April 17, 2019:

The X-Men and the Punisher have tracked down the cybernetic technology used during the attack on Mutant Town to a distribution center in Brooklyn. They stumble on an AIM base. (Emits by Nate)

Gateway Plaza Mall, Brooklyn

On scene


NPCs: The Toyman (kind of)

Mentions: M.O.D.O.K.

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Gateway Plaza Mall is one of those huge multi-shop complex that have been built in the last few years. Over 120 shops, some of which are large electronic supermarkets, and the We R Toys (largest children shop in Brooklyn, they say) and food courts, and movieplex with twelve screens, and a large underground parking garage. During the day there are thousands of shoppers and it is the very picture of neat and efficient capitalism in action.

At night things are quieter, but there are still a good number of employees. Cleaning staff, administration, transport, a dozen security guards. Trucks coming and going. And in some of those trucks there are illegal electronic parts and cybernetic components.

They leave from here, but where do they come? Not even Sage's investigative skills, nor Microchip's formidable hacker abilities have been able to find that out. *Someone* must know, of course. Someone that is here most nights secretly uploading a few extra boxes in certain trucks leaving for State Island or Arizona.

But as Sage has already noticed, most of the truck drivers have no idea they are transporting illegal tech, and those who know are just bribed to look the other way, they know very little. Looks like the upload is automatic, and that no one knows anything. The goal tonight is to find who is in charge of the operation, interrogate them and from there track down the origin of the components.

There is also something unusual in the lower levels of mall. The parking garages have overblown security and pretty much no one is allowed there at night. Also, there is a kind of null zone under the mall that gives bad vibes to Sage cybertelepathic senses.

Sage moved with her usual care, outfitted in her standard black on black urban armor. As also per her usual, she bore no insignia that would mark her as a member of the X-Men. To do so would have been a lie in the extreme. She was, in many ways, nothing more or less than an operative that found herself called in when that august band of mutant heroes required plausible deniability. Still, she seemed to be considering none of those things, as she moved in silence through the underground garage, ignoring the shivers of unease that flowed along her cybertelepathic senses. Indeed, she had set those aside in one of her mental sectors, focusing, instead, on using her 'normal' if such was the word, telepathic ability to track the men working in the unloading area, scanning them for any surface thoughts which might reference the deliveries that they were making in terms of secrecy, or even simply skimming for feelings of unease or duplicity.

Stealth operations are nothing new to Laura Kinney, known to some as X-23. And she moves through the shadows so silently it'd be very easy to forget she was there at all. With a telepath along to scan for minds her keen senses instead focus on other potential sources of danger. The smells of explosives, firearms and anything unusual and mechanical which might indicate a killer cyborg that's mindless enough to evade mindscans.

Her outfit is sleek black with a few tactical holsters to keep cable ties and all the gear needed for a field interrogation. Although it's not entirely clear if she dressed up specially for the mission or if that was just what she had on when the call for field support came.

Working with others was usually a recipe for disaster for the Punisher. His tactics, his MO, and his reputation were something most of the 'superhero' community didn't agree with, and Punisher was usually happy to tell them all to kindly fuck off and leave the real war to him, then.

For this particular operation, Frank has agreed to cooperate with X-Men operatives to make stopping the Cyborg-Sentinels a priority. Tonight, he's 'replaced' one of the security guards at the mall dockyard. A bit of electronic and voice forgery for a phone call, and knocking out the guard in question earlier in the night for a quick 'last minute replacement'. Sure, the blueprints were easy to memorize, and he could claim ignorance on procedures. As his segway goes around the mall as he covertly scouts, Frank Harmark is on his way to one of the topside loading areas to start looking at the cargo. Luckily, the Battle Van was nearby with his full armory… but he had a decent stash in the trunk of the segway.

"Frank, from everything going on, I'm pretty sure the lower levels are where the illegal stuff is happening. The entire place is on a separate circuit that I need to hack on it's own. I've got full access topside, but our friends will need to get me a physical line to the lower levels." Microchip states over the comm network to Frank, Sage, and Laura. "I've got you on camera Frank. I'll let you know if you need to bug out."

That is one of the 'wrong' things to Sage cyberpathics. The second camera circuit in the lower floors of the parking garage. They lead 'nowhere'. They are not in the network, there is no server/brain to touch. It is as if it is connected to a void.

