13422/The Hunt for Sauron

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The Hunt for Sauron
Date of Scene: 30 November 2022
Location: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Synopsis: The X-Men visit Tierra del Fuego and a research station operated by Tanya Anderssen - the daughter of Karl Lykos' old mentor. Investigating, they find the place mostly empty: Tanya is missing, with some signs of a struggle in her room. The computers and communication equipment at the place have also been tampered with, presumably by whoever attacked her. And while Sauron seems a likely suspect, when he arrives with an army of dinosaurs, he seems to blame the X-Men instead. They fight him off, but not without a few bruises as Rahne risks herself saving a nearby civllian and Rogue attacks her teammates under hypnosis. Worse, the discovery of underground connections between the Savage Land and South America may allow Sauron to lead an invasion beyond the Antarctic... unless they can figure out who took Tanya Anderssen, and deliver them to him!
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Rogue, Rahne Sinclair, Tabitha Smith, Iara Dos Santos, Ororo Munroe

Jean Grey has posed:
A briefing at the command room covers the background of the prior incident basic details of the expedition: Incarcerated since his last run-in with the X-Men, Doctor Karl Lykos had been serving his sentence at Ryker's Island Maximum Security Prison. By all accounts, he was a model prisoner, and had recently enjoyed a furlough to participate at a Genetics conference in the city. Shortly after, a prison riot broke out, spurred by high-tech sabotage of the jail's systems. Several high-powered inmates reached Lykos' cell with the intent of freeing him; heroes including Rogue and Kitty Pryde attempted to intervene, but not before physical contact was made with Lykos, triggering his transformation. While the heroes attended to the wider riot and reducing guard casualties, Sauron escaped in the chaos, flying off toward Long Island Sound and the open Atlantic.

Since then, attemps to locate him have failed, although to no surprise. A single flying human-sized were-pteranadon is not something you can pick up on radar, and even an attempt by Jean to locate him with Cerebro proved ineffective, perhaps due to his unique powers. The only lead the X-Men have now is following his past: Years ago, Professer Xavier briefly worked with Lykos while he was still a medical student, employed by another scientist named Anderssen. Now deceased, Anderssen was the leader of an Antarctic expedition based in Tierra del Fuego, now run by his daughter Tanya. It's believed that Lykos first gained his abilities when the expedition encountered creatures from the Savage Land.

Although no sure thing, the small research station is the only clear touchstone in his life, a link both to his human past and his monstrous present. And fortunately, being in possession of a hypersonic stealth jet, the X-Men can make good time getting there.


Tierra del Fuego. The Land of Fire.

Named for the bonfires of indingenous inhabitants sighted by Magellan when he sailed the area in 1520, physically an archipelago at the tip of South America and politically divided between Chile and Argentina, the islands of Tierra del Fuego are the southernmost part of the continent. Beyond them, the treacherous stretch of water called Drake's Passage connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Antarctica's closest point is some 600 miles beyond. This latter fact defines much of their modern character. Once engaged in sheep farming and even a small local gold rush, they are now a tourist destination and house home bases and logistics for many Antarctic science expeditions.

The Jet will set down on a small airfield (not suited to a plane this size, absent its VTOL ability!) on the outskirts of Ushuaia, the city where the research base is housed. It's a picturesque and quiet seaside town, dotted with small, colorful houses, marinas, and so on. It's summer here, but it's about as cold as the current winter conditions back home. The research station, fortunately, sits not far from the airfield, a clump of squat buildings with their own dock.

Emma Frost has posed:
Sauron is a particularly tricky adversary. Whether in mutated dinosaur or not. Wanting to turn Staten Island into dinosaurs or not. His powers made him incredibly dangerous, particularly with how he could absorb energy from others. So Emma is along over with the team going gdown and already sweeping as they go through the air. She notes idly to the others along..

"It's likely that he'll have taken anyone else in the base already and coerced them. Be onyour guard. While we're not sure of the range of his power, it's quie possible he's called in assistance from other areas or called for help. We could be facing a great deal more than we might have expected." Emma as always is in paranoid mode, even as she's going to start to try and telepathically sweep along as the jet goes on down.

Rogue has posed:
After landing the jet, Rogue reached for a leather jacket off the back of her chair. She hadn't said much on the flight beyond the basics for flying to this remote location. "Seems lovely." She muttered to Emma upon exiting the plane, zipping her jacket up over her suit worn beneath. Her hands are stuffed in to the pockets of the jacket and she starts to look around, her hair flowing in the gust of wind coming in from the west.

"The guy is a real piece'a work, so if he is around here, it's best t'stay on guard, for sure. He basically murdered those chopper pilots, without a second thought... or woulda, if I hadn't managed t'catch the damn thing before it hit the water."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair's sniffer is her only real asset in this crowd. Her doe-eyes are hardly going to be the winning ability here. But she knows the drill. Stay in contact, keep your head down, and if you scent the guy with that very specific smell, yell loudest.

"Kinda glad for fur," she says softly, not trying to hide the fact that she's planning to stay fur-form as much as possible. This isn't likely to be an exciting stop, but Cover All Bases is almost a course of its own back home.

You check the spots, and sooner or later you'll get lucky.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Mission time. Of course with the destination being in the Southern Hemisphere, it means Tabby gets to bust out one of her tennis dress styled uniforms. Black, long sleeved, loose mid thigh skirts with a yellow stripe broken at the waist by a cut out black X. Yellow chucks and black thigh high socks going with a red leather jacket, with all those hidden pouches holding snacks and a few tools and stuff. And some red tinted Raybans on her nose. Keeping the jacket zipped up keeps the outfit looking more street. Adding a pair of dark bluejeans over the top and bunching the skirts underneath handles the rest of the disguise just in case. Plus it helps against annoying mosquitos.

