Of Psychic Potatoes

May 20, 2017:

Jean and Scott encounter a disturbance just outside M-town that rocks (and rolls) the city, heavy metal style.

Lower Manhattan

The southern end of the island of Manhattan is the seat of Wall Street and City Hall. Bounded by the Hudson on the west, the East River on the east, and the harbor to the south, it's a veritable mosaic of smaller, storied neighborhoods that fill in the patchwork south of 14th street. From the arts-friendly, boutique-laden, gentrified areas of Greenwich Village, SoHo, and TriBeCa, to the tenement dwelling, immigrant-filled, working class districts in the Lower East Side, Bowery, Little Italy, Lower Manhattan is one of the most diverse places in the city. Just about anything can be found here, and often is.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A pleasant Saturday afternoon in Manhattan. In an effort to escape the pressures of X-Men life, Jean has dragged Scott down into the City for a bit of R&R. On their way to the Village, where she'll doubtlessly drag the hapless fellow into ecclectic boutiques and antique shops, all the while promising they'll stop for a really good dinner at a trendy pub or something, Jean pauses, head canting to one side. Something niggles at the back of her brain. She frowns. "Scott? Something's wrong…"

And then that wrongness becomes apparent to others. A glow appears over the center of M-Town, a few blocks away. It expands until a golden dome surrounds the entire neighbourhood. There's the screeching of tires and the crunch of metal as cars careen first into the energy of the dome and then into each other. Pedestrians on one side of the dome find that they cannot pass through to the other side. In short order, Alphabet City and M-Town become filled with chaos.

"Oh, god," Jean says. Understatement.

Scott has been doing his best to let Jean enjoy being simply 'out' without any responsibilities, no meeting anyone, no press, no fighting, no chasing anamolous signatures, just a day to be mere human-mutant mortals.

With his hands tucked firmly in his pockets while they walk Scott is doing his best to concentrate on not mentally yelling he is hungry, he knows Jean doesn't make a habit of surface skimming but he also knows one slip and the considerate part of her will steer them off course for his stomach grumbling. He's a martyr like that. He'll take one for the team.

"It was a good moment for Nate and I, I think he is letting go of some of the… " The conversation stops at Jean's words, "What is it?"


"Hopefully not anymore of O'Meagan or that temporal-dimensional flux crap."

The hood part of his sweater is drawn up over his head, visors not available he'll settle for his glasses. They work in a pinch if needed.

"Everyone back! Run! We'll handle this." Who cares who hears him or not, Scott is doing what Scott does.

"I'm not sensing O'Meagan," Jean tells Scott, rising up off the sidewalk telekinetically to try to get a better sense of the situation. Even so, she reaches out telekinetically to redirect a car that would otherwise have ended up on the sidewalk.

On the other side of the dome, there are mutants trying to help as well. They can't be heard through the dome, however, whatever it is that's caused it.

"That is good news at least." Cyclops huffs, "I'd rather not be erased or thrown out of reality. " Scott runs and leaps atop a parked car trying to get a better vantage, "It stretches for as far as I can see. You can't sense in to it? Maybe I'll try to give it a poke."

Crimson light flares to life in a strobe before snapping out licking across the sky to slap in to a top portion of the energy dome. A testing shot. A warning shot. The X-Man is feeling it out.

"Cyclops to anyone with active comms, Phoenix and I are outside of Alphabet City dealing with a disturbance. We'll keep the team posted if backup is required or not."

Jean soars higher, trying to see over the top of the dome. «It looks like it's enclosing the whole of Mutant Town,» she sends. «I don't know how deep it goes. Maybe we can go under?»

"That do anything?" Cyclops inquires when the globe is struck by his optic blast. Not able to sense beyond the physical like her. "We'll try. Could be a visual only and not a full ener… " He stops, hes not Beast and isn't even going to try to explain what he means or is trying to figure out. He doesn't have to. The red lance of his mutant powers cuts low, swipes across the ground and pushes in, hopefully where there is no water mains or important city underworkings. He's doing his best to keep it safe by aiming for a parking lot or what he thinks is one. Maybe from above Jean will have a better idea of what they are dealing with.

