AoA: The Quest for Colossus II

October 10, 2017:

Dani and Illyana go looking for Colossus. Unfortunately they were not the only ones looking for him and are forced to fight to save the Russian titan. (Emits by Nate).

Northern Canada

It is all pretty much frozen.


NPCs: AoA Colossus, AoA Husk, AoA Cannonball, Amazon, AoA Icarus


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Colossus rumored hideout is in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is a huge area, nearly twice the size of Texas, and it was barely inhabited before the war. Now, after years of nuclear winter, people that come here are truly desperate.

But truly desperate people are plentiful in this age. And no bombs fell in this area of America, which means hot spots are rare. So if one knows how to survive in frozen tundra and taiga, this is a good place to come.

Still, finding people here is pretty hard. But that means the mutant-detection gear on the quinjet has more range. And they know sighting of the metal giant have been in the southwest.
Fortunately the quinjet is powered by an Arc Reactor, they don’t have to land to refuel for a couple days. It still takes almost a whole day to get a positive signal from a narrow, frozen valley. Temperature outside? -25 Celsius. Pretty bad even for a Siberian.

Illyana chafes at the long, boring flight, followed by the long, boring search pattern. If something, and she still doesn't know WHAT or she'd have done something about it, wasn't blocking her access to her powers, finding this world's Piotr would have taken minutes at most. A portal to Limbo, a glance in her scrying pool, and a portal to where she needed to go.

Instead, she's a passenger, not even in charge of the course of the Quinjet. This world is conspiring against her, and it's just one of many reasons why she wants to go home.

When the detector finally pings, Illyana just looks at it dubiously for a couple of seconds, and it has to ping again before she takes any action. "If this is a false alarm." She tells the inoffensive piece of equipment. "I'm dismantling you and leaving your pieces here." The next ping sounds urgent, and Illyana rolls her eyes and sighs, reaching over to tap the pilot on the shoulder. "Got a reading." She glances at the detector, then the moving map, then points to the valley. "Down there." She wrinkles her nose. "I'm going to see if we've got any cold weather gear in the back."

A quinjet.

While Dani Moonstar can't say she understands everything within this 'future', if there's one thing she does currently understand it's SHIELD technology.

Or, in this particular case, this future's SHIELD-like technology.

As such, Dani can be found in the pilot's chair. While her movements speak of ease and knowledge of piloting, there's still a crimp to her mouth bespeaking of some worry from the woman. Hopefully it's not for the jet.

It's only as Illyana reaches over to tap her shoulder that Dani's gaze shifts from the instruments around her and over to the blonde. A quirk of a smile lifts a corner of Dani's mouth upward at the threat Illyana gives the instruments, before the Cheyenne nods. "Got it." And at the mention of cold weather gear, the black-haired woman adds, "Hope it's warm. It's a bit brisk outside." And with those sardonic words said, Dani will start banking the jet towards the area that they received the ping from. To note, her flight pattern isn't head on, Dani will strive to bring the jet in smartly and with some possible stealth.

The quinjet is not as advanced as the ones that SHIELD uses in their native reality in most regards, but that is due to being 2001 here, 16 years behind. Otherwise military technology seems about as deadly as back home.

The Arc Reactor is nice, though. They are considered too expensive to put in quinjets. But that is not an issue here. New York has pretty much zero access to fossil fuels, so the dozen so quinjets they have are all powered by arc reactors.

Finding a clearing to land it is not easy in the frozen forest and rocky outcroppings. Moonstar needs to circle over a couple times and finally land about three or four miles from the signal.

As the ramp comes down, an icy blast of air enters the Quinjet, banishing the warm, climate-controlled cockpit to a fond memory. Illyana's a) Russian, b) not entirely human and c) wrapped in an actic parka that's thick and slightly to big for her, and even she still feels a bit of chill in the air. "Are you SURE you couldn't have landed further away, Dani? From here we might actually find him before the end of the week." The blonde is clearly still smarting at the whole situation, but there's no real edge to her sarcasm. In fact, Dani might catch a smirk from Illyana just before she flips up the fur-lined hood of her jacket.

Illyana consults the terminal in her gloved hands, then stows it away in one of her capacious pockets and marches down the ramp. "This way." She declares, her boots crunching through the snow. She'll take the illusion of having some control of her destiny as long as it lasts.