"So did like anyone bring like bug repellant?" she asks as she steps off the plane and joins in on the mental sweaping. Someone may be hiding. "I swear he better not be doing the people are dinosaurs thing. Every time I hear his name my spine itches." she states and pulls her phone out, signal or no. Tabby keeps checking people's eyes for any color not normal for them. There's an enormous egg on her bookshelf that shows how much of a problem Sauron can be.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara is... perhaps clad in more clothing than others have seen her before, and even more rarely she's actually in her human form for once. Brown skin, black wavy hair, considerably shorter than her shark form. A red windbreaker with the classic UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA logo on the back complete with the JAWS shark bursting out of the water beneath it over athletic shorts. Underneath all this, of course, she wears her yellow and black trainee x-men getup, her unstable molecule uniform ending mid-bicep and mid-thigh to allow for more shark scales to be exposed while swimming while protecting her torso as much as possible.

     She walks up behind Rahne and Tabitha with a tilted head, saying in her brazillian-accented voice, "So like, turning people into dinosaurs doesn't sound so bad, aren't there a ton of people who would rather be a dinosaur? Like, I love being a shark, Rahne - you like being a big wolf, right Rahne? There's gotta be like, volunteers for this kinda deal, don't tell me he's an asshole that just turns everyone into a dinosaur without consent..."

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean is here! Sauron is a big bad, as the X-Men go, so she's not shirking her duties attending fancy science conferences for once. Being that she is human-squishy when not using powers, she's got her armored uniform on but has a parka jacket worn overtop. It doubles as both disguise and warmth! "I'm jealous," she echoes Rahne's fur remark, while pulling up on the fluffy collar.

She nods briefly at Emma's warning. "If he's here, could get tricky quick. Anyway, may as well see if anyone's home?" she suggests after they've padded the way down from the airstrip to the station.

No one, in fact, seems to be home.

The door to the main structure isn't locked for whoever tries it first; maybe there isn't a lot of street crime in one of the most remote places in the world. There are a few out-buildings as well, sheds and the like, storing all the variety of gear and equipment that is likely necessary for their expeditions. Snowmobiles! There's also some kind of relatively large antena structure too, perhaps for communications with the expeditions.

Whoever heads in first finds a fairly unremarkable space. There's a common living area with couches and a TV, an adjacent large kitchen and dining table, a number of small 'bunk' rooms, a room with computer workstations, with an attached private office. It looks like it might be able to support half a dozen people, at a maximum, although the common area seems quite a bit less lived-in than that.

"He turned me into a t-rex, a while back," she remarks as Iara talks about the pros and cons of dino-life. "Wasn't a fan. But everything we know suggests that it's probably not a... logical place that he's working from, when he's transformed. As a man, he's a very talented scientist."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost goes to scan along and sweeps down. "I'm not picking up anything down there.." Not that that means much. Sauron's possibly a skilled enough telepath to block her, or there are other ways that someone very skilled technologically could hide themselves. So in the end that's not necessarily of any meaning. As they go on in she moves to focus, continuing to sweep along. She goes to ponder..

"Here doesn't look particularly lived in." She goes to glance over at the members of the party with enhanced senses. "Can you confirm this?" They have the sniffers along for a reason, after all. Emma's going to for now focus on telepathically scanning the area, trying to see if she can locate anyone else other than the team present with the group. She's annoyed - she doesn't like going in with no particularly idea of what they may be running in to.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
"Totally without consent. He and I have no idea how he got the idea in his head, I heard he got the tech to do it via a talking gorilla the Metropolis capes deal with. It's kinda a virus. Still out there but it can be reverses. It hurts. My pelvis ached for weeks. I was a Utahraptor. The Kinney sisters, Tarot. A few others were turned along with us. The change hurts, like trauma hurt." she explians along with Jean about her own experiences.

Tabby, being all trained thief. She had kept it  hush hushalong with her other more swordid times on the streets starts looking for anything that might be a locked door or safe. Things locked are things humans or probably mutants aren't meant to see. Picks and tools slipped out of her pocket while she checks any doors to see what can and can't open.

<<Mindlink might be an idea with this. Never a good idea to split the party but we have like telepaths so are we ever split up?>> she beams to the group with a chuckle out loud.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
"It be nae my favourite thing," Rahne says, responding to Iara. She's never been totally cool with her wolf. But she'll use it. Her sense of smell is her main asset, and it might give some warning.

Dropping down onto hands and knees, she arches her back and her body lengthens. Becomes furry; a wolf stands where she once was, who looks at the group a moment before dashing past Rogue. She looks like she's doing a perimeter check, sniffing wherever she scents something.

She doesn't shift back to report anything yet, so you can assume that she's not exactly spotted anything terribly scary yet. Though she does seem to sniff the ground near one entrance of the main building, then turn and look toward the 'antenna'.

A moment later she's heading for the antenna. It seems like she's on some kind of trail.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had glanced over to Jean, and smirked at her, before approaching that locked door. After putting her shoulder against it and shoving it open, she peaked around the corner to peer inside. "Hmmm... spooky." The Belle mutters before she sees Rahne run past her out of the corner of her eye.

"Where you headed?" She calls out before turning to move after her, lifting up off the gorund, the southern gal just starts to float after Rahne, her left leg bent at the knee and raised up, her other leg extended out behind her as she flies over the cold terrain.

"We got snow mobiles... I've always wanted t'fly one of those things off a cliff in a dramatic spy-like fashion." She says over the team comms.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara practically shouts "OH MAN!" as she double fistpumps at Jean, but before she can gush too much she is quickly illuminated to the reality of it all by Tabitha, the brazillian girl wincing as she says "Ah... Alright, yeah, that's no good, I see why we gotta stop him... Still should allow that sorta thing to be available to people that want it, hollywood would love it I'm sure... Unless they like, lose brain functions too, that's bad..."

    She sighs as she lifts her head and sniffs the air as well, her sense of smell not as good as Rahne's outside of the water, but still better than a human's as she... acts like she had the same trail as Rahne, whether she did or didn't, following the werewolf and looking over her shoulder to see if she's being followed...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Borne on a current of cold air, Ororo arrives silently. She touches earth at a run behind the party, entering the house last. Immune to most weather, she nevertheless has dressed warmly in leather white as her hair, the jacket fur trimmed in a warm chocolate brown, a hue darker than her skin.

The absence of anyone in the house is cause to think that they were seen coming. She had missed the opportunity to be turned into T-Rex, and grimaces as Tabitha describes the aftermath of the experience.

