All For Transparency!

November 24, 2017:

GMs: Emma Frost, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. In the wake of the gala attack weeks ago, someone has (with suspicious expedience) gotten together the permits required for a formal protest. On the agenda? Changing hearts and minds to embrace a message of inclusion and transparency. Of course, we're talking about the transparency that can only come of required registration for the powered community.

Because required registration of a minority always breeds a spirit of inclusion, right?

A Public Park Fairly Near the Stark Expo - NYC

A pro-registration rally in NYC.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's not a very large park. In fact, it's actually so small that they didn't even bother naming the thing. Once upon a time, there was an apartment building that sat on top of it, although that's long gone.

The area is closed in on three sides by an eight foot wrought iron fence, and the last side is halfway enclosed until a large gaping hole appears where once there was a fancy set of gates.

There's a very small playground on one side, and near it is an even smaller gazebo. And that gazebo has become a stage of sorts for an older woman with salt and pepper hair, yoga pants, well-worn but mostly clean sneakers, and a pale yellow sweatshirt, a megaphone, and a homemade sandwich board emblazoned on both sides with the words SAFETY FOR KIDS on one side and KNOW WHO'S A THREAT on the other. On her shirt, barely visible under the sign, is a nametag that cheerfully reads: Hi! My Name is Cheryl.

She's presently rattling on about how everyone's cool with gun detectors in schools, for those who are interested. For those interested, her rhetoric is written in large circles to repeat through, so she also spoke about it an hour ago. And an hour before that.

And as she talks, there are others who are spilling out onto the sidewalks like ants from a colony, armed with the dreaded buckslip handout. The top of the handout? Yeah, it's not much better. It lists the details of the PATRIOT Act on one side, and proposed set of protections on the other from the threats presented by powered individuals "who can hide in plain sight and plot acts of domestic terrorism with impunity." They're armed with clipboards, collecting signatures and email addresses for people who want to stay up to date or get more involved.

In front of the gazebo, a number of people have gathered up to start listening.

Not far away, there seems to be a couple of cops in their thick cold-weather jackets, camped on a bench, cautiously watching all of this over coffee to stave off the winter chill.

*

Remy LeBeau is not really a political fellow.

He has, to date, steered clear of any and all 'movements.' He got a pitch, he wasn't convinced. The biggest divides in his life to date have never really been about mutant versus human, meta versus— what? Genetic-o-typical? The divides were older, lines of family and guild, and various sorts congregated there to conduct a strange war under the nose of the tourists and the natives both of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. A Cold War, often, peppered with heists and jobs and bonds of family loyalty, expectations he couldn't really meet and prophecies he couldn't really fulfill.

But it's hard to miss any of this, hard not to at least stop and give a thought to it. So a dangerous mutant lounges on the outskirts of the park even now, wearing sunglasses to conceal his bright red eyes, arms draped over the fence, leaning calm as you please, just listening, evaluating, thinking. It's hard to tell what he's thinking; the look on his face is decidedly neutral. His long black duster doesn't really distinguish him from anyone else in the city, nor the royal blue pressed collared shirt, black vest, or black slacks beneath. Just another fellow, stopping to listen to a woman in Yoga pants try to save the world. Or perhaps, just her world. The one where she feels a little bit more significant, the one where she feels a little bit more important, the one where she has a little more control.

*

Lorna really should have known there was an anti-mutant rally going on. She'd spent so much time researching and looking into each little riot that had broken out throughout the states. She'd listened to hours of bigoted news casters, dreading the next out break of violence and discrimination. But there was only so much one could do without a computer herself, much less a smart phone. (They tended to get fried in her possession after a while)

Still, walking down the street, along with Marcos she slowed her step at the sight of the gathering up ahead. The two had just gotten off a detective job a few streets over and were headed to a diner that was supposed to be pretty decent down the block.

She didn't look like a mutant, just another punk rock teenager with problems. Her hair was an electric green in tangles, a leather jacket studde with metal, cheap layers of bracelets and necklaces of chains hung all over her. Steel toed boots and ripped jeans completed the look.

She was just as likely to be stopped for being a menace to society for her choice in music as much as she was for being a mutant in public. So long that is, as she didn't say anything. But as some woman with a clip board started over to her she scowled, her lips curling back in a silent snarl.

The glare alone seemed to steer the would be PTA mom with a clipboard away from her at least.

*

Nate is not in the park proper. Instead he is watching from the rooftop of a nearby building, legs hanging over the edge and a half-empty bottle of tequila at his side.

He heard about this demonstration early in the afternoon, from one of his friends in college. Sounded like a Purifier rally or something along the lines. But in truth it is much less virulent… and at the same time less clear-cut. He can't hear fanatical hatred in those words, it is more like deep mistrust and resentment. Maybe. Not enough to trigger his empathic senses.

After a couple years where it looked the people was almost okay with mutants, and they had turned their eyes to watch out for aliens and more interesting stuff, racism is rearing its ugly head again.

He is not really a political fellow. They need Xavier for a pro-mutant rally or something. Nate wants a fight, but there is nothing to fight here. Just stuff to get depressed.

Wait… is he seeing Gambit down there?

*

Marcos was gonna take a -deep- breath when he arrives with Lorna after a particularly……dramatic investigation job. It was resolved surprisingly peacefully, but Marcos has a feeling this present situation won't. Anti-anything rallies tend to make him generally uncomfortable, and this one certainly doesn't fail that certain expectation.

Walking with Lorna, though avoiding hand-holding because that would be such an easy outing for them to be mutants. So, Marcos keeps his hands to himself and in his pant pockets, because if people there found out Lorna and Marcos were mutants….this could go south sooooo fast. But! all in good time.

He's wearing a simple jean jacket, black coal pants, a flannel T-shirt and black tenneshoes. "well…this should be fun."

*

Incoming: Deadpool.

The Merc With A Mouth has decided to invade this park with his presence because there are things going on that he knows nothing about. Things happening that he doesn't give a flying @*#&@ about. Things that are certainly in dire need of his presence, though, because that's exactly what makes Deadpool himself. Well that and the staff here approving the application that this numbnuts at the keyboard typed up and ansi'd up and everything. It was really quite the process. He pats himself on the back about it every time he starts writing a po—

GETTING BACK to more important things like DEADPOOL, the Regeneratin' Degnerate is making the rounds with the crowd of signature collectors. He's dressed in his classic suit of anti-heroic justice, complete with a neon purple vest and a visor that says: 'Finding Francis' across the front of it. He's got an oversized clipboard, like an oversized check from the lottery but a clipboard, with a normal sized sheet of paper on it. He's also carrying one of those huge crayons you could probably get at any novelty store in this city. As he wanders about, looking to see how many signatures he can get on his paper, Deadpool totally (believes he) blends in with the other rally-members.

"Save the Clocktower! Save the Clocktower!" Deadpool gos into one of his pouches and pulls out a tin can and shakes it. Sounds like maybe twenty-cents is inside. "At some point it's gonna' be struck by lightning and send me back to 1955 to kill Francis' parents! AH-NOLD Style!" Deadpool thrusts the coin-collecting can in the face of a random walker of the park.

"SAVE THE CLOCKTOWER!"