For Dani, she picked a parka that was much more slim-fitted. It becomes apparent as to why, as the dark-haired woman slips the arrow-filled quiver into place. There's a slight shrug to get it completely settled, before her bow is likewise picked up. Now comes the trick of not allowing the string to freeze completely and snap on her.

Illyana's remarks pull an actual grin from the Cheyenne, as she easily retorts back, "Growing soft in your old age, Illy? When we get back home remind me to start scheduling daily calisthenics for you. It'll be like old times."

While Dani is normally the one to take the lead, for this particular mission, she'll follow Illyana's lead. Dani gets the sense that Illyana is walking a tight-rope in some regards and so, for now, Dani doesn't rock that particular dangerous boat.

Once the two are upon terra firma, Dani steps to demoness' side, gaze already scanning the area before them. "Let's be on our toes. It may be frosty, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were concealed traps around here."

This early in the Fall it shouldn’t be this cold, but a long nuclear winter has made usual weather patterns irrelevant. The snow is like five or six feet thick, and many of the old evergreens around the clearing are dead.

Snow is hard, frozen. It is drizzling, but at least it is not radioactive or poisonous. Of course the quinjet had hand-held Geiger counters and NBC gear. Those are pretty standard nowadays.
The path to the valley is a bit boring but the valley itself is not. Because it is obvious Piotr was here.

He has sculpted. A lot. The rock and the ice shows the work of an artist. Or maybe a madman. Everywhere there are half-formed humanoid shapes in twisted positions that speak only of pain and anguish. It is like watching Picasso’s Gernica multiplied a thousand times.

There's a snort from deep inside Illyana's hood that answers Dani's threat. "Hey, YOU chose to get a job where you have to get up early and punish your body. Don't be jealous just because I still get to sleep in and eat junk food." Despite the sniffy tone of Illyana's response, there's just the hint that the banter has lightened her mood a little…

"If we still have any toes after frostbite sets in."

…but only a little.

Illyana trudges in as straight a path as possible toward the valley, hands stuffed in her pockets, only occasionally checking they're still moving in the right direction. As they descend into the valley, that changes a bit. Illyana's hooded head starts to turn, taking in the carvings, and when a particularly large and twisted composition appears, she angles off the path completely, scrambling over to it and pushing back her hood, heedless of the drizzle. There's an odd light in her eyes, and a smile that has nothing to do with mirth. She reaches out a hand and trails gloved fingers over the carved stone. "Don't you realise, brother?" She says quietly to herself. "It's inside you now. You won't get it out, not with this."

Illyana looks over her shoulder, still smiling. "We're going the right way." She calls, then moves on with more of a spring in her step now.

"Ha." Is Dani's immediate quiet response, "I am jealous, dammit. I miss chocolate. Beer too." Murmurs the woman, before she adds lastly, with a hint of sarcasm. "I suppose this is where I should tell us both to quiet down. Unseen danger and all of that."

And while it's not quite an order Dani does seem to heed her own advice, as the Cheyenne falls silent the further they move from the quinjet.

Her dark brown eyes are sharp as they shift from left to right, looking for any potential threats. The fact that they haven't come across any (so far) doesn't seem to make her feel /any/ better. In fact, it makes her more tense.

It's only at the first sign of habitation that Moonstar finally reaches for an arrow. Sure, they're supposedly going in to see a friendly, but those sculptures? Something within them sets an unease in Dani's mind and so, she brings one arrow out. It's loosely nocked against her bow, with both bow and arrow pointed toward the ground. For now.

Illyana's meander off path causes Dani to likewise shift toward the twisted sculpture and while she takes in the emotion behind it, she can't quite find the same words as Illyana. Nor the smile. Instead, Dani just gives Illyana a look. It also doesn't escape Dani's notice the spring that's now suddenly in the other woman's step. "Good to know." Is all Dani will now offer, as she dutifully follows after Illyana.

Obviously Piotr has been here for years. Even for someone with his strength this represents many months of sculpting. And it goes on for almost three miles, until the young women see a large, crude cabin at the side of massive builder the size of a small building. There is even a chimney, although no smoke is showing right now. The area around the cabin has been cleared of trees, and a few more complex sculptures surround the place. As well more than a few shattered ones.