Standing in the middle of the entry, Storm waits for others to report what telepathy and scent bring them for information. Her first instinct is to head toward what looks administrative. The office looks like it had been left in hurry, papers lay scattered on the desk, looking like someone had made a hurried search through them. Just as she is about to go to the computer room, a framed photo, face down draws her attention. With two fingers she turns it over to discover a photo of Lykos standing with his arm around a woman.

Calling out to the others, "It certainly looks like he was here. There is a photograph of him with someone."

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean sticks to the main living space, looking around. "It's pretty deserted, but... well, at least someone was still living here." Absent minds to read, she's actually quite lacking in detective powers, so she checks fairly mundane signs, opening up the fridge to find just a couple items inside.

Tabi won't find much trouble in terms of her B&E, the only thing that's really heavily locked is the snowmobile shed. Nor is there any immediate mental sign of anyone being there with them.

Outside, a chill wind howls, and strangely, it can be felt wooshing through the interior of the house as well.

Rahne runs off, so Jean gives a quick mental ping, <<Rahne has something, Rogue->> But she's already on it, the PRO she is. <<Stay in close sight with at least one buddy, I don't want anyone getting picked off alone out here.>>

The antenna tower is only that, not really a building, just the transmitter/receiver itself. But it has some kind of exterior control box, as well as metal cabling that comes off and then goes into the ground, probably to link it back to the building. The exterior cover of the control box hangs open on its hinge.

Jean meanders back through to follow after Ororo, catching up with her. Her attention also goes to the photograph as it's flipped over. "That's Anderssen. The daughter that is, Tanya. They look... close, yeah?" she wonders of the other woman.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would muse over as she would continue to scan. <<All right, keep track of one another.>> she passes along through the gruop-link, letting Jean maintain most of it while she focuses on scanning a few more times.

<<I'm not picking up anything or anyone here. I can scan for animal life that stands out but that's going to yield litlte of use. And do take care where you run off to.. I wouldn't put it past Sauron to have left a few traps along the way.>> She would send out a warning while going to head up and out along outside along with Jean and Ororo, but at a slower pace while she would finish up her scanning.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
The wolf sniffs the ground around the antenna, pausing at places for no visible reason. Scents aren't visible, and she's working on a totally other method of what's important here. The entire landscape is covered in a light layer of frost, which dulls the scents but not so much that she can't make out a picture.

When she stops at the box again, she seems to stare at it for a moment, Rogue and Iara both nearby. Then she stands up and shifts to human.

"Thaur be a weird not-normal scent, comes from th' house tae here. Wha'er it was, it messed wi' this box a true lot. Was less traces than th' woman's, ah can go back t' th' house an try an track it if y' want me to."

Then she steps back, adding, "Dunno wha' it does."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue sweeps around the antenna emplacement. She just twirl-flies around it until she's up above it. It's then that she pulls her hair out of her face from the cold wind, looks over her shoulder back at that living space building, then sweeps down toward where Rahne is on the ground, near that open box.

Rogue eyes it, sus staring...

Her green eyes go over to Rahne then, and she gives her a upnod. "If ya got a scent, or a sense'a where a lead might be, take it, keep following it. Unravel that sweater." She says with a faint grin shown to her wolfen friend.

"I'm right here with ya. So is Sharky too."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The shed takes a few moments. More than one lock has fallen to Tabitha's life ofr crime and now there is one more to the list she can add. She could have just slagged any tumblers but you never know what attention booming a door open might bring. There's a brief clink of the latch giving way and inside are snowmobiles.

"Hello sexy ladies!" she states and looks over the vehicle at first.

<<Think we should swipe these babies and bring them home. They don't deserve to be used forr nefarious stuff. Just tooling around in the heavier snow when winter decides to make it official in New York!>> she suggests. This also comes with the implication of making Jean and Rogue do the heavy lifting.

<<We've all seen enough horror movies. If you scan for animal like, that might include dinosaurs so be careful. No poking minds!>> she suggests.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara shivers as she thrusts her hands into the pockets of the windbreaker, wondering why she didn't take the cold weather advisory seriously. Oh right, because she swims in the deep ocean in just her uniform all the time... but that's in shark form. She doesn't have bones in her shark form either, why did she think her human form would share resistances? She grits her teeth and snarls a little at herself, standing over Rahne as she looks at the box.

     She shakes her head as she walks away, letting Rahne out-smell her, the flying ones out-scout her on land, and wondering what she's doing here as she walks around the main building off on her own... When she does smell something. Something unmistakeable to her. Furrowing her brow and looking up at a high open window to one of the bunkrooms, Iara calls out "Uh... Guys? I smell blood over here..."

     Not wasting any time, Iara jumps up to the window and, foot against the wall and straining a bit in human form, pulls herself up to take a better look...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
"They certainly do. Happy even. It makes you wonder, doesn't it?" Ororo shakes her head doubtfully at Tanya's taste in companions. She returns the photo to the desk.

After turning once more to assure herself that she has missed nothing in the room, Ororo walks through the door leading to the computer annex. The lights are off - the standby lights on several computers wink in the gloom. A nearby printer flashes its readiness to print.

Without a second thought, Ororo boots up the laptop with a statue of a t-rex near it. Impatient, she quickly examines the room while it boots up, finding nothing unusual. Then, curiously a piece of paper on the edge of a desk wavers in a current of air. Her eyes narrow in a frown as she searches for the source.

"Feel that air, Jean?"

Back at the computer, she opens file after file, finding environmental reports and statistics in line with a research station. One group of photographs shows cave scenes from another clime. When she clicks on another file, it beeps, telling her it is password protected.

"Jean, tell me you are good at getting by protected files. I might have something here."

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean gives a bit of a 'brrrr' as a second cold gust blows through the house, pulling up her jacket and looking at Ororo grumpily like Rahne earlier. Built in warmth! "It's really drafty in here. You'd think they'd be better insulated, living a stone's throw from the freaking Antarctic."

As her friend pokes at the computer, she wanders a little more, poking about the office and the slight mess they found there. "This... doesn't feel like a dinosaur man trashed the place, does it? Nothing really smashed. Heck, just his wingspan would probably knock things over. But someone's definitely been in here." Her brow knits as Ororo calls her to check the screen. "Nope, that's normally Kitty's department. My expertise ends with tedious budget spreadsheets."

