HoM: Rude Awakening

April 09, 2018:

A few hours after the crashed wedding in Genosha a few mutants (and Lois Lane!) wake up in a rather sinister place. (Emits by Nate)

A mysterious lab complex

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

To sleep, perchance to dream…

And some dream it was! For mutants, the ideal world. They were the elite, rulers of a world where super-powers were commonplace. Every latent mutant, actualized. Ever human with meta-human potential, realized. Every person with a shred of inhuman genetics, terragen-enhanced to their full potential.

The humans, the lowly 'sapiens', now less than half the population, are the oppressed. Forced into ghettos, working the most menial jobs for low wages, denied political and reproductive rights. Dissidents sent to re-education centers to be brainwashed.

And Magneto rules the world from the wonder-island called Genosha, and it has been so for ten years, after winning the genetic world war. With a velvet glove and an iron fist. It was a perfect word for mutants.

But it was a lie. Complex, but false memories and a powerful dream-illusion. But it failed in a few cases. Marcos Diaz and Wanda Maximoff knew it was an illusion from the beginning. The knowledge spread through telepathic contact. More and more people remembered. And eventually the illusion caster was overwhelmed.

For some Paradise was not enough.

Back in Genosha people awake. Some suddenly, brimming with rage at being so cruelly deceived. Some slowly, reluctantly. A few in wake up in pain, having suffered injuries in accidents or just at falling to the ground unconscious.

Yet some of the sleepers are not in Genosha anymore.

Some awaken at hearing a telepathic scream of rage, and the sound of an exploding capsule container.

Nate Grey fall is one of those brimming with rage at the deception. He stumbles out of the tube where he was held, now shattered plexiglas and torn metal. He is still wearing the blue tux he had for the wedding, but it is covered by the clear fluid goo from inside the tube. He coughs, trying to empty his lungs from the weird substance, looking around at the place.

Cool, clean, smelling to strange chemicals. A very advanced, cavernous lab. Light is dim blue and white from light lines embedded on the walls. Red in the place where his capsule-tank… whatever it was, now lies shattered.

Inside of other, identical capsules, other mutants and a single human stir. Those are all the minds he can feel.


A pair of eyes opens slowly. The telepathic scream was enough to jolt them to their senses and they reached out all at once, confused. Nothing seemed the same. Where was their power? Where was Lorna? Weren't they just… The ferocity of the initial psychic roar was joined by an intense psionic keening, mingling with it and sharing its raw frustration at having been so completely tricked.

A second pair of eyes opened slowly. This one carried with it the pain of loss, the gentler regret of expectation. She reached out with her mind to probe the inconsolate voices surrounding her and resolved that it was important to tear free of this prison, and perhaps more importantly for them to wake the others. So she joins her power to it cautiously.

Three more pairs of azure eyes open. They are still dressed in the perfect blue gowns they'd worn, though the flowers are beat up or torn away. The goo that covers them is sticky and- strangely warm… Each looks around slowly as they try to come to their senses.

The Stepford Cuckoos greet each other and then their surroundings with a rapidly building sense of fury. Because Nathan Grey's screams of psionic anguish aren't enough to completely convey the hurt of being torn away form an entire world.


He hadn't even been in the mood for a wedding. He'd sat on the fence for a long time, weighing the pros and cons of how his attendance to an ex-girlfiend's wedding might be received. It kind of felt like a lose-lose situation for Alex Summers, but in the end he decided being supportive and being present would at least cover him on the Good Intentions side of things.

Now? Now Havok is pissed off. Deception and abduction he's already had to deal with recently, and his patience is at an end.

From outside his capsule, there come a couple muffled thumps, then a few seconds of silence.

Suddenly, the capsule erupts in a burst of light, heat, and noise. Fluid splashes, boils, and steams, and Havok is unceremoniously dumped onto the floor beneath a capsule that no longer exists. Like Nate, he started out with a Tux, but it did not survive a short-range angry plasma burst. Fortunately for all, Alex had worn his blue-black containment suit beneath it. Some scorched, steaming, and dripping tux fragments remain.

