On Your Feet

October 27, 2018:

Nate Grey returns to Mutant Town, and encounters Sage. Immediately precedes Professional Sneaks.

Mutant Town

Mutant Town, a little worse for wear.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Lorna Dane, Piotr Rasputin, Illyana Rasputina


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Sage had been spending far more time in Mutant Town than she would have liked. She'd helped when and where she could, of course, but this had never been one of her usual haunts. Regardless, given the military presence in the city, and the fact that many of the more 'human' areas were being well-tended, Mutant Town had had its need for defenders. And perhaps that was why, more than any other reason, Sage had found herself in the area more often than not.

Recently returned from Metropolis, she's taken the detour to Mutant Town on the way back to her warehouse, moving, as she was now, along the defended perimeter of the neighborhood, checking a few of the early warning systems she had installed during her previous visits.


Mutant Town has been attacked several time by demon mini-hordes, but they felt more like raiders or vandals than conquerors or an army. Many windows broken, some bones broken, not a lot of casualties. In fact it feels the demons take the worst, and yet they don't seem to care. Maybe they can't really die.

Nate, who thought he knew a bit about the society and culture (as it was) of Limbo demons is somewhat baffled by this careless attitude. Then again maybe they are not Limbo demons, but part of the invading army of the demon dragon. Or something else.

Illyana would know. He is quite worried about the Russian blonde. Nate has the utmost respect for the young sorceress (by Nate definition of respect) but it has been too long.

Not much here. Wannabes is closed, but someone is taking care of the place, it is not vandalized. Mutattoo has a barred front door, but people come and go by the backdoor. Mutants like their tattoos even during sieges. Then he pings a familiar mind. Semi-familiar. Sage is somewhat of an enigma. « Hello, lady » he greets, cautiously.


Sage did not look over, as she heard the voice in her head, eschewing the more normal human cue to look to see what direction the voice was coming from. Rather pointless in this case. She kept her head down, working on a small black box she had installed at the base of one of the street lights, which was bright enough, even in the gloom, to cast her in a spotlight. Not, perhaps, the ideal situation, but working in darkness, in these conditions was not either. A few more adjustments of the wiring, before she moved to replace the screws on the access panel, which, under normal circumstances, would have given workers access to the light's connection to the power grid. « Mr. Grey. Back in the land of the living, I see. » Not that he had been dead, precisely, but the last time she saw the man, he was being carried into a transport by Lorna Dane.


That was weeks ago. Nate escaped the school medbay and returned to New York to fight instead of spending the needed time to recover. Unsurprisingly he was not very effective at defending Mutant Town. Fortunately many mutant fighters, including many X-Men, have been helping.

He had not seen Sage before, though. "I took a couple days off and people thought I was dead?" He replies, coming closer to where Sage is working. The young man wears a blue and brown outfit, one that probably was created by the high tech machines in Xavier's complex subbasements. Armored, not great for stealth, the X symbol here and there. Also a combat shotgun on a back scabbard. Something a powerful telekinetic shouldn't need and that hints his powers are not working well.


Sage rose to her feet, adjusting her gloves as she did. She was dressed as she always seemed to be. Black jacket, black close-fitted pants, a top that showed perhaps a bit more skin than might be strictly wise given the weather, gloves, heavy boots. Her requisite rose-coloured sunglasses. Any weapons she might have been carrying were neatly concealed by the trenchcoat. "Not at all. A figure of speech. The last time I saw you, you were not living your best life." Neither the attire, nor the weapon seemed to raise any alarms. Sage was not a woman who let any advantage go without being put to use. "I don't think that we had the chance to meet, then. I am Sage."


"Scion," replies Nate, pretty sure the woman knows far more about him than he does about her. He is somewhat famous in mutant circles. Sage, on the other hand, is an X-Men associate Nate failed to notice for four years.

"I seem to remember a graceless crash-landing. Not my best," he admits, "but in my defense I got punched by a building-sized dragon and fell through a few weird dimensions for… a while." Anyway… "feeling better now. Yourself?"


Sage nodded, accepting the name she was given. Having no real name of her own, had never found fault with those who preferred to be called by theirs, as he seemed to. "You would be surprised how normal that sounds, given the events of the last month and then some. Though, perhaps not, if you've been spending time in the city." As for herself, that only received a mild shrug of a single shoulder, "I am alive and have not suffered any insurmountable injuries. The same cannot be said for a few others, but there seems no resolution in sight."


"No, it was somewhat odd even for me," replies Nate with a faint smirk. "I am from a parallel reality and I am able to do this d-shifting with some degree of success. But mystical," he glances up to the reddened sky, "they are different, like a square peg in round hole. Burned me off for a time." As Sage saw when he arrived. Despite his potent psychic signature, he was exhausted.

No resolution in sight? Hrm. "I have a few ideas, but really, this should be an X-Men effort. We probably need Piotr and the sword and… hmm, how much do you know about the current team?"


Sage remained silent, studying the man standing across from her, perhaps in that way that Quire called her 'Mike Myers' stare. "I have only ever resided in this dimension. I cannot imagine twhat it must be like to find yourself in a world that was never yours." A dip of her head, "Well, perhaps I do know something of that, but certainly not on the same level."

"I have access to all of the current information in the Mansion computers. But Piotr Rasputin, if that is who you mean, has been blinded, and might not be available for any mission. As for a sword, that is not listed in any of the secure inventory at the Mansion."