Tabitha gets a predictable: <<No stealing snowmobiles! If you're done out there, rendezvous on the main house.>> Because everyone is tracking various things there!

It's then that Iara calls out. The window she climbs up to peeks in on one of the bunk rooms. Well, it doesn't just peak in through. It opens into. The window is open, the source of that breeze that's been bothering Jean. The interior is quite a bit of a mess, bedding thrown on the floor, trash knocked over, a reading lamp knocked over and broken. There's no bodies, though. Indeed, there's no mess of blood and gore. Just a few drops in the blanket, easily missed by a less keen manner of observation.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost is heading along towards the main house wiht the others, "Give it to me." She means the computer. "I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I can work with." She would smile. "And what I don't know.." She would let her eyes flash. And Jean would be aware if she was paying attention to Emma sweeping through some minds a few hundred kilometers away until she would find one fluent with network security. Then, sweeping through it for ideas she would tap over at the computer.
    "Here we go.." Some sweeping through it to scan through things. "All right, what's normal for an environmental monitoring station.. And what's this.." Going through it a bit more.. "What do we have here.. Someone has clearly saved quite a bit of information on our sweet Doctor Pterandodon's home." Sauron probably wasn't a Pteranodon. Or a Pteradactyl. If he were here he'd probably complain about the mixup.
    "I think there's some partial tunnels that cuold be connections to the mainland, and all these geothermal sites.." She frowns. "Maybe someone's looking to see if it's feasible for large scale power generation?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
If one could feel a disappointed pout it would be the sense coming from Tabitha as snowmobiles are not going to be swiped. No fun!

There's a dash on denim clad legs when Iara gets a whiff of bloode and Tabby is using her part of the mindlink sgared about to find her. Only to find no visible mess that she can see. She doesn't have the sniffer for that.

<<This, I'm gonna guess it's a someone got hit and dragged off? This looks like something I've squatted in. Cleaner if blood is all Iara smells.>> she points out.

The blonde hmming. The moving air kinda lost on her but she does start looking about at likely spots to rummage. <<Maybe he powered down back into like a human shape? Easier to work when you're not a big green chicken monster.>> comes the idea and an image of Lykos doing sciency stuff. A toe poking at stuff at first. Easy enough to yank a leg back in case of weird stuff hidden. And then hands can make a bigger mess to search for anything else hidden. <<Geothermal could also be an esape route for anyone fire proof? He's not fireproof is he?>> she asks. <<Long walk if that's a thing.>> she beams out.

Some of the women's clothes get inspected, pockets and stuff. A cheap nover is pointed out, might need a shaking for convenient notes that might make bookmarks or vice versa.

A piece of some black material, the blonde hmming. "Weird, and kinda synthetic. different from what we get our uniforms made from?" she says aloud and holds it out to show the others.

Clearly forensics are not her forte.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne nods at Rogue's suggestion, then shifts back to wolf form. She's heading back toward the house when Iara says that thing that she says, but she only lifts her head a moment, smelling the air and listening.

A moment later she turns and goes the other direction, checking out Tabby's snowmobiles. She sneezes once, shakes her head, and then romps over into the house.

The sound of her checking the place over can be heard in the background for a few minutes, and she appears in the doorway to the bunk room, but doesn't intrude; instead she turns and continues tracking whatever she's tracking through the house.

A moment later she pokes into the computer room and frowns, sniffing at the keyboard station. Her eyes glance at whoever's still there meaningfully. A hot spot then.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is right there with Rahne up until she enters the living quarters building. "Blood? Great..." The Belle comments, as her hands go back inside her jacket pockets. She waits outside though, while Rahne rushes inside.

In fact, Rogue floats up to the roof of the building to stand on its corner edge. Her boots pace back and forth as she starts to look around the horizon, wanting to keep an eye out for any approaching figures off in the distance.

"You know, they say temperatures like this keep ya lookin' younger longer... I'm just sayin'... Maybe the X-Men base should be moved up here... We've had it way too good, for way too long." She's joking, right?

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara frowns thoughtfully, and then climbs in through the window, landing with a stumble and then walking over to the bed, saying "Nah, there's a bit on the bedframe and the sheets, like someone cut themselves on it? It's only a little bit of blood..."

     She looks through the sheets a bit, and then shakes her head, saying "Just one more clue I guess..." as she starts walking through the bunk area. Not liking the look of this spooky place, she unzips the windbreaker, pulls off the shoes and socks, and loses the gym shorts, stripping down to her uniform before going proper shark form, making the motion of cracking her knuckles even if her knuckles don't pop. Now a giant shark woman, the bruiser starts patrolling the inside of the building, hopefully tough enough for any dinosaurs and pterodactyl-people that she might encounter...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Beep....Beep....Beep...interspersed with the clatter of a keyboard, accompany Ororo's attempts at getting into the file. Behind her, in another part of the house, she can hear the distant sound of the others finding something. She tries several more times, frowning deeper with each failure.

At Emma's entry, she cedes the computer to her, watching her from over her shoulder. She snorts wryly when the gifted telepath breaks directly into the file.

"Excellent. This," she pats the edge of the screen, "is coming with us."

Edging Emma aside, she returns to the cave photos, "Power generation? I didn't know there were geothermal sites in this area. That makes perfect sense. Good thinking."

A series of maps show the caves linked to the mainland. "We might need these."

The printer whirs into life and begins to spit out copies of the maps.

"You know, he might be trying to create a new Lost Planet where he can reign as a god. Complete with unique flora and fauna."

Jean Grey has posed:
<<I don't think that's how he works,>> Jean echoes back in Tabitha's head. Although she says the rest aloud, as she makes it over to check in on the room herself. "Changing back and forth at will, I mean. It's more of a Jekyll and Hyde thing. From every report we saw, Lykos was doing his time peacefully. Trying to continue medical research, even behind bars. As Sauron, I can't imagine he -wants- to go back. What's that?" she tilts her head, looking curiously at the scrap. "Not Dino-clothes, I'm pretty sure."