Disoriented and ill-tempered, Alex flails and rolls into a kneeling position, extending a fist toward the nearest bit of blurred motion. Nate, in this instance.


It was all just a dream. Living in a quiet little ghetto (quiet in the daytime that is), barely enough food to eat. Clothes being repaired by the stitch of a careful hand, a tiny little pinprick upon the tip of her fingers. Lois was frustrated, so much that she threw the cloth down and banged her hand upon the table. This was an injustice. Who will save her from this madness? No. She had to save herself. Especially now, when the hard hand that knocks upon the door, cracking the surface and the voice behind it yells for rent. Words were shared, and it was quick. The scene changes to a full on brawl.

A fight to the death if you will.

A single shot that causes Lois to fall back?.

..and a crash onto the ground.

The goo was immediately thrown up as she writhes upon the ground, her hand pounding against it to deal with the pain in her chest and the light injuries suffered from the crash of the machine to the ground. For a moment, her eyes couldn't see. Yet it takes all but a minute or so for everything to focus and for her to immediately mutter..

"What the fuck?"


Nate turns to the plasma explosion. Expecting an attack, but fortunately his telepathy identify the man immediately. "Alex!" He takes a step to help his 'uncle' stand, but… there are others there.

The woman who was in the container just besides his. No one he knows, but possibly important. And the Cuckoos, waking up and panicking. « Wait. I will get you out » he states, grabbing the nearest capsule and ripping off the lid. "Alex, help me!" He pleads to the older man, pulling the blonde girl out of the go. Sophie? Damn if he knows. They really need name tags.


The first Cuckoo out hits the ground on her knees. She staggers to her feet in her ruined dress and turns toward the next four tubes. The girl's hand turns to diamond all at once and she slams it through the first of those tubes, then the next, until four others just like her have emerged to land upon the ground. Then all four of them are clustered together, discussing.

They all shift to diamond in unison and then round on the other containers. "What are we doing here?" The girls demand. "Nate, do you know what happened?"

"We need to get them out of there," one begins.

"First, we should find out what is going on," another adds.

"What *is* going on?" a third asks solemnly.

"Time to wake up," the last two say to one of the containers as they move to smash it. "The fun is starting without you."


It takes Alex a few moments to orient himself, blinking away blurry vision as he watches Nate work. Abruptly, he leaps into action, looking to the container next to where his own used to be. Tugging the lid from the top, he hesitates briefly… It's an identical version of the woman Nate is freeing.

Dipping an arm into the fluid, he helps pull her free. Alex doesn't even hazard a guess which one it is, not even accustomed to the Cuckoos in general yet, much less to the point of identifying individuals.

Looking back to Nate's progress, Alex grimaces. « If you feel the need to talk me out of vaporizing whoever's behind this, better start now. »

While helping the current Cuckoo free of her pod, Alex takes aim at the next one in line with one arm. With a surprisingly precise blast of plasma, he shears the top from the pod, clearing an escape route for whomever is inside.


This isn't what Lois was used to. Being rescued by a dude in a cape still allowed her use of her legs and senses at times. No. Standing up, wobbling, slipping and falling down to her knee again, a hand gripping her rib as she grimaces with clenched teeth, turning just in time to see the blast from Alex and.. other things.

Mutants.

Great.

Its not that she didn't like them, but there was still some residual feelings in the dreams that she had that made it her primary thought. Mutants. Ugh. But either way, she had to get out. Screw this place, this noise and these feelings. These people may have been powered, but she? Was not.


"I don't know, Alex," replies Nate, getting the goo off himself telekinetically, then going to help Lois stand. "Your name, miss?" He asks. "I am Nate. Er… Scion. We are X-Men." He points to Alex. "Havok," then the quintet of twins in goo-ed bridesmaid dresses. "The Five-in-One," was that their codename? Did they even have a codename?

He does not know where they are, but he kind of *knows* what place they are. Nate recognizes the technology. He saw a place like this in his last visit to the Age of Apocalypse. "We need to get out of here fast," he says. Too many red lights at the places where the capsules were.

There are a few other capsules. Corpses inside. No one they would recognize. There are labels with names in different languages. Creepy.