*

A quiet place would not do. The man who would meet with Sizani required a crowd, and so a crowd she would give him. The communication from him was brief, to the point: I wish to come home. Here, on the outskirts of nowhere, in a place to small to get lost in and two big to go unnoticed, Sizani did her best to do just that. Her jogging attire made her part of the background, grey on grey that moved to a casual pace. At least until she found who she was looking for. Tall and fit. Casual in a coat a little to big, enough to hide the size of his frame and a weapon he needed to conceal. Here, at the back of the overflow parking for this 'event', there were few people, and Sizani's interception brings her close enough that Abdalla will see her coming.

It gives him pause, to see her here, and not waiting in the crowd. Agreements are always fluid things, and it tears at him to no end in those moments before he decides to step between two vans, where he last saw the woman who would be his salvation.

"You have it?" Sizani's tone is crisp, to the point, and she reaches up to slide a hand along Adalla's cheek, fingers curling at his jacket to draw him closer. A part of the ruse, for any who might be watching. He will not know that she has eyes elsewhere. Mechanical eyes, watching htem both.

"Yes. It is everything you asked for. Kil-"

Abdalla is cut off before he can finish, her gaze ticking up from the flash drive she is offered. "Do not speak his name."

It does not register at first. Confusion, a shift of pressure that makes it hard to breath, a cut so sharp, so deep, that i barely makes a sound sliding past the material of Abdalla's jacket, through bone and into his lung, to keep him from crying out. His eyes go wide, a gloved hand presses to his mouth. "Shhhhh. It is mercy still, faster than you deserve."

Her eyes remain on his the whole time, as the life begins to give way, as Abdalla understands the uncertainty of these, his last moments. Only then does she lean close, whispering in his ear before letting go, his stagger completing the cut and spilling his guts to the ground in a steaming pile.

"Wakanda forever."

Her motion is slower, as she leaves, shedding her top to reveal her 'Safety First' shirt beneath, moving for the crowd that will be her cover, her exit.

*

The mom spurned by Lorna doesn't seem to take the rejection personally. She's been an activist for enough causes to know better. She's already on to a guy that is walking behind Lorna who looks like a more fertile target. That is, until she spies Deadpool. She furrows her brow and starts in his direction. "This really isn't the venue for a street performance," she tells him brusquely.

Another mom in a puffed up jacket in bright pink and with a purple clipboard is on a collision course for Remy. Need more names…

Meanwhile, the shortened days are making their presence known as street lamps begin to come on. The park is rapidly becoming a tangle of shadows beneath their bright cast, and the gazebo is very well lit as a few volunteers start cueing up a pair of small spotlights. It casts Cheryl - who doesn't appear to be showing any signs of stopping her tirade - in an ominous 'scary campfire stories' sort of light as she continues, unaware that her rally now has a body count.

"We restrict handguns in the City… but we've got people running around with the power to level buildings. We're supposed to know where the weapons are… Who has them. But who is keeping track of these individuals and their so-called powers? They can cross city lines without any of us knowing. They can cross state lines without any of us knowing. Some of them can fly and some of them can just appear wherever they want. And we have no idea if they want to help or hurt us or families until they're in the middle of it! Those so-called Inhumans. The mutants. The aliens. How many people are in our communities that could level them just because they had a bad day? Because they get mad when someone litters on their property or breaks into their car?"

*

Lorna didn't seem to lessen her glare, her hands curling into fists inside her jacket pockets as she took a step back and bumped casually into Marcos. It was so hard to not reach out a hand for his. To not seek that comfort that he always offered her. But she knew that to do so would incite attention, and she really didn't want to deal with a mob of angry, scared humans coming after her. Low profile meant not confronting the bigots and idiots of the world when they'd assembled in mass.

She exhaled a breath, struggling to keep her emotions which had been on edge for days in check.

"C'mon Marcos, we… we should get to the diner." She murmured. Her voice trembled, but it wasn't from fear. It was rage. The blind sort of rage that left others breathless and stole logical thought from most.

She tried to keep in mind those calming exercises that she'd been taught in high school.

One breath in. Hold for ten seconds. Exhale.. 1.. 2..3…4..

*

Remy slowly pushes his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose to make absolutely sure his eyes are concealed as the Mom with the puffed up jacket approaches. He almost feels bad for her. She's just a Mom. She's just scared. He doesn't see someone malicious. He sees someone afraid.

So he gives her his most charming smile, and murmurs, "Salut, bele femme," winking at her even as he waves her and her clipboard away. "I'm just here to listen," he adds, almost conspiratorially, maybe playing up his accent just a hair more than is strictly necessary. "Don't even live here," he adds, grinning sheepishly, as if so embarrassed to be caught out as a tourist.

Hopefully his ability to make most people believe most things is going to hold. He doesn't really want to get into a confrontation, but he's sure as Hell not picking up that pen. He spreads his hands a little, both to convey just how very harmless he is and just how very—not gonna sign that thing—he is.

*

Marcos listens to the woman speaking and he appears to just -frown- at her words, raging probably reasonably at Inhumans, mutants, aliens, anyone who's just a little different than somebody else. The discrimination has made him quite disgusted with her argument…but in some ways, she was right…and that pissed him off.

Deadpool's the next person to get his attention…because why is a man wearing a red and black suit shouting and spurring on about saving the clock tower? Marcos doesn't presently have a response for him yet….weird.

regardless, he turns to look at Lorna giving a light nod. "Come on, let's get going before this boils down…" and he leads the way.

*

Deadpool stops in the middle of trying to get some money from some random when he's accosted in the face by a Mother. "Whoa, slow down there, Daenerys. I'm all for some street performance but I didn't pack my boombox. Maybe it's in my other Superman Undies. But! For a shiny nickel, I'll let you sign my petition to rid the world as we know it of one of the greatest threats known to mankind in the history of greatest threats known to mankind."

This is where the dramatic pause goes. Give the camera time to zoom in. There we go.

"Teddy Ruxpin."

Deadpool completely shudders as he says that name and almost drops his giant clipboard and giant crayon.

"He's a demon, I tell ya'! A DEMON!" Deadpool grabs hold of the Mother of Annoyingness and shakes her like a saltshaker.

"SOYLENT BLUE IS MADE OF SMURFS! SMUUUUUURRRRRFS!"

In a moment, though, Deadpool lets her go and turns around to stand up nice and calm. "Annnnd scene." Deadpool grins beneath that mask, which moves anyway because the CGI in text is f-ing AMAZING and then he skips off towards the next person not on his list to harrass!

Insert Name Here: _.

*

The walk is careful, practiced, she'd been here before. Walked this escape twice after this event was posted all over. Sizani was certain it would be perfect, and it almost was. But there really was no accounting for the creature known as Deadpool. It gives her pause, to see someone dressed as he is, and yet not engaging in the activities of this crowd. A clocktower? Well. Her King did so wish for her people to engage with the world at large, and saving this clocktower seems like a most excellent cause.

And now, what is this? Another performance of some kind?

Deadpool will find his tin get a little heavier as a quarter is dunked inside, her smile a brief thing as she slips past the absurd man, certain that he is, perhaps, the best bit of cover to exist on this planet.

*

Nate peers from his perch. But light is leaving and he is too high. So with a sigh he hops off his rooftop and lets gravity do the rest, slowing down with telekinesis at the last moment, and making sure no one sees him falling with a little telepathic push.

Once on the ground he adjusts his clothes. Just black jeans and a leather-seeming jacket over a long-sleeved grey top. No suspicious X symbols anywhere.

Only then he marches into the park. He is looking for the Cajun. But he lost him in the crowd. He stumbles upon Lorna and Marcos before. "Well… damn. Weird place for you to hang out," he comments as greeting. "What are you up to?"

