A Burned Down House

December 17, 2018:

Happens just after "Diaz de Muertos" (log 8288). Illyana teleports Nate and Rogue to Colombia to investigate Lorna and Marcos' call for help. They find out the Genoshans left a present behind. (Robot emitted by Polaris)

The Diaz house in Colombia


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magik, Sage

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The alarms in the mansion had blared out over the X-men line of communications a distress signal from Lorna's unit. A small snatch of recording followed, angry Spanish, Marcos' words. And gunfire followed by a scream and the recording cutting off. The last known location gave the coordinates for Bogota, Colombia. Where, at least a few people had been told, that Lorna had flown off to with her husband not too long ago.

Arrival at the location in question revealed a burned out husk of a house, still smoking from the remains of a fire. The area was taped off, "DO NOT CROSS" in Spanish etched over the burnt out remains of the front yard. The firemen had come and gone, and thus far… it didn't look like the police were all that interested in investigating what had caused it. Much less, if anyone had been inside it. It was now drawing to dusk, and the light was limited to what the neighbors' houses spilled outside to the now abandoned lot.

It took almost an hour to get the message to a couple X-Men that could fly the Blackbird or just fly fast enough to Colombia to make a difference. And it was Nate's idea to ask Illyana for help. In his opinion she needs to feel useful, and X-Men-ish. He had never seen the blonde witch so despondent.

But that is a problem for tomorrow. They are missing two other teammates. Or allies. He is not sure if Lorna would consider herself part of the team. But he has been there. Not feeling part of the team. Come to think, he has been there being kidnapped, too. It must come with the X of the uniform.

Upon arrival he latches on the nearest language center so he can understand the language. Not that the police tape is not the same everywhere. And the house is still smoking. "I am going to make ourselves invisible, Rogue. Just don't draw to much attention. And watch for spotters, whoever attacked Lorna and Marcos might have left someone to see who comes investigating."

Rogue was happy to help fly the blackbird if it was needed, she didn't consider herself the primary pilot of it by any means but the knowledge she took from Carol over a decade ago made it a lot easier for her to jump into the hot seat and do so when it was needed.

Upon arrival though, Rogue just follows after Nate, she has a black peacoat on that has a hood sewn into its collar. The hood is up over her head and her hands are inside the pockets of it, black slacks on beneath it visible on her legs along with some black leather boots. "No promises." Rogue mutters in response to Nate's words.

The house itself continued to smolder, and it seemed as if it had been burned down cleanly. Yet the other houses nearest to the ruins were merely scorched looking. The ground between the buildings was still soaked through with water, and street was still damp. It was quiet in the neighborhood, and for the moment, there didn't seem to be anyone or anything out and about on this section of the city. Though distant sounds could still be heard in the background as it always would be in a city like this.

Further inspection of the houses' remains left a wooden husk of an entry way, blackened and crumbling to the floor, which was still mildly stable.

"This must have been the Diaz' house," guesses Nate. He better check thought telepathy, some of the neighbors must know for sure. And speaking of telepathy, "I can sense Lorna, but she is not close and her mind feels weird. Maybe drugged. They have been taken away quickly or something might blocking me." And at least they are not dead.

"So what can we do? Maybe ask around? Someone must have seen something, how is your Spanish?" Detective work, not his greatest skills. Nate thought maybe he would be able to just find Lorna using his psionics. Alternatively, he can try a psychometric reading. Chances are high the fight left some imprint. "Or do we go looking for Lorna? Rachel is much better than me at tracking, though. It will be way faster if we can get her here."

"Bad." Rogue replies about her Spanish skills as her eyes scan around the area, she remains nearby to where Nate is and goes, letting lead them about. "Find me a Spanish speakin' douchebag and I'll whip off'a glove, use'im like a Rosetta Stone." She's mostly teasing, mostly.

"People probably aren't gonna answer questions to a couple'a Slim Shady's like us. Cops sure, but seems unlikely they'd start spillin' their beans to just anyone. If you got a bead on Lorna's mind, then we need t'figure out how to track off'a that. What kinda range is your ability t'sense someone anyhow? Fifty miles? Five hundred?"

As Rogue and Nate continued to walk around the burned out remains of the house, feeling out Lorna's mind on the telepathic fields.. A drugged, hazy, mind that wasn't entirely aware. The rubble beneath the collapsed and burned out house began to stir, coals moving and shifting. Wood splinters, blackened and hot, lurched up and out of the ruins. As a metal, steel colored tentacle came out of the ruins, and what appeared to be a robot octopus was suddenly rushing the two.

Red orbs that must have been its eyes registered both of them. And a mechanical voice echoed out in the dusky twilight. "MUTANTS DETECTED. ELIMINATE."

"Depends," replies Nate, walking into the burned house, protecting himself from the heat with a telekinetic shield. "If she was awake, maybe worldwide. I know her pretty well. But if they keep her drugged…"

'Mutants detected'. Oh huh. They left someone watching, as he expected, but not an living mind he can blur. Unexpected.

He knew Marcos has a criminal past, so it was logical to think it had to do with him. But the X-Men, and mutants in general, heave worse enemies than gangsters. "Ah, not the kind of douche you can mine for Spanish. But definitely something we can punch, hmm?" He hovers up and tries to get out of the mechanical octopus reach. "Doesn't look like a Sentinel," he notes, "speaks like one, tho."

Rogue approaches the destroyed house and she doesn't hesitate to rip some of it away and toss it aside without regard, only for the purpose of making it easier for she and Nate to achieve their goals. She does take her gloves off though since handling this kind of material is best done with bare hands and not the gloved kind.