It speaks of technology that technically does not exist. Not even the D.E.O. has something able to hide so well from telepaths. Not Magneto. Not the Hellfire Club. Or even Lex Luthor. But then again the list of secret high-tech groups is endless. Nevertheless it hints the black market traffickers are not to be taken lightly.

The regular mall security is pretty laughable for people like Punisher, Sage or X-23. The lower levels - not so much.

Sage paused, as she came to the edge of the area she had surveilled before, glancing back towards the last place she had seen X-23. "This is where the disruption field begins. I've mapped the extent of it, at least as far as I am able to track within the boundaries of the mall." She slipped a small tablet from her pocket, offering it to X-23. "Normally, there are few things in the world that can bother my cybertelepathy. This isn't a naturally occurring phenomenon. I believe whatever it is we are looking for is going to be here within this radius."

Laura Kinney takes a few moments to flick through each page on the tablet. A combination of training and her innately superb memory allowing her to recalll any floor plans and intelligence after a few seconds. "Unless you object I'll take point from here," she offers. "If there is trouble I stand a far greater chance of living through an ambush."

While she might not be a cyberpath or a hacker Laura does know building security systems. "So long as we don't get caught by any of the sensors they won't be able to report back to whatever is inside." Which is of course easier said than done. Tentatively she takes a few sniffs of the air, trying to establish how often people have been coming and going into this mystery zone. "At least if it's disconnected it is unlikely to summon a police response."

A cursery examination of the cargo loading area is done, before Punisher starts to head over to a position near one of the entries for the trucks going into the lower levels. Pulling out his trenchcoat, silenced M4A1/M203 and rubber round magazined Beretta from the trunk of the segway, Punisher gets ready for an infiltration.

"I'll see if I can find a junction box to splice into, Micro, but I can't make any promises." Punisher offers in reply as he starts to stealth his way down to the lower level loading area, "Sage, Kinney. I'm heading to the lower levels via the other loading ramp."

"I'm happy to have you run ahead." Sage was not foolish enough to believe that she should be the one going in ahead, not when X-23 was both more durable and more skilled at handling the problems that she had no doubt would be cropping up. Instead, she held out a hand to reclaim the tablet, which would be slipped back into a pocket, before she'd move to follow X-23, her mind focused on accessing the computer systems, and searching for the source of the 'dead space' as it were.

"Be on the look-out for advanced motion sensors and pressure plates," Laura offers over the communication channel as she hands back the tablet, before taking a route which would let her advance as far as safely possible without interacting with the security system. When it becomes impossible to evade the sensors she'll motion for Sage to pause while she approaches to by-pass the hardware. It's much better hardware than Mall security has any right to be, but she's infiltrated highly secured locations before. Usually ones set up to protect rich and paranoid people. And with a technopath on hand it should give her an edge.

Moving through the lower levels without being spotted by the cameras or the other security systems now apparent is not easy. But an old truck comes, bringing a racket of noise and light, and they can get to the lowest level. The place is empty and smells to seldom used. Dark, too, but for a central loading area. There four workers seem to be loading boxes on a truck. The bored-looking truck driver is in the cabin, watching a football game in small TV set.

Those workers have no minds. And they smell to machines. The truck driver is definitely human, and he is one of those that have accepted some extra cash to ask no questions.

High security. Check. Ridiculous levels of lighting. Check. Old truck. Check.

The entire operation couldn't be more blatant if they tried.

A junction box for slicing into the system is found after a bit of work. Infiltration with cameras in most major areas is difficult.. but Punisher's dealt with worse. Of course, keeping this covert with this level of security is going to be near impossible without running interference. Which means Microchip needs access.

The work is fairly silent and out of the way… and once the tablet is wired in and the transmitter connected, Punisher closes the box back up, with the tablet inside… and that's when he notices movement out of the corner of his way, and he has to move behind nearby boxes.

"Got one of the workers coming this way." Punisher whispers into the transceiver, "Going to choke him out back here. Microchip, I have your tablet setup, you have your line in."

Sage seemed perfectly happy to follow in X-23's wake. She was nowhere near as spry as her fellow mutant, but she made use of her body control to move as neatly and as silently as she could as she made her way towards the system X-23 was working on, taking the time to scan the surrounding figures. Sage's voice cut across the comms, the woman clearly deciding that someone beyond X-23 needed to know what she was doing. "The last truck on the right, the one currently being loaded. I tag five minds. 1 is human, the driver, the others are cybernetic." She paused for a beat, "A definite upgrade from the class we saw in mutant town."