"We need to find if anyone else… Lorna!" He hurries to a door. A blast door. Thick ceramics and metal. "Damnit…" He punches it, wincing, causing only a small dent. Then leans against it and forces it open with telekinesis. Slowly. "Next time you melt it, Alex," he grunts.

There is another lab behind. Only this one is brightly illuminated. The capsule containing Lorna is also somewhat different, and the green haired woman is sleeping. She is not wearing her wedding dress but a flimsy white robe.

And Lorna is thinner than a few hours ago.


The door moves somewhat faster when the Diamond Quintet throw their strength into it. It's easy to forget that each of them can punch through concrete. But with Nate prying it open they are able to get some leverage and the blast door screams as it is forced open in defiance of all the gears and electronics maintaining it. Closing it might be difficult later.

"Do you have a sense of where she is?" One of the women asks anxiously, her nearly transparent form turning toward Nate as she does. "If they've hurt her…" The Cuckoos gather back into a group and ocntinue down the hallway at a rapid pace.


Jerking his chin toward Lorna's capsule, Alex responds to Nate, "I'm up for melting anything in the place. Well, 'cept that one." Havok is needing little encouragement to blast, explode, or melt things as of late. Too much time hanging around Logan, perhaps. But he's not prepared to power-blast Lorna out of her capsule when less explosive methods are readily available.

Getting to the container at a fast dash, he clambers up to remove the lid manually before reaching in to fish Lorna out, "Hang on, Lor, it's Alex. And Nate. And… " He eyeballs many Cuckoos, the names of which will probably forever escape him, "And more good guys."


Lorna wasn't awake like the others, and didn't budge even when Alex popped the lid open to the container she was in. She wasn't covered in goo, but things beeped and whized when the door slid open from the outside. Her eyes shot open as soon as Alex's grip pulled her from the container and she was up and swinging her hands out around her. Metal screamed and crunched, and she tried to jerk out of Alex's grip… only to falter and bend double with a pained sound, clutching at her mid-section.

A gasp of breath, and she was left leaning heavily against Alex instead. Her eyes sealed shut for a beat, two.. and confusion settled in the crease of her eyebrows as she slowed her breathing and glanced at the others.

"So, what's going on, exactly?" Her voice was even. Measured.


The help was immediately accepted. Lois grasp upon Nate's arm was a hard one, one that helped her stand upon wobbily legs as she coughs the last of the fluid out of her lungs. "X-Men.. got it.." She mutters. "Lois Lane, of the Daily Planet.." She doesn't say much else, she was still trying her best to get her bearings.


Lois Lane? The Daily Planet’s Lois Lane? Nate is a fan of her articles. Particularly when she roasts some corrupt politician or businessman in the front (web) pages. But he had no idea she was a mutant.

Because Nate isn't quick to jump into conclusions or anything!

He follows Alex to help Lorna awake, but her question makes him huff. Exactly? The hell if he knows. Now, roughly? He can guess.

"We were hit by some kind of psychic attack in the middle of the wedding," he offers, frowning. A pause. The flood of memories of the House of M world making her dizzy and pale. Where is Madelyne? And Illyana!

"I suppose… some kind of shared illusion. It felt like years." But if anyone is carrying a water-proof watch or cellphone, it is barely eight hours after the wedding. "And now we are in some high tech lab. I kind of… recognize the technology." He kicks the closest lab table. Then he hisses, forcing the tux to telekinetically reconfigure into something resembling his X-Men uniform. "This is the kind of high-tech junk Apocalypse uses. Apocalypse and Sinister."


Giving his head a quick shake, Havok offers up a helpful, "I have no idea," before going about the business of helping Lorna and himself down from the capsule.

"I'm open to any ideas, since at the moment all I've got is to pick a direction and start blasting holes 'til we see daylight." He doesn't sound -particularly- happy with the plan, but he's more than ready to implement it. Looking to Nate, Alex scowls. "Apocalypse and Sinister?" He snorts, opens his mouth to start off on a derogatory rant about intention-telegraphing overconfident self-aggrandizing naming schems… And just leaves it at the derisive snort, looking back to Polaris: "How you holding up? You mobile?"


