AoA: Arrival – At the Mansion

September 24, 2017:

An accident at the Danger Room displaces the X-Men into a parallel Earth. A post-Apocalypse reality.
Welcome to America, it is the year 2001 AD. 5 years after the death of Apocalypse.
Emits by Nate.

AoA Xavier State

The half-ruined, abandoned mansion of the late Charles Xavier.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Too many to list.

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

First there was light and then there was darkness.

Reality wobbles, the human (and most mutant) mind is not designed to see this kind of… crazy stuff. Memory suffers.

It all started in the Danger Room. There was a training session. Almost all the X-Men were there for the brand new scenario. They even invited a few senior students ‘in the know’. It was a hard one. Not just punch and punch harder. Thinking hard, coming up with ideas to combine powers and then…

== Alert! Alert! Gravitational integrity compromised. Tachyon fugue in progress. Shutdown-Shugrrrrzzz… == followed by gibberish in the Shi'ar tongue. The Danger Room blinked and no one was sure if it was part of the scenario or not.

Reality blinked.

Then everyone got pulled through a… tunnel? Something that appeared in the room, and powers failed. There was no resisting. The landing was pretty hard.

Reality un-blinked.

Darkness now. And the X-Men are in a metal room, fine steel, slightly rusty around the edges. Cavities at the sides show there might have been equipment there that was removed, and there is also some dust in the floor. It is empty except for a bunch of mutants and the odd human, some unconscious. Not everyone that was in the Danger Room seconds ago is here, though.

All is quiet now but some muffled moans of pain. If this is part of the simulation, the programmer deserves a medal. Or a kick on the ass.


Lorna cursed as her senses went haywire and everything went wonky. She'd read about some odd theories that tried to explain how worm holes and alternative universes could exist… but she had no idea that what was going and the stuff she'd read about for college had any link. No, all she had was the pounding head ache and the hard landing to have anything to go on. And that wasn't giving her much other than ow and ow again.

The green haired woman groaned, sitting up and rubbing her head. The second time in as many days that she was going to have to deal with bruises in excess. "Fuck." She couldn't see anything. It was dark as pitch. The only saving grace was the amount of metal in the room gave her a vague outline of the space they were in.


For some reason Jamie decided to join the training session with the X-Men. He's not really an X-Man, or really a former student. But hey doing some extra training has never hurt anyone, right? So he was with them, and then the weird stuff happened. The guy has no idea what the heck was happening.

He also ended up in the metal room, and well thanks to that sudden impact, he got to make two dupes. Caught off guard he can't help but make them you know. Of course it doesn't help in the pitch black room, cause none of the dupes have night vision. "Uhm can anyone actually see where the hell we are?"


Travelling through dimensions is enough to mess with anyone's senses, even if only temporarily. However, for those with enhanced senses, it causes further problems. Logan's head swims and even his stomach churns. Lying still for a moment he waits for his senses to return to normal. Logan sits up and rubs his face. Eventually he lowers his hand and he looks around him at the strange surroundings. He sniffed the air to try to gain any clue as to their surroundings.

"I don't think we're in the danger room anymore." He mutters to anyone else who might still be conscious. "I've had an experience like this before, just once." He curses under his breath. Two new universes in a matter of months! Surely, he can't be that unlucky. Logan wonders if this connected to his first travel across dimensions, or is this completely unrelated?


When the shift in scenery occurred, Rogue froze in her place and she listened to the others around her. She was still in 'danger room mode' so the transition was an awkward one.

"This ain't part'a the programmin'?" Rogue asked the others, but she figured not based on their reactions.

A gloved right hand was stuffed into her brown leather trenchcoat pocket and Rogue pulled out three things… A cigarette lighter, pack of cigarettes… and then a small black metal keychain flashlight.

Rogue tossed the keychain flashlight to Logan and then went to light herself up a smoke, cause why the hell not.


It could be the danger room. Weirder places have been programmed. But when Logan says it is not, it is probably not. Rogue's little flashlight helps some to help visualized where they are. Large room, a metal door to an end. Dusty, empty, pretty cold, although not quite freezing. And several unconscious bodies litter the floor around the four conscious mutants.


Lorna got up, slowly, a groan escaping her as she rubbed her lower back. At least this time she was wearing 'proper' adventuring into danger clothes. Her own personal version of the X-men uniform, green of course, and reinforced with iron alloy fibers.. but even still. She was going to have bruises. She got up as Rogue lit up a smoke, her eyes narrowing in thought, even though she couldn't see.. The metal door was bright to her senses.

"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." She murmured, and threw her power out to try to pry the metal door open.