While the deepest levels of the parking structure seem to have enemies at least there are plenty of places to hide. X-23 slinks forward, keeping a slow and steady pace as she moves from one hiding spot to the next. Ensuring that if they do alert any hostiles they'll have to come past her to get to Sage. A subvocal microphone lets her ask "Any of them targets you wish to acquire?" over the comms without having to speak. There is one audible sound though. A faint sound of razor sharp adamantium claws sliding through flesh as Frank mentions he's making a move on one of the guards. Her muscles tensing as the time for action approaches.

Microchip responds with a happy "good, lets see…" a pause. It follows a worried-sounding "holy crap, nothing in here is remotely standard. I'd say they are aliens, but no… I have seen this style of code before. Give me five minutes."

While Microchip goes into decoding and mapping the camera network, the worker reaches Frank's position. Still walking at a leisure page, as if the night-shift and hauling heavy boxes was the best thing in life. Only some whistling is missing.

The worker emits a fairly convinced 'hrk' when grabbed, but Frank notices right away he is grabbing plastic and metal, not flesh and bone. The human appearance is superficial at best. And a second later he finds the 'worker' is actually pretty strong, as he grabs Frank's wrists and begins to pull him off his neck.

A silent alarm is raised. Sage can feel it in the sudden 'awakening' of the electronic brains of the other workers. One goes back to the elevator behind them, the other two run towards Frank's position. Silently.

The lights in the garage turn red. Not so silently, metal blast doors close all the ramp exits, the staircase doors, too. The truck driver? He gets nervous, "hey, what is going on, guys?! C'mon, I am already running late!"

"Why do they always insist on ringing the doorbell?" Sage's voice was not amused. But then, Sage's voice was never amused. "No, I can shut them down from here." No point in being secretive now. Sage turned her attention from the macro systems, finding, instead, the brains of the two heading towards the Punisher of the workers and insinuating herself into their operating systems, seeking for their proverbial kill-switches. "Track the one on the way to the elevator. He may be heading towards the command center. I will try to edit his optical relays to cloak your approach." To the man still in the driver's seat, she sent a single word, putting as much force into her thought as she could. But she was only so skilled in the control of human minds. They were not, strictly speaking, her demesne. "Hush. Stay where you are."

A normal combat knife wouldn't get through that neck probably. Lucky for Punisher, he had Microchip design a new combat knife, specifically built to handle these cyborgs. Absurdly sharp and capable of an electrical jolt big enough to overload the machinery within the cyborgs, it was pretty overkill for something this simple. Not that Punisher was going to complain.

Of course, Punisher had to get to it. With full knowledge of what he was dealing with now, Punisher yanked his hands out of that grip immediately, his right hand coming down to the custom knife behind his back, and he goes right for what should be the jugular.

He has no time to do anything about the two coming for him yet, but hopefully he can take this one out of play. He only needs to keep them away from the junction box right now… and, hopefully, disable the truck opposite later.

Rolling under the shutters before they can fully close, Kurt frowns as the lights change and things begin to take a turn. Sticking to the shadows that seem to reach out and wrap around his form as he moves to a pillar, scaling it and then slinking along the cieling murk.

While his hands and feet carry him towards the other, the laser and plasma based blade is gripped by his tail, not engaged yet - mostly because of how blasted bright it is.

With the element of surprise gone Laura abandons any further attempts at stealth. Exploding forward in a blur of movement she sprints towards the cyborg retreating to the lower levels. With Sage asking for tracking rather than killing she doesn't even try get inside the lift with the cyborg. Instead she sweeps her claws clean through the elevator door and leaps for the roof of the rapidly descending carriage. Riding it down into the depths of the facility. Hopefully with the occupant none-the-wiser.

"Got it," says Micro. "It is them. The murder club or crazy scientists. A.I.M. I can't crack this… not quickly enough. Get out of there Frank, call SHIELD, this is above our pay grxxxxxxchchr…" the line goes dead.

Just like the 'worker'. It is a robot, but not one designed for combat. The knife goes through the plastic of its neck and hits metal wires and mechanisms, delivering a discharge that fries a few key components. A thug behind him reveals two other 'workers' falling down as Sage's cybernetic command. They have little in defense software and they communicate by wireless signals, not too hard to hack despite using unfamiliar protocols.

On the elevator Laura can see it going down maybe ten yards, and then stopping. She hears the door sweeping open and then steps leaving. And then lighter steps coming. Sterile air, like a lab. Metal. Silicon. A few human scents.