A frown twisted at Lorna's lips as she considered Nate as he shared with everyone what he thought was going on. "What, you're saying someone crashed my wedding and .. that someone has to be Apocalypse or Sinister?" Her voice was dry, laughter on the edge of her tone as she leaned against Alex's helpful hand down from the containment unit.

She arched a green eyebrow upwards as Alex finally turned his gaze toward her and she smiled, "I'm fine, thanks, love." She reached up and pat his cheek gently, making to step out of the support of his arms, tossing off the robe as metal flew to her, sealing her in a fine metallic armor that darkened to a black bodysuit.

And it was evident if it hadn't been before. She wasn't pregnant now.


With everyone busy doing everything else (such as helping others out of the pods that they were in), Lois was already looking for a way out. Forget who Sinister was, forget who Apocalypse was, or whomever those names they rattled out.

She was Lois Lane. From the Daily Planet. Pulitzer Prize winner, yall!

So with that newly invigorated moxy she had brewing in her bones upon shaky legs, she rolls up her.. no. No sleeves. And no saunter, more like a stagger. She was -out- of there. Quiet as kept, save for the slight sloshing that can't be heard over their quiet (or loud) musings.


"A psychic attack," the Cuckoos echo in their usual simultaneous voice. "Someone is full of surprises." They opt ot remain in diamond form, which is not something often seen. the five women take a deep breath and adjust their clothing carefully. "We'll need to figure out-"

The girls turn toward Lorna. Slowly. They do their best not to gawk but there are five of them so how it comes across may vary.

"…We'll tear this place apart brick by brick."


"I was probably an hour of open bar away from screwing it up, myself, to be fair." Alex offers. More likely, he was going to loiter, offer tight smiles, and try not to frighten any children with his scars. But the part of him that -wants- to cause a scene gets some lip service in the name of dry levity.

Gesturing toward Lorna, then Nate, "We've got the firepower to get out of… Well, assuming we're not in some bunker on the moon, just about anywhere." He draws a deep breath, exhales slowly, then almost reluctantly, "So, with that fallback in mind, I vote we investigate before skipping to destructive exit. All agreed?"

Havok's got an impulse to just Take Charge, though years of standing behind Scott still gives him the tone of asking permission, first. Nodding grimly toward the Diamond Women, "I'm on board with that, but…" He rolls his eyes, "I realize the irony in being the guy to say this: Carefully."

This probably means 'No Exploding'.


Nate looks at Alex thoughtful, lips pursed. "I am not so sure we have the firepower, not against Apocalypse. But we can't leave anyone behind, so I guess we have to explore this whole thing… which by the way, it might be in the moon. I can only sense a handful of minds around us, and they are blurred, shielded."

And since he can always sense millions, if not hundreds of millions, anywhere he is on Earth. It feels very, very quiet in his mind-space. He has not felt it this quiet in five or six years. Not even Limbo is this quiet.

"Second, the door back there was really strong. I was pushing with all my telekinesis and I barely opened it. I bet I can't phase through. How much charge do you have, Alex?" He asks.


The green haired mutant arched a brow, noting Lois' departure from the group finally, and her gaze swung back to the gathered mutants around her. "I don't think we'll have time to take the whole place a part brick by brick." She drawled, and metal bits from around the room flew to her in tiny pieces that solidified into shoulder pads, her hair actively floating around her in a magnetic blur.

For her part she looked entirely unphased by her condition, or by the other's anger or even the comment on the door.

"And don't worry about the door. I've got it. I'm more concerned about getting out of here. If we were knocked out before.. what's to stop it a second time?"


"Pretty close to full-up." Havok offers, the glowing disc of his suit confirming. "I was pretty close to maxed out back in Genosha, and my little matrix battery pod only took a little explosion." He holds his thumb and forefinger an inch apart. A teeeeny explosion.

"Well, guess no blind-blasting walls, then. Getting surprise-sucked out a suddenly decompressing base would end our little adventure in gloriously stupid fashion." At least talking a bit has gotten him past the Red Rage stage where he very well might have gone right ahead and started blind-blasting walls.

He retains it as an option. Never know.

(To be continued)

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