"So your range is approximately… 'Earth'." Rogue repeats with a depressed tone laced upon her voice. "That'll go great on any future action figure boxes they make for you. 'Nate Grey, he can sense their friends in peril. Anywhere on planet Earth!'." She's rambling, she does that.

She's about to say more too but the robotic voice and the metallic tentacles makes her cut herself off. She takes a step back to let the 'thing' emerge and present itself to them and then she motions to it. "A nerd's robotic project. Fantastic." She says with a heavy sigh. Her jacket is tossed off onto the ground and she darts up into the air a good five or ten feet. "We should smash it and steal its computer brain… if it has one. It might have a recordin' of everything here!" She tells Nate.

The robotic octopus launched its extending tentacles over the charred remains toward the two. It snapped up at them, out of reach as both Rogue and Nate flew upwards into the sky beyond it. It buzzed this way and that, calculating as if trying to re-calibrate for an alternative result. It shifted on the ashy floor boards, metal tentacles clicking on the embers and wooden chunks.

It wasn't a Sentinel per say, but it was awful close. Closer to the spiders that had appeared on Genosha nearly a year ago, that had charged Lorna in the market place during the war between the remaining Magistrates and Magneto's forces.

Finally, it buzzed again, red orbs flashing red. The light from its eyes scanning the area where Rogue and Nate floated above it. "MUTANTS DETECTED. MUTANTS DETECTED." It repeated, apparently unable to fly as other models had.

"Good idea, although chances are it uses military grade encryption," mentions Nate. Still, Kitty cracked the Genoshan codes and hacked their network once. So he reaches for the octopus telekinetically and tries to pin the mechanical critter to the floor, so they can tear the tentacles easily later. "Watch my back, willya? This might be just one of several surprises, the lack of ranged attacks is suspicious," and currently Nate is hovering a few yards from the ground and not moving much.

Incidentally he can't keep their telepathic invisibility; they are drawing too much attention flying, not to mention the mecha-topus thing, so he expects screams… and cellphone pictures, any minute now.

Rogue flies toward the robot to taunt it, she's fought tons of these kinds of things in the Danger Room, Scott and Gambit once dialed the difficult up on her in there tremendously high just to mess with her! "Where's our friends at, ya oversized Roomba?" She says to it as it repeats that eerie mantra over and over. Her eyes glance up to where Nate is hovering and she darts over toward him. "You deal with its core and I'll keep the arms at bay. I ain't gonna have this turn inta some kinda weird Hentai, I promise." And with that saucey bit of dialogue, the southern belle sweeps at one of the arms of the robotic monstrosity and she tries to grasp onto it and rip it/smash it at the same time!

The robot octopus released a high metallic whine as Rogue dipped up and down toward it. The metal tentacles whirled and splintered, making pinchers that tried to capture and rend at whatever it could reach. Steely sounds snap, snap, snapped. And still.. no one came out. Not a curious neighbor peered through windows, and no cops appeared. The lack more disturbing than the expected presence. It would seem that whatever was going on, whatever plans that had been set.. had been done so with care. And with intent.

As Rogue swooped down and grasped a metallic arm to rip it off, metal screamed and the other seven limbs flailed about, trying to grab hold of the Southern belle around the rotating center console.

It continued to beep and whirl and thrash wildly.

Nate tsk. Well, okay. He can probably take whatever else the kidnappers can dish. He still tries to keep the mechanical monster pinned while Rogue rips out the tentacles in a very non-hentai way (whatever that means).

The lack of curious neighbors and police presence is certainly noted. What the hell? Someone could bribe the cops to stay away, but the whole neighborhood? It definitely qualifies for heavy mind scan soon. Once tentaclebot is finished. "I love to see you work," he comments, grinning.

So with all the seven robotic limbs reaching for her, Rogue is left doing a lot of ducking, diving, dipping, dodging and duking her way out of their reach. Some of them surely do grab hold of her, but she's quick to grab right back at them or flat out shove a fist into them and rip out all the bits and pieces she can inside their limbs.

This fight is pretty intense, so if there were anyone around they would likely be wholely watching like this were some kind of big budget CGI-infested film. But for Rogue, its her reality, a reality she's admittedly sick of but it is what it is and she has to protect the people she cares about.

"I swear I'mma find the nerds who made you and I'm gonna rip their limbs off too!" Rogue shouts at the battle-beast, continuing to tear it apart until she can get it down the very last one and then smash that too!

When the octopobot is finished, Nate lands on the ruins of the house. "Whole neighbor feels empty, it is weird," he states. "Someone must have put a lot of money on this," he grabs the robot remains and cracks them open with telekinesis. The CPU and inner systems exposed. "Lets call back to the school. I want Kitty here, or Banner, or maybe Sage. Then I will try to track Lorna by telepathy."

He kicks a severed tentacle. "Someone with a lot of tech. Might be Trask, they have been quiet since the fake-Brotherhood incident. Might be Hydra. Might be someone attacking Magneto through Lorna. We better find out before we go."

Rogue lands on the soft grass near the ruined home. Her sweater is all in disarray now and her hair is a frizzled mess, but she looks quite satisfied with the wreck she left that security robot in. And like Nate she kicks some pieces of the remaining limbs, then sweeps a hand down to pick up her jacket. She reaches inside it to grab at her phone and a pack of cigarettes. She doesn't usually light a cigarette up anymore, she just stows one in her lips for the routine of it.

"Maybe they had a telepath here who sent everyone away? I can't imagine they just put Knicks tickets in everyone's mail boxes and expected them all t'just be gone tonight. I mean the Knicks suck." She says to Nate as she moves to catch up with him.

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