*

"Oh, that's okay!" Remy's conversational partner wears a bright smile. Her hand lifts up to adjust the headband ear warmers she's got pulled on over her brown hair, and then she goes back to hugging her clipboard. "This isn't, like, a petition or anything. Though, Cheryl set one up online. It's us just trying to get people talking about how we can make stuff safer. If you're from out of state, I bet there's something you could do locally! It would be great to see folks really working together on this, don't you think?"

And then there's the mom in front of Deadpool. Who is shaken for the sin of daring to talk to him. She opens her eyes wide as she's shaken and then she pulls out the dreaded 'Mom Voice.' "Young man," she starts loudly as she collects herself and then starts after him, drawing the attention of one of those off-duty officers by way of a slow tilt of the man's head as he tries to get a good look around an enormous tree's trunk. "I think you'd better go." And a finger points at Sizani. "And you really shouldn't encourage him! The man needs to find a real job."

And Cheryl, meanwhile, continues on: "It's time to start thinking of all of the people in our lives who need for us to know! Our kids. Our parents, grandparents! You have to sign a waiver when you move into a house that could have asbestos or lead paint… but there's nothing for when you're moving into a house next door to someone who could poison your water by touching it. We have to address these threats now. The time is over for us to just let them regulate themselves…"

*

Lorna stared at the chaos and nonsense that was Deadpool for all of a minute before she wrote him off. Her attention focusing on the woman with the microphone and well. If she stared a little too long and messed with just how well the amplifcation on the thing was supposed to work, it wasn't her fault. She was emotional these days and this was just pissing her off.

Of course, when she went to leave, following Marcos' comment with a nod, that's when she spotted Nate. She got all of five steps before she came to a halt again before the young man.

"Yeah? Same to you. We just got off a job and are trying to get to the diner down the road for some food. But you know, some people can't stay off the freaking side walk and just let people get on their way." She grumbled.

*

Remy LeBeau's smile might just turn a little strained. But his voice remains smooth, laid back.

"Weh, I'll get right on that, me," he replies, and if there's an ironic tinge to his words that he can't quite stop, well, he at least has an exit strategy planned.

He fishes out his phone. "Gotta take this," he says, turning to try to lose her in the crowd. It's probably past time for him to get off this fence anyway. This is no kind of place for a smart man to be, not by a long shot. All it takes is for someone to knock his sunglasses off or askew for some of these ladies to start losing their mind. He makes a show of talking into his phone for quite some time though, rattling off words in Cajun French.

Sure, they're just the lyrics to Laches Pas La Patate, but he sincerely doubts anyone here knows that. And he delivers it all with a terribly straight face, just as if he is just right in the middle of something just really pressing.

*

Marcos just nodded to Nate "was gonna ask you that same thing man. We're just going on a date to get some food….ran into this rabble on the way." He gestures about to the crowd. "World's just gone crazy…living the same history over and over again. Damn ridiculous." He seems genuinely displeased with the happenings of the day. Then Deadpool happens and Marcos just kinda ignores him….

Crazy. Because smurfs. Regardless, Marcos turns to Nate to speak with him more. His attention returns to Lorna at his side, giving her a small nod. "It's just not a good time….maybe we can move two steps without running into one of these rallies." A deep sigh then

Though his eyes do fall on Sizani…a small brow raised at her in suspicion….

*

Deadpool stops in the middle of his stomping around when he achieves an actual payment. He raises the can into the air and makes the Tri-Force sound as horribly as possible. "YATTAAAAAAA!"

Deadpool's Inventory Updates: +1 Quarter

"And hark, with this monetary bonus, the Dark Knightlight, Deadpool, shall fund his search for the man that scarred his face… and his heart. He will search high and low to bring this vile individual to a Taylor Swift concert and show him the TRUE meaning of the word pain. Unlike if I was gonna' take him to a Beyonce concert which would be totally awesome and oh my god I wonder if Beyonce's going to be here!"

Deadpool claps his hands together, forgetting all about his giant crayon and clipboard, tossing them aside. Somehow he blows a whistle that's hanging around his neck, which wasn't there before, and he yells, "FORMATION, LADIES!"

Oh god. No. NO NO NO!

Deadpool is Lemonading. "Boy, Bye!"

*

"I came here to listen," replies Nate. Yes, on purpose. "I thought this was some kind of Friends of Humanity bullshit. But these guys have… eh, just grassroots distrust and sub-urban bigotry. They are not even bringing religion to the equation." He smirks, unamused.

"Yeah, lets go get some dinner." He agrees, "or rather, you go. I am not going to be the third wheel. I just stay a little longer… I think I saw something I knew a few years back and I am going to try to find him."

*

In her haste to get away from The Walking Distraction, Sizani will have to adjust her plan. She's now committed to another way out, catching a gaze cast her way and dropping her own to bring Sanura to bear on the one watching. From afar, her companion watches Marcos for a brief moment, relaying information.

It is distracting, and sometimes a moment is all that is required to ruin everything.

Not for her, but someone else.

She does not see Remy coming, hitting him from the side where his phone is raised, hard enough to dislodge precious sunglasses and cause them to tumble…

…right into her waiting hand.

Sizani stares into strange eyes then, and despite her 'Safety First' attire there is no scream, no exclamation. Only a slow lift of her hand, an offer to return his property. It will be the second secret she has shared today, while looking a man in the eyes.

*

There is no warning — none that can be reacted to. There never is with him. There's only the distant crack of the sound barrier being broken, the roar of air being torn apart in a high wind, and then the sudden appearance of a familiar young man atop the gazebo from where this 'Cheryl' declaims.

He resolves back into mundane sight in a low crouch, though he straightens swiftly with a contemptuous lift of his silver head. His blue eyes cross the crowd, the fading light of sunset throwing his profile into sharp relief. The resemblance to Magneto is unmistakable and striking. Or at least — Magneto, if time were rewound to make him a young man again.

"Calling us weapons," Pietro Maximoff observes. "That's funny.

"How many of us," he wonders on, "have been killed by you and your kind in surprise, without warning, without the protection of laws and due process and basic rights which you insist on keeping for yourselves? We've died to your guns. To your bombs. To your unsanctioned experiments in black sites. All of you are threats to us."

His head tilts, his blue eyes cold. "Maybe it should be all of you that get registered."

*

Neither was she there a moment ago, her arrival just as instantaneous as her twin brother — no doubt also due to his unnatural speed.

At the other side of the gathering, Wanda Maximoff stands quietly, fiercely, arranged in just a way to deliberately place all those assembled on either sides of the twins: like getting in between a pair of scissors.

As Pietro's voice calls over everyone, loud and sudden and furious, his sister holds a deathly silence, dressed in blacks and reds, her face empty — but her eyes watchful and blade-sharp.

Her eyes are on that woman, Cheryl. Red light flares through Wanda's fingers, twitching and curling, shaping a gesture she couples with silent words spoken under her breath, sotto voce. Her blue eyes shade scarlet.

Pietro tells the humans here perhaps /they/ should be registered, and Wanda whispers that same compulsion into Cheryl's mind: stop everything she is doing, take her pen, and carve a single word into the flesh of her own face:

BIGOT.

*

Nate looks vaguely startled when Pietro makes his appearance and says just what he was thinking. Uh, right. No, Pietro is right. But no, he is not doing anything useful. "For fucks sake," mutters the telepath.