High overhead, Jean gets some sense of what's happening with the dome. «Scott,> she sends, «It's flowing into the broken space.» Which suggests that it's not penetrating surfaces. She descends towards him, and that broken parking lot. She suggests, "We may be able to create a gap and hold it open long enough to get inside." And then possibly out again later. "Whoever's doing this has got to be close to the center of M-town, or the dome wouldn't be so symetrical." She looks around. "I wonder if we can get or out through a building…" Or, you know, they can just break up more pavement.

"We can manage that." Cyclops says confidently, the projection of sheer force coming from his optics increases in velocity and impact, cutting deeper through the concrete then pulling back. Their gap, they may go moleman for a dip but they have an opening to get through. "Come on. Maybe it's a fluke, if we're lucky. Someone young or new or inexperienced could just be… well, being one of us." A grin, one of them. A mutant. Scott takes much pride in it.

Tightening his hoodie by the drawstrings Cyclops hops down and ducks under the landbridge he created through the dome, onward and in, they will see what is beyond.

As Scott blasts a new opening, Jean reaches out telekinetically to shore it up so that, whatever the golden energy field is, it can't fill the hole before they've breached it. He moves forward and she follows, turning around to shore up the inside as well, using debris to create makeshift walls to their new tunnel.

As they come through to the inside, others notice them and Jean ends up telekinetically lifting both Scott and herself out of the way of the people looking for an exodus. "C'mon," she says, setting them down a few feet away. "Let's see if we can get through to the center of this mess."

Around them, others are trying to help with clean up of the accidents on this side of the dome wall. She does a light skim of minds nearby to see if anyone has any idea what's going on or what might have caused this, but doesn't come up with anything conclusive.

Lifted and hauled is nothing new, Cyclops adapts and welcomes the ground coverage. "Please, if you're needing it evacuate that way." He motions the way they came in, loud again, shouting to those around them. Scott's 'authority voice' it carries and is akin to soldiers in the military, barking, clear, easy to understand.

Striding forward towards the center of the created dome Cyclops does his best to keep away from running anyone over while maintaining that business march.

"There!" Scott points, a structure, maybe once something else maybe a diner or gas station? It is hard to tell the building has been dematerialized in a spherical shape around it, matter just broken down and scattered, a jigsaw puzzle splintered in all directions. The closer they get the louder it gets. A buzz, a growing vibrational buzz or strum. A noise that Scott seems incapable of hearing but Jean, she can 'hear' it. Telepathic song. Louder with each closing step. The fragmented building still obscuring what may be beyond. Visibly it could be like looking in to a room in Zero-G and someone scattered dumptruck loads of Legos, Legos of Reality now caught in a gravitational cycle.

Jean winces some as the telepathic 'song' gets louder. "Yeah," she says, focussing her mind on that noise, "we've found it." She shakes her head quickly, to clear it. "There's a definite power in there with some sort of telepathic ability. It's like metal power chord amping up." She's now waiting for the "amp's" feedback loop to begin. Rising into the air again, she cautiously approaches the warped and broken building, carefully probing the strange sphere both telepathically and telekinetically.

Feedback is a correct choice of words. The pressure of the probe is met with a resistance and the tempo picks up, the psychic outpress increasing enough even minor psychics in M-Town can start to feel that increase in atmosphere; a good time to invest in Tylenol stock. The matter chunks inside the gravity well shift, they move at the touching, its like moving through water. Whatever caused the rupture and deconstruction of the building isn't doing it right now, its just fluid stability.

"Can you handle it if we go in?" Cyclops asks Jean.

"Yeah," Jean tells Scott, though there's tightness around her eyes. "I don't think they're stronger than me. But, whoever it is, they're working up into one helluva feedback loop. So, we need to be quick." She fortifies her telepathic shields as she speaks and telekinetic Phoenix aura flames out around her, a clear sign that she's starting to access a heavy amount of power. "Let's do this."

