Metaphysical Conflagration

August 21, 2017:

Jean and Rachel investigate the damage to the Astral Plane caused by Nate Grey's death. (Shortly after scene 6153).

The Astral Plane near Genosha

It is all burning!


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

A few minutes ago Nate Grey saw the body of Jean Grey laying on a high-tech table in a genetic research center in Genosha. The woman’s psychic scream drew him to her, and as he saw her, his powers where neutralized by the Genoshan Magistrate Wipeout.

In great pain, and seeing ‘Jean’ was about to unleash her full power on the building, Nate attempted a mind-link with her and channel her power. He found an empty mind, and the might of the Phoenix.

The Phoenix shriek of fury shocked the telepathic plane. Most who heard didn’t understand it, but certainly Rachel and Jean would have understood very well. Nate did to.

For weeks he had dreamed he would burn and die in Genosha, and in that moment, right there, he knew why and how. When the Phoenix struck, he channeled the power through his mind and into the Astral Plane, but despite his vast power the cosmic fire was too much for him. He burned to cinders in seconds, and the death of the world’s most powerful psion hit every psychic-sensitive in a thousand miles, and was also heard all around the world by those with perceptions in the mental plane.

Over Genosha, the Astral Plane is burning, a storm of gold and red flames the size of the city of Hammer Bay.

One moment Rachel was helping Genosha in her own way, sure it wasn't in the direct fight, but she was the backup, the power in place should things go awry. It isn't the most dignified of positions, and Rachel would much rather had been on the front lines, but she knew her part was just as important. In fact. Perhaps even more so.

Still, waiting for the inevitable is never fun, and as Rachel was just about ready to pace the floor once more - Nate's death and the explosion of the Astral Plane hit her like a ton of bricks through the wall.

"BLOODY HELL!" Perhaps Rachel has spent a bit too much time across the pond, or perhaps - she just had to express herself in a far more undignified manner. A horrific face is made, as Rachel's eyes squint closed, hands clamp onto each side of her head. She could tell the instant Nate's death happened, in fact, Ray's quite sure every telepath on the entire planet could feel it!

The why's, the how's, Rachel's psyche reaches outwards, seeking the Astral Plane for answers. What Rachel comes across..?? Sends her blood to chill to ice, and all color to fade from her features. "Oh. My. God."

Jean had been on her way back to the Institute after several months away when she felt a familiar and unsettling presence, it would have been near impossible for her to miss such a thing let alone ignore it.

In the real world, Jean reached a hand to her temple and began to concentrate as her psychic-self began to travel through the astral plane; defenses raised towards the source of the calamity. What she saw shocked her to the core and confirmed her worst fears.

Her aura wreathed in similar flames to the ones that burned around her, she called out, "Hello?" The familiar figure of Rachel, her daughter from an alternate timeline is felt and she begins to search around for her, calling out, "Rachel? Where are you?"

Her psychic presence flared up like a beacon, allowing the other former host of the Phoenix to find her with ease.

In the Astral Plane reality is written by thought. Telepaths, able to impose their wills over thought itself, control the reality here. Only sorcerers skilled in mind magics and those of very strong wills can hope to oppose them.

But this city-wide firestorm is something new and savage. The Astral Plane buckles and tears under the weight of the searing psychic flames. It is a power that should have scattered all over the infinite plane in seconds. Burning some, perhaps empowering others. Yet against all reason it remains anchored over Genosha.

Its light spreads for hundreds of miles in the Astral Plane. So it seems likely it is going to slowly burn out. But it is going to take days, perhaps weeks.

"Mom?" The question is asked, and then Rachel winces internally, NOT her Mom. Still, Ray does seek out the beacon Jean's psychic presence offers, and when found, Rachel holds onto it with every ounce of thankfulness. Rachel's astral form appears next to Jean, casting a glance at the other red-head. "I mean, Jean? What…?" What happened? Rachel knows what happened, but she's just not willing to express it, through thoughts or out loud. Isn't this just like the life of a Summers-Grey, just when Rachel was really getting to know her 'younger' brother, he had to go and die on her.

As the Astral Plane burns around Genosha, Rachel's shock turns into anger, jaw clenching both in the Astral Plane, as well on the ground where her body sits in a meditative position.
"I've never seen anything like this, I thought Phoenix was gone, why now. Why Nate, why Genosha?" Rachel continues, though she's quite ready to admit her time in the Astral Plane is limited, not having nearly as much skill as Jean, though Rachel does know one thing, Phoenix, and thus the anger continues to boil to the surface of her thoughts now.

The presence of Rachel near her causes Jean to smile just a little despite the circumstances, more for the sake of Rachel than anything else, "I haven't seen anything like this either, except in my worst nightmares."

Her hand reached out to hold Rachel's if she allows it, "Maybe together we can focus our powers and see a little more clearly, what we may be dealing with." She tried not to let the pain of Nate's death show, he may not have been her real son; but she felt a sense of responsibility towards the man regardless.

Just as she felt somewhat responsible for the young woman who was here with her in the burning astral plane.

It is only when Jean and Rachel come together when the firestorm seems to change, and shift, as if reaction to their presence. It flares with light and for a second the reality of the Astral Plane shifts to a landscape or ruined cities and bleak badlands, the sky darkened by clouds of ash and noxious smoke.

Half-memory and half-dream, it fades fast. But this close to the psychic storm no stray thought or even a strong sleeping telepath should have taken a manifestation as vivid as such, there is too much psychic static.