"Not a god place to start a debate." He comments to Lorna. "Your brother is going to get us a riot and I have no patience for this shit anymore. See you guys back in the school." He heads out.

*

Cheryl stares at the man across from her for a moment. It isn't a long moment. It's brief as she slowly puts the thought of 'he looks familiar' to the fuzzy and shaky videos that were all over the news after the gala event.

That's on her very own website as a cited example of precisely WHY registration is important.

She screams. And she points. "THAT'S HIM!" she shrieks through the megaphone, grabbing the attention of the two off-duty cops across the park on their bench. "Oh, my God," she gasps a moment later. Because… that's him. That's him, and… and… And she sets down the megaphone. Then that woman with her salt and pepper hair reaches over calmly to get the pen off one of the clipboards on the gazebo bench and a compact with a mirror out of her purse, uncaps the ballpoint, and begins writing on her face. Hard. With jagged, scratching movements. It doesn't cut into the flesh immediately, but with her fervor for the task, it's only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, the crowd that was listening to Cheryl's points? The suddenness of Quicksilver's arrival has them whispering amongst themselves, with the notes of anxiety woven through the pitch. But then, at Cheryl's announcement? They start running for the open side of the park, to get clear of the dude that killed and maimed so many just a few weeks ago.

The other moms outside the fence are rendered motionless, mouths agape in horror until one finally starts running towards her friend. "Cheryl! STOP! What are you doing?"

*

Lorna would've missed Pietro's arrival onto the scene. She was too irritated and too annoyed—but Nate was aware of him. His words trailing as Nate left and gave Lorna just that split second head start to find where he was before the screaming started. She fought against the streaming crowd, pushing her way through it and shoving back with a magnetic pulse around her, pushing back on bits of metal on their jeans and belts and other bits of metal on their clothes. Pushing them back gently enough so that she wasn't going to be trampled going against the crowd.

As the woman starts to gouge her face? She throws out a hand, pulling hard on the pen toward herself.

"That's enough." She shouted, "Pietro! Leave them alone."

*

"uhm….Lorna….you should see this." Marcos -definitely- knows this is gonna break down….and it won't be pretty…Brotherhood seems to have reared it's ugly head once more. Perfect place to do so, too.

Marcos looks ready to get into a fight "We gotta do something…" he mumbles, not one to stand around and wait, he looks back to Lorna as if to gauge her opinion quietly. They were -her- siblings after all….and this was not gonna end well.

*

"Merde!"

Remy's curse is softly spoken, startled and maybe a bit concerned— okay, a whole lot concerned— but not angry.

Though he can't help but think it. Beautiful, deadly women are going to be his damn undoing. These are the kinds of things that were written in the tapestries of his stars, he's sure of it. Of course he has no idea about the deadly part in this case, but she has a way about her all the same, one that puts him in mind of his wife back home. His crimson eyes— not so different from the shade Wanda's turn— meet the Wakandan woman's, and a flash of gratitude flashes through them as she catches those glasses and lifts them back up for him to take. Maybe, just maybe, she's the only one who will see.

"Merci beaucoup," he murmurs, quite sincerely in the face of Sizani's discretion, reaching out for them.

Then? The sudden sea change in the form of one Pietro Maximoff plus Sister snaps his head dangerously around towards the gazebo before he's even gotten them into his hand, let alone on his face. For a moment he's just frozen, completely unsure of what to do, a man who has to date stood for nothing in particular and so has no clue how to respond in this situation at all. Help the ones at the gazebo? Help the ones trying to stop the ones at the gazebo? Maybe run like Hell? Boy is he leaning towards that run like Hell option.

*

MEANWHILE! IN STARK TOWER!! *background shift noise here*

Tony Stark sits eating leftovers. Because leftovers are the best. Also because the CEO of his company made him stop and eat. Thankfully he has long since mastered the art of eating and talking at once. "Look Pep," He says as he spears a piece of turkey with a fork. "Its not that I don't /like/ Thanksgiving. Its just that something always happens on Thanksgiving. I mean always. Its like clockwork. Whenever we set up any big dinner just /bam/ sudden invasion of Skrulls or something. Thats why I'm just having leftovers this year. Maybe that'll fix things…"

Just as he says that one of his drone alarms bleeps and pictures of what seems like a riot thats just beginning down the street. His eyes flick up to the monitor. One brow twitches slightly.

"SEE!!" He gestures wildly, flinging sweet potatos as he does so. "I'm finishing this plate before I go, I sware to god I am…"

He's not of course, considering he's already standing up but it makes him feel better to say it.

*

"De rien, mon ami."

Think nothing of it.

In Wakanda, coincidence does not exist. Everything happens to the beat of the land, to the mire of a soul that has existed unconquered for thousands of years. Even the conflicts, the challenges. Here it is different, or she might think meeting Remy this way a sign of something to come. The land revolts in pain as it's people's disharmony tears deep, and yet there is something else. Some convergence that hopes to heal itself. Sizani feels it every day, and as an extension of her country, these opposing forces that assault her senses and yet intrigue her to no end. Her soul and the soul of this place struggle, conflict and absolution, and all around her a physical representation. A boiler room ready to explode.

It did not take long.

When the silver haired man appears on high, when the woman who so recently proclaimed herself anything but a bigot begins gouging it into her face, she is certain of three things:

1) Her mission is assured, another casualty no one will notice.

2) Given it's proximity to the disastrous Stark Expo Gala, this is Tony Stark's fault.

3) Stark's situation is her duty to assess, and so she is exactly where she must be.

It is not often the Usiku Malaika sees open use, for it is no less than a weapon of war, but Sizani does not have a choice in the matter. Her companion, the AI known as Sanura, detects an energy it cannot quantify, and something moving at dangerous speeds, that must be an incoming weapon even if it is shaped like a man. Sizani's companion has no choice but to bring her armor to her, and when it does she is violently ripped away from Remy's unusual gaze.

It comes in the form of a stalking Panther, mechanical and moving under cover of a light refraction field. To those watching, they will see something akin to an attack, a black shadow of something comes from nothing, pouncing upon Sizani from behind.

Momentum carries her forward, and what first seemed like an attack is resolved in the click of vibranium sliding into it's proper place all over, her roll to the ground ending in a leap to the sky to bring a glare of burning violet to bear on the situation: Two individuals resembling those who attacked the Gala.

Dangerous combatants that could kill anyone who might dare to willingly step into their path.

Sizani of the Kupaa dares without hesitation.

Modulated, her voice escalated to an angry growl meant to emulate the voice of Bast herself. "Be careful who you summon to your war. You may find those who answer insurmountable, and as ruthless as yourself."

There is barely a sound when it comes, twin beams of neutralizing, vibranium enhanced energy lance out towards Pietro, meant to to debilitate and subdue.

*

Having been seated across from Tony with her own plate of leftovers — she brought them from having gone to spend Thursday with family — Pepper can only shake her head amusedly at Tony's version of logic until that alarm goes off.

Looking up in surprise, she stands a moment after Tony. "I am honestly starting to worry that you have a point here." But no matter what he says, she is not going to refuse to eat turkey because of this. Maybe it's the combination of turkey with this particular grouping of side dishes…

*

A savage sort of joy lights up Quicksilver's harsh features as he is recognized. As he is pointed out. As the humans start running. His eyes follow their attempts to flee with the avid, predatory attentiveness of a greyhound watching rabbits race down the track. He could chase, could catch, but for now he allows them their flight.

More important things draw his attention, a moment later.