For as long as Emma had been focused on scanning the area for signs of intelligence, she eventually goes to another task, 'borrowing' some technical abilities and then going to work on the computer. It provides useful info! There's a lot to ponder, in the information. The Savage Land is known to the X-Men, but not widely to the public. It's a land of amazing resources, dangerous creatures, and unique civilizations cut off from the rest of the world. It obeys strange rules. It's known to Sauron, of course. And to this woman, who seems a 'friend' of his human counterpart, to say the least.

The tunnel connection could be truly a game changer, if there are other ways that unique world connects to, well, everywhere else.

Ironically, Emma's little brain-dump means she's also not paying attention when at last something does come within range of those mental scans. Somewhere nearby, there's a screech, a familiar sound to some, and translatable by guesswork for others. The more worrisome thing? The screech is quickly echoed by another, and then another, back and forth, as if calling to each other. Up in the air, ignoring all the silly detective nonsense, Rogue sees them first: a flock of winged forms, descending on them from the water. Could they have flown the full 600 miles? It's a question to ponder later, perhaps. For now?

Well, there's a literal FLOCK of dinosaurs headed for them. <<Guess we're putting the Sherlock routine on hold. Everyone group up!>> She heads for the door out, herself; the building's construction isn't terribly robust, nothing that would hold up under an attack.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would go along with the others and moving to jog along as she would continue to type at the computer, downloading the contents over to the Blackbird to let Hank look at them later. So it's a bit of a distraction when the others go over to a stop and she almost bumps into the rest as she would be jogging along. She moves to then pause, nearly tumble, and lets out an 'You can't be SERIOUS' sort of expression on her face as she would have to rely on one of the others for support.

Lovely, she's going to die the way a five year old might in a world where they got too close to the electric fence.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne stays on low guard. She hears (and smels (no I did not misspell that)) the incoming, but she's not the offensive line here. She looks for an opportunity to be of use, and otherwise stays out of the way. Hold action.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The scrap of fabric is stuffed in the pocket of her jeans covering the bottom galf of her uniform. "Split minds get weird, I mean, maybe Lykos ain't driving any more. All Sauron, all the time could be a thing." she guesses and hmms. "Dino clothes seems weird. Like a T-rex in a smoking jacket. So wrong!" she says as cosmic coincidence occurs.

When Jean gets all field tactical leader she pokes her head out thge window and makes tracks to folow, unzipping the jacket for the moment since if she's gonna do the atcion thing she might as well fly the flag.

"Great, worse thing is, can't just put them down. Might be people. Or might be innocent critters. Next time remember to bring tranq guns Tabby you dumbass!" she swears at herself.

To be fair, the last time she brought some it didn't help her either. Damn pigs and roofied snacks.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara hears the psychic call from Jean, rushing back to the center where she left the others and then her glossy black shark eyes go wide at the stampede of dinosaurs, saying "Merde..." under her breath before saying "Uh, Jean, Emma, can you psychic blast or Ororo, can you Jaws 2 - I mean electrocute them? Just enough to stun them, like a taser?" She then winces at Tabby, saying "Can you do non-lethal blasts? If not like, you can hop on my back and we can try to climb the building..."

Rogue has posed:
Seeing them first, from atop the living quarters, Rogue announces it to the group, and soon everyone is well aware. She takes to the skies again, and sweeps down toward the ground, but not with the intention of landing, so much as she intends to rip up a big length of rock naturally poking out of the earth's surface.

"This is why I hid in the basement playin' Nurse the last time we dealt with these damn dinosaur people." She grunts as she hefts the rock up and tucks it under her left arm.

NOW she takes off back up in to the sky and flies toward the dinosaurs... Not with the intention of fighting any of them, until they engage HER FIRST!

All the same, the flying gal has a big rock shelf shield / battering ram under one arm now...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Ororo's head snaps upward at the first sound, expression rapt as she tries to sort out what animal makes that sort of cry. Two more calls confirm her suspicion that she would NOT want to know what produces that scream.

Jean's thoughts break into hers. After grabbing the freshly printed maps, she stuffs them into her jacket and follows the others out of the building. Gaze fixed on the approaching forms, she mutters incredulously, "Are those what I think they are?"

The Mistress of storms rises into the air, lightning playing around her balled fists and gives chase to Rogue.

Jean Grey has posed:
The flock is rather impressive in size, comprising dozens of flying primordial reptiles. Their shapes are varied; some do appear as no more than pteranadons or other large pterosaurs, whether documented by archeologists or others. But some do boast more clearly hybrid shapes. If there's any doubt whether the cloud of winged creatures contains the one they seek, the fact that one is wearing... well, pants may be a tip off. It is he who addresses them as the flying army approaches.

"INVADERS! Cowardly raiders and pillagers! Dare you show your faces again?! Surrender and return what you have taken from me, and PERHAPS the glorious SAURON will show you MERCY!" The creature's voice is imperious, for all its screeching, high-pitched tone. However, as he flies closer, there's something odd in his reaction (if his initial speech wasn't strange enough), and he stops in the air just ahead of Rogue as she positions herself to meet him. "You- I know your kind. Interlopers and medlers! Why are you here? You have no business in this place! Or perhaps you are working with them!"

Jean has made her way out, moving along the ground beneath Rogue, a hand up to her temple. Whatever she's trying to do, however, elicits just another mocking shriek from the creature. "Hah! Don't think I don't remember you! And remember your tricks. I know the magic contained within in those twisting helixes, and I've TASTED them besides! You will find my mind far too powerful!" Of course, Jean might have only been trying to reach out and gain some glimpse of his mind to understand what is happening here-

-but between that, and Rogue's approach, Sauron doesn't seem talkative. He gives another screeching CAW and flies toward Rogue, while the other creatures descend... everywhere. Not just toward the base and the X-Men there, but some toward Ushuaia proper. "YOU WILL ALL ANSWER FOR YOUR CRIMES!"

