Next Time Bring a Shotgun

September 27, 2018:

Nate escapes the med bay and runs into Lorna in Mutant Town. The two chat for a little while, before a teleporting demon ambushes them.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Lorna had called in the fact that she planned to stay in Mutant Town for the duration of the demonic incursion that was happening. Whatever it was, she still wasn't entirely sure what was going on. Reports had been fragmented and Nate had needed medical attention. There was stuff to do, defending mutants, following up the leads that the Brotherhood gave her (or the lack there of) in regards to her siblings' disappearance, and on top of all of that—her job.

Emma Frost hadn't likely meant for her to start protecting the fancy building on the edge of Mutant Town quite so soon, but it was on the border. And Lorna had needed a place to stay if she was actively trying to defend Mutant Town as best she could.

Magneto might have told her to stay there, but she had her own reasons for doing so.

The green haired mutant slunk out of the building, and back onto the dim, twilit streets. Her foot falls soft as she walked among debris and burned out husks of cars. Demons played hard and Mutant Town played back.

Her clothes were soft greys and blacks, riveted armor plates fitted against her frame with a leather jacket shoved over it all. It wasn't quite her typical costume, she hadn't worn it down, but it was a decent enough recreation more fit for the dim light that illuminated New York City now. Hopefully, she could meet up with the others teams or even a fragment of a team sooner rather than later and get an update.

*

A mutant metabolism and advanced medical tech do accelerate healing somewhat, but the fact is two weeks is too little time to heal several broken ribs. Actually, it has been five days, but Nate did lose a week between Limbo and Earth, somehow. And the time helped. A little.

He still had to sneak out the medlab while Nurse Annie wasn't around. The needs of the newly arrived the Mutant Town refugees kept the woman busy, so it wasn't that hard. Getting back to New York considerably harder. Like the other times he has gone through power burnout one of his main psychic abilities has decided to stop working. In this case the telekinesis. So no flying.

And the roads to New York are only for leaving, and full of soldiers. So he had to sneak around, trick people with telepathy and walk most of the way. It would have been a pleasant job but for the bandaged ribs, the bruises and aches and general exhaustion. Still, a good chance to refresh his urban survival skills.

Demon minds are usually unreadable, but they do have minds. They can be pushed, tricked and occasionally blasted to bits. So most demons are not a severe threat for an omega class telepath, even if he feels like shit. Maybe even less when he feels like shit. Nate can get viciously creative when backed against a wall.

And of course he heads towards Mutant Town, looking for familiar minds.

*

The green haired mutant found a small gathering of mutants on one of the corners. The street lamps long since blown out above, one of the mutants, likely a member of the Brotherhood in some way or another nodded to Lorna as she approached from the shadows of the alley. "Polaris," He greeted to her in passing. The scaly skinned mutant was just one of the many mutants that refused to leave, that took up some kind of an informal watch.

It wasn't as if the military cared all that much about defending Mutant Town from demons compared to the rest of the city. After all, some already called Mutant Town a 'hell-hole'.

Nate wouldn't find it hard to locate her, though she kept on the move on foot. An otherwise silent patrol save for the distant noises of chaos and demons that lurked throughout the city.

*

"Fancy meeting you here, Lorna," Nate's voice comes from just her right side, where there was no one a second before. But right now Nate is there, sitting on the top of a parked cab.

Enterprising people (mutants for sure) have stolen the wheels of the cap, so it is staying a little lower than expected.

Nate looks pale and haggard, and wearing a fairly standard camo outfit and tactical vest, instead his usual customized x-uniform. When Lorna turns to see him, he offers a lopsided smirk in acknowledge, "who else is hanging around here? Madrox? Bishop?"

*

The green haired magnokinetic jolted faintly as Nate's voice broke the relative quiet of the area. She glanced around, as she shifted on her feet to fully look him while her arms rose to fold over her chest. "I dunno, haven't seen anyone yet today. I was doing a few rounds of the neighborhood." A blink, and her eyebrows furrowed as she frowned at Nate.

"Weren't you supposed to be in the med bay? You looked to be in pretty rough shape when we brought you in." Her hands dropped, settling on her hips as she hooked an eyebrow upwards, green eyes settling on Nate. "You can't tell me that Nurse Annie cleared you that fast." She drawled, and glanced down the street and the general area once before she lifted up into the air and carefully alighted upon the top of the cab beside him.