Illyana is no longer trudging, or complaining about how far she's having to walk. Or about being in this world in the first place. Instead, she's moving with purpose, and setting a swift pace for the conditions. Illyana still looks at the sculptures they pass, but doesn't slow down, or take any detours to get a better view. Occasionally she gives a small nod, as if in satisfaction, but that's all.

Illyana's steps only slow when the cabin comes into view, her eyes flicking between the smokeless chimney and the sculptures, and narrowing on the smashed remnants. Coming to a halt, Illyana looks over at Dani. "This must be the place." She says, deadpan, finding an odd sort of humour in the situation. "If he's here… then whatever I do, don't try to stop me. But…" Illyana looks like she's bitten into a rotten fruit as she continues. "If things go south, I can't pull us out." She dislikes admitting that as much as she dislikes the block on her power itself. "Don't get killed, OK?"

Dani keeps pace easily enough with Illyana. She might even occasionally pull slightly ahead every now and then, but mostly she sticks to her friend's side.

It's only at the sight of that cabin, somewhat crudely built, that Dani's pace slows. Her expression turns distant for a minute, as she reaches out otherwordly senses. They brush against the animal life that can be found near; squirrels. Sleeping ones, at that. Useful typically, but perhaps not in this particular moment. Though there is a stray thought from Dani of trying to convince one to go down the chimney for them -

Attention returning to the here and now, the Cheyenne shifts her gaze off of the cabin and to her friend. Another one of those half-smiles tips a corner of her mouth upward, "Must be." Is the follow-up to Illyana's deadpanned announcement, but then the demoness offers those words of warning.

That's enough to cause Dani to frown, but a reluctant nod is given. "I'll follow your lead -" She begins, "- until things go south. Then I got your back. Both of us are getting out of this alive."

And with one last look at Illyana, a promise in that look of hers, Dani moves a step forward.

On a closer glance the cabin is not so crude. But it has been built without tools, and probably without any metal. But the tree trunks are the right size, fitting well against each other. It seems likely one man could be warm enough inside, although all the windows seem covered by furs from the inside, right now. There are some soft sounds coming from inside, stone on wood, perhaps.

Illyana sighs and shakes her head mournfully. "Why do I always get stuck with an optimist?" She asks the surrounding landscape, sourly, but then flashes a quick grin towards Dani. It's about as close to a thank you as the Cheyenne is going to get, all the way out here.

Illyana's not slow to follow as Dani takes a step toward the cabin. "After me." She tells Dani as she jogs to catch up, then moves ahead. She looks back over her shoulder with an impish smile. "After all, the me from this world is still an adorable kid. Who knows what the local you has been up to!" Moving up to the door, Illyana gestures for Dani to keep a pace or two back, a thoughtful look on her face, then a devil may care expression replaces it. She opens the door, standing silhouetted in the light from outside, her blonde hair like a halo around her head. "If you were trying to hide." She says, to announce her presence. "The sculptures were a bad idea."

The grin from the blonde demoness earns a return one from Moonstar. Her expression is similarly muted thanks to their circumstances, but it still shows a hint of amusement and understanding.

They've been around this block before. The banter, the humor, the witty rejoinders. It's how the two survived the hallowed halls of the Xavier Institute and the various dangers found with that particular group.

And while Dani Moonstar stays relatively quiet, after Illyana has taken point, that doesn't stop the black-haired woman from murmuring quietly, "I'm probably evil in this timeline. Isn't that how it usually goes? If I recall in the last situation like this I was good, so, this one I'm likely not - I'm probably a serial killer or something." Only the Xavier's can joke about alternate timelines with such ease, truly.

Still, her words fall to the wayside when Illyana opens that door, speaks that greeting and announces their arrival. For Moonstar, the woman continues to keep an arrow nocked upon bow and while the arrowhead is pointed downward, it'll only take a second to bring the weapon upward, the shot fired -

The house is cold inside, but at least there is no drizzle or wind. Solidly built. Rough but functional furniture, but build for giants. And it is a metal giant who is sitting there, scrapping a chunk of wood with a flint chisel.