His momentum interrupts when a familiar voice cuts through the screams of the crowd. His expression twists into a snarl as he registers Lorna, pushing her way towards him, and his head lifts. "Our 'sister' is here," he observes, to no one(?).

His head turns. "Wanda," he commands, though his voice is so soft it is impossible to imagine how she would hear it.

A moment later, another voice addresses him. He turns to Sizani as she speaks, loosening his grip on his own power, letting his perception slide freely through the flow of time. She attacks —

— And he is behind her. "Surmounted," he shrugs, before with another blur of speed he vanishes again.

*

If you wish to make weapons of us," murmurs the Scarlet Witch, as the twitch-dance of her fingers make that woman, Cheryl, press the point of her pen deeper and deeper down against her own flesh —

"Then weapons we shall be." Her eyes burn red, clarity and distance both in their fixed, unblinking stare — that is until that magnetic swipe steals the woman's offending pen away. Until Wanda hears Pietro speak to her, lowly, softly, no matter how far her twin brother is away. She always seems to hear him, there and perfectly clear, his voice murmuring through her mind.

He speaks of their 'sister.' Letting the compulsion hex go, the knot dissipating from those lancing filaments between her fingers, the witch turns and tilts her head.

Her eyes, lit red, find and fix on Lorna. There is no recognition in them. No note of familiarity. Only emptiness, something searching, and a sudden, surgical edge.

Red light burns to life inside her hands, twisting and shaping into a sphere, and Wanda forgets all else to focus her power directly on Lorna.

She will feel it — the sudden, /painful/ intrusion by her half-sister, giving no warning before she tries to push into the woman's mind. There is nothing gentle in the way she attempts to make a field surgery on it, to pull any offending memories forward to see if she is /lying./

*

Lorna held the pen tightly in her grip against the chaos that spread through the area. "Pietro! Stop it! Whatever you're doing isn't helping! It's making everything worse! Have you no idea what you're doing to your own people!?" She snarled, shouting—to nothing. As Pietro vanished from her eye sight and she whipped her head around in panic.

But the Speedster wasn't attacking her. He was.. else where. And she couldn't track or follow the blur as he moved onto another target.

"Marcos, we have to get everyone out of here. We have to—" She broke off abruptly with a strangled cry. The pen fell from her grip as she slammed her hands against her head with another pained noise escaping her and her knees gave out.

And people wondered why she wanted her father's helmet so badly.

For the second time in the past two weeks, Lorna's mind was invaded by someone with cruel intentions. She had no defenses against it and Wanda's power sliced through her mind and memories like a soft butter. And oh there were memories.

A destroyed world, Nate's world, grey and ashen with nuclear winter. A gravestone with Wanda's name etched upon it.

Pietro, an older Pietro, apologizing as he came clean about his crimes against his world's version of her. How he'd changed the DNA test and how she well and truly was his half-sister.

Pietro begging for a chance to be forgiven.

Pietro telling her that he had lost his sister, his twin. How she had died. How he'd lost a part of himself with her death.

Her father, telling her he was in fact her father.

The DNA test relating her to Magneto.

This world's Pietro, Wanda's Pietro, angry and slamming her against the brick wall of an alley.

Her telling Scott, Cyclops of the X-men, that she might have siblings… but leaving out that she'd already run into Pietro.

Her internal thoughts, feelings, all laid out in one screaming, pained filled, begging and tearful cry. Of please. Of hope. Of the desire to have siblings to share the burdens of life.

And that hope slowly dying as she crumbled to the ground and held her head in her hands. Her powers reacting wildly to her pain, cars all down the streets shifted and groaned. Alarms went off. The street lamps sparked, and lightbulbs blew, leaving everything in shadows. Cameras. Electronics. Fried.

*

As the pen is torn out of Cheryl's hand halfway through the first pass on an 'I', the Crunchy Mom is about to grab another when she's let go. Her friend, Julia, is having trouble getting to her, but Cheryl falls sobbing to the floor of the gazebo.

By now the police officers - who took their time so as to call in backup - are helping to get bystanders out of the way and through the streets to safety. They're holding traffic back along one of the larger streets, and just trying to clear the area to reduce the collateral damage as the powered people start yet another fight on the streets of New York.

Activist Moms are running. Observers are running. Screaming fills the air. Pandemonium reigns as the last of the sun's light is extinguished beneath the city skyline.

Remy's strange gaze has now become so low on the list of threats, it only earns a brief scream when a woman bumps directly into him on her way away and looks up, terrified. But he? He only startles her. What terrifies is what lies behind her and she races past him to escape it.

The world has gone mad.

…Again.

*

Marcos watched on in horror as Cheryl is forced to carve bigot on her own face in a brutal manner, much to the horror of everyone present. Though Quicksilver is definately a problem, in terms of danger Wanda might succeed becasue…..brain powers! or so Marcos thinks. He tries to tell people to run and get out of there long before Lorna tells him to.

Diaz nods a few times to Lorna, but then she collapses to Wandas assault, and he immediately moves to her aid. "Lorna…Lorna!" he says in a brief panic, recalling everything he's ever lost, before his eyes fall upon Wanda, his hand extending as if to try to make her stop, a ray of light coming from his hands as if to give Wanda a concussive blast!

"Enough of this! You'll doom us all!" he shouts at Pietro and Wanda.

*

Indeed, the man soon has his glasses back on, only to have the woman bump them again. He pushes them back into place, does Remy LeBeau, as he's jostled, as the woman screams. He steps aside to let her flee, and as all of them flee he can see a lot better; see the green-haired woman who approached him at the racecourse crying out in pain. See the kind woman now take to the sky in an armored suit, intent on defending the fleeing patrons.

See the man blasting away at the other mutant, crying out over the consequences. The woman carving into her face. Electronics popping and sparking everywhere.

He kind of gets both sides of this conflict, and so nothing at all within him vis a vis where he will stand in regards to it becomes certain. Nobody looks like they're dying, after all, and anything he does here had best be his final answer. There's no unringing either bell, is there?

There may be no neutrality left when all is said and done, but he can sure put off the decision for another day. Darkness is his friend; he slides his hands into his pockets. He's low on the threat scale, and thus he may be high on the able-to-slip-out and give this some more thought elsewhere scale. And if he feels a stab of—what, guilt?—for his indecision, he nevertheless lets this caution rule him for the time being, turning to walk away from all of it with a troubled look on his face.

*

Surmounted.

The voice comes at her from behind but she does not turn. Her sensors tell her he is no longer there. They tell her more, too. Every time he moves, he cuts through the air faster than her weapons can move, this much she knows already from her opening volley. It is not a game Sizani can win with overwhelming force.

But this was never her specialty.

A moment after Pietro disappears, a moment after Wanda beings her assault on Lorna, Sizani and her Midnight Angel armor vanish in turn. Light bends. Sound flattens.

In the air she floats like a ghost, relying on her sensors to analyze Pietro's inhuman movement, and marveling at what she sees from the other twin. Energy that simply does not seem possible, distributed waveforms that are not waveforms at all. Nor are they particles. It makes the scientist in her scream for time to throw all of Wakanda's power behind discovering just what Wanda Maximoff is, for her sensors now fail to quantify her ability.

Instead she settles for discovering what Wanda is made of.

From behind Wanda, a Wakandan ghost reaches for her throat, intent on making this about the one she can track.

It is at that moment that Lorna's power ripples outwards, shredding her invisibility field, twisting at her suit. Though it's own energy field and control mechanisms fight back, it is not without a struggle.