*

Nate shrugs, "people is dying, and I am hardly dying anymore, so I came back to help," states the young man, avoiding a direct response to the question. No, of course he is not supposed to be here. So what is new?

He is clearly less happy knowing Lorna is alone. "You aren't cleared either. Scott wouldn't want you here without backup. In fact he wouldn't want anyone going 'patrolling' alone. This case he would be right. You got less than a year real training and you don't know Limbo critters. Most are dumb brutes, but those who aren't can easily kill, Lor."

*

A tilt of her head and Lorna pushed her hair back with a drag of her green tipped fingers. "I don't really care if I'm cleared or not. I'm staying here." She frowned, rocking back to sit on the car beside Nate rather than standing. The sound of the metal of her boots striking the cab's side was little more than a muffled thump, but she winced all the same, casting a glance around and back.

"I've had more than a year, thank you. I trained when I was in High school and have trained plenty since." Her lips twisted into a scowl as her gaze returned to Nate and she reached over to try to prod his side to check on those ribs. Her expression sobered from something somewhat defensive to pinched with worry.

"Pietro and Wanda have gone missing, I promised people here that I'd stay until they returned."

*

"Erf… leve my ribs alone," grumps Nate. Lorna might have been able to feel the bandages under the tactical vest. He breathes swallow and too quick, too. "You were raw and green when I took you to the Genosha's simulation. Marcos and you could control your powers fairly well, but fighting… not so much. You didn't see me, even with your fancy magnetic senses. If I had been a demon hidden with some weird-ass magic I bet you would have taken a bad hit."

*

Lorna frowned, huffing a breath, as she retracted her hand. "That's what I thought." Her voice dry and just as grumpy as Nate's.

Particularly as he brings up that Danger Room session from nearly a year ago to date. "It was the first time Marcos had ever been in the Danger Room. The first time he had ever been in any kind of fight that wasn't against Cartel members and thugs with hand guns. I was worried about him and, frankly, that hurt my performance more than anything else. OR do you forget that while in your world I handled myself perfectly well when I was working with people I'd worked with before? Hmm?" She arched an eyebrow upwards and she climbed down from the cab with a flourish of magnetism.

"Also demons with weird ass magic don't pick up on my magnetic radar like normal people do. It's that whole magic thing, Nate." She shook her head, shoving her hands into her coat pockets as she glanced back over her shoulder with a 'well are you coming?' expression aimed toward him.

*

"Exactly, so don't go around without backup," points out Nate, sliding off the abandoned cab gracelessly. "I am still trying to keep you alive, y'know?" He adds, in a rare admittance of worry. "So what happened with the twins?" He asks, walking to her side. "I have been deliberately ignoring the Brotherhood activities around here since long before they took over, but they really crossed the line when they tried to kill Stark."

*

Lorna's features became an impassive mask as Nate mentioned wanting to keep her alive. There was a note about self-loathing, a lack of care about what exactly happened to herself, and a hint of self-destruction laced through with annoyance and no small dash of over-confidence in her abilities. It was a toxic mixture. Still she shoved her hands into her pockets, her senses spread wide around her and her gaze flickering over the otherwise more or less empty street wreathed in shadows of twilight and debris.

"A few days ago they went missing. Wanda.. appears to be on the other side of the world. And we don't know what happened or how. No one can pick up a hint of Pietro." She chose to not follow up with Nate's commentary about what the twins did. Though there was a flash of a defensive scowl.

"I'm staying here until I get more info about what happened and I can tell their people. I promised to stay here and protect Mutant Town in their absence.. And I also might be getting a job around here when this whole demon thing is over."

*

There is a scowl in Nate's face when Lorna explains the twins mysterious absence that hints Nate might not be as indifferent to their fate as he pretends to be. But still he lets that subject go. For now.

"I didn't come here to tell you go back to the school," he starts, "actually, I am glad you are here, protecting the people. I doubt we will see many Avengers in the neighborhood right now." Much less soldiers, DEO or even SHIELD. "I had hoped to find more X-Men, really. I know Logan has been coming here. Just… at least patrol in pairs. Even cops do that in safe neighbors." A job? But he thought Lorna was going to work for Madrox. A year ago. Before Genosha. "New job?"