She reaches out, now, to attempt to make a soft, malleable break in the field before them, so they can enter without the whole thing destabilizing entirely.

The embrace of her Phoenix powers muffles much of the psychic output. That horrible buzz starts to sort out, starts to create a rhythm and anyone with even the smallest amount of tone sensibility will pick this up. It's music? Wretched music but it's music in telepathic form. Painfully loud music that is so over the top in it's psi-levels it's harmful to other psychics. Scott himself was beginning to hear a small buzz but it vanishes as soon as the firebird awakens around Jean. A muffling for her is complete deafening for him.

It is like moving through a jungle of debris, it parts before them, a hand can press out and wave the matter chunks away and reveal more in curtains, a swim through reality. Curtains of colors, fragments, everything…

"Just don't think about what all of this is." Cyclops says quietly as he brushes aside a handful of the matter breakdown. People existed here once, they're both aware of this. Hopefully they were just displaced but from the looks of it… no. This was outright molecular defragmentation.

"Too late…" Jean mutters as they pass through the debris. She has, after all, molecularly disintegrated an entire planet before now. Yeah, she knows what she's looking at. On the bright side, she's not sensing a new Phoenix avatar.

She does, however, reach out to try and sense the mind behind all this, and their state of being. «Hello? Don't be afraid. We're here to help…»

The 'reach' is met with a musical reverb and lights, strobe lights. So many colors. There is a pressure in response though, she has seen it and it has seen her. That wretched 'psychic music' amplifies even muffled by the totemic Phoenix around her it creeps in enough.

"My head." Scott says, "What the hell?" More the debris around them parts and parts, they soon find themselves standing at the lip of a circular crater. At the very center of the crater is what appears to be a potato. A light fleshy toned potato looking object with blemishes, no marks, no disturbances on it's smooth 'skin' but it is very much a potato and it is getting louder as they get closer, especially Jean. It is practically screaming psionic /heavy metal/ at her.

without blemishes*

"It's… singing," Jean tells Scott, trying to shield him from the same 'volume' she's 'hearing'. She's got that wince around her eyes she gets when she comes into the garage when the boombox is, well, booming. Loudly. "Or, I guess, playing something." Black Sabbath, maybe. "Full metal rock concert." For lack of a better description.

Again, she pushes back at it psionically, sending out pulses of calming telempathy rather than curious telepathy. Music is more of an emotional form of communication than mindful, after all. Cautiously, she crouches near it and extends a hand, not so much to touch it as to push her power gently against it. The Phoenix aura seems to hover over it like a mother bird over her egg.

The musical onslaught persists as pulses of calm emit from Jean the beat changes, slows, less 'drum' and it starts to reflect it's own mellow sounds forced back at her. Forcing is the only proper word here as it is just full on switch, it doesn't feel like it has a medium. LOUD is LOUD is LOUD.

"Singing? It's… " Scott clutches the sides of his head. "It's terrible."

The words from Scott encourage a return to the heavy music, pounding out the tele-empathic-audio in angry reply. Enough so Scott's lips curl back and he digs his fingers in to his head, "Jean… ?"

Once Jean's hand touches it the thing will calm just abit, its as expected upon touch warm and soft, almost like infant's skin or silk. That little bit of calm isn't enough to return it's music to something more managable and Jean gets the sensation of confusion from it, anger, fear, base emotions. Loudly projected in to a different format. A format of sound through psychic waves.

"Don't antagonize it," Jean suggests, wincing at the return to SUPER-BASS. "It's scared." She lays her hand on it and tries gathering it close… which, okay, feels as weird to her as it looks. But, hey. Stranger things have happened to them. «Easy,» she sends gently to the lump. «Easy. I need you to quiet down. You're too loud. We can't understand what we need to do to help you while you're 'shouting' like this… Easy.» Her psionic 'voice' is soft and gentle, careful to remain calm and warm as she seeks to calm the… child? Teen? She's guessing a young mutant just discovered their power… and now got themselves trapped by it.