Fate alone will tell if she can get a handhold on The Crimson Threat.

*

Tony has yet to stop complaining.

All the way though suiting up, its been a non-stop grumble from the inventor before he finally draws a deep breath and tries to center himself. Or as much as he's ever centered.

He's going with non-lethal for his choice of suits. That doesn't mean its not stylish of course. Bright red and gold, the Iron Man suit is as glorious as ever. Rushing and non-supersonic speeds though the air. Radioing the police as he approaches the site.

"Pep, see if you can help keep the people back from this. Don't engage till we get the civies out of the way…." Beatpause. "…why am I telling you this anyway? You know all of this!"

Urgh.

"Man, if this is another family spat I'm gonna so yell at that bald guy. So much yelling."

*

When Peter Parker first heard about the protest that would be taking place at the park, he thought to himself, 'this is a pretty bad idea!' And then he decided to research a bit more into it, and just what all they wanted, and then he came to the conclusion, 'this is a terrible idea!' So, all things considered…

… things are going about as well as he figured they would.

It's probably why he asked J. Jonah Jameson personally if he could cover getting photos for the event. It's also probably why he's lingered on the fringes throughout it, keeping a wary eye open for anything dangerous. And it's -probably- why, when his spider-sense inevitably started going off like the Fourth of July, only the bad kind, where your drunken neighbors set off fireworks a week too early and then continue to do so for three long weeks after —

Peter Parker is also no where to be found.

"I knew it I knew it I knew it" is Peter Parker's mantra as he ducks into an alleyway. Of -course- he knew it. Which is why he was smart today, for once, and came equipped with costume at the ready. And so, one backpack webbed away to safety later, the masked menace that is Spider-Man trades places with humble college student/personal slave to JJJ Peter Parker, perched precipitously on the edge of a nearby building as he tries to take stock of everything. His spider-sense his guide, lenses whirring into narrowed slits at the bustling bedlam below. People have already begun evacuating. That's good.

Super-terrorists are being superbly terrorizing. That's bad.

So, as he sees the silver smudge that is Pietro Maximoff dealing with a… Iron-Woman? Robo-girl? Something suitably superheroic - he'll come up with a better name later he's sure - Spider-Man makes his decision within a moment. That one is fast. He's also not the only problem. There's someone else out there, from what he remembers about reports on the gala. Which means he needs to capitalize on the advantage of surprise. So he waits. Waits as Sizani turns her attention towards the Scarlet Witch. Waits for Quicksilver to reappear once again —

And the faintest thwip spins a web line to carry Spider-Man down at high speeds, a blend of blues and reds that carries him towards a single point meant to formally introduce himself to Pietro Maximoff's back.

"So, I'm all for protesting and even protesting a protest especially when the protest isn't so much a protest as a 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN Rant Against Groups I Don't Like,' but like, hey, maybe there's better ways to go about it than this?" he humbly suggests. "Maybe a well-thought out counter-argument. Or protest cupcakes. Or maybe not blowing up galas with bombs. Just something to think about." A second passes.

"From jail, probably. Because, y'know. Bombs."

Distantly, he's already picturing all the ways that he's going to be linked to a superhuman terror cell in the press tomorrow.

*

Following Tony and tolerating his complaints the whole way, Pepper follows in the Rescue suit—which has only ever been designed for non-lethal work.

"Could you at least please give me the chance to warn Professor Xavier that you'll be showing up to yell at him before you head up that way?" She had to deal with a rather … unhappy phone call last time.

She takes up the task of coordinating with the local police and emergency services, as it's really not all that different from her normal day job.

*

"What I'm doing to my people? Look at what they're doing to US," is Pietro's furious reply to his 'half-sister.' "Look at what they have already done to us. Look at what they plan for us. I'm not going to sit and wait for them to push this through."

He leaves Lorna to his sister, a moment later, and all her patient mental surgery. Sizani forces him to reposition, the young man dodging with almost dismissive contempt. Along the way, he picks up his sister, bearing her clear of the beam of light, setting her down again with the fluidity of long familiarity.

He's gone again an instant later, no doubt intending to get into a position to deal with the massing opposition… but the downside of being so intertwined with his sibling? All she sees and reads from Lorna pipes through him too.

The gravestone. The tests. The longing, the pain, the quashed hope. The gravestone.

Magneto.

It stops him long enough a Spider-Man cannons into his back, sending him crashing against the fence. He recovers quickly, outraged, his gaze swinging up to —

"You've got some things to think about yourself," he says, before he blurs with full intention to hit Parker dead-on and send him spiraling back up the way he came. "Like costuming choices…"

*

"Look, if he's not telepathic enough to know I'm gonna be annoyed by this happening down the street from my house, then he's a bad telepath!" Tony's reply holds logic that only he can come up with, but he's sticking with that.

*

Lorna's hands dropped to the grass as a pause in the mental assault gave her enough time to breath. Tears clouded her vision, and her head douped as she remained on her knees panting for breath. She looked as if she'd be sick, but at least with the sudden break, her powers were no longer reacting out of her control. She whimpered, her throat clogged with bile that threatened to spill out on the grass.

Her head throbbed, and spun—there was no way she was going to be standing up anytime soon.

"Marcos.. h-help me up." She gasped out between her teeth.

She was pale and sweat trickled down her neck. Even as she squeezed her eyes shut briefly, before she flexed her hands and expanded a magnetic bubble around them. A barrier. It wouldn't do any good against a telepathic attack again.. but at least if anyone started to fire off bullets they weren't going to get shot.

Even if she still felt too sick to stand and the magnetic barrier was like-wise shaky at beast.

*

Another's mind reflects against Wanda's distant, vacant eyes. Such as the scrying of a witch, she does not read —

— but sees. She sees a world not like this one, unmade, ruined, broken. Herself, cold, empty, gone — decaying in dirt as her brother is left alone. Not alone. With family. With a father. With a half-sister. Replaced, removed —

Magneto. Her expression twitches to take in the name, recognizing it — how could she not? How could they not? At a memory professing them related to the most notorious mutant on the planet? The mutant who abandoned his post and left his Brotherhood behind? The mutant who now, it seems, abandoned Pietro and herself twice? Abandoned them years before he would even be important to them, abandoned when they needed him to be anything else but a champion for their kind's freedom. Abandoned her mother. Left her to die in fire. Abandoned —

Her hands shake to force deeper into Lorna's mind. The woman — her sister, it seems — reacts in pain, but Wanda's dissection does not falter. She could make this gentle, make this careful, but she doesn't want to, doesn't /want to/, not when her father left them to make her, make more children as he forgot the family he should have protected. All his fault. ALL his fault—

As energy lances forward to hit Wanda, it's Pietro that saves her, his blurring step fortunately saving Lorna — breaking Wanda's concentration to sever her connection from her head.

Reeling from her own thoughts, and set back on her feet by Pietro's split-second rescue, Wanda turns, trying to re-orient herself, looking back again for Lorna — and instead abruptly visited by Sizani. The witch goes still as she's viced in place, the air thinned from her lungs. It would be a rise move… if only that the Scarlet Witch's hands are still free.

Free to gesture, her fingers crackling with red energy at her sides, as sudden, overwhelming force attempts to fold down around the woman, moving first with patient force — red, misting light curling around her fingers — to try to unwind them from the witch's throat. Then, as her hands twitch to one side, Wanda's hex tries to violently throw Sizani away as if she weighs no more than a pillow, like a swatted fly aimed straight towards the unlucky Spider-Man.

