Midnite Calls and Astral Jaunts

August 19, 2017:

Emma Frost's does some psychic research and gets an unexpected phone call.

Characters

NPCs: Madelyne Prior

Mentions: Nate Grey

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Emma Frost had shown her interest in being included in the X-Men's liberation strike yet they departed for the African neighboring island without her. Perhaps a trust thing or she simply wasn't expected to be part of the ground crew. Hard to tell with Scott Summers as anymore he keeps his own council on most of his recent decisions.

It is perhaps for the best Emma Frost isn't anywhere near Genosha this day, the ripple of psychic power flooding through the world is near unheard of, a monumental force. One that transcends physical and actually impacts the Astral Plane. The source? Two entities. A burning golden energy and a firebird from beyond the stars yet neither unfamiliar to the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. The sheer measure of psychic energy released declares she is not the only one to be aware of what has just transpired.

Time of day for the United States is nearing around 1 AM where as Genosha it is sometime around 9-10 AM. A psychic global event. What a thing to have your attention pulled to.

They left without her. Emma Frost, for better or worse, doesn't seem to have taken it personally.

As a matter of fact, she's been enjoying a bit of extended time off from her company save a meeting here or there.

Today, for those interested, was spa day. There was a pedicure, a manicure, a thorough detox for her skin, and a hot stone massage.

At one o'clock in the morning, she's still in the blissful afterglow of a day of well-deserved pampering, lounging on her couch. One of Niccolo Paganini's caprices is playing its lively strains on the sound system, a glass of fine chianti is dangling from her fingertips, and her to-do list lies a million miles from her thoughts.

And then… That.

The astral plane strainsas events hundreds of miles away are made closerand pulls at her. Her eyes close at the tug to her attention, and then opens them again as her glass is quietly set down beside her. "Hm," is all she says, a cluck of her tongue following. Sitting up, she pulls her satin robe a little tighter about her before shutting her pale blue eyes once more. Her mind stretches out, looking for the trail of the event. What are you up to, ducklings?

For Emma Frost a path in to the Astral Plane is easy to find on most days. The turmoil that just shunted through it has the feeling off, wrong, its not the entirety of the Astral Plane but it's the immediate one that is tethered to this world. This reality. The damage evident as the formless landscape reeks of outside psychic corruption, unbridled and uncontrolled it had forced it's way in to the realm like a wrecking ball or a tsunami.

Reckless, wild, powerful, she knows Nate Grey. As a matter of a fact she can feel his lingering presence along with a stranger, a more feminine entity wrapped in cosmic power and a telepathic might that rivals her own.

As Emma envelopes herself in the world beyond it begins to take up form around her immediate vicinity, inspired by her own subconscious and how much she allows to leak out.

The astral plane's trauma draws Emma's suspicion, and she knows better than to give it too much of herself. Still, the world becomes a strange inversion of itself, shadows and light switching places with strange prismatic glimmers here and there, betraying where she is physically.

She likes her home. Her home is a place of strength.

As the mind witch senses Nate, recognizes him, her eyes narrow. The other power, that draws her curiosity. She decides then to abandon caution and go traveling.

Might as well go and see what all the fuss is about, if she can. She knows he's likely a greater distance than is normally easy to travel. But, all the same, she tries. What harm is there in that?

The Astral Dimension as it is leaks mental imposition upon it from the outside realms it cushions, Earth especially, dreamers and sleepers find themselves often lost in just small touches of it, an ectoplasmic realm that constantly shifts with the influences of outsiders. As an adept Emma can actually discern where such things originate if she tries.

It all looks as expected from her last visits but now she can see the expanse of destroyed form, the failing grasp of things that get too close and can't create anew, can't inspire.

Trauma blasted shapes that fail to reforge to something different. If the presence of the others was to be described as one of the more mundane senses she is catching nothing more than a final scent. A strong last impression that went out with a proverbial bang.

It's while shes hovering there that she'll watch other less fearful and curious psychic entities manifest, linger like she is and fade.

A red glowing form remains, a hand formed it sweeps it through a trail of blue and gold particles. "I think I killed him." The voice is disembodied, it comes from the gleaming psychic but isn't produced by vocal cords. Not here at least. It remains only a brief moment while it trails after an essence wisp. The remaining psychic and spiritual residue of the young man.

The Material Plane… Emma Frost's cell phone goes off. A single ring. The next will come in time but time flows much differently in the Astral Realm.

The broken edges of the dimension she occupies are gently considered, Emma's fingertips float near them, as though debating to run along the gossamer threads of a spider's web. But when the bright entity speaks, the telepath listens. «Killed who?» her inquiry gently echoes in kind, even though there's a dread that she tries very hard to tamp down. Even as the question hangs in the air, her thoughts chase after the essence of one Nate Grey. «What happened?»

The ringing phone is, for the moment, wholly ignored.

"Him." The glowing figure asserts waving a hand all around in a wide arc as if trying to indicate the essence trail. There is irritation seeping from the unknown being as if the question has bothered or rekindled something. With the anger comes a tremble through the Astral Dimension near them.

"They woke me. That is what happened." The female replies. "Should have let me sleep."