Emma Frost has posed:
Lovely! This is getting rather chaotic. Emma goes to shove the laptop to a secure holding position (don't ask where) and is promptly hauled off to the side. <<I don't think I can shut down that many minds in this state>> She has to think fast. Something to try and keep the flock distracted while the others go about trying to stop them. She can't remotely fight and attempting a telepathic attack against Sauron is questionable. So she can hopefully do something to thin the herd of ferocious feathered fiends..
    She goes to quickly pull up the (second) thing that comes to mind when thinking of 'evil mutant dinosaurs' (that is not an alien from another planet). Several feet away from the X-Men suddenly appears a giant.. Orange.. Stegosaurus that, alas, is not wearing pants though he has on a huge labcoat. "HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY GLORY INTERLOPER! I, STTEEGGRONN SHALL RULE! ALL THE DINOSAURS SHALL FOLLOW ME TO ULTIMATE VICTORY!" Even as Emma goes to try and conceal her position for the moment and send ou ta massive challenge over from one mad, highly specialized scientist who turned into a dinoasur and wants to take over the world to another mad, highly specialized scientist who wants to take over th eworld turned into a dinosaur.
    Them wanting to turn the rest of the world into dinosaurs may or may not apply.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
If Rahne hadn't trained with these people, she'd never do what she's now doing.

She looks up, watching the skies, and her eyes track. She looks at everyone here, and, with a heavy heart...trusts them. To handle themselves. The civilians in town can't do that.

Rahne digs in, her claws launching her toward the town, and she shows exactly how fast she can really go. Four feet give her traction, and her body gives her speed and power as she shifts it into full wolf form, with all the power her mutation can give it.

In moments she's out of sight, leaving you all to fight on your own. As the pter's who've gone toward the town begin to cause general havok, and one swoops down, coming up with a bystander lifted in its claws!

Rahne bears down, vision narrowed to that target, and she leaps onto a rooftop. And then leaps into the air, jaws wide.

Probably scarier than the dinosaur though. We have heart attack insurance right?

Rogue has posed:
Rogue doesn't engage first, she was trained to try not to do that... it was against her natural design, but she'd become a reasonably well seasoned member of the X-Men over the past four years, amost five now in fact.

She doesn't say anything to the 'interlopers' comment, or anything about what they're doing here. Instead she just puts her eyes on Sauron as he gets closer, and she flies toward him.

They meet, face to face, in mid-air, her stone-shelf being swung at the giant beastly Dino-thing! He ducks, swoops under it and tries to take her from below!

But Rogue is sharp witted in combat, she's been logging some serious hours in the 'Hard Light Training Center' back home! She twirls away from him, and slams her stone-shelf against his back! The flying bird-asaur takes the hit, and the stone shelf snaps in to pieces, but his huge wings keep him aloft, and soon the two are turning to meet again!

Rogue reaches out, Sauron reaches out, they grab one another and start to grapple in the sky!

And they begin to falle...

Tumbling down to the earth below, the Beast and the Belle land at the same time, both landing on their feet, and both landing face to face, locked in that clenching grasp of strength versus strength, powers versus powers. Sauron stares, Rogue glares back.

The dinosaur headbutts Rogue, sending her flying backward on to her butt in the old grass, she slides across the ground, only to jump right back up to her feet, doing a backwards sommersault, where she rips her jacket off and tosses it to the ground now, leaving her in just her green and gold bodysuit. She twists her neck, popping it some before removing her gloves and once more rushing at the Dinosaur to try and engage him again!

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara and Tabitha, however, are stuck in the middle and unable to fly... well, not under their own power anyway. The two discuss amongst themselves for a moment before they both nod, and Iara kneels a bit with her hands together for a stepstool for Tabby to step into, after which Shark-Girl launches Boom-Boom into the air like a cheerleader, Tabitha raining down concussive blasts at the dinosaurs from a higher angle to clear out a large number of them for crowd control before Iara catches her again.

     From there, of the ones running towards them, Tabby plays ranged while Iara plays goalkeeper, Iara in front putting dinosaurs in headlocks and delivering DDT's to them or punching their lights out while Tabby blasts concussive blasts, the two of them circling back to back to cover each other...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
<<Oh, oh, dissension among the dinosaurs! They might end up eating each other first! We can only hope.>>

The electrical storm englobing Storm's hands grows in diameter. When they are large enough to her liking, Storm's right arm rears back and she fast balls one at a pterodactyl swooping toward the group on the ground. It has a stunning effect.

Without waiting, she launches the second at the lab coated pterodactyl. It stiffens as if it had grabbed a live wire, losing air from under its wings.

Jean Grey has posed:
While Sauron seems proof enough against that first mental contact, it's not clear how much it extends to his followers. And indeed, as Emma conjures up an illusion of another dinosaur-man, a few of the swooping creatures stop in front of it, curious. They tilt their heads, caw and screech at it, attempt whatever kind of communication. Sauron, by contrast, looks down with contempt. "Another trick! And an immitation of an immitation, at that! Now let me-"

Oh, here comes Rogue.

Though he may still be a mad genius even in his dinosaur form, many dark and primal intincts undercut that genius. A direct challenge? That is a matter of raw animal dominance, and he will not back down. He meets her in the air, claws seeking her out, slashing eagerly. They're well matched physically, twisting and turning through a variety of maneuver, trading vicious blows.

On the ground, there's chaos everywhere. Its not far to town, which is both good and bad: a short trip for Rahne, but also from the swooping dinos. One goes for a young woman who runs in terror, reaches down and clasps her shoulders with its talons...

...only for the wolf-woman to leap from nearby, biting down on the back of its leg. It screeches and twists and jerks around. The woman is dropped, but Rahne is perhaps then in more danger, as it turns on her instead, twisting in the air to snap at her with its long toothy beak!

She'll have aid soon as Tabitha and Iara rush forward to help! Tabitha in particular is good at downing some of the flyers, as they're not the most agile, slow enough to be tagged by her bombs. And any knocked to the ground? Well, between air, land and sea, Iara does better on the 'neutral' ground, with more raw power.

Storm, of course, is beyond peer in such circumstances. They fly on her winds, in her sky. Several fall to the lightning without much difficulty, until she turns it on Sauron himself, causing a loud "ARGH!" that stuns him mid-air, helping Rogue follow him back down.

There, the fight continues.

Rogue takes off her gloves, and Sauron goes for her without fear, even clasping claw-to-hand. An easy win, with her secret weapon?

It turns out, the two are 'matched' in more than strength. Both are power vampires. Two creatures whose fundamental ability is to steal the life of others. Though not visible to those below, these powers 'clash' just the way their bodies do, genetic processes expressed as psionic feedback, crackling warfare at the level of their cell membranes.