Colossus stands, close to nine feet of gleaming, scarred steel in tattered clothes and red armor. Far larger than the gentle giant the women would remember. "Who… are… you?" His voice sounds grave, rough from disuse. White eyes narrow as he takes a step forward. "You wear the X… not refugees. Magnus sent you," he decides, anger touching his expression. "Go. Away…" he stands a few feet from Illyana, clenching huge hands into fists. Then his eyes open wide in recognition.

Outside the wind picks up, there is a howling sound.

Illyana's not all that surprised that the interior of the house isn't much more pleasant than the land outside it. After all the self-flagellation by sculpture they've walked past already, Illyana would have been disappointed if the house was warm and homely.

Illyana's eyes adjust quickly to the dimmer light within, because the only thing that she's interested in is reflecting it. Her eyebrows climb a little way toward her bangs as she finds herself looking at the chest of this world's Colossus, but that's the only outward show of surprise she allows as she tilts her head back to look him in the face.

She stands her ground as the hulking steel figure advances on her, not backing down from the narrowed eyes or the clenched fists, instead loosely folding her arms, shifting her weight to one hip, and tilting her head to one side in a silent question. And then waits for Piotr's thought processes to catch up to what's standing in front of him.

Being told to go away just makes her smile. "Not yet." She tells him, in an encouraging tone that's borderline insulting. "There you go." She tells him as the lights finally go on behind his eyes. "You got there in the end."

"I'm the ghost of Christmas yet to come, and I'm here to give you a chance to come home… before it's too late."

She doesn't flinch or look around as the howling picks up from outside. Dani has that handled, she's sure, and what's in here is still dangerous.

Unlike Illyana, Dani stays mostly outside. Mostly. Or rather, she settles herself firmly in the doorway. One foot inside, one foot out. To start her attention stays mostly on the inside of the cabin. To the hulking figure that can be found within. Dani's hands automatically tighten upon bow and arrow when the man rises to his feet and stalks forward.

Her shot, however, isn't pulled or released. Not yet. Instead the dark-haired woman just waits, silently watching the reunion of brother and sister. Of course, that reunion might not go as well as it could, thanks to those last quips of Illyana. From those, the softest of murmurs might be heard from the Cheyenne, "-Illyana-." The demoness' name holds both a note of warning and a sound of disbelief. But, that's it, Dani isn't going to interrupt.

Not yet.

The noise outside causes Moonstar to turn her attention away from the two inside. Shift her gaze outward to the frozen grounds around the cabin. Invisibly now, Dani reaches outward with her empathetic senses, to see what howls. Is it an animal? Is it near? What's it feeling.

Sarcasm from Illyana feels so alien for Colossus he is speechless for a few seconds. The Illyana he knows should be 13 or 14, and she was a sweet, sad girl five years ago, able to speak English with a strong Russian accent. Magneto swore he would keep her safe. This blonde woman doesn't look sweet, or safe. "Bozhe moi.What happened… who are you?" Stammers the giant.

Then the fighting reflexes, dormant after five years in metal form, kick in. <That is not the wind,> he growls in Russian. A massive hand grabs Illyana. "Missile!" He shouts to Dani. Then he tosses Illyana like a doll, through one of the fur-covered windows. Fortunately the brown bear fur is loosely held, so the blonde goes out, hits the hard snow in a furry envelope and goes skidding a dozen yards, more or less protected.

The cabin explodes. But it is so large some of the walls remain standing.

Colossus being a nine foot tall scarred mountain of metal is fairly alien to Illyana, but it's not having the same effect on her. Instead, it's reminding her that this isn't her Piotr, this is a reflection in a broken mirror that killed his Katya. It helps her not feel so bad about what she's going to do with him.

She's a little surprised that it bothers her at all, or that Dani's quiet word from behind her makes it worse, but she's not sure whether to feel dismayed or relieved about that.

"Don't you recognise me, big brother?" Illyana says, taking a step into the house. Within arm's reach now. "I'm Illyana." She smiles. And that's all she has time for, before a steel hand plucks her up and flings her through a window.

Illyana smacks into the fur and cannons through it, taking it with her on her unexpected flight, but her shock doesn't last long. As soon as she hits the icy ground, despite the breath almost being knocked from her body, she's scrabbling with gloved fingers to arrest her slide. She's just got one knee under her when the cabin ceases to exist.