*

A huff of a breath, a slight falling of her shoulders and Lorna steadfastly kept her gaze ahead and down the road. There wasn't much to see with her eyes, it was dim and the shadows were impossible to be sure if they were from trash and debris or something else. So she truly relied upon her magnetic senses, an overlay of everything else around her. It required her constant attention, but she could manage.

"I haven't seen any around here. And I've really only been patrolling between check points The Brotherhood has already established around here. I haven't seen anyone else since they came to pick up the transport yesterday." She shrugged, pausing to lift a fallen telephone pole out of the middle of the road way and set it on the side. She was trying to keep the roads somewhat clear, the better for supplies to get through or really anyone else to get out.

"Yeah.. new job. Building manager… Apparently Pietro was sick of slum lords and put my name in for it. It's going to be a neutral space for all mutants though."

*

Building manage, but who can buy a whole building? Magneto is the obvious answer.

Really doesn't matter if demons overrun Mutant Town. He is with those who think the government would love to have a chance to get rid of the mutant ghetto and 'demons destroyed it' sounds like the perfect excuse for never rebuilding it again.

"I guess we should go to Scott and… I don't know, guilt him into sending a squad to be here permanently? Or we could try to recruit a few volunteers." He smirks. "And you should talk Frenzy into body guarding you again. At least she has military training. She can cover your back."

*

Lorna kept her weight balanced on her toes as she walked, a magnetic current running through the tips of her fingers continuously as they walked the dim and dirty strewn streets. Her gaze kept flickering this way and that at every hint of sound or movement her senses picked up. But so far, nothing had leapt out at them. Though there were distant screams, and chaos, as it had been for days; that was all it was. Distant. The street they were on remained silent.

"Frenzy is looking for my siblings. She's busy." She muttered, her lips twisting. Her father had said he'd sent Exodus.. Whatever that meant. To guard her? The twins? To help the twins? She wasn't sure. Yippee for her father's cryptic words.

"There should be another lookout ahead at the next corner." A glance was spared for Nate.

"I'm perfectly able to work with anyone here. I'm sure Scott is busy trying to manage a team to end all of this somehow. We don't have to guilt him for anything. I'm fine."

*

"Scott and the school are under watch," replies Nate unhappily. "If the DEO tell him to stay put he is in a bad situation. And I don't know why he is not here, to be honest. Maybe I am better off not knowing."

Mostly because Nate should not be here. So he didn't even ask. Certainly he wasn't invited to any X-Men operation when he is supposed to rest at least another week. "Volunteers could still come, though."

*

A shrug, "I'll give Rogue or Remy a call then, will that make you feel better?" She drawled, arching an eyebrow upwards as she paused and considered the street corner they were approaching on. "You mean the DEO actually has the man power still with all of this to watch the school? That's bullshit." She frowned, looking around in a slow turn. Her expression focused intently on feeling out with her powers. Her frown deepened as she looked down one street and then the other. But it was silent. Silent and still. The same dim twilight all around save for the distant lights from either burning buildings as a backdrop, or the lights of military personnel blocks away.

"That's strange.." She muttered, her arms crossing as she failed to find the look out that was supposed to be manning the corner. The building on the corner was dark, the windows boarded up from within. And there was no movement from any of the abandoned cars on the street either.

*

Of course it is bullshit. As if the DEO was putting all their resources at helping New York. You don't see the STARS teams fighting that dragon thing, do you? Or an army of Sentinels fighting demons. It is mostly the army and SHIELD. They are playing a game of some kind and mutants are going to get screwed, as usual.

But he has also noticed the silence, so he says nothing and moves to the left, seeking cover behind a parked van while conducts a quick mental scan. First for the lookout, then for alien, unpleasant and unreadable minds. Those are usually demons. « Forcefield up, Polaris » he whispers into Lorna's mind.

*

Lorna frowned, but the silence, creeping and deafening continued. The look out, the mutant that was supposed to be watching the corner was gone. And there were no signs of a struggle in the street or around either of them. It was downright eerie. A shiver slid down her back as the green haired mutant crept up to the door of the nearest building, peering inside through the cracks of the boards. It was dark, and there were no signs of movement in there either.