It amounts to a stalemate, neither able to drain the other. "Magnificent! Perhaps you will serve Sauron as another bride, to replace that which was taken from him!"

Again, they meet in that clench, glaring at each other. This time it's Rogue's mistake. "Don't look-" Jean shouts, rushing to join their little tryst as she knocks away a swooping pteranadon with a telekinetic shove.

But it's too late. "YIELD TO THE AWESOME WILL OF SAURON!" he cries. And yield Rogue will.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne isn't the big hero here. That's probably Rogue. She gets slashed several times by the dino she's struggling against, before releasing and dropping to the ground. She gets attacked by the dinos who are attacking the town, getting slashed from the air repeatedly. It hardly seems worth the time to send Rogue that direction.

When Iara and Tabby arrive, the dinos have her held between two of them, in their claws, and throw Rahne at their feet. She accomplished her task, but at a huge cost.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue takes a gash to her back, cutting claw marks across her suit, though her skin doesn't take any visible damage. After being clawed like this, however, she is grabbed by the shoulders and shook violently by Sauron before he releases her, and her eyes flash with a weird look to them.

Her gaze falls on that of Ororo, now, and Rogue just charges her, leaving Sauron behind as she rushes toward the Goddess of the group. "Time t'die, in the service'a my new Master!" Rogue shouts with her fists balled up, clenching tightly, as she rushes at Storm, intending to burst right through the Weather Woman if she doesn't have a quick counter ready to avoid it!

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma's focused on trying to keep the horde of dinosaurs distracted, even as Stegron challenges Sauron. Right over as she looks up into the air and gets an impression that the tide of the mental battle has suddenly turned even as she goes to let out a very, very unkind word in the exchange. She goes to yell up to the rest of the team <<Scatter!>> Well aware of how Jean responds when Rogue is in danger, there's not a great amount that can be done directly. And there's no way that she's going to be able to challenge Sauron for control of Rogue's mind.. Not with a melee about.
    Sauron's immune to anything telepathically they can do, and Rogue's close behind so attacking her won't do much. Also that might have Jean kill her later on. Emma needs SOMETHING that she can do.. Even as 'Stegron' vanishes and Sauron's will is focused over on controlling Rogue, Emma goes for another target. All of those dinosaurs that are no doubt confused over now that Stegron has vanished.. Hopefully Sauron is paying more attention to Rogue than his herd.. Emma then moves to try and then min dcontrol all of the remaining flying dinosaurs (those that there are) to set them to try and swarm over Sauron, if she can having them pelt him over wildly! For the dinosaurs that are outside of the town still, if any are in range she has them roaring, and going ot leap through the air over at him! Yes, even if they do obey her he'll be up too high for them to hit..
    But, hopefully having a swarm of dinosaurs trying to eat Sauron will make for an effective distraction.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
White hair flutters behind Ororo as she swoops downward to follow Sauron's descent. Light grows in both hands as she readies to renew the attack. Overhead the sky darkens as she draws on her environment, shadowing the aggressors and defenders alike. Expression fierce she puts on more speed when Sauron's claws rake Rogue. Intent on double-teaming Sauron she doesn't see the strange light in Rogue's eyes.

Momentum nearly makes her slam into the powerful woman, doubling the power of the punch directed at her. Rogue's shouted words are incomprehensible, but the look on her face telegraphs the meaning behind them. At the very last instant the Storm-bringer creates a wall of water between them.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara's eyes widen as she sees Rahne in trouble, shouting "Caralho!" and running towards her with Tabitha in tow. Two balls of light pass by either side of Iara and hover on either side of the dinosaurs standing over Rahne before concussive force blasts the dinosaurs into each other, knocking their heads together like an explosively violent three stooges act. Iara starts to pick up Rahne as she kicks a smaller dinosaur running around them, shouting "JEAN!" up at the sky, "I don't know how much longer we can keep this non-lethal!"

Jean Grey has posed:
In town, things are chaotic, but the young women fight valiantly. Rahne certainly isn't the strongest mutant. A wolf is threatening even to a grown man, certainly, but to a dinosaur with a six meter wingspan? No, these are predators from a different time, the dragons of primordial earth. Several surround her, taking opportunitistic stabbing 'pecks' from one angle and another. One rears up to strike again, as she falls-

-and then is blasted forward violently as it's struck by a plasma orb from behind. Not Tabitha's biggest, but not a small one either, in this case, as Rahne's teammates come to her aid with a certain natural vengeance.

Iara's presence changes the math. She, too, is a primordial killing machine, a beast as old as the oceans. As she scatters one aside and hoists Rahne up, the creatures near by screech and caw, but they seem hesistant to get closer, snapping at the air, but fearful of those... well, much more serious teeth. It's enough to effect a rescue, clear them away and get Rahne to safety, while Tabitha continues to blast away.

And it's not only them. Some of the townspeople have rallied too; the young and elderly fleeing indoors, while others fight with everything they might find on hand. Its a rugged land, and the local shepherds? They know how to shoot.

Losses mount, and none more than those claimed by Storm. Not even Jean can act with such broad, sweeping power (at least without giving over to her own 'Mr. Hyde.'), and thus it is no surprise what happens next. "Yes! Destroy the weather witch! Crush her like a bug!" Sauron cackles, mad with glee as Rogue falls under the sway of his blazing eyes. There is a reason the X-Men consider him such a major threat, and this moment proves it.

Rogue is physically... very powerful. Probably moreso than most realize; she's spent her whole time with the X-men focused on redeeming her early villainous past, which means upholding their ideals that much more strongly... and not just punching things so hard they explode.

It doesn't mean she can't.

Jean's expression goes pale when she realizes what's happend. She barely physically follows as Rogue bursts into flight. The water Ororo summons won't stop her, it will only slow her. But together? She reaches out with that telekinetic power, grasping for the woman in flight.

Jointly? They slow Rogue down enough that the inevitable impact doesn't put her fist through the other woman's chest. It still impacts Ororo with considerable force, sending her sailing back, curbing her winds.