The lump doesn't appear to like Scott but as soon as Jean begins the soothing approach the bristle ebbs out and that wretched industrial-metal ceases turning towards something more tranquil and coo-responsive.

"I wasn't? I honestly have no clue what is happening." Scott doesn't but whatever Jean is doing is making the psychic-noises assaulting him ease up. His knuckles grinding in to his temples as if it will help abate the subsiding pain faster.

As the 'psychic potato' calms the protective field fades and the inner spheres of torn down matter start to topple to the Earth, a scattered puzzle unlikely to ever get put back together. Harmlessly hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of lego pieces shower down piling up around them.

"It's done? What is it?" Scott going all Major General inquires, "Vegetable, animal, mineral? A weapon? We have several options here now that its calm… " Intention is read enough and it starts to psi-snarl at Scott, who catches it enough to quickly banish the thought of destroying it, "Take it or leave it for the DEO?"

"I'm not leaving this for the DEO," Jean says, all too aware of the issues the JLA have had with the DEO in recent days. "We'll…" She gives Scott a sympathetic, if quelling look. "We'll have to take it home. We can put it down in the infirmary, where the Professor and I can try to help it together." When she says 'infirmary', she actually means 'isolation', but nevermind. That doesn't need to be said out loud. But, oh, what she wouldn't give for a teleporter, right now.

She continues to send soothing emotions to the lump and actually wraps it in her sweater like an infant. "We'd better go, before anyone else get curious."

"I suppose thats our only route. I'll ready it's… room as soon as we get in you keep it sedate." Cyclops replies, his lips set in a downward sour line. He doesn't like this at all but they have no choice, it already did it's damage and is clearly capable of making more.

"Magik, if you're on the comfeed we could use you ASAP. We're in need of a quick evac."

Even with Jean's look Scott is still uneased but he is going along with it and supporting her. It's what X-Men do after all. "If she is out of com range we're in for a helluva interesting walk. Think an Uber will be okay with this?" No smile. No grin. Serious or not is a question.

Isn't it strange how Illyana's only out of com range for meetings, Danger Room exercises, or when it's her turn to do something mundane? When something interesting's going on she's far easier to reach.

There's no acknowledgement of Cyclops' message before a flash of brilliant white resolves into a disc of light, which itself fades out to reveal the familiar form of the Russian demoness. Ice blue eyes fix on Cyclops. She nods to him, then glances at Jean with a quick smirk. "Someone call for a pickup? I charge extra for luggage."

Jean rises from the crater that was once a lowrise of some sort. She has a bundle of flesh wrapped in her sweater. It's emitting psychic pulses that faintly resemble a bad version of a heavy metal power chord. The Phoenix aura surrounds Jean, hovering protectively around all of them, muffling the emmanations. "I'll carry the luggage," she say, a wry smile on her lips. "But, yeah. A lift would be… great." Because, seriously, she does not want to walk through Lower Manhattan with a 'faceless baby' in her arms. Not even in M-Town.

"Your coms do actually work, Magik. I was starting to think we needed to issue you a new unit."

"Start us a tab." Cyclops says in response to the Russian Sorceress Supreme of Limbo. Lets just hope the demonic realm they're about to traverse through doesn't have any adverse effects on Lumpy the Psychic Potato.

That cradled fleshy object in Jean's arms is largely chill and the music it is releasing not even audible to Scott anymore meaning likely Illyana as well. A low psychic sound that only others on the same wavelength will hear, it is content and travel ready it appears.

"Most of the time." Illyana replies, not sounding particularly repentant, but something else has caught her attention. Illyana's eyes flick to… well, whatever that is that Jean's holding, then back up to meet the redhead's gaze. Illyana looks intrigued, but not remotely weirded out. "I'd say I didn't want to know, but I'd be lying." She remarks, then smiles. "But I can wait. Home time, one stop only, please keep your arms and legs inside the stepping disc at all times for your own safety." She's still smiling when the world goes white and they're all… somewhere else.

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