«They're already up. Nate, there should be a look out here with back up.» She thought back, her expression pinched as she carefully crouched down and kept her back to the wall of the building when Nate sought cover.

*

No lookout, but not demons either. Not in the immediate area. But Nate is distrustful for the same reason he told some demons could be invisible to her. They might be invisible to him, too. « There is no one alive in the area » he replies, drawing a knife. "Lead on to the lookout post," he adds in a quiet voice. "I want to see how ready our buddies really are."

*

Lorna's expression paled as Nate told her that there was no one alive in the immediate area. Her frame freezing. There had been mutants here a little over an hour ago. And now they were gone. Vanished. Poofed. Just like Pietro and Wanda. Gone without a trace and without an explanation of where, why, or who. It made her back stiffen and she straightened when Nate drew a knife. Her eyebrows lurching upwards.

"Really? A knife?" She shook her head, but crept out of the lee of the doorway for the sidewalk again. Her steps sounding loud to her ears against the concrete. She carefully made her way passed the street corner out to the open road.

Which is when a black shape lurched out of no where, quite literally no where, and struck her hard and fast. The green haired mutant went flying backwards, as the something hit her magnetic field hard enough to send her crashing back into a burned out car. The metal screaming around her in a protective bubble as it cushioned around her like a pillow.

*

Really, a knife. He should have grabbed an assault rifle along the way, on hindsight. Maybe a few hand grenades. Then again, he is half expecting some kind of mindless undead or construct. A teleporter is almost a relief. He can deal with a teleporter.

But he moves, because some teleporters likes to 'bamf' in and out quickly, hitting several targets in rapid succession. Move and 'snatch', psychically, that is. Nate attempts to get hold of the demon's mind, then hit it. Like a hammer.

*

The teleporter's mind was of chaos and darkness. Hatred and hunger. So much hunger. Even as it appeared and Nate slammed at it's mind telepathically like a hammer, it vanished again with a howl of pain and displeasure. A cloud of inky blackness the only proof it had even appeared in the middle of the street to begin with.

With a crunch of metal, Lorna pulled herself from the remains of the car, breathing a little faster than before. Her green hair a mess. She looked for all appearances unharmed, if spooked.

"That thing hit like a freight train.." She grimaced, "Think it's gone?"

*

"No," replies Nate, without hesitancy. He barely hurt him with his blast - so much tougher than a normal human. "Chances are he is watching us, look out for good sniper positions." If it hits like 'a freight train' the demon will likely kill him with a single blow.

He almost smiles. It is an even fight, he believes. Then he looks for the creatures mind. He tagged it with the blast, and demon on not, hiding from Nate's telepathy is no easy feat. "Set a trap, if you can think any. Did he have a magnetic field? Did he cause a disturbance you can detect with the jump?"

*

A grimace as Lorna approached Nate, her feet floating a few inches off the ground as she approached Nate before she quietly touched down beside him. She frowned, her hands settling on her hips as she shook her head. "I wasn't really paying attention to whether or not there was a magnetic signature. I was busy being tossed into a car." She drawled, her attention spread further out as she tried to see if she could sense where ever the thing had gone to.

Meanwhile, Nate could still feel the creature's hateful mind. It was both here and not. Intent beyond the need and pleasure at causing harm and destruction wasn't particularly clear. It was waiting, or rather toying with them? It was hard to say, and it was very likely both.

Lorna stretched out her hands, and the cars along the street lifted up into the air to settle in a sort of metal blockade of the street, giving them both some form of cover.

Even as low pitched laughter echoed out around them.

*

"Yeah, not very useful against a teleporter," comments Nate seeing the blockade. « He is not gone, he just phased out of… not sure what. But not beyond telepathy - so I am going to try to push it to come. Get ready »

Instead of hit the demon's mind directly Nate sends a command. Direct and simple, as it is still an unreadable mind. 'Come and get me NOW'.

He has done plenty of Danger Room simulations fighting teleporters. And Nate would have liked to practice with Nightcrawler, but for some reason it has been a long time he had a chance to train with the German teleporter. Time to see if he has wasted his time.5r
Or die. That is also possible. No telekinetic defenses today.

