Exiled Exiles

June 01, 2014:

Nocturne and Mimic are heading into Mutant Town when a familiar teammate suddenly appears to join them…

Mutant Town

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"..And then the whole building just fell right through the ground, and not just 'settled in' slightly, it was -gone- and then some. Biggest hole I've ever seen in the middle of this city!" Talia tells Calvin with full-on limbs-involved animation. "Mole men, thousands of the guys! I mean you've really gotta admire their determination and all but -really?- Suspending a building over a lava lake is so cheesy sixties super-spy stuff."

Speaking of cheesy, she's got some of that there dipping cheese to accompany a big ol' pretzel scored from a local vendor, juuuust outside of where Mutant Town 'officially' starts. The air may seem a bit less oppressive though in turn the sanitation starts to take a notable dive.

"This place has so many superheroes you can barely throw a rock without either hitting one or having one notice that something just got thrown in 'their city.' Pretty cool, actually," she finishes with a customary Wagner head-dip.

*

"I heard about it." Cal says with a nod. He couldn't not hear about it. Everyone heard about it except for some survivalists in the the woods without power or radios. "You know, the Mole Man does kind of have a point. Had he gone about it differently, he might have made some headway at least as far as being a recognized nation. Doesn't the UN acknowledge Atlantis?" He's actually not sure on that point. "Though mineral rights? Yeah, sure. Like any government is going to give those up." He's got one of those foot long hot dogs loaded with toppings and requiring many napkins.

*

Bright sunny day. New York City afternoon — the seriously great kind that gets people out and about, enjoying the light, the air, the energy. It's also, inevitably, the kind that gets interrupted by weirdness. That's how these things work.

In the air above an open air parking lot nearby, an energy disk swirls. Violet energy crackles around the edges, golden light glowing in the center. There's an audible *BLOOK!* as the disk snaps open into a portal and a figure gets hurled through it rather forcefully.

"No! Wait! I— Unnnfh!"

'BLOOK' gives way to 'CRUNCH' and 'WEET-WEET-WEET-WEET-WEET!' as the figure careens into a Volvo and lands with a THUNK. The portal winks out and the figure, a positively purple female rolls off the trunk to her feet, leaping towards the disk just an instant after it winks out of existence. "No, damn it! No! Don't close!" She lands back on her feet and the pavement sports a new pothole as an amethyst javelin *pocks* a piece out of the asphalt. "Sonuva—argh!"

*

"You know, you might be right. It's so hard to keep track." Even after two years here, Cal's sometimes hit between the eyes with difference between this and his home reality. Not to mention all the other ones he's been in. He looks just as shocked when he recognizes the woman who falls into their reality and he's just a second behind TJ in rushing over. "Clarice?!"

*

The purple woman spins as she hears her name… and… familiar voices? Glowing green eyes quickly pick out the blue woman — and then the man beside her. Clarice's eyes grow wide, and then her grin does, too. "Teej!" She springs forward, not at all shy about the idea of a hug. "Cal!" She reaches out to grab him, too. Okay, at this point, she's just glad to see any familiar face, nevermind actual teammates she thought she'd lost. "You're alive! You're both alive!"

*

There's a delicate art to giving someone a massive hug without getting pretzel salt and melted cheese goo all over them in the process. Having a tail helps! Either way, it's something the -other- former Exile is going to have to put up with as there is no way the purple girl is getting out of this without one major Teejhug.

"And so are you!" she blurts out without much thought. "You just arrived here then? God, are you okay?! Thought we'd never see you again!" And -man- is it nice finally not having to go through awkward introductions again!

"Now I'm wondering if anyone else is going to show up… Welcome to Earth six-two-six, Blink! Ever hear of it? I hadn't, either."

*

And she's okay! Cal just lets his hot dog drop as Clarice actually recognizes them and envelopes her in a huge hug. Awkwardly given that everyone is trying to hug the other. "Yes, but what are you doing here? You just disappeared one day but weren't in the wall." Which at least let him hope she was still alive since all the dead Exiles showed up there. But then he frowns a moment and really studies Clarice. "Does that make sense to you? We could be different version of ourselves to the other."

*

OH, sure! Complicated matters for the poor girl even further!