As Sage felt the two minds collapse under her command, she continued in the direction Laura had gone, leaving Punisher to catch up or not. She had no idea what he planned to do. She heard the comms cut out and took a step back, rather than trying to find a way to pry open the elevator doors to make it possible for herself to jump down. Instead she waited, mind working in overdrive as she attempted to locate the jamming signal and eliminate it.

With all the workers dealt with apparently, Punisher turns around, unslings his M4, and brings it up into a ready position as he heads for the truck Sage indicated. "Hey, asshole! Get out of the truck. Now. Hands where I can see em." Punisher commands clearly. The trenchcoat and the white skull vest Punisher wears should be more than enough to identify Frank if the driver pays any sort of attention to the news.

The carbine is not aimed at anything. Yet. But if he tries to drive away, those tires are going to be popped with precision aiming.

To Sage, "I got a message to send. I assume you're goin' down there immediately?" Punisher grates out to her as he gets nearby.

Laura Kinney cuts herself a circular hole in the top of the elevator carriage, the lifts the circle of metal out. Then for good measure she cuts the cables. The person sized hole probably making it unsafe to ride anyway. Then if she can slip in behind the worker cyborg undetected and follow discreetly then she will. But by this point speed seems more prudent than stealth. So if anything or anyone indicates she's been spotted… Well it's probably going to regret turning up to work.

Well, this is going most interestingly, using the sounds of shouting to mask his movement, Kurt teleports to the ceiling above the truck, watching Frank work his magic while trying to spot Laura and Sage - still having not addressed to the others he was here… They didn't need to yet, well they might need him. Hard to tell sometimes.

Although Sage is in plain sight by the elevator, Laura seems to have dropped down and out of sight.

The truck driver, quite paralyzed by Sage's mental command, is quite terrified by the Punisher's appearance. "Oh my god, don't kill me! I did nothing!" A guilty voice of a guy that suspected his truck was being used to smuggle drugs and took the money anyway. He was wrong about the drugs, although not about the smuggling.

Laura drops into the elevator to face with… a slender metallic being that steps back briefly. Then shifts, changes. And becomes a second Laura. Snikt. Metal claws slide from the forearms and the new Laura takes a fighting stance the original Laura knows way too well.

The jamming signal comes from the walls, now turned into a faraday cage. Not much Sage can do short of hacking the systems that keep the power going or opening the blast doors. They are not close, but likely downstairs, where Laura went a minute ago.

A silvery cylinder sails through the air from atop the truck, Kurt's voice calling out, "Heads up Frank." and then Kurt appears next to sage, bowing his head towards her and looking back at where Frank is 'working.' He doesn't speak aloud, but the 'where do you need me?' look is quite clear.

"Focus, Punisher. We have a mission." Sage, it was becoming more apparent, never used anything but codenames. "Jamming signal's coming from ther lower levels. I'll need to get down there," she offered as she turned her attention to the elevator and the process to climb down along the structural members to the elevator now stopped below her. Just before she did, she once again sent a message for the truck driver to calm himself, "He's no threat. Just a man looking to make a bit of money."

There's always a point in a mission when X-23 finds things suddenly stop going well. Someone gets careless or unlucky, a guard is suddenly extra observant or the security system received an unexpected upgrade. And some sort of shape shifting killer robot turning up? That's usually a sign you've reached it.

There is no verbal response from Laura. Her lip curls with faint distaste as the robot shifts form and then she leaps into battle. Her jump adding power to downward strikes, pitting claws against claws and cold machine logic against the savage instincts of flesh and blood. The only immediate objective, other than not getting herself killed, is to try drive the fight out from the elevator. Otherwise any help dropping in will find itself dropping into a blender.

Ignoring Sage, Punisher walks right up to the door of the truck. "I'm not looking for you, asshole… but I do want you to send a message for me." Punisher watches the mans eyes, "I want you to tell anyone you know who works down here they have one week to clear out of here. I'm shutting this shit down, starting with you. If I catch you, or /anyone/ down here after tonight? I'll come back, and I'll be lookin' for you." His eyes narrow, "People like you are how these operations keep going. Don't let me find out you're still enabling them after this."

Punisher gives a look to Nightcrawler, catching the cylinder with a free hand, before it goes into a pocket, "I'm done here. Let's go." Punisher grates out as he heads for the elevator, and he aims the M4 down the shaft, giving cover. "I got a grapnel gun for this. Take her down with you." Punisher offers to Nightcrawler as he aims.