Hey that's technically 6 conscious mutants, DUPE LIVES MATTER dangit! Jamie is still wearing his standard detective gear, the shirt, pants and trench coat. Plus he does have a concealed gun as well, but maybe he won't need that or something! So once there are lights are on, Jamie starts looking around. And well he eyes the bodies, "Are they okay, and do we know who they are? Or is this a sick joke, escape the room, or you end up dying?"

He sighs at that, and keeps looking around, detective mind kicking into overdrive, "I think I need a drink." Mental note, add a flask to the standard detective gear, it will be needed.


Logan instinctively catches the lighter, nonchalantly. He searches his pockets, "Damn all out." Nevertheless, he flicks on the lighter and holds it up to create another light source for everyone in the metal room. He knocks on a wall, and listens to the vibrations. He tries to determine the thickness of the wall. After, a few knocks he decides he finds a spot he likes. He turns off the lighter, and tosses it over shoulder, "Here catch." He then proceeds to unsheathe a claw on his right hand. Snikt! He then stabs at the spot in the wall with his claw.


Rogue would move to help Lorna up, but it was a bit too late and she already'd gotten up on her own. She then took note of the bodies that Jamie was mentioning and she started to move around and inspect them. "Sleepin'." She told the others. "Least, I hope so…" She muttered then and stood up to turn around look at Logan right as he tossed the flashlight back over his shoulder and hit her in the forehead with it making her flench.

"Ouch…" Rogue quietly said, now bending over to pick the flashlight back up off of the ground and put it back into her longcoat's pocket.

Rogue stood up and took a drag off of her cigarette while watching Logan do his claw thing. "Subtle." She added.


The odd human in the training mix, there to add that element of 'human cannot punch and punch harder so we have to think smarter', groans from where she had been slumped on the floor. Her mind was not at all meant for something like this, and she finds her head is pounding as she tries to push herself up. The world lurches unhappily at her.

"Fuck… I want off now…"


The metal door opens easily. The steel feels particularly responsive to magnetism, almost the perfect molecular structure. Meanwhile Logan opens a hole to what must have been a service corridor, wires everywhere, but carrying no power. Outside the door there is an underground complex. But the rooms are either empty or have just very old and rusted electronic and mechanical gear. There were a couple labs, but except for some tables and counters everything has been removed.

A few rooms with cots. But only some moldy mattresses remain. All personal items are gone. To Logan sharp senses, the place has been abandoned for three or four years. So long there is no traces of the scenes of those who lived here. The walls are solid steel covered with plaster, though. The place was a real bunker.

Eerie familiar for some.

Finally, there are tunnels leading away. And more importantly, a staircase upwards. Another metal door at the end, this one opens sliding to the right. A secret door of shorts. And the team is up to… what was Xavier's old office. They are in the mansion, after all. Actually, maybe they were in the Danger Room down there!

But it is not the modern mansion. This is the old mansion Xavier had before he turned it into the Institute and had to rebuild a few times due to attacks and other events. Also, the place is empty. Some rodents scurry away as the mutants invade their territory. Cold wind slips through the broken glass of the windows. It is cloudy outside and too cold for what should be the first autumn days. The backyard forest looks bad, though. Most of the trees are dead, and many of the rest seem sick. But some stubborn scrub offers some green to the grey and brown landscape.

The air smells faintly to ash and ice.


Lorna glanced in vaguely Logan's direction at the tell-tale sound of his claws. A huff of a breath followed. "There's a door.." She offered and started toward it. "I'm going to take a look around. There's.. there's a lot of metal around here. All of it's.. the alloy is just.. It's a perfect balance.." She muttered the last part mostly to herself as she started forward. Her hands tracing against the walls as she followed them by her senses.

Lights might be out, but at least if nothing was on her way .. she could make it.

As she picked up on the second door, just like the first, she reached out again to open that one too. She didn't catch how the building was similar to the mansion. She'd never seen it ages ago. Only the rebuilt versions.


One of those unconscious forms did not appear as human or mutant. Instead, a leopard lay amongst the 'sleeping', stirring only after almost everyone else has left the steel box. The leopard chuffs, coughing, and then comes to her feet, looking around. She nuzzles lightly at the other sleeping forms, and then pads off through the cut-open space, loping after the recently added scents of some of those who were in the Danger Room with her earlier. Cloud's experience with the mansion is limited, and only very recent, so this look means nothing to her. Only finding the others means something to her.


Jamie looks at his two dupes, "Okay I'm gonna go with Lorna. You go and explore the other corridor. Don't be stupid, and don't take any chances." That one is said to dupe #1, hey one can never know what the dupes are going to do, they seem to have a mind of their own these days. Dupe #2 does got different instructions, "Stay here." He points at the bodies, "Make sure nothing happens to them. We have no idea what we're dealing with yet."