*

Marcos sees Quicksilver get kicked by Spidey, but he also sees Pietro take the hit for Wanda, leading Marcos to try again, another concussive blast from Marcos aimed at Wanda to try to definitively say 'leave Lorna alone'. Afterwards, he moves for Lorna, kneeling next to her as she tries to defend herself.

"Come on, we gotta go Lorna, we gotta go." He says a few times, trying to help the green mained mutant back to her feet. "This place has become chaos…."

*

Of all the things she wishes to do right now, she does not wish to squeeze. Yet, did she not promise to be as ruthless as they were? They will never know where her decision falls, for even as Lorna's power relents control, another force takes hold. The crushing grip of an impossible force warps around her, at her fingers, along her body. An unearthly sound hums in the air as vibranium is put to the test, an impossible substance against pure possibility.

Sizani does not have long to ponder the effects as her grip breaks, suddenly hurled spinning through the air and towards a man she does not know. How unfortunate.

It will not alter her plan as she goes crashing toward this Man of Spiders, tucking into a ball so that after impact she can plant her feet, skid, and reassert the energy field that helps control her suit. Instinctually she lifts her arms, violet energy coalescing around her fists to power outward in twin blasts, one for each of them. A diversionary measure, to keep them moving. To keep them doing anything but attacking.

Sizani does this because she knows that help has arrived in the form of additional armored individuals, and time, she is certain, is what they need most right now.

*

Lorna's stomach heaved as she tried to piece together her surroundings. To focus on the distant point of where her half sister stood, the red light the easiest thing to see in the darkness of the lot. And for once, she was thankful her powers had knocked out all the major electronics and streetlamps in the area. Her head pounded. And yet, as Marcos lifted his hands up to throw another beam at Wanda she pushed at his leg to send the beam wide.

"No! Marcosyou can't.." She gagged afterward of course, and her attempt was weakwhether it actually changed the path of the beam or not she certainly couldn't tell. Nope, she was now busy dry heaving again, her eyes screwed shut.

Which didn't cease even as Marcos hauled her up to stand to try to usher her out of the chaos. "No.. no.. I have.. I have to stay.. Can't .. can't let them.." Whatever else Lorna was gonna say ended against as she staggered over her own two feet. She clearly wasn't going to be walking under her own power anytime soon.

*

Here's the thing. Even if he's been at this for a couple years now, Peter Parker is still very new at this whole 'superhero'ing thing. And he has most definitely not had to deal with speedsters before — at the very least, not someone of Pietro's caliber.

So he's unprepared. He senses the speedster about to attack before he even starts to move, spider-sense blaring at him with precognitive intensity. Instantly his hands are going up, fingers curling towards his palm with every intention of webbing Pietro's feet to the earth. But Quicksilver moves so fast, like, well, quicksilver, and Spider-Man, inexperienced as he is, hesitates for half a second.

And that half-a-second costs him when a silver smudge slams into him full-force. There is a crack of impact against his tough, spandex-clad figure; his body lurches backwards, upended from the earth; and the webs meant for Pietro's feet fire the second the speedster makes impact, going wide —

— and that is how Pietro may well get a facefull of webbing before Spider-Man goes flying.

"CRAP" CRACK "GUH."

It feels like he's been hit by a car, bruising sweltering unpleasantly in a bloom around his sternum as he twists about in mid-air. A supernatural sense of balance sends him landing in a controlled tumble, landing dazed close to a nearby tree as he leaps back onto his feet.

"… owww… yeah, well," begins Spider-Man, tentatively, "I was thinking of going for a 'Steve Martin in The Jerk' Look, but it seems like you've already got the market cornered on that. Could you maybe try a nicer Steve Martin? Maybe Cheaper By the Dozen Steve—oh crap!"

This time, at least, he reacts with that superhuman agility of his right on time: as Sizani goes soaring, the would-be Man of Spiders is already leaping into the air, pressing a hand into the balled up Wakandan with an uttered, "Sorry sorry sorry Iron-Ninja" to pass her by with as he looks to redirect her movement. As sizzling blasts scorch from her fists, he twists between them with a bold declaration of "Oh my gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood-!!" before firing those web spinners to aim behind her, looking to build a hardened bed of webbing to dull her impact with.

"Holy crap, I saw my life flash before my eyes!" he realizes in a huff of breath as he lands. "So many Steve Martin jokes unmade-!!"

*

In the distance, police sirens wail their banshee cry.

Fortunately for most of the unpowered people who filled the block minutes ago, most of them have fled. Sure, there's the sobbing Cheryl now being held protectively by her friend as they cower together in the midst of a super-powered brawl. But at least they seem to be mostly alone.

The body count is so much lower than the gala.

And, for those concerned about such things, there's no shaky cellphone footage this time as all of the electronics that were close enough and were owned by people who care enough to film and share with the public… Those are all fried.

But the battle continues on, and the first of the off-duty officers steps forward with his sidearm drawn as he cautiously approaches then group where he is a gnat by comparison. "NYPD," he bellows. "STAND DOWN." His heart pounds in his ears.

*

There is suddenly a roar of repulsors from nearby as Iron Man makes his appearance. Which means reinforcements have indeed arrived. "Pep, how is the emergency services looking?" He calls as he makes a high pass over the chaos.

"Urgh, yup. It's Hansel and Gretel again." He confirms as he lets Jarvis' sensors get to work. "JARVIS can you calibrate for his speed. Factor in speed to aiming calculations. Let's see how fast he can change directions. Taser rounds load up and put the babies to sleep."

A beatpause. "Also," Now his voice is audible. "Not doing as many Steve Martin jokes as possible in your life would be a capitol offense."

Then is when he notes the police step forward.

Oh hell.

"Pep! Make sure that hero doesn't die, would you!" He calls as he starts to track both Wanda and Quicksilver from above.

*

Someone attacks Wanda — Sizani — and Pietro's attention wrenches around instantly. His sister seems to have herself covered for the time being, however, which gives him time to turn his attention back to the arriving threat of a … Spider… man?

Well, whatever it is, Pietro seems fully confident in his ability to deal with it. He sees Parker's reaction, notes with surprise it seems to trigger off even before he begins to move, but in the end Spider-Man's reaction is still hampered by the limits of how quickly his body can enact that slight precognitive warning. Quicksilver can move much more swiftly than that.

Yet that defensive webbing does manage to fire off, slapping straight towards his face. His reaction time gets his left hand up to take most of the brunt of it, but the downside is now he's got webs wrapped all around his left hand and wrist. What's worse, Parker is still talking.

"Don't worry about what I need to try," he complains, trying and failing to remove the webbing. "Worry about yourself. You're the 'Spider-Man,' aren't you?"

He streaks in a flash of silver towards his sister, gathering her up. His head turns back towards the sirens as the NYPD arrives on the scene. "Your favorite people are here."

There is a moment where Quicksilver's eyes meet those of the one officer that steps forward… but then that gaze diverts as he angles a glance up at the Iron Man's arrival. There is one thing that Tony Stark's intensive scans might register, in the fleeting moments before Pietro engages his speed, a cracking sonic boom in miniature announcing his departure.

It looks like a middle finger.

*

Eclipse can't help but clap approvingly.

*

"OH YEAH THATS CLASSY!" Shouts Tony as Quicksilver flits off.