That robot is just like her.

Ten seconds after the fight starts, it even smells like her! And fights like her. Bleeds like her. And heals like her. It is creepy, to the point it is deceiving Laura's super-senses.

What Sage and the others see when she reaches the elevator is a deadly dance of two clawed mutant assassins, both terrifyingly quick and agile, trying to dismember each other. Even their minds feel the same! Laura's only edge (pun intended) is her claws are adamantium, and the copy apparently can't manage to duplicate that. But whatever the fake Laura is using stills cuts flesh and bone pretty well.

Past the fighting, there is a factory complex. It is large. Machines building machines with cold machine precision. Sage can feel a few human minds; she is past whatever weird shield they had to keep this place hidden.

Red lights are blinking. There is little doubt there will be a security response soon.

As soon as Sage made the hallway, and caught sight of the two X-23s in mortal combat, well, was there really any other kind, her eyes began to blood light. Blue, flourescent light, dripping like water around the edges of her rose-tinted sunglasses that somehow seemed to evaporate in the air, rather than dripping down her face. "The one with the cut on her left flank just below her floating rib is X-23. The other is an adoptoid, or something very much like it." She kept one segment of her awareness on the fight, and sent he another into the security systems, attempting to shut them down, whether or not it would do any good. And in so doing, if she was very lucky, allow herself access to the locks which secured the doors. To allow her to bar the way for resistance, but allow her to control access for the team.

Nightcrawler nods to Frank and leaps down the shaft towards the elevator, headfirst. Stopping himself with feet and tail so that he can continue following Sage's movement and appear next to her, once again, leaving behind a cloud of inky smoke as another appears where he now stands.

Nightcrawler says, "Which one is which, Sage?" Kurt asks, looking to the fighting X-23s. Igniting the blade he acquired from Stark, a silvery blue energy blade erupting from the hilt. Laser swords man. Cool.,"

Strangely this is far from the first time Laura has ever tried to murder herself. Usually it's in the danger room. At least this fake doesn't have adamantium, even if it does seem to have a healing factor for metal too. "And I thought this would be boring," she finally mutters between breaths. Every moment the fight continues she pushes herself to fight faster and faster. Making sudden sweeping kicks with her foot claws, trying to cleave mass away from her opponent in the hope it'll run out of things to repair itself with before she does.

X-23 does her best to push the pitched battle into the bigger room. The extra room letting her make the most of her acrobatic fighting style. Although it does seem to be causing a fair amount of collateral damage. Stray claw strikes leave marks on the walls, floor and even the ceiling. While potentially expensive machines unfortunate enough to be close by spark and hiss as metal sweeps through it.

"Copy." It's a very formal tone. Punisher is a former Special Forces commando after all… so this sort of operation is second nature to him after decades of experience.

The red dot sight is aligned as Sage stated, and soon Punisher is firing into the melee. M4A1 Armor-Piercing ammo begins to rain down into the fight in bursts.

If it were anyone else, a few stray rounds might hit Laura… but this is the Punisher.

The computer systems down here are a marvel of electronic engineering, and nothing like Sage has found before. The firewalls and watchdog systems react quickly to her intrusion and fight against her with programmed skill. As soon as she knocks out a security protocol, a backup system activates and keeps fighting her. Yet she can feel there are no infinite backups. Sooner or later she will knock out something critical and the whole defense grid will crumble like a house of cards.

All she needs is surviving a few minutes.

Adaptoid Laura is a hard target. Most marksmen wouldn't be able to hit her. Unfortunately for the robot, the Punisher's aim is almost inhumanly accurate. A hit here, making her miss a step, another there, she stumbles back, and the real Laura now has a huge advantage. In a few seconds the robot is torn to pieces.

"They destroyed the guardian adaptoid, deploy all defenses now!" Screams someone from the back of the factory. "Doctor Schott! What should we…" the screaming is lost in the rumble of propellers as a squadron of Spitfire fighters falls on the group of heroes.

Spitfire fighters of about two feet wingspan. Like toys, but making kamikaze runs on the invaders. Followed by a small army of tanks. Each the size of a shoebox. They shoot very real bullets, though.

Behind them there are half a dozen of humans in yellow outfits, looking a bit like beekeepers. The stay in cover behind the machinery, taking shoots with high-power laser riffles. Yes, those are the AIM agents. They are supposedly very smart, but they don't have good combat training. They have robots for that task.