Illyana gets a suddenly silver-armoured arm up to shield her face, but she's still thrown backwards by the blast. Again, she goes rolling over and over and if her adrenaline wasn't flowing before, it is now. As soon as she's mostly sure she's the right way up, she sucks in a breath and yells "DANI!" At the top of her lungs.

She doesn't call for Piotr. If the missile had been powerful enough to kill him in his armoured form, she'd be dead. Dani's another matter.

Her senses only encounter those hungry squirrels so, it's definitely not an animal.

It's only as the sound comes closer that realization finally dawns upon the woman. Already Dani is moving, her voice suddenly breaking into the siblings reunion, "INCOMING!" Both her shout and Piotr's are similarly timed; only seconds apart. Hopefully it'll be enough forewarning for everyone to move.

While Dani isn't necessarily thrown away from the cabin (like Illyana), the black-haired woman is moving. She's literally throwing herself away, her body tucked tight as she rolls - her bow is lost with that maneuver, though her quiver isn't. Nor the arrows. Something within them must hold those tight.

Almost, Dani thinks 'made it', but before those words can even form the cabin explodes and the Cheyenne finds her world filled with shrapnel, thankfully, wooden shrapnel versus metal. Those jagged pieces of walls, roof and floor rain down upon her. It's enough to obscure her body for several seconds - seconds that allow Illyana to yell her name.

The calling of her name causes a pile of wood to shift and stir and after a heartbeat Dani finally breaks through that prison. Her coat is torn, several cuts upon her face bleed, and her eyes look a little wild. "Illyana!" She shouts, even though she knows the other woman is alive. It's a quick scramble from the rest of the wood pile, as Dani struggles to her feet, her dark-brown eyes searching for the blonde. When she finds Illyana relief is felt by the Cheyenne.

That was an impact, not really an explosion. But the impact at supersonic speed was bad enough. Relatively bad.

Colossus? He merely fell flat on his ass, but that is because the wooden floor was shattered so hard. He stands up in the middle of a cloud of dust, looking around and finding Illyana is still moving. Relief, but it is short.

"Rasputin!" Calls the voice. Sneering, cruel. Familiar for Dani and Illyana, as from the remains of the cabin two figures step forward. He is tall, strong, wearing a dark blue Kevlar outfit, a black tattoo shading his eyes like a mask. "You coward, it has taken us weeks to track you down to your hideout," adds Samuel Guthrie, Cannonball. Prelate of Apocalypse. Little of his lazy accent remains in his voice.

"My dear teacher," adds the slender blonde at Sam's side. "Who abandoned me to die in the Portland Core," she spits. "The blood of my friends is in your hand, teach. Time to pay for it!"

Colossus, who was ready to fight at seeing Cannonball, deflates visibly at seeing Paige, and takes a step back.

Illyana's ears are still ringing from the impact from the missile's impact for a few seconds, so when she hears someone shout her name it's oddly muffled - but hear it she does, halfway back to her feet, and she sags to her knees in momentary relief. "Still alive!" She calls back to Dani. "Still hate this place!" She adds as she completes her climb back to a standing position.

She's a bit rumpled, her usually immaculate hair a bit disarrayed, and she's still sporting shining silver armour over one side of her body and arm. And then she sees who's responsible for her current state and grimaces. Just when she thought this place couldn't get any worse. "You were right, Dani." She says to herself under her breath. "You were DEFINITELY evil here."

Illyana risks a glance away from the newcomers, toward Piotr, just as he… wilts? Illyana mutters a curse in Russian under her breath, then raises her voice. "Hey, Sam!" She yells. "Love the tat. You look like a Mad Max extra!" She raised a hand, casually, lazily… and with a glow of eldritch light, a bolt of arcane force streaks toward… Paige. "Ooops." She adds, cheerfully.

Still hate this place. Isn't that the truth.

Dani is right there with Illyana, but before any retort of agreement can leave her lips, the blonde duo appear.

The familiar figures of Sam is seen and a grimace bends Dani's mouth downward. That expression, however, doesn't stop Moonstar from reacting. Still, Illyana's remark about their morality isn't lost on her, "Right, clearly we all went down the wrong path here." And while those words are said, Dani raises her hands upward and while her physical bow is lost, that doesn't stop a new one from taking its place. The bow is clearly made of psychic energy, a dark pink nearly magenta in color, and as soon as that weapon is formed in her hand, an arrow appears.

