AoA: Confusion

September 24, 2017:

Rachel crash-lands on the ruins of AoA Staten Island and meets a familiar/not-familiar reptile person

AoA Staten Island


NPCs: Soaron, AoA Clint Barton

Mentions: AoA Graydon Creed

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

A few minutes (or maybe hours) ago Rachel was part of a large X-Men team tackling a brand new Danger Room scenario. It was a pretty hard multi-leveled thing designed to split the group and eliminate the X-Men one after another. The main goal was to stick together, avoid the traps and use the powers in creative ways.

What happened? Hard to say. There was much confusion, there was Magik trying to pull back people as the room made her powers harder to use with each successful attempt. There was her 'brother' powers resonating with her own and making her life difficult. And someone had an idea that seemed good.

But maybe it wasn't.

== 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.

Then Rachel got pulled hard. Tossed around like a doll. And then crashed somewhere. Waking up now… someone is poking at her shoulder.

She lies in a small crater. Around her there are a few charred scrubs and the ruins of a few buildings, long destroyed. It is chilly, far more it should be for the late summer. And the poking was due to the barrel of a very large high-tech riffle, held by a green humanoid with extreme reptilian features. He pretty much looks like a humanoid pterodactyl.

"No. I don't know if she is injured yet. But she is waking up." The voice is inhuman, cold. The pterodactyl man has a headset around his beak. He looks familiar, Rachel saw him in a vision during the Genoshan War.

Extremely difficult danger room sessions are Rachel's delight as well as downfall. She always wants to prove herself, time and again. It doesn't matter that she has no need to do so, she still desires to. She is, after all, the daughter of Cyclops and Phoenix from an alternate dimension. It's just expected that she's got to be good. Damn good. For the most part? Rachel has done her level best in the scenario, and it has not been easy. At all!

There have been no lulls in combat, nor traps, nor fighting, and Rachel's eye is still lit up with a familiar shape of a blood red bird around it. The Phoenix Effect Aura that still surrounds her, even in the tiniest of degrees. The only thing that remains of the cosmic being within her.

She was about ready to shield herself from an incoming attack when she's hit from behind with a blow that sends her careening against a nearby wall. And then..? Rachel doesn't remember much beyond the first pull. A vague recollection of feeling like she was the ball in a pinball machine, bounced around with unseen flippers and then silence.

The silence is broken by a sharp jab. The first senses to come to life is the feeling of pain, not just from the jab, but her entire body feels like she's been hit by the Juggernaut. A low, throaty groan echoes from her lips.

Her fingers dig into the ground about her, only to stop short as she feels dirt beneath fingernails on one hand, her glove has been removed or torn to shreds, Rachel isn't quite sure. Green eyes part open to gaze up at the Lizardman, and then reactions take place. Quick ones. Bolting upwards, Rachel sits up with a start, a powerful telekinetic aura surrounding her then, protecting her. Her telepathy is in immediate use, searching for the other X-Men, or at the very least, some kind of rationalization for what is going on. When she can find none, X-Men, rationalization, or otherwise, the red-head's eyes narrow in on the pterodactyl, she knows his features, as she recognizes, initially, the figure not from the encounter on Genosha, but from her own encounters in the Savage Land. "Sauron!?"

The reptile man was pretty wary and when Rachel bolts, he jumps back with surprising agility, aiming the rifle to the redhead's head. "Stay down, power down," he croaks. Then to the com, he adds: "She's awake, Barton. Give me your ETA, damn mammal."

Sauron? That briefly sends Karl Lykos down the memory lane, to times where he was a child and read a set of fantasy books five times in a couple years. He had almost forgotten. The gun does not waver, however.

Rachel finds an extraordinary amount of static in the telepathic plane. It is hard to say what has happened, but it doesn't feel like it should and none of the X-Men is within her now rather limited range. It is possible she is still in the Danger Room, of course. She can feel the mind of 'Sauron' in front of her. A well-guarded mind, but human after all. Many more minds north, north-east, probably a town. Well, she is in a 'town' of shorts, but it was obviously destroyed a couple decades ago.

Green eyes narrow in on the dinosaur man, even as she continues to telepathically search for familiar minds, familiar people. "The danger room has gotten a really odd sense of humor." Rachel begins. "Or something really bad has happened." And this she says aloud, she's not about to power down, nor is she even remotely worried about the rifle aimed at her head. "I'm not going to do anything to you, stop being so damn jittery. Did I some how end up in the Savage Land, no. Just.. don't answer that. Where the hell am I?"

Ignoring Lykos commands entirely, Rachel stands up though her head begins to swim as every muscle in her aches, but with complete and utter determination and strength of will, Rachel doesn't sit back down. Instead, a memory tugs at her mind's eye, she's seen Sauron before, like this. In a memory. Brief though it was, Rachel can still recall it. Yet, that just doesn't make any damn sense either.