A ring and a vibration. Louder now? Perhaps. Not that phones actually change tone intentionally. A slip in focus? Like coming to from a dream. Things become water through fingers.

On the astral plane, Emma's legs pull up under her, giving the impression of lounging on the "air" in which she floats and suspends herself. Blonde hair floats about her like an ethereal, otherworldly halo as the world shimmers in response to that bright entity's unhappiness.

«Are you certain he's dead?» she asks, even as she allows her attention to divert to that trail. Is there enough to gather up? To pull together into… something? To tether? She wishes she were nearer her precious Mutivac to help with the discernment of it all.

The phone's intrusive ringing draws a look of irritation onto the blonde's features.

"By the standards of the living. He is dead." The being insists. "Whats it matter now… " An apathetic tone and the woman drifts away from the essence trail and Emma's Astral Projection.
"Better off." The final words before she is gone.

The trail of what once was Nate Grey is carried about as if on invisible wind, lingering particles that seem inert. A memory. Perhaps thats all it is the dying and lingering memory of something that once was.

Another loud and obnoxious ring. It's almost as if it is trying to test Emma Frost's patience and discipline.

As the woman's essence floats off, Emma snorts angrily. Between the phone that won't stop ringing and that deep weight in her gut, it's very hard to stay focused.

But still, she tries. Emma tries to gather strands of essence to weave them together into something more psychically tangible. «You silly boy,» she chides heartlessly. «What did you do?»

But, if there's nothing to gather… If there's no way to follow the creature that's disappeared from view… Then there will be only a person on the other end of a telephone connection to bear the weight of her unmitigated frustration. Because verbal eviscerations might stave off the nagging threat of a panic.

Emma's familiarity with Nate Grey and her control over the powers she has allows her to gather some of the glittering essence up in a swirl. Strange really. It could be akin to playing with someone's ashes after they have been cremated if one was to think about it but things operate differently here. This is the realm of the mind and spirit after all.

The mundane and material world again demands her presence, the ringing and it's attempts not ceasing.

Elsewhere…

A red eyed man slumps against a wall, chest rising and falling as he battles down panic and his breathing. The adrenaline high and his nerves shot, power drained he can barely hold the cellphone in his gloved fingers, tattered remnants of fabric falling away from a raw grip.

"Answer already."

It's lifeless. Useless effort. It's desperately and unimaginably hard to let go.

And yet, it's perhaps a testament to herself that she does. She simply closes her eyes and breathes. And lets go the piece of astral plane to which she clung, and the vestiges of one Nate Grey with them.

And then she rises from her place on the couch to pick up the damned phone. She's ready to unleash the fury of a thousand suns, and then… she recognizes the name on her phone's caller id. A contact already in her phone. She closes her eyes, exhales audibly to reduce the sound of an impotent and quickly dying rage, and then hits the green phone. "Scott?"

"Emma." Cyclops responds, "Are you on a secure line?" A sound of crashing behind him can be heard. Loud and thunderous.

As the structure outside topples Scott palms the phone and muffles the sound making sure not to deafen the poor woman. Struggling to his feet with the phone still in his clutches he moves around the wall and begins to slide, not walk but slide down stairs that lead to the basement of the house he is hiding out in currently.

At the bottom of the stairs he half-crawls to the opposing wall, seated in the dark with the cellphone finding purchase to his ear again, "Hello? I had to move. Still on the line?" He may not have heard her response.

The last of her unhelpful sentiment is quickly squashed. "I am," Emma replies, even as she frantically begins rummaging for the remote that will shut off the suddenly frustrating complexities of the Caprice No. 24 that make the X-Man on the other side of the line so hard to hear.

The new silence on her end makes the cacophony on his a particularly stark contrast. "Scott?" she calls, her hand clamping over her ear and her form hunching in the quiet penthouse as though that would help her hear better. When his voice speaks again, she wastes no time in responding. "Yes. Yes, I'm here. And the line's secure," she adds, just in case he hadn't heard that part on account of… whatever's going on over there.

"Then I can update you." Scott manages, "We are in Genosha, I'm in the middle of Hammer Bay and just took a shot at the Citadel. We're in, we've infiltrated and my other team has taken out their systems. It's working for now but only a matter of time until they can repair everything. I need your help." A rustling noise and he is getting up to move, an old pile of boxes being sat down upon, "My team is separated from the others and we can't reach eachother, I'm afraid something bad happened with G-Core and it's putting us behind schedule."

Scott knows hes not telling her everything, not able to beyond the names of things. She'll figure it out through some research though. She has good resources at her disposal and hes aware of this to some extent.

"Is your Nate Grey part of your G-Core team?" Emma asks, point blank and tone painfully neutral and business-like. Grabbing her wine glass, a chilled asti bathing the crystal's outside with condensation, the woman is on the move with her silk robe softly whispering about her bare legs.

She settles down at her desk in her home office, pinching the phone between her shoulder and her ear as she starts firing up her laptop. She has good resources, but not limitless ones. Here's to hoping she has the ones they need.