*

Lorna stepped back, putting her back against the ring of cars that separated her from the rest of the street. Her hands held up before her as Nate mentally told her that he was going to try to get the thing to come out. Which was good, right? The menacing laughter that echoed around them was making her hairs stand on end and her heart hammer in her chest. This thing had likely killed whoever had been there before. This thing thought it could toy with them..

Nate's command had the desired effect of drawing the creature out of that 'other' place that it had slipped away to. Between one blink and the next it was there, shadowy, black claw like hands lunging for Nate and Lorna. The demonic thing seemed intent to charge straight at them, before it poofed, and poofed, and poofed. A chain of teleports around them meant to disorient and confuse. Before it lashed out at seeming random for Nate.

*

But it was what Nate told him to do. So for him there is no doubt of the target. The young man ducks under the demon's swing, trying to catch the creature's forearm when it passes by. "STAY," he says, hitting the demon's brain point-blank. The compulsion overwhelming.

Then he stabs at the demon under the ribs. As hard as he can. But it really doesn't matter if it sinks too deeply or not. It is a steel knife. Eminently magnetic.

Nate rolls out of the way, ignoring his sore ribs.

*

The demon howled, trying and failing to fight the mental compulsion that Nate planted on it as the demon swung and missed with massive claws of shadow. Rage fed the raw power behind the creature's movements, the air passing over Nate's head from the claws that swung over him. Lorna was moving, her magnetic fields spinning with as much power as she could put into them and encompass Nate's person too in a wider arc of power.

The order for the demon to stay went directly against its instincts and it struggled against the command, shrieking and howling and thrashing around in confusion and blind anger. It wanted to rip, rend, and feast. It wanted to hide. Attack from the shadows. It wanted—

Nate's knife hit the thing straight on, and plunged into the inky shadows that made up its chest. The thing didn't seem to notice all that much, or care. The thing thrashed wildly, snarling and clawing at the air where Nate had been seconds ago. Only to suddenly find that knife had broken down into indescribable parts inside of itself under Lorna's direction, under what served as muscle and sinew, blood and bone for the shadowy demon.

Lorna had no idea how to fight a demon, or if cutting off its head would do anything. So she went for the immediate fix. Destruction from the inside out from as many points as she could. "Get DOWN!" She snarled, and pulled every little piece she'd broken the knife down into in every direction.

Shadows splattered out, inky black blood exploding out in all directions all around them.

*

Nate did try to get some distance from the shadow-jumping demons, but really. Lorna goes for an overkill. Ilchor gets everywhere. "Damnit Lorna, what a mess," he grumbles, wiping his face with his forearm. "Hah, still think knives are 'really'?"

He sits down, though, out of breath and even paler than before. Scanning for more… no, it looks fine. The astral plane is a mess, but there are no more stalking presences there. "no more patrols without backup," he insists, "promise."

*

Lorna grimaced, demon blood and guts were definitely not magnetic. She grumbled, wiping down her leather jacket as approached Nate with a huff of breath a scowl. "Look, I'm not magic, I don't know how those things work or die or what. I thought it was better safe than sorry." She muttered, shaking off her hands of black sticky stuff. "And the knife is still really. I carry iron filings on me these days and, let the record show.. it didn't get through my magnetic fields." She added, crossing her arms as she looked around back to Nate and frowned.

"C'mon, lets go find a place for you to crash for a few hours. You're looking pretty rough." She held out a hand after brushing it against her jeans, pointedly making no promises.

*

"Oh, I am fine," protests the young man. "I could use a shower, though," or at least some water to get the ilchor out of his hair. "And a shotgun, really." Because they are also 'really', but telepathy is not the best took to kill demons. "Do you know if they have setup safehouse or something? Man, I am missing all the fun," he manages to stand up again, though.

*

A sigh and a shake of her head, "No idea, there's Remy's old safe house around here somewhere. But it's just an apartment. It likely doesn't have any power." She bit her lower lip, trying to decide whether or not it was a good idea to show Nate the building she'd be staying in. It was fancy, having back up generators in the basement (among other things) and its own roof top garden in the works.

"There might be some extra water, or a mutant that has water powers at the shelter that was set up at the community center. Easier for people to defend and share supplies there."

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