*

Marcos looks to Lorna "Nothing we can do now Lorna, we gotta go. Cops are here. Come on." and he scoops her up in his arms to cradle her and carry her away as he gets a move on….besides…police are -not- kind to mutants.

*

Pepper switches back from coordinating the ambulances reaching those few people that didn't make it away unscathed. "Better than I'd feared." And… she spoke too soon. That one police officer steps up to call out to the brawlers.

"Oh hell." And she drops out of the air to land in front of the officer with a clank, just in case someone takes exception to his words.

*

In the aftermath of it all, of Pietra gathering up his sister and her finally coming to a stop against a tree where she finds… webbing? Sizani glances over her shoulder, staring at it for the longest moment, sensors analyzing it, and then she slowly, almost menacingly looks back to this, The Spider Manlet.

"Do not look at me."

Her accented voice carries a certain disdain, and the field around her shimmers and lights in a brilliant arc of violent to burn the webbing from her back and allow her to take to the sky.

Here, she finds no sign of the assailants, but she does see Stark.

This alone is enough to prompt her departure, inviting no conversation from the man. In this, her and her enemies today are in agreement.

*

That next concussive blast comes for Wanda — and this time the Scarlet Witch is prepared.

Her eyes shine red, and her moving hands sculpt another sphere of spinning, crimson light, her hex sculpting reality to her whim: she sends it forth at that wall of energy, redirecting it, bisecting it in neat halves around her body and targetting instead on the unlucky bystanders trying to hide from the fray. Bigots, all of them, she believes. Deserving of whatever comes to them.

An instant later, her attention is on Pietro, catching in time as he faces off against some man dressed as a Spider. An instant later, her twin brother blurs back to her side, and Wanda meets him with a bolt of that energy from his hands, sculpting red on the webbing bonding to his arm, and simply making the substance fall off of him as if it forgot its chemical adhesion.

As her twin gathers her up, Wanda takes the moment to see to him, one hand gentling of all that red power to touch briefly at his face, beseeching wordlessly if he is unhurt.

The moment does not last: an instant later, Pietro's speed knifes them off in a smear of light and colour, gone from here faster than a heartbeat.

*

As Marcos gathered her up in his arms, Lorna made another series of gagging noises and slammed her eyes shut. The world spun dizzyingly and she buried her features against his neck.. Which of course, had the unfortunate aspect of creating that dazzingly light show that was so unique to them. And more or less painted a taget on them in the darkness of the quickly abandoned lot. In rainbows.

Sweat plastered green hair to her features, which were still clammy and pale. She trembled in Marcos' arms, the effects of more or lessing being torn apart in her own head by her half-sister were not pretty.

Never mind the fact that Marcos didn't have Pietro's super speed.. and besides being a mutant, likely didn't want to be involved with the cops with that whole one-time-member-of-the-cartel thing. Lorna swallowed the bile that rose in her throat, lifting a hand at the ready. If anyone so much as lifted a gun in their direction she was about to lose it..

*

Landing in a comfortable crouch, Spider-Man looks wholly prepared to deal with whatever might be coming his way next…

… except nothing comes. Not even a blip on his spider-sense of any impending threats. Of course, he thinks to himself, now that he's -ready- there's nothing! Lensed eyes snap up towards Iron Man in the distance, and he grimaces a bit. And he got caught unprepared in front of Tony, too! This day is the worst!

"I -am- worried about you! Your career has been terrible lately! And I read your book, not your best stuff," laments Spider-Man in lieu of addressing any of the mild embarrassments he's wracked up today (frankly it could have been much worse). His hand swings up. "And it's more like, 'Spider-Man.' No 'the.' That sounds like, super duper goofy, doesn't it? It's like calling you 'the Steve.' Or 'the Martin.' Who does that?? Anyway, catch-!"

Webbing fires where Peter -assumes- Quicksilver is going to be heading next; he's mostly right, too, the webbing angled in Wanda's direction. But the timing — well, that's something he still needs work on, it seems. The adhesive fluid flies free a second too late before the pair fly off, sonic booms rippling behind them in bursts of kinetic force that make the air ripple violently. And so the webbing soars past —

Your favorite people are here.

— right into the face of one of his favorite people.

There is a second of stark silence where Spider-Man just stares at the member of the NYPD that he just webbed in the face. Then the rest of them. Ready to shoot.

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

See?

It could have been SO MUCH WORSE.

"SORRY THAT'LL COME OFF IN A FEW HOURS GOTTA GO"

And this is the story of how Spider-Man webslings off as swiftly as possible, right on the heels of Pietro and Wanda, after assaulting a police officer, after making a contribution to doing nothing to help his public image.

"HEY MISTER STARK I MEAN IRON MAN I MEAN THE IRON MAN I MEAN MISTER THE MAN CAN YOU TAKE CARE OF THIS FOR ME THANKS BYE-"

He's confident Tony will clear the air for him and he won't be painted as a mutant mastermind come tomorrow.

(he's not that confident)

*

Marcos hauls it, though Lorna watching his back is a most welcome feature. He keeps moving, despite the target on his back with the two touching…creating the aurora borealis a bit… But that doesn't seem to stop Marcos in the slightest in terms of fear or hesitation. The Twins were gone…now it was just the cops.

"Don't worry…we're going home…we're going home." he whispers to Lorna to try to keep her sane…Though Scarlett Witch is on his personal hate-list. "Don't worry, we're almost in the clear…" he whispers once more. Well in terms of being an optimist, he's doing an….okay job?

*

Stark just stares at Spiderman swinging off into the sunset. Then at the webbing on the face of the man behind Pepper. Then back towards Parker as he swings off into the sunset.

"I told you." This to Pepper on their private band. "We totally should have stayed and just finished the turkey." A beatpause. "…and let's see if we can prevent some kind of horrible international incident here…and make sure Spidey doesn't get in TOO much trouble."

He pauses a moment.

"That last one is a really tall order but you are a miracle worker…"

*

Pepper can only sigh as the combatants all pretty much scatter, though Spider-Man webs the officer who'd spoken up.

"No, Tony. I'm not a miracle worker." She is, however, a font of all sorts of trivia. Such as this: adhesives are dissolved by oils.

Checking the sensor readings in the Rescue suit's displays to be sure the coast is clear, she steps out of the armor then reaches back in for something, producing a small tube of chapstick — It's the closest thing she has with her to an oil of any sort. "Try to relax, officer, everything seems to be settling down already." And she continues coordinating the emergency services people around via the bluetooth earpiece she's wearing.

*

The scene is crawling in emergency vehicles a heartbeat later as the roar in, bathing the whole area in the distressing pulsating glow of red and white and blue.

The officer who just got a bunch of webbing to the face definitely has some choice words that he doesn't filter for Pepper, but most of them are obscured by the stuff. You… don't really need an exact translation to know that he's upset.

Flyers and clipboards slide along the ground in the breeze, abandoned. And, to her friend's endless relief, soon the absolutely hysterical Cheryl has someone to load her into an ambulance. A few people who got crushed and hurt by the stampede will have the opportunity to get a once-over. Police will find Sizani's victim soon, long past the point of aid, cursing Pietro for it. They don't need a name to blame.

For those who linger at the scene, this is probably going to be a long night.

*

"Look Pepper, you put up with the hot mess that I am so thats a miracle in and of itself." The inventor replies as the emergency vehicles finally arrive adn he touches down.

There is a long pause.

"We better have more leftovers tomorrow."

Because they sure aren't getting back tonight.

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