And apparently they also have toy-sized fighters and tanks.

As the AIM agents and their toys appeared, Sage set to work, eyes still alight, just in the offchance that there were more like the now not X-23, as she waded into the battle across the hallway. She drew her own weapons, a pair of pistols with extended magazines, aiming at the tanks with machine precision, as she pushed forward. Her breathing she stopped entirely, shutting down her nerve receptors as well, so that if she did take any injuries, she would not feel the pain. She shot, and fought, and moved.

The grapnel gun brings Punisher down the elevator to where Laura was fighting, and just as he lands and replaces it back into his trenchcoat, he spots the new 'defenders'.

"What. The. Fuck." Punisher deadpans, "Someone in this shithole has a shit sense of humor." Punisher continues, the incredulity continuing… right up until the 'toys' start firing very real bullets, and the Punisher is ducking behind one of the sides of the elevator entry.

Using it as cover, he starts to aim the M4 downrange. Switching to full auto, Punisher begins to fill the air with lead. Lots of targets, lots of bullets.

Having brutally cut herself to bits. In more ways than one. The battered, bloody and very annoyed X-23 advances into the middle of the room. Her reactions fast enough that she can slice bullets from the tanks clean out of the air with whirling claw strikes. And while she can't dodge the speed of light she can move a lot quicker than a poorly trained A.I.M. agents can.. well… aim.

She doesn't intend to get into hand to hand with the agents. Not yet anyway. Instead her goal is to look absolutely terrifying and to draw as much fire as possible. And for anyone who just watched her battle the adaptoid she probably doesn't need to work very hard.

"Oy… Mein Gott… the language." Kurt sighs as Frank bursts in, swearing. He leaps forward, seeing the Creeps in Yellow. With the signature sound of *BAMF* the teleporter sweeps past their defenses by just not having to deal with them. His leap arching into a roll, Stark-Tech energy blade alight he tumbles to his feet, aiming to wrap his tail around the head shoulder of one of the bee-keepers an yank the person to the ground - trying to get a good look at what is being used to control the rest of the combat tech before he starts swinging willy nilly.

The drone fighters and tanks are stubborn and keep fighting. The spitfires crash, trying to hit the heroes and catch them in explosions. Some drop tear gas grenades, aiming to incapacitate them. Their numbers are being quickly depleted, though.

The beekeepers, although superbly armed, are no match for Nightcrawler and those the German hero doesn't punch unconscious run away when X-23 comes too close.

But then 'Doctor Schott' arrives. On his power armor.

Winslow Schott doesn't look like much. He is on the short side, overweight and in his late fifties. The yellow AIM uniform does not fall well on his frame. But he is behind the bullet-proof glass of a large armor suit. A headless thing with big robotic legs, big clawed arms and two robot tentacles that would be the envy of Dr. Octopus. "Children! Playtime is over!" He yells, grinning like a lunatic. Which he kind of is. Then he fires a burst of plasma from one of the tentacles. It explodes on impact, vaporizing a large chunk of wall just at Frank's side. "Surrender now or you will be very sorry!"

Sage hugged the wall, as she came into the now AIM Agent free zone, attention shifting towards the armored man, yet another process spinning up in her head. And out of boredom, rather than necessity, Sage powered down the segment in which she was playing chess against herself, as she allowed her cyberpathic mind to begin to scan the thing within, calling into the comms, "Also a robot. No less dangerous for it." And then began the process of infiltration, attempting to overload the synapses. Even if she did not succeed in disabling the thing, she could at least do what she could to interfere with the thing's ability to manage it's systems and weapons and allow the rest of the team and easier time in disabling it.

Glancing at the now practically evaporated wall, Punisher looks back down the way where the lunatic was ranting from. Especially, he's taking a look at those plasma belching tentacles. "Interesting toys." Punisher notes, before he quickly replaces his magazine with more AP rounds, and dashes out into the open.

Those plasma blasts were going to be an issue. Time to do something about that.

Switching back to three round bursts, Punisher begins to systematically attack the base root of each tentacle as they become visible. Those are the big guns, and they're likely going to be a nightmare to get into melee with… so those are his priority as he keeps moving.

Moving in the annoyingly efficient method that he knows and loves, Kurt appears above Frank and behind cover, having an idea. "Punisher, you have grenades on a rip strip by chance?" Keeping himself pressed as far from view as he can, despite the black smoke the signals his appearance, and disappearance, from anywhere.