And after that Jamie Prime starts to follow the green haired lady, "I hope you don't mind having some company." The other dupe follows Jamie's orders and starts exploring the other corridor, and well taking anyone with him that wants to go of course!

Dupe #3 does what he's told, and pouts though, "He never sends me to do the fun stuff." Dupe looks at the bodies, wondering if he should do something fun, like find warm water to put their hands into or something.


"They would expect us to take the door." Logan says as he points randomly upwards. He continues to cut at the hole in wall, to make it bigger. "This way looks clear." Once the hole is big enough he climbs through the wall, and proceeds down the corridor. He listens carefully for a moment. Nothing. No one, or no thing, is coming to investigate the noises. He sniffs the air, and the only thing he smells is dust. "Actually, I think this place is abandoned." He turns back to the hole. "OK I think we should split up, cover more ground, work out where we are. It looks like the mansion, back in the early days, but we can't be sure." He looks down the service corridor again. "Looks like Jhiao, and this Jamie is with me. So Rogue and Darcy, if you can make it, you have a choice, one of you with me the other with Lorna. If this is the mansion, let's meet up at the main entrance."


Cloud chuffs softly, bobs her head, and flicks her ears at Logan, then pads off to follow he and one of the Jamies, her feline senses peeled for anything moving around here other than the two she is following.


Rogue spent a few minutes making sure their unconscious team mates were in more comfortable positions and she followed the others out after Logan and Lorna. She sighed then at their words… eyes scanning around.

"This definitely is the old site." She said, having recognized a couple sights already that reminded her of her first days here. Rogue would glance at Cloud and smiled softly before nodding at what Logan ordered.

"I can go outside, maybe get up into the air, take a look around from up high?" She suggested. "Stuff may not be quite so… dead lookin'." The southern girl was still pretty convinced that this was all a training program in the danger room.


Dizzy, Darcy uses a wall to pull herself up to her feet. She pushes her glasses straight on her face, grateful they aren't broken. Seeing Rogue opt to go with Logan, Darcy moves to join Lorna in her door to door search.


Everything seems to indicate the mansion was abandoned four or five years ago and all gear got moves somewhere. Afterwards it was clearly pillaged, but no one discovered the underground complex. Apparently one of the wings was destroyed decades ago, the other is more or less intact, but empty and all the windows shattered.

The Jamie that remains underground finds out an abandoned hangar and eventually a few hidden exits, including one that goes on and on for miles southwards. That poor dupe takes several hours to return.

The pool is missing, as is the maze garden and a few other features the X-Men added along the years.

The graveyard is there, and it has many more tombs than the one at the mansion. Many of the tombstones are rather damaged, probably vandalized.

Charles Francis Xavier, but the death date says he died in the late 50s!

Sean Cassidy
Banshee

Katherine Pryde
Shadowcat

Roberto DaCosta
Sunspot

Wanda <illegible>
Scarlet Witch

<Mostly illegible maybe something-Silvercloud>
Forge

Jason Wyngarde
Mastermind

And at least a couple dozen more. The dates of the last deaths are from 1996 (when a large number of mutants seems to have died). Notably there are no graves for Scott, Hank, Bobby or Warren.

The last one draws attention, it was no simple grave. I was a grand affair, with a marble statue of a slender woman.

Jean Grey, 1960-1996
Marvel Girl

But the grave has been desecrated, the statue broken, the tombstone shattered, the coffin is empty.


Lorna glanced behind her only as Jamie followed and she shrugged, her steps quick to make it out of the under ground and out of the building. Her senses spread outwards as she tried and failed to pick up anything further to power the place. She frowned. "There's nothing. No power grid. Not as far as I can sense." She pursed her lips, climbing higher and moving to leave the mansion. By now she'd figured out that much of the place.

Her gaze swept back to Jamie and she shrugged. "We're supposed to work together anyways. So tell me detective. What do you detect?" She arched a brow as she stepped outside, and froze at just how very different everything was from what it was supposed to be.

"What the hell is going on?" She whispered. Though she hadn't made it as far as the grave yard yet.. thing were off..


Following along, Darcy is quiet as she regards the abandoned mansion, the silent halls. Once outside, it's the graveyard that draws her attention, along with the lack of the pool, of the field by it that she and Storm and Remy and Pietro had played in.. once upon a time. She moves to the headstones, reading the names, stopping in front of one name. It's the most familiar of the group, one who's last name is gone. It's an unimportant fact. Darcy knows Wanda's last name.

The fact that the school's patron, the man it is named for, is buried here in the 50s has Darcy quirking a brow. Sure, she may not have ever had a moment to talk to the professor himself, but she knows that he is alive and well.