Lifting a hand up to rub her temples, Rachel's gaze flickers to the one ruined glove torn to tatters, and the other one in not much better shape. In fact, her entire outfit is a little worse for wear, rips and tears even through some of the most dense and protective material. Her jacket's sleeves are shredded, and hanging down to her wrists, leaving Rachel more distressed about that. "Oh bloody hell!" She states, a phrase picked up from her time in England. "I just got this costume."

"Staten Island," replies the reptilian man, still not lowering his gun. "Are confused or what? You caused an explosion here, girl, the army is coming. Who are you?" His eyes briefly glance the X in his pocket sleeve, and then they are back to her face. It doesn't seem he has recognized her at all.

Behind Rachel there is the rumbling noise of a jet engine, six more minds there, soldiers of some kind inside an armed VTOL vehicle.

Staten Island looks very much as if someone bombed the place decades ago, then returned a few times to make sure it was thoughtly destroyed. But if Rachel is familiar with the place she can recognize a few landmarks.

Standing in a crater, her telepathy a fuzzy reminder that things are not right, and what thoughts she can pick up are muted due to her telepathy not quite working as 'intended'.. Rachel's gaze finally fully takes in everything around her, and yeah - sure enough, this is the remains of Staten Island. Rachel's first inclination is to swiftly ask, "Are the sentinels in charge? Master Mold?" Fear? Yeah. There is a slight bit of fear tinged to her tone that she can't completely close out. It's a deeply rooted fear that Rachel has always had. The terror and belief that time will reset itself one day, and she be returned to her original timeline.

Burying the fear, the terror of being all alone, that she's once again lost everyone she loves, Rachel's been around too long to let it consume her entirely. At the sound of the jet engine approaching, Rachel goes right into action. "And I take it, that's not a good thing? Look, you can stay here and shoot me, which isn't going to do much. Trust me." At that, Rachel's eye blazes with the aura of the Phoenix. "Or we both can get the hell off of this island, and then a lot of questions can be answered. Either way.. Lets take care of these guys temporarily first."

As muted and fuzzy and strange as her telepathy is, Rachel is still a powerful telepath. Searching for the driver of the vehicle, Rachel does her level best to try and send him in an opposite direction from where she stands with Sauron of all people. It's just the most basic of thoughts, turn left, you absolutely need to go left, the one you seek is there. Easier to try and convince one person to do it, than an entire group.

"You are really confused, aren't you?" The pterodactyl man snarls and shakes his head. "I called them, the Sentinels are history and the Human High Council troops are refugees here. Now tell me who you are or…"

The mind of the pilot is vulnerable, but not easy to hold. The man is trained to resist telepaths and strong willed to boot. So the vehicle turns left, then right. Getoutofmyhead. If flies just over Rachel, maybe 20 feet up. It is a Quinjet.

"Telepath?" Growls Lykos. He shots Rachel. What he is holding is not a normal gun, but a plasma riffle built by Forge years ago. It feels like a mule kick even through Rachel's shields. "And stand down!" Repeats the saurian.

Number one rule, never trust anyone. Rachel should have known that. She should have. Really. He /was/ pointing a gun at her, after all. Yet, she was so willing and wanting to have some connection in this weird, alternate reality, that she forgot rule number one. It is something she will not do again. Even as the driver resists her telepathy, Rachel's gaze is still on Sauron and when his thoughts echo his actions - Rachel's diving to one side.

The plasma blast nicks her in the side, and even through all of her costume's padding and the powerful telekinetic shielding around herself, she still feels it. The blast sends her well timed dive to go slightly awry, sending her tumbling onto the ground, there she stays for a second, one hand immediately grabbing the side that got hit.

It's at that point all rational thought leaves, and Rachel's left to be consumed with all the anger, fear, and annoyance. "I. Tried. To. Be. Nice. But it seems I'm not Kitty, nor Jean." Self preservation takes a strong hold over the red head. "You're not making any damn sense, lizard-man. I didn't want to hurt you, or anyone." But it really doesn't matter, as Rachel bolts straight upwards, right towards the quinjet that hovers over her. Avengers? Oh hell. Alternate world Avengers? Things just keep getting better. Just before she hits the jet, the red-head bolts to one side and then up again.

In a zig-zag pattern, so she isn't a good target, Rachel races up towards the heavens themselves. Answers will come later, as again, that desire for self preservation is all encompassing and running away? While not exactly the best answer, is the only one for Rachel right now.

As the Quinjet lands heavily, Soaron tries to aim, but the dust cloud and winds caused by the jet landing too close prevent him to get a good shot at Rachel before the girl runs away. Immediately several armed men jump out of the airplane. Some wear US Army insignias, but others wear a HHC labels, with something that could be the EU logo.

"What the hell was that?" Asks the last man out. A middle-aged blond with an athletic frame, carrying a high-tech bow and rubbing his temples.

Soaron shrugs and glances back. "A very strange girl, Barton. But call Creed, we do have a rogue telepath loose after all. I thought they were all dead." Pause. "And she looks familiar too," he adds thoughtful.

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