Blink… well, blinks, pulling her head back some to try look at both of them at once. "626? No. No, but I guess it had to be out there somewhere, right?" She turns her head to Cal and pulls back an arm, holding it up. No Talus on it. That's telling. "It… I had the same experience. Couldn't find either of you. Everything just kinda went sideways and…" She inhales a sharp breath that flares her nostrils and steps back out of the hug to rake a hand through her bright hair. "I don't know what the Timebroker doing, any more. Or what we're supposed to be doing."

*

Thinking of the other teammates, those that had managed to press on from where Talia can recall, has her checking Blink over for something else, same as she appears to be doing. The Tallus. If she doesn't have it (and she doesn't appear to have it,) thennn…

"Is this reality turning into the global dumping ground for previous team members or something..?"

When Calvin adds his own thoughts it seems like her eyes might just glaze over. "Realities made from other realities and infinite possibilities within the circle… I think I can confirm this. We all know each other but after Cal and I wound up here he pointed something out. Somewhere between when we were on the team and when we wound up here, I picked up a new power. I don't know if I got split into an other-dimensional twin, or what."

As for having direction, "This is also going to throw you for a loop. We have no direction but what we find for ourselves. But, I think there's a group we know of which can help you out…"

*

No Tallus? Cal's obviously relieved at that. He promised the team he'd be back to help them if they ever needed it. All they had to do was come get him. This is not that, fortunately. "And time runs differently in the multiverse. TJ only had six months or so between when she left the Exiles and arrived here. For me, it was about three years since I saw her last." Different realities, different timestreams. As Talia points out there is no mission, he just beams. "You're free, Clarice. And the Timebroker was a hoax. But that's a story for another time. You know us, we know you." Does it really matter if they're the same exact versions? They're all different anyway now.

*

Again, Blink blinks at TJ. "New power? What kind of new power?" Her attention flits between her two erstwhile teammates quickly — tennis match quickly — before it settles on Cal again. "Free?" Foreign concept, maybe… for the freedom fighter of all people.

She glances over her shoulder at the still screaming Volvo. "Yeah, well, won't stay that way if someone ends up thinking we did that on purpose." Yeah. We. (Heh.)

She's not processing the whole 'free' thing, just yet. But, survivalist that she is, she starts moving away from the noise and other attention-getting things. Being unfamiliar with this reality, as she is, she also happens to move away from the street, because she's not hanging out on the street until they tell her it's not as bad an idea as it feels.

Again, her nostrils flare slightly as she inhales, mind working furiously. "Tell me what you know?" Orientation is good. Very, very good.

*

"I can teleport!" TJ practically beams. "Just like my dad! Except a lot more limited. And it messes with my other powers and leaves me feeling sick and causes problems with sleeping. You're still -way- better at it."

Gosh, it's amazing how easily distracted one can get in moments of joy. That car… Yeah, getting some distance between them both and the car sounds like a wonderful idea!

"Whah we knoh?" she repeats around a wad of cheese-dipped soft pretzel. She'll just push that out of the way real quick-like… "This reality rather seems like the proverbial melting pot of 'things.' Lots of powered people, yet out of that bunch mutants almost seem like a minority at times. We've got a Xavier's, quite well established with all of the usual trimmings. Extra-terrestrial involvement seems to be fairly lacking thus far. In our situation, the one big thing to keep an eye on is something called the 'Special Response Division.' They're spread out across most of the major North American cities acting to try and keep superhuman affairs from getting too out of shape. Some of them seem to have it out for us X-Geners. Be careful in this city, and word on the street is that it's probably best to avoid Gotham to the south of here. Otherwise..pretty tame! Almost 'normal.'" Head-dip.

*

Cal glances at the Volvo and gets the plate number. They can track down the owner and cut him a check to replace it. "No huge problems that need correcting." he adds. That he knows of. "Here, let's get off the street." BLINK It's the familiar feeling to Clarice but he usually let her do the teleporting when they were together. She's better at it. They arrive on the grass at the shore of a large lake. On the far side is an estate of some sort. "It's not a bad reality. Has its problems but nothing like some of what we ran into."

*

The *blink* is certainly familiar, if a little disorienting since it wasn't her *blink*. Nonetheless, Blink looks around quickly when they appear by the lake. "Xaviers?" It's a guess. Then, again, she's tennis-matching between the pair. She reaches up to pull hair behind a pointed ear. To TJ: "Teleporting? Really? That's just cool." Even if it does mess up the other girl's powers. Then, to Cal: "Without the Tallus… We're off the clock?" That comes back down to 'free', doesn't it? An odd expression settles on her features. "That means there's no way home…" Not that she has a home — as far as she knows.