"I could plant and run better than you ever could, ja?" the bavarian acrobat waits - he has no guns, he can't shoot mind bullets (that's Telekenis Kyle) he can't heal like Laura or Logan… But he does have the power, to move you. Or a ripper strip of grenades.

"Traditionally it is the stronger side which makes the demands," Laura points out blandly as the scientist turns up in a big robot suit. The plasma blasts are perhaps a mild concern. But as the pilot makes the mistake of firing a warning shot into the wall, rather than simply killing someone, it gives an opening for her to advance.

She begins to jump and whirl, getting in close to the machine where it's oversized weapons will struggle to swing at her, and turning her claws to the same points she'd strike on any giant monster. Slashing through cables, joints and other soft targets.
But then again just about /everything/ is a soft target for claws made of adamantium

"Madame I assure you I am no robot," protests Toyman. English accent too. He emphasized the statement firing a blast to Sage with his right tentacle. He misses. "My head… get out of there!" He yells, charging the woman and trying to run her over.

Frank finds the armor quite bulletproof, but it has weak points, and after a few bursts one of the tentacles seems unable to pivot quickly, metal groaning as it moves.

And then Laura is on top of him, shredding pieces of his armor. He didn't even saw her coming. "No, bad girl. Go away!" He screams, trying to grab her with the oversized arms. Clumsily, something (someone) is in his head making him handle the powerful armor rather badly.

Sage dodged the shot sent in her direction, "Of course you aren't." There was almost something amused in her voice. "So there should be no reason why you can feel my fingers digging around in your brain." Sage moved, trying to find some bit of cover as she redoubled her efforts, ducking and weaving to make it less likely that the robot would manage to catch her.

He didn't bring the right tools for that job, and he's done enough to give Laura an edge… so Punisher tosses the only frag grenade that he has up to Nightcrawler, "I have business to handle in this place. Claw girl seems to have the lunatic under control." Punisher notes with a hint of amusement, before he charges off into another portion of the complex… intent on salvaging technology… and an interrogation subject.

Taking the grenade with a shrug, "Close enough", Kurt *bamfs* into the room with Laura, above the engagement, gauging a place to go and taking the risk to teleport again, one hand and both feet clinging to the surface as his tail swings the stark-tech sword, aiming to cut a hole through the main armor plates, something big enough for a grenade to be plopped into before one were to… teleport to safety.

Laura Kinney balances on the back of the machine. Taking the time to hack the grabbing arms apart piece by piece. Until the pilot is flailing at her with nothing but sparking stumps. "I can assure you it'll be much more pleasant to surrender and allow her into your mind," she snarls, plunging her claws down into the bullet proof cockpit. "Than me cutting the information out of you will be." By this point X-23 is a bloody mess. Her outfit slashed, scorched and soaked in blood. But slowly, bit by bit, she begins to make a hole she can reach in and haul the pilot out. Kicking and screaming. Of course if he's cybernetically fused with the suit there will probably be a lot more of one than the other…

"I am human," insists Toyman. Laura leaves the armor armless, but he still has the tentacles to swat her like a fly. But then the grenade goes off and the armor loses one of the legs. It falls hard on its chest, crushing the glass cabin. It still manages to roll over, slowly, and Toyman crawls from the wreckage, missing an arm and half the face. "I am human… oh," he glances to the stump of his robot arm, then touches his face, where the fake flesh is missing. "What happened? Bloody…" he freezes, and falls flat on his face. Shutdown.

With the fall of the robot Toyman the AIM base is basically defenseless. A couple beekeepers try to hide, but Frank and Laura find them pretty quickly.

The base is a treasure trove of super-tech. So advanced even Sage can't understand half of it. This is truly the kind of thing that needs Reed Richards or Tony Stark to dissemble it without making it explode.

But the computers do bend to her will. She knows they were building electronics for the Sentinels on M.O.D.O.K. orders. AIM's former leader sent the command using high-ranking codes. It is fortunate most of AIM is following other 'Supreme Scientists' and the organization itself is split in half a dozen warring factions. The Sentinels have M.O.D.O.K., no doubt.

And fortunately they stopped this base from sending the bulk of the supplies. There are enough in the warehouses for two dozen Sentinels and five hundred cyborgs. And best of all, there are precise coordinates of where the parts were supposed to go. Now the X-Men can go on the offensive.

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