"A sick joke or we're not in fucking Kansas. If a field of poppies appears, we all walk the other way," Dracy says, voice tense and upset while her hand brushes some dust from the top of Wanda's marker. OH! Her phone. Darcy digs into a pocket, happy that the Otterbox once again did its job. Her phone is safe and sound, and showing no service, no GPS, nothing. And half a battery. With Lorna reporting no electrical grid, when this thing runs out of battery there wil lbe no charging it.

A moment is taken to turn the device off.


Jamie Prime following Lorna, is looking around, "Not sure yet. I would say the future, but that doesn't feel right. It could be some strange mental attack maybe? Trying to make us go crazy or something? Could just be one big shared illusion." But well this is really beyond the standard detective stuff that he does. Give him a good old cheating husband any day, those are easy. He comes to the graveyard and just stares, "Okay this is just bad. It has to be a mind game, right?"

Jamie #2 is still exploring that underground thingy, maybe he'll find some booze or something. And he'll be the hero to everyone if he does do that! As for Jamie #3, he has just decided to stay with the KOed people and be a good boy and not put their hands in water, or even go through the wallets or anything.


Lorna closes her eyes against the sight of the graveyard. She didn't want to know all the names buried there. The sight of it being so very large was enough to twist her stomach. Instead she sent her senses outward. Desperate to make sense of anything around her… and recieved the disjointed, dischordant chime of a very damaged magnetic field. The Magnetic Field. As in the planet's.

Her features turned ashen as she stiffened, and staggered a moment as her senses snapped back to her. She looked vaguely ill.

"I.. I'm going to look for supplies. There's gotta be something. Food. Water.. if we're stuck here for any length of time, we'll need them." Her voice now tinged with a hint of honest distress.

"I .. I need a minute. Something's wrong with the fields.." She muttered, tramping off in the direction off back into the mansion. She needed to meditate. Clear her mind. Try to figure out what was wrong with the magnetic fields.. and then see if she could sense the one other person she knew for sure had a tie with them besides herself.. Maybe she would get lucky.


Logan stands in front of the graves. "Yeah, I don't think this is the future, Jamie. These dates match up. Charlie Boy did not die in the 50s, we all know that." He points at the grave. He walks over to another, "And Jean didn't die." He returns to the others. "Yeah, I think I know what happened. But we need to get back inside."


Rogue swooped down from above to find the others near the gravestones. She looked at Jean's specifically and she felt an inner sadness sweep over her… but she re-assured herself when she heard the others talking.

"This ain't real." Rogue told them. "None'a it is real. We're eithe'ah still inside'a the trainin' room, or we're being fooled with, like some kinda pranksters thinkin' they're real funny."

Rogue would drop down the remaining five or so feet and land on her wedge-heeled boots. She'd turn and start to walk toward the mansion also.

"I used t'hide stuff around inside the place. I bet its still there." What she failed to realize is that she hadn't seen any signs that 'she' had ever actually been in this version of the mansion or not.


Cloud seens no signs that she was ever here, either. But she hops up and then down into the coffin space where Jean's body should be laying, and lays herself down there, inhaling deeply. Her tail stills, as she just has herself a leopard cry. Yes, Cloud really likes Jean. Go figure.


From the air Rogue sees nothing interesting. The forest is mostly greys and browns, with some rare green patches where a tree managed to survive several years of nuclear winter. The air is chilly, but not really crispy clean, there are unpleasant scenes floating there. And the ruins of Salem Center appear uninviting. Barely the skeleton of a few of the larger buildings left. Yes, her hideholeys are empty of little treasures.

It is a more somber group of X-Men that return to the abandoned mansion when Logan asks them to get back inside.


Well the old man has told them all to go inside, so of course he actually listens. The graves were enough to shake him up, and yeah the guy is right, Xavier did not die in the 50s, so something is definitely up now. "So it's definitely someone trying to play mind games with us, right? Please say it's that? I can totally handle that one." Yup that is totally going to explain it, yup gotta be the answer.

Dupe #2 is still exploring, but hey he found a lighter, and a metal pole! So he has started ripping the trenchcoat to make a torch. Now he can actually see if there is any booze laying around!


Once back inside Logan waits for everyone to gather round. "Here's the deal." He begins. "As I said before, all of this is sorta familiar to me. Let's look at the facts we were all in the danger room. Then it blinked out for another room to appear in its place. After that many of us were knocked out, some of us are still out in that room." He pauses. "Then we discovered the mansion back in its earlier days, but it's abandoned. Are you with me so far?" He pauses again but doesn't wait for a response. "Now with the graves out there. It all points to one thing. This is another world." He waits for that to sink it. "This is not the danger room. This is not the future of your world, or the past. This is another world altogether."

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