Only too happy to take Jean's hand, Rachel's fingers 'squeeze' about it, offering a bit of reassurance, as well as needing some of her own. The shifting of the Astral Plane to an apocalyptic setting causes Rachel to let out a faint gasp of surprise. The setting is similar, and yet, it isn't her own world, no. A quizzical expression is given to Jean at that, unsure what to think, hell, not even sure what to feel at this moment.

Still, Rachel's head does incline slightly, her own psionic powers reaching outwards, joining with Jean's in order to seek out what she can see, attempting to unravel the mystery of the giant fire burning so brightly.

The change in the landscape shocked Jean, enough so that Rachel would be able to sense not just her shock but feel the shiver that ran not just through Jean's physical form but her astral form as well, "This is Hell." Jean's voice said barely above a whisper.

Jean's senses extended outwards as she combined her powers with Rachel's as they probed the fire for what may lay within, "Have you ever seen anything like this before?"

Delving into the firestorm is like poking a bonfire with a finger. But it comes with a cascade of stray thoughts and broken memories, and dreams.

Here is an ugly, yellow-skinned man leaning forward, “might a gentleman offer you a hand there, son?” The voice is cultured and squeaky at the same time. The face would be vaguely recognizable to Jean. This is Mortimer Toynbe, but changed, mutated into a wiry, deadly form. Behind looms tall saurian figure. “Enough fawning, pick up the whelp and lets be gone,” his voice is inhuman, but the tone lacks Sauron’s usual hate. Incongruently, strapped at his back the lizard-man carries a large sniper rifle.

At Sauron’s left there is another figure Jean might know and despise. Jason Wyngarde, the Mastermind. But he looks old and wasted, and the right side of his face is badly scarred. Half his skull bald and showing terrible scars. He says nothing, just extends his hand to help. Jason is mute, the enemy cut his vocal chords years ago. Both women know this because they ‘feel’ it in the memory.

Someone who remembers awakening and seeing those unlikely companions.

Hell? Rachel quite agrees with Jean at that comment. "It is hell; I think - I think it's Nate's hell." And as for the question concerning if Rachel had ever saw anything like this before, Rachel offers a fairly vague. "Only in my worst nightmares."

Poking the fire with fire - Rachel and Jean would most likely make a pretty dog-gone impressive might to stir any flame. The images are difficult for Rachel to initially make out, or comprehend. Is she seeing this herself? Or is this a memory - the Astral Plane is difficult for Rachel to work, or manipulate successfully. It is this reason Rachel leans on Jean a bit more, seeking both assistance, as well as strength from the person Rachel would love to call 'Mom'.
Brows furrow together, the memory of Nate is still alive right now, or at least his collective spirit has not moved on. Casting a glance at Jean, Rachel offers a quiet, "Are these just memories left behind from his destruction and the might of the Phoenix, or .. is it something else?" Perhaps Jean will know, Rachel's at a loss as to understand completely.

Jean's eyes focused on the sight before her, recognizing the figures and yet not recognizing them at the same time.

"I think, you might be onto something.." Jean replied to Rachel, "I know who these people are, but, not like this. It's like they're other versions of themselves, maybe versions that Nate knows.." There was no certainty in her voice as she spoke though.

"Only one way to find out." Jean said as she stepped towards the apparitions pulling Rachel along with her as they tried to offer some illumination to this dark nightmare, "Who, or what are you?" She called out to the figures.

The people from the memory look up at Jean, perplexed, and then fade, leaving behind the scorched landscape, which seems to merge with the firestorm. For a few seconds Jean’s question goes unanswered.

Then the storm speaks. “Who… am I?” Weak, as if awakening. But a consciousness is forming, and looking back. “What… did you do?” That does sounds like Nate, at least. “YOU TRIED TO KILL ME!” And that sounds like him even more. It is Nate’s usual ‘angry’ voice.

This time the flash of memory is instantaneous, and pushed into Rachel and Jean’s minds even through thick mental shields: The woman. Jean. On the Genoshan high-tech table. Nate, trying to reach her. Then that cosmic fire exploding outwards with overwhelming force.

Like the psychic fire exploding outwards towards Jean and Rachel’s astral selves. Also with overwhelming force.

Being dragged along with Jean, Rachel is only too happy to do so, happy to be there with Jean, to work together as a team, but also curious, and worried, and angry, and if Rachel allows herself - upset over the loss of a friend, and brother. When things start to go downhill, quickly, and Rachel's shields are swept over quicker than Ray could imagine, or believe…? Rachel goes on instinct, to not only survive, but to try and shield Jean as well. "Nate! Stop it! STOP."

The force is felt through every part of Rachel's form, from her mind still in the Astral Plane, to her body in the 'real' world, which twitches and spasms with the force of the attack.

If there any way of disconnecting herself - and Jean from the astral plane, Rachel's trying it, lancing out with a burst of psionic power, forcing herself to break her connection with Jean and leave the Astral Plane. Jean - Rachel knows can handle herself, Rachel is not nearly as strong, nor as powerful, thus the only instinct she has? Break the connection to the Astral Plane, and get the hell out of there.

Jean is surprised to find the figure at the heart of the astral inferno is Nate Grey, but she has little opportunity to show it when she comes under an overwhelming psychic assault, "Nate! Wait!" Jean screamed out as she tried to defend both her and Rachel from the assault.

She hadn't seen Nate in months. Why did he think she had tried to kill him?

Her stomach knotted and her mind raced, enough to break her concentration as she screamed out in pain. Rachel's attempt to disconnect the two of them from the Astral Plane is more than welcome.

Jean's presence in the astral plane dissipated and in the real world, she gripped her head, still reeling from the shock of what had happened. The accusations from Nate burned in her mind, echoing inside of her head over and over as she sat in silence.

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