"It is Magik's Soulsword," comments Nate. Unlikely to be in the inventory, to be honest. "I heard somewhere Shadowcat can wield it too," he adds, frowning slightly. "As for me, eh… first time I D-shifted it was an accident, but my homeworld was going in nuclear flames anyway. I lived for three years in another world, one very much like this. Then I learned to travel and tried to get back home, and ended up here… I had a very powerful reason to stay." Which might no longer apply, but now this place is home. And it is being invaded.

Was this not in the school files? Probably not. He never wrote it down and Xavier (and Scott) does not like to put in the computers personal details team members do not write themselves. At least not in the databanks Nate can access.


"Still something worth noting, even if it, technically, belongs to a member of the team. Especially when that member goes missing, or rogue. As she has, or so the latest reports I have cleaned claim." Again, that light lift of her shoulders, before she continued, "And can you control it now? Your movement between dimensions? Or is it all luck of the draw or chance?" She glanced up, looking towards the vortex of sorts that had plagued the sky above New York City for over a month. Whether she knew much more about Nate Grey than she was letting on, that, she kept to herself. "And, perhaps more importantly, will it allow you to travel back to Limbo?"


"Magik has not 'gone rogue'," states Nate with a grunt. "If she had we would have a bunch of alien gods trying to eat the whole world right now, instead of crazy dumb demons and just one city besieged."

He prefers not to consider the possibility Illyana is dead. Not yet.

"I can move between parallel Earths," he clarifies. "And shift… well, not in New York. But there are places I can do it. Usually it is easy. But some places are harder. In any case, it is not a very useful ability for my daily life."


"So, she had not gone rogue. So…she is, in point of fact, helping the city by allowing her demons to run rampage across the city, killing people, destroying property and causing fear and trepidation amongst the residents? Let me make a note of that, once I track down the families of all of the people whose husks I encountered in Mutant Town. I'm certain all of the refugees that have been forced to live in tents on the Mansion lawn will be glad to know that this is all being done for their own good. I am certain they will look on the X-Men in the best of lights." Sage shook her head, arms folding across her chest, pulling the edges of her jacket together in front of her, "Then we will take that ability off of the table."


Nate shakes his head. "We don't know what happened so don't be so hasty to judge her," and that is all he can say without speaking of Illyana's secrets, really. Limbo on New York means… ugh, he doesn't know. But the girl was always very strict about keeping her critters out of Earth. It was like her Rule Number One.

"Gotta find her, and kill that dragon," and with his telekinesis returning he will definitely try soon. Maybe in a few days. "Have you been working with Lorna?" He asks, changing subject.


"I do not judge. I study, I observe, I make note of events, and I extrapolate based on the evidence that has been provided to me. I have no attachment to her, and perhaps that makes it easier to evaluate evidence, as I have no emotional investment in the idea of whether or not she or anyone is in fact 'good' or 'evil'." Sage shook her head, "Let us move on." Some arguments were really not worth having. "I have been helping her as much as I am able to manage the events in Mutant Town, to protect who can be protected, and to bring in supplies as needed. While there is a large military and relief effort underway in the city, for the most part, it has passed Mutant Town by. Which has, on the whole, been, likely, better for its residents, but it means having to find alternate ways to see to their needs."


But Nate was there, he saw how Illyana tried to defend Limbo. Sure, he is 'emotionally involved' since the Russian girl has been his friends in one incarnation or another since he was seventeen. A somewhat merciless but utterly loyal friend. So he keeps his frown for a while.

Supplies and protection, all good. But not quite good enough. "Okay. Lorna has kind of hooked up with the local Brotherhood cell. In protecting Mutant Town we are allies, at least. So maybe we should try to work together more. This situation is taking too long to solve." Where are the Avengers and the Justice League anyway? Hell, he would even try coordinate with the DEO's teams, even the Youngblood assholes.


Sage, thankfully, was not a woman who was much affected by frowns. And so she gave no response to the grown that marked the man's face. It was really not a subject that they would not end up at loggerheads over. better to focus on what could be done in the moment, "From what she has told me, they have been charged with protecting her. She has, when she is here, as far as I have counted, no less than half a dozen bodyguards. But I have seen no evidence that they are doing anything else to assist the mutants here, despite the fact that that is their proclaimed aim. What I have done, I have done because Lorna asked it of me, not because the Brotherhood has extended a hand of charity towards those whom they are propertied to be fighting for." As for the situation, "My demesne is not magic, or mysticism. I deal in reality, in technology. I have done what I can with the tool which I have been given. If you have access to others, put them to use. I will provide what support I can."


"Yeah, I don't know much about magic either," admits Nate. "But I know how to kill demons, so… have you finished here? I want to check the perimeter of the neighborhood. They usually come from the north. Then find Lorna." As it seems obvious the X-Men are not working with the Brotherhood. Which is silly. And it is really bad when Nate needs to point that out. "That is, if you want to come."


Sage nodded, pushing away from the place she had been standing, which, was more a matter of straightening her shoulders, than actually taking any weight off of where it had been resting. She at least slid her gloved hands back into her jacket, the movement keeping it mostly closed around herself. Windchill was a thing, but then, so was making certain you were able to access whatever tools or weapons you might need in any circumstance. She'd clearly settled for dealing with one, to affect the other. "I've finished here. This was the last of the surveillance points that needed upgrading." When Sage finally came up beside Nate, the comment she offered might have, for anyone else, been a joke, "You're far taller standing up than I expected." She had, after all, only seen him on his back. So to speak.

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