Again, psychic in nature. The arrow is primed to knock a person out, with their deepest fear.

With quick and efficient movements, Moonstar pulls the arrow back and releases it. There is no twang, or thwip from bow string, or arrow, instead the psychic construct hurtles swiftly through the air, aimed straight at Sam's chest.

As Colossus retreats, Husk pounces. She rips her skin, revealing glowing green acid underneath and slams on the giant Russian. The acid reacts violently with his metal skin, making Piotr scream in pain.

Then Illyana's bolt hits the shapeshifter blonde, pushing her away. Cannonball turns to Illyana, "X-Men? What are you babbling about turncoat fool?" Then to Dani. "Moonstar? The Dark Riders are dead, what the he…" he raises his forcefield, but the arrow goes through and hits his chest. He falls down, as the ghostly Mr. Sinister hovers over him, coldly informing him he is too weak still and needs more 'improvements'.

Meanwhile Paige rebuilds herself, momentarily stunned. She is muttering something to wrist device, though. Reinforcements.

From the air, a winged man in blue armor dives in. One could confuse him with Archangel, but his wings are red, he carries a woman in his arms. He drops the woman.

Who lands on the ground, eighteen feel tall. Also blonde, harder facial features than Paige. Dani and Illyana might recognize her. But Elizabeth Guthrie had no super-powers back home. Here she is a giant amazon. "Die," she screams, trying to crush Dani with a metal club the size of a small tree.

Illyana smiles a nasty smile as her arcane bolt blasts Paige away from Colossus. The smile curdles a bit when she sees it's not enough to put the younger Guthrie down for the count. If she survives this side trip, she really needs to put more effort into her magical studies.

At Cannonball's words, Illyana turns her head toward him with an expression that suggests he's beneath her notice. "No sense of humor, either. Has this world got ANYTHING going for it?" She asks, her tone suggesting she's well aware the answer is 'no'. Dani's arrow skewering Sam does make her grin. She looks over to Dani, giving her a thumbs up, then sees what Paige is up to.

Illyana looks over to Dani, giving her a thumbs up, and sees what Paige is up to. "You really should know when you're beaten." Illyana draws. "Then things like this wouldn't happen." She raises her arms, conjuring a spell of energy manipulation around Paige's position. The snow and ice around her flashes to water and steam. If she's still acid-girl, she's about to be diluted. Illyana watches with interest, curious whether it'll work…

…and then there are more Guthries, including one that's eighteen feet tall. "Hells, they're like rabbits." Illyana complains, then yells over to Colossus, "I hope you like large women, brother, or we're probably all dead."

Sam recognizes her. Acts like he knows her - the mention of Dark Riders earns a furrowing of Dani's brow, but that's about it.

There's too much happening to further contemplate what it all means, but clearly, this version of her isn't quite so nice.

Automatically, Dani looks for Illyana, her gaze sharp as she spies that thumbs up from the other woman. There's a quick shake of her head, but no reprimand comes from the Cheyenne. The two women have far too much history with one another, for Moonstar to offer any type of rebuke for the demoness' playful side. To others it may not seem like Illyana is focused, but Dani knows differently.

Even as Illyana moves to neutralize Paige, Dani is likewise turning her attention back to the battle-at-hand. That shimmering bow of hers is brought up, a second psychic arrow already formed, and while she was just about to aim for the winged man, her movements pause. "Are you kidding me?" Snarls Dani, at the sight of that ever-so-large woman and the club she wields. The scream of die is heard and the sight of the club coming down for her is seen, and so, Dani moves again.

Literally, Dani throws herself out of the way of the strike. The tumble that results, while looking a little crazed, is under complete control. As such, when the tumble ends Dani will find herself back upon her feet. As soon as she's back upon her feet, the black-haired woman lashes out with her powers at Elizabeth Guthrie.

Again, it's about fear. Fear seems to always incapacitate far faster than greatest joy.

Size is not a defense for a psychic arrow, and Elizabeth's size actually makes her more vulnerable, so when she is hit she screams, stepping back and shrinking to about six feet tall, trying to bat a way a huge swarm of illusory bees.

