Rogue starts to scream. But then she lashes back at the chains, and well he gets pulled when she does so. So obvious that outside of those chain thingies he doesn't have anything else special going on. Nope, just a boring guy who generates black chains.

Now the fire guy, well he was expecting more to happen than what just did. Of course the shock takes hold, and then the red head before him gets the fiery aura, and well he feels himself getting lifted off the ground. Well shit this guy just made the wrong choice. Whatever Jean has planned will work he doesn't have anything that can actually stop her.

Mother Bones that is a different story, the blast that Cyclops does hit her with is just a tingle. She keeps coming and eventually gets to that TK Barrier that Jean has set up and starts to pound against when she realizes she can't go any further. She can't walk against it, maybe she can break it down. Of course she's large and strong, but well not super overly strong! She's hitting the shield with the force of someone that can lift 10 tons currently.

Reader gets dropped off to safely, with Forey having run up to find him, only to find that Lash shows up next to him with the same blue light that marked their arrival on the scene. "We still need to thin the heard. Look at what happened here. This is why only a few should undergo the Terrigenesis. If you are not worthy of it, you should be destroyed. What they call the cloud as taken away our ability to control who gets it. So I will kill all those who are not worthy." Reader listens to the man's rantings. Sure he could do something, but Lash continues, "I was born here. I was chosen, and I was sent away on an errand. I came back to what you see here. And I go away to judge more, and I return again to find you, the man shunned from this city here again." There is the pause there as all Reader just says two words, "You're wrong."


Oh good, the man wasn't strong…

Rogue shot up into the air with the chain around her elbow, wincing in pain at having it connected to her like that… but she went straight up and carried the man with her… One moment he's on the ground being all cool with his whips of chain (cool-whip) and the next.. YOINK straight up into the air (possibly even with one of those looks on his face like 'I didn't fully think this through').

The next moment and Rogue is flying the man beneath her toward the empty and vacant buildings, carelessly slamming him into the walls of said buildings, slapping him against them like an action figure being drug behind a school bus by a fishing line somewhere in Idaho.

Rogue's ultimate desire was to free the chain from her arm, but if the man was injured… well… she wouldn't worry about that much either.


The pyro gets hoisted up into the air, and it very quickly becomes apparent to Jean that he's a one-trick pony. And without much in the way of psychic defenses, he's not got much protection from the telekinetic telepath. The firebird carries him up high, but it's not until Jean is certain she can put his mind to sleep that she considers where to place him. She can't fly as quickly as Rogue, and she doesn't want to leave Scott or Reader alone for longer than necessary. So, she grips the InHuman in a telekinetic appendage and lets it fly out as far away as she can manage, depositing him on top of a plateau some fair distance away — snoring.


"Cull the herd? The X-Men are familiar with your kind." Cyclops muses flatly, "We know what we're dealing with now team."

"Take them down." Phoenix is already on that in her much less peaceful method than Rogue. Who as per usual is capable of putting on a hell of a show. His turn…

Cyclops grins. The optical blast is suddenly an all engulfing wash of red light. The kind of red lighting that should have sirens attached in warning instead Mother Bones is overcome with the projectiles force, pushing her past that drawn line and in to the crumbling mess of terrain, she'll vanish in to it as she is jackhammered by a rapid fire of Cyclops eye beams. It is nice to flex sometimes and he found a dance partner he can with.
"STAY DOWN!" A commanding shout through the barrage as he begins to relent just enough to let the woman breath.


Well that takes care of all of the Inhumans that Lash brought with him. Him and Reader are still together though, "It seems they were not ready yet." The blind guy says as Forey reaches his side. "I did say you were wrong though. You judge other Inhumans, but what gives you that right? Have you considered that if I were not blinded because of the fear of my own powers, I could have possibly saved all those that lived here? I could have found a way to destroy that cloud. But they blindly reacted, much like you do now." He doesn't wait for the response, instead he looks down at Forey, and looks towards the others to see where they are. He rubs one of his cards and teleports by them. Lash with his minions having been defeated teleports away himself, who knows if they've seen the last of him.

"I am sorry, I was not expecting this." But hey they at least know there is no Terrigen for them here, "I knew it was a longshot to come here, but this was not something I accounted for." Well back to the drawing board for that plan.


In the distance there was a man's scream, then a boom, then a bang… then the sounds of rocks or concrete crumbling behind one of the buildings. A few moments later and Rogue shot over the top of the building and dropped out of the sky with a wealth of forward momentum! She landed in the dirt at a run, then slid on her boots to a halt…..!

She cleared her throat and reached her gloved hands up to brush her two-toned hair out of her face befor eshe summoned up a smile and looked at the others. "Who's next?" She asked then, turning toward Reader she walked toward him now. "Longshots are basically our bread'n butte'ah. So don't fret on it none." She tried to encourage him upon hearing him lament this decision.


With Mother Bones down for the count and Lash escaping Cyclops ceases pummeling the woman. A tightness to his jaw and he stares at the remains of Orollan. "They're all done, Rogue."

"Reader, I want to know everything about that man. Every single detail and anyone who came with him or can possibly be with him. He is a serious threat… "

Cyclops manages to peel his gaze away from the decript Inhuman city to refix his attention on his companions, a lingering glance at Jean, he pauses as if to reel his humanity back in. "I'm sorry about your people. We'll make sure there is justice. The X-Men will do whatever it takes to help you." He is sure Storm already committed them but it doesn't hurt to have that extra re-assurance.

The fiery glow around Jean fades as she touches down beside Scott. A wry smile that isn't so much a smile as it is a look of mingled regret and grim satisfaction touches her lips. "I have a feeling we may not have seen the last of that one," she notes, referring to Lash, echoing Scott's sentiment. The others, she's not so concerned about. They were dispatched fairly quickly.

"C'mon," she suggests, now. "Let's get back to the Blackbird. Storm will be expecting a report and there's nothing more we can do here."

END

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