<<Emma, forget him, help me with Rogue!>>

She went for the telekinetics at first because they're somewhat simple, easier on the fly. Working a mind can be tricky. It's doubly so when there's -someone else- in there. Again, her hand goes to her temple, and her mind reaches out for what is, in truth, a familiar place to her. She's spent countless hours helping the younger mutant with her own demons, time that's brought them closer and closer-

-but now, she finds chaos in that familiar place, the screeching insistence of a primal command that short-circuits so much of Rogue's normal thought process. Can she undo it all quickly enough?

Prior to that, Emma does manage to sow some confusion. Some of the dinosaurs are fleeing of their own accord. Some approach Sauron in attack, although he quickly swats one away, before turning his glare to regain his control. Still... he surveys the battle, and he gets a hint.

"Know this, X-Men! You will suffer for what you've done here! For what you've taken! This town will suffer! And then the whole continent! My war will not cease, until those who have offended me are brought before my feet!" And with that, he turns and sails back the way he came. It's not merely the open ocean, it may be noted, but rather toward some small rocky island found a ways off shore. An island that happens to appear in those computer maps from earlier.

Food for thought... at least once they've gotten the rogue, uh, Rogue under control.

Emma Frost has posed:
An order is an order. Emma Frost goes to focus over on Rogue, trying to figure out the quickest way to calm down her while Jean and Storm go to try and corral her. All focus on the dinosaurs is now gone as Emma goes to quickly try and pull memories from her consciousness. She quickly goes for something tried and true.
    She tries to broadcast up and over into Rogue's mind her father, Owen, singing. ~Hush little baby, don't say a word, daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird~. They're not going to win in a clash of wills and bodies with the southern belle. But they can hopefully soothe her out of her forced frenzy.
    Sauron is ignored once he's focusing on fleeing and leaving the area. Emma's focus is over on trying to calm down Rogue and ensure that any further damage is contained. She's trying to not be too invasive here with Rogue. IF she can even get into the other woman's mind, going in like a wrecking ball won't help. So trying to add as much semblance of serenity as she can..
    <<Iara, Tabitha, Rahne, status reports if you need aid>> Emma goes to take over the link while she lets Jean focus most of her efforts over on Rogue as Emma surveys the rest of the battlefield. Even as she wipes away some blood from her nose, that's staining over her outfit. She rather did like it..

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
As she heads back, Tabitha throws explosions, one after the other, after the retreating enemies. She uses her arms like pistons, left-right, left-right, and tries to chase them back to the stone age where they belong. She is using a lot of energy though, keeping the forces from even dreaming of trying anything more.

This pose brought to you by the letter T, the fact that Rahne can't pose for herself, and Tabitha's right to be awesome.

"I wanted a snowmobile you bitches!!!"

That was Tabby.

Rogue has posed:
Make no mistake, some corner of Rogue's mind is in complete distress as she collided with Storm. Storm was one of her idols in the X-Men, one of her idols as a woman entirely. She looks at Storm as the peak of the peak, the pinnacle of potential persona.. Hurting Storm? Not something Anna-Marie would want to ever do...

But this was Sauron..

This is his will...

This is his desire...

Rogue came through that wall of water, soaked through as much as she can be in her mostly-still intact bodysuit, she slammed her fists in to Storm, and then was hit with the mental wall from Jean, and Emma. It takes a moment to hit her good and hard, but when it does, Rogue ends up on the ground on her feet, then falling down on to her hands and knees. She breathes, she rests there dripping in the cold, slashes down her spine from Saruon's talons.

Rogue drops on to her right side, ironically right beside where she'd dropped her jacket. She curls up in to a ball then, and clenches her eyes shut... clearly going to need some help to get back to the Jet.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
    Iara didn't even realize she was in a frenzy until it was over, the heightened awareness, the tense muscles, the dulling of pain... and it's only when she breathes a sigh of relief that she almost drops to one knee and notices the blood and clawmarks on her. Not as scratched up as Rahne, but still a bit of a horror show, her natural shark physiology making her wounds stop bleeding pretty quickly... but they don't heal like Wolverine's does. She shakes her head, headed back to the blackbird, the less scratched up Tabitha to her side. <<We've all been fighting buzzsaws down here, Emma, I think we all need medical attention...>>

Ororo Munroe has posed:
In pure disbelief, Storm wails aloud, afraid of hurting the dear girl with her reflexive counter move. She hits the water and hurtles into Anna-Marie's fist. Unbeknownst to Storm, there is a war of minds raging as Rogue's astounding punch pierces the wall of water.


The Weather Witch performs a series of involuntary somersaults in the air. Looping backward, hands clutched to her chest, she gasps for breath, trying in vain to see how Rogue fares.

Jean Grey has posed:
In Jean's mind, triage can apply even during the fight, as much as in the medical bad afterward, at least when it comes to preserving the lives of her team. They need Rogue under control so she doesn't crack someone's skull like glass. They need Rahne in the Blackbird.

The dinos? They mostly need to screw off, so if they're in retreat, that's good enough for her. The lullaby from Owen-via-Emma is good thinking, the paternal image. It's calming. Slows things down, as Jean does the technical work, walling off those unnatural primal impulses, re-establishing other connections, restoring executive function. Morality. Self. The parts of Rogue that make her such a noble member of the team, regardless of her past. It's going to be rough, reconciling things, but at least in the moment, the screeching voice goes away.

And she's free to sleep.

<<Roro?!>> As SOON as she's down, Jean pings to confirm Storm's own condition, making sure they managed to do enough to cushion the blow. She's conscious, which is saying something.

<<Tabitha, Iara, get Rahne into the jet and start prepping the mini medbay.>> There's a fold-out medical table in the Blackbird's hold that mimics some of the functions of the more advanced one they have back in the basement. It can't do everything, but it can get her stable, and Tabitha - like every team member - is trained on how to deploy it, so they don't even have to wait for the others to make it back to the plane. <<Everyone else rendezvous there. We'll evac her back to base then reconvene on all of... this. Now that we've found him... I don't think this guy is going anywhere.>>

Jean finds Rogue where she landed and gently hoists her into the air, and then floats into her own arms, before making back for the jet herself, carrying her friend up the ramp before they begin prepping the engines to depart.