Paige attacks Colossus again, screaming in rage. "Jono died in front of me, I will KILL YOU!!" Not even paying attention to Illyana, which is a mistake when the energy spell hits the area around her, washing her with water and steam. Painful, she slows down, ducks and rolls on the snow. And so Piotr, steel blackened, manages to back down to one of the standing walls, grabs it and drops it whole into Paige. "I am sorry…" he mutters. Paige acid form eats through the thick trunks slowly, as she tries to shift shapes to something sturdier and metallic, keeping only an arm as acid. "Murderer! You saw us! You fled!"

That girl is one angry blonde.

Somewhere behind her Sam is still screaming.

And up there, Icarus is diving towards Dani, his flight erratic, hard to hit.

Illyana's lip curls when her second effort to put Paige down for the count also falls short. Considering her success so far she should probably feel grateful that the Guthrie clan are concentrating on Dani and Piotr rather than her, but she's just… not.
In fact, she's not sure whether she's more angry that she's not being taken seriously, or that her opponents are probably right to ignore her. She begins to jog toward where Piotr has finally engaged Paige, but a flash of movement from above has her looking up. And then she smiles spitefully.

A winged Guthrie, focusing on Dani, as he probably should. Ignoring her, as he probably should. High enough above the ground that encountering it will probably hurt more than getting hit by one of her arcane bolts, too. Illyana mutters under her breath, readying a spell, waiting until he commits to his attack on Dani - then lets loose with another bolt of magical force.

The giant goes down. Or, at the very least, she shrinks. That's fine. All that matters is the fact that they're winning - yes, winning.

Or so it looks like for now.

It's only with another sweeping look outward that Moonstar catches sight of the blackened Piotr, the screaming Paige, and finally Illyana. Much like the blonde, Dani's gaze trends upward, having not forgotten the winged enemy above. Seeing him, Moonstar once again pulls forth a psionic based arrow. It flames to life within that energy-based bow and for a handful of seconds, Moonstar tries to get a bead on him. His flight, however, is far too zig-zagy. Too many jinxs and jukes for her to get a proper shot readied. Not that it really matters in the long run. Not when Dani can reach out with just her mind alone -

As such, just as Illyana releases that eldritch bolt of hers, Dani likewise reaches out with her mind to the bright falling star that is Icarus. Her attempt is to now pull all of the young man's personal demons to the forefront of his mind.

Joshua Guthrie is very hard to hit in the air, his metal wings give him supernatural agility, and once he is close enough, the wings spread to unreleased a swarm of sharp metal feathers on Dani. But it is a few seconds too late, as the dark-haired girl slips into his mind without using an arrow, evoking his greatest fear…

Being beaten up by his older siblings, apparently. But the illusion lasts only a few instants, as he becomes still and Illyana's force bolt knocks him off the air, unconscious, he crashes against frozen trees twenty yards from Dani.

That leaves only Paige, although Cannonball is starting to recover. Hulks is now sleek, silver metal. Except her right arm that is still greenish acid. Piotr is trying to keep her at bay with a large trunk. Trying to reason with her. It is not working.

Illyana sees the wings open, knows what's about to happen - and convulsively clenches her silver-sheathed fist as her mystic bolt hammers Josh before he can strike. Illyana had two choices, press home her attack, or try to shield Dani. She was never in any doubt that she made the right decision.

As if. She covers her sigh of relief by tracking Josh with her eyes until he smacks into the tree. "Finally." Illyana calls over to Dani. "One that's going to STAY down." Illyana's moving again, not toward Paige this time. "Glad you didn't get skewered." She calls over to Dani as she leans down without breaking stride to pick up a length of wood, thrown clear from the ruins of Piotr's cabin. She gives it a couple of practice swings as she walks, steps quickening now, until she comes up behind Sam, where he's trying to shake off the effects of Dani's arrow…

…and whacks him over the head with her makeshift club. "Are we done yet?" She calls out to the others.

Those wings of Icarus'. It's enough that Dani's eyes widen and she prepares to spring away, again. Not that she could evade every single blade, but possibly the majority?