"He is." Scott admits. The phone being muffled again as he lifts his head up and tries to listen upstairs, outside and beyond the basement. No one is hunting him. There is too much going on outside, multiple strikes across the island all timed together. Rebels and the X-Men working in tandem. Cyclops is almost proud. Almost.

With the contained network that Genosha uses it is almost impossible to get information in and out of the country but as of several hours ago a virus was introduced in to one of it's host servers, there are windows in the super firewall that once guarded Genosha from the world. The internet is blowing up about it and more than one hacker is running amok in this new 'data land'.

Local reports of G-Core are of a massive explosion, a handful of deaths and rebels are to be blamed. Mutants that have turned against their masters. No immediate information can be found beyond that. Not without further seeking.

"This isn't what I am asking about though, without the teams on schedule I need an escort off island for President Reneau… a quiet escort. Tomorrow night."

And Emma… doesn't have the heart to say anything about Nate Grey. She closes her eyes. It's not what he's asking about, and… well. But, if he can here it, there's a long exhalation at Scott's confession, loosed from behind painted lips.

The woman then reopens her eyes, takes one more deep breath, and then considers her screen for a long moment.

"Transportation, I… should be able to arrange," she tells him, sticking to the things he wants to know. But then she can't help it. The tease is there, before she can choke it back. "But you owe me for playing taxi dispatcher. There are much more entertaining roleplaying scenarios you could have dreamt up, Mister Summers." A few more clacks at the screen, and she's got a decent enough map pulled up of Hammer Bay. Certainly nothing spectacularly tactical, but it will do. "What were you thinking as a rendezvous point?"

"I've never been known to be a man of great imagination, Miss Frost. " Action, ambition, conviction, those are more likely. "I'll make sure to pay up the IOU in full though. I promise." A good boyscout always keeps his promises too… Despite the situation he is in Scott manages a small tight-lipped smile.

"Hammer Bay is too dangerous, we'll be moving her just outside of Carrion Cove. The northern wharf is going to be the rendeavouz location. I'm not asking you to wait long, if we don't make it we don't make it. Things are lit up here and about to get even louder."

He goes quiet, its as if he wants to ask more but doesn't. There isn't a whole lot that can be said right now. Scott clears his throat, "Please, don't let anyone else in on this. I'd like to keep it as contained as possible." Less people in danger, less to leak. Typical precautions.

No one else? Emma inwardly curses, as that entirely ruins at least one option. She has to get to Africa in… oh, for… The laptop gets shut and she heads out towards the bedroom to start getting dressed. "Oh, so now I'm taxi driver?" she allows, her tone one of feigned indignation. "I think that's even worse, Summers. The cost of that IOU just went up twenty-five percent." She glances at her watch as she picks it up off of her vanity table and clasps it onto her wrist. Her voice is far more serious as she continues. "So… you're thinking 36 hours from now?"

"No one.. you wouldn't trust with your own life." Scott replies. Asking her to go alone is a bit of a stretch and he didn't expect that alone. "If anyone can make being a taxi driver look good I am sure it is you, Miss Frost. You'll be fine."

"That much? Quite the interest… " He murmurs in to the phone, the tremors and sirens outside have ceased at least and he knows their techno-hunters are still scrambled, the mutants under their control are different story all together.

"36 hours." Can they survive that length with cargo in tow? They'll make sure they do. They're X-Men after all. " 36 hours from now works. Timer is started… no pressure." The man almost smiles again.

"They're likely shutting down all of their ports. They're treating this like an invasion."

A leg stretches out and he uses one hand to drag his boot back up higher, he knows he'll be relocating soon. Which is going to involve running.

"Because it is an invasion, my dear Mister Summers," Emma easily replies as she slips out of her robe and begins pulling on a lattice-cut leather jacket that descends nearly to her naval. "And regarding the matter of the IOU: just remember. It's all about what the market will bear. So don't die between now and the Carrion Cove rendezvous, hm? I rather need you alive to collect."

And there's been enough dying today. Well. Of the allied mutant variety, anyway.

"It's a liberation." Cyclops responds. His time running out he struggles to his feet again, looking up the stairs, "You're going to get to collect, Miss Frost. I don't die easy nor does my team." He clearly doesn't know at all what has transpired. "Just no more interest. My pockets are not as deep as yours… " He knows shes not wanting money. She has more than enough.
"Thank you, Emma. When the Professor encouraged I speak to you more… well, yeah, I think you know."

Where Scott can't see, Emma hangs her head. Even though there's no one around to observe her, there's a certain measure of extra privacy that the curtains of blonde curls affords her that she appreciates as her wit fails her and a frown reclaims her lips. For a brief moment, Emma says nothing at all. When she responds, taking the phone out of its pinch hold and cradling it once more in her hands, her voice is a more subdued in kind, and every bit as serious.

She doesn't acknowledge the gratitude aloud, or Charles Xavier's expectations of her. "Just be there, Scott. Carrion Cove. Thirty-six hours."

"We will be." A beep of his battery going low and Scott, adds, "Good luck." A click and the man folds the phone up sliding it in to his jacket pocket, a few quick inhales and exhales and he takes off in a long-legged run up the steps and back out in to the rioting violent streets of Hammer Bay. There is X-Men that need rallied and a job to get done.

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