*

What's more crazy, that three of the original six Exiles are back together again or that all three of them now have some form of teleportation? With the sudden change of scenery Talia hops up onto a large rock nearby then hunkers down into a crouch, polishing off the last of her pretzel then flicking the remaining cheesestuff into a nearby trash bin. "Yeah. No giant evil lizard people, no sign of Apocalypse or any of the Horsemen, it's actually rather mundane. I've come to think of it as a vacation resort more than another riddle to solve."

A permanent vacation, really. If there's any way back to where any of them had come from, she hasn't found it.

There's a grin, and another nod. "Xavier's, and completely off the clock. Home is just where you decide to hang your coat. I know..I know. Not the same thing for us. This does seem to be a good place, though. Best part? You don't have to be alone! If you want to get back into the heroing business, we can hook ya up."

*

"No, you - we - are stuck here." Cal agrees and flops down onto the grass to lean back on his elbows. "But it's a good place." If not as good as his home reality. "You'll make lots of friends here and be able to just relax and do nothing when you want to. When's the last time you could do nothing for as long as you wanted to?"

*

Would Clarice even know what to do with herself if there wasn't some sort of crisis to fight? She's been fighting since childhood. The only real difference between her X-Men and the Exiles was that the Exiles were fighting things that were, for the most part, far less disturbing than the nightmares of her adolescence. It gave her some perspective.

But this? She doesn't quite know what to make of this.

She turns in a slow circle, taking a long look at the pastoral grounds, the brilliant lake, and the peaceful surroundings. Quite suddenly, it's kinda like receiving an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas… and no return ticket. Just the resort. She takes a step back, and lands on her butt on a rock beside TJ's with a grunt of surprise, blinking owlishly. "Um… Never?"

*

Here Talia smiles with some clear sympathy, reaching a three-fingered hand out to rest upon Blink's closest shoulder. "If you'd like we can teach you how to relax and have fun, too. Admittedly it can get rather dull after everything we've been thrown into the middle of but it's not all Sleepytown USA, either. Give it a couple of days, something else in need of a good butt-kicking will turn up. You could almost set your watch to it. And hey, for all we know this is all a big set-up for something yet to come. Maybe we should get Cerebro on the line, see if anyone else is already here."

She can hope that one other in particular managed to migrate out this way…

Turning to give the purple woman an appraising look, TJ asks "Are you doing alright, Clarice? We've done this countless times already, I'd have expected you to be a bit more used to another sudden transition."

*

Cal was pretty certain that would be Clarice's answer. "Take some time to just gt used to the idea. And then, when you're ready to do something, we can hook you up. Here we get to actually try to make the world a better place and really help people. And see the results. And live normal lives." That a mutant superhero's life is considered normal really explains what being an Exile was like. "It'll grow on you."

*

Sure, Blink's used to adapting to new situations. New threatening situations. What she's being told now, by two people she trusts pretty implicitly, is that there is no threat. At least, no threat like she's used to facing down.

She reaches up to scrub at the back of her neck, looking a little discombobulated. "Everybody was… I mean, I saw… I was trying to…" She wrinkles her nose and squints her eyes. Then, a slow, lopsided smile comes to her face. "Vacation?" The smile becomes a grin and she gives TJ a light, playful push. "I'm fine. I've just never had a vacation, before. I mean… what the hell even is a vacation?"

And she laughs.

*

It's there with that playful shove that TJ starts to relax once more, herself. While she can't help but think that there's more to Blink's story, things which she's not anxious to share, there will be time to worry about that later. Right now she's -here,- and hopping timelines means leaving one set of problems far, far behind in exchange for a whole new hand.

Fortunately, she knows how to handle their current dilemma. "It starts with ice cream," she replies with a toothy grin and a quick hop back down from her perch. "And this reality has got some -awesome- ice cream."

*

A Clarice starts to laugh, Cal smiles and relaxes. "A vacation is when you just have fun and don't worry about /anything/. And I know some really good vacation spots. I'll be happy to show you around the world so you can get a fix on them." Though the geography is more or less the same. "And yes, the ice cream is very good."

*

"I can do ice cream," the purple mutant agrees, flashing another grin and pushing herself back to her feet. "Where?" Because she can't do the porting, just yet, until she knows exactly where she's going. She glances off in the direction where she can see the mansion standing. "That way?" And a passing thought flits through her mind about just who might be around, and who might not, in this reality.

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