Thankfully, in this instance, that readied tumble isn't needed. Not when Illyana's bolt hits home and sends the man hurlting away, into those trees. There might be an echo of relief from Dani, even as her gaze drags over to Illyana, especially when the other woman speaks. This time Dani allows the amusement she's feeling to show. It's a quirk of her mouth upward, as the Cheyenne adds, "Me too, but let's stay on our toes! We're not out of the woods yet." Comes her next words, as Dani likewise turns around and looks back at Paige, Sam and Piotr.

Seeing Illyana head for Sam, Moonstar focuses upon Paige and Piotr. Once more, an arrow is called forth and Dani, already beginning to move, starts to run towards the silvered man and woman. Possibly she might hear what Piotr is saying, those reassurances, and the fact that Paige isn't handling them well. Possibly Dani understands this, possibly it makes her feel sad, but in the end all those potential thoughts and emotions are simply ignored and left unspoken. Instead, the black-haired woman releases that psionic arrow upon Paige when Dani has even the slightest of opportunity.

Locked into a dark cell, beaten within an inch of her life, abandoned and starving. That was Paige worst fear when the arrow hits her. And Dani has the impression that is exactly what happened to her recently.

All the Guthries are down but Elizabeth, who is still running away chased by a swarm of killer bees. She will be out of Dani's range soon. And Piotr falls down to his knees, looking aghast. The burns on his metal skin would make a really bad idea to return to human right now. But then again, it looks as if it has been a long, long time since he did it.

Illyana looks down at the fallen form of Sam Guthrie at her feet, a calculating look in her eyes. After a moment, however, she decides he's likely to stay unconscious without a second whack over the head, and tosses her stick to one side. "You deserved it for the tattoo if nothing else." She tells his unconscious body, then turns smartly around and walks briskly over to join Dani and Piotr.

Seeing that Paige is (finally!) down, Illyana comes up beside Dani first. "Glad you were here, Dani." Illyana tells her, a little disgruntled that her back had needed watching THAT much, but hopefully Dani will forgive her. "Keep a look out for Ginormica, OK? I need to do something."

Illyana walks over to where Piotr kneels, and reaches out a hand to his shoulder. Pristine, shining silver metal against scarred steel for a second or two, and then Illyana's armour melts away. "It's time to stand up, brother. You've been on your knees too long." She tells him, simply.

Paige goes down, Sam is down, and while the last Guthrie is still running around, Dani feels fairly confident the threat is now neutralized.

As such, with a thought, the bow of energy is dismissed. Then her attention shifts to Illyana as the blonde approaches. "Hey, teamwork." States the black-haired woman, even as she reaches to give Illyana's arm a brief squeeze. "You'd have done the same for me. All good." The mention of Ginormica earns another amused look from Dani, even as she nods in understanding, especially as Illyana says those next words. She has something she needs to do. "No problem. Go talk to him. I got your back." Are the Cheyenne's final words to the demoness, before Dani's attention shifts away.

Now, it's Dani's turn to play look-out. She'll likewise pretend she can't hear the possibly private conversation behind her. For weaponry, instead of psionic bow and arrow, Moonstar brings forth a new construct; a shining spear. She is guardian here. No one shall pass.

Piotr looks at Illyana, confusion in his metal eyes. "I-I don't understand. How long have I been here? More than ten years?" He looks at his hands, and finally realizes he is injured. So he stands, reaching for chunks of iced snow to clean the acid burns. "We should…" he looks at the fallen mutants. Kill them? He can't. "…leave." He looks at the blonde woman, and waits.

Illyana doesn't look back to Dani once. She has absolute confidence that she'll keep any Guthries who're just too thick to take a hint from interrupting her. Instead, she keeps her eyes on Piotr. Her expression is sympathetic, and there might even be some warmth in her normally icy eyes.

But then again, she's always been good at wearing masks.

"Too long." She repeats herself, speaking quietly, to him alone. "But it doesn't matter any more." As he finally moves to take care of his hurts, Illyana drops her hand from his shoulder and retreats a pace, but keeps her eyes on him as he rises to his feet. "That's right, brother. It's time to go home." She reaches out and takes his arm, her hand ludicrously small, and gives it a tug. He'll only move if he wants to, but if he'll allow it, she'll begin leading him back to the Quinjet.

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