13886/Savage Land: Sauron vs the Fellowship!

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Savage Land: Sauron vs the Fellowship!
Date of Scene: 26 January 2023
Location: Southern Lake - Forest
Synopsis: The Fellowship fights its way into Mordor, aka the mountain domain of the Pterons. After meeting various dino hordes in battle, they discover Sauron in his lab, built around an ancient machine powered off the the heart of a sleeping volcano. The battle is bloody, as the machine seems to intervene at every turn. Eventually, they uncover its secret, that this isn't Sauron's work, but some ancient AI designed to help maintain the artificial biome of the Savage Land. But will this information help them as Sauron feats upon one mutant's life force and looks hungry for more?
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Tabitha Smith, Rahne Sinclair, Ororo Munroe, Rogue, Marie-Ange Colbert, Iara Dos Santos, Negasonic

Jean Grey has posed:
Last time on X-Men:

Held by Queen Leanne on the captured Lemurian sailing ship, it and its counterpart Aerian vessel sailed through heavy mists, treacherous rocks, and then upriver toward not the aerie of the bird-people, but the mountainous land of the Pterons. Joined on the ship by the fearsome Sauron-lookalike Phangor and some of his tribe of flying lizards, attempts at diplomacy turned into a raucous scuffle... and then into diplomacy again. Leane was suspicious, as a seer's prophecy had warned that those with the mark of X would come and bring downfall to a 'princess.' But Tarot's reading shed new light: two cards, two women, two rulers. Maybe the 'Knights of X' were fated to defeat someone else entirely...

After this revelation brought both sides to a truce, Leanne explained why she had fled Lemuria (rather than being kidnapped, as the regent had claimed), and the nature of this alliance of three races and realms: each one of them had seen their leadership usurped or twisted by an outside force. For Leanne, it was the treachery of her uncle. For the Aerians, it was the influence of some strange new religion, a cult to the goddess 'Arrash,' that promised understanding of the ancient technologies scattered around the Savage Land. And for the Pterons, it was domination by none other than Sauron himself.

Quick to seize upon the situation, Phangor pressed for immediate action, and the alliance, a fellowship if you will, sailed deeper into the Pteron lands.


Now, it is early morning the next day, and the ships have pulled ashore. The light is low, and the mists still heavy in the air. The troops of the alliance have disembarked, less than an army but formidable all the same. On the beach, Leanne stands with Sep (her Aerian counterpart), considering their plan of approach. Phangor has yet to appear. "Sauron himself is the key. If he can be defeated, the rest should accept Phangor's authority. Still, we must be cautious in our strike. The mountain cave network is quite vast. If we overextend, it would be easy to become separated, surrounded, and defeated piecemeal."

Jean is with them, having recovered a bit from the attack on the ship. "Both you and Phangor have your flying troops, but I think, for a head-on with Sauron, my people have the best odds. We've dealt with him before, and he's quite formidable."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would lean back, ~So then, how are we going to take Sauron given our rather haphazard state?~ That's said mostly redundantly telepathically to the rest of the team. She would add to it, ~And them going with us just menas more fodder that Sauron can take over to throw at us.~
    Walking along and forwards. ~We need a plana nd we have to operate under the assumption that he's at full power and has whatever legions he's enthralled with him. So tactics?~

Tabitha Smith has posed:
In all her shredded blue, Dinoskin leather busted arm and swollen beaten face glory, Tabitha Smith is still doing her best to keep up. She's likely going to need to bribe one of the healers back home but for now she does what she can. The makeshift bandages provided by Rahne keeping her broken arm slug and her swollen eyesocket and cheekbones covered and neat.

Lacking her full powers still, Tabby hmms as she starts going over her options.

This mostly involves a one eyed piratey squint at some of those energy rifles that were used to pretty good effect before everyone started getting along.

Heavy as they may be, there's no recoil. "I wanna get ma pew pew on! No booms yet. Lame! This must be what too much sugar is meant to feel like." she pouts in that consistently groggy tone since she got hit upside the face with a bludgeoning weapon. "We just try shooting the place up, maybe get lucky and bust the power dampners!" she puts out as a suggestion as Emma makes her queries.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
This is not Rahne's field of expertise. She hasn't quite figured out where she can fit in, which is normal since everything that she can do, someone on the X-Men can do better. But here, she's at least a good tracker. Of things on the ground. Which is not exceptionally helpful right now.

She's not the type to add to all the noise though. In her vest and cut-off shorts which until recently were pants, she is showing a bit of leg. Which in this heat is definitely the preference. At least she's awake, and ready to help if something comes up that she can do.

Though with powerhouses like Ororo and Rogue here, she's mostly hoping to just not botch things up.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
At a distance, the united troops can be heard through the mist as they disembark and row to shore. Ororo waits on the sand just outside the range of incoming waves, not far from Leanne and Jean Grey.

On a quick intake of breath, she answers Emma's thoughts, <<I don't trust myself. Is the amulet that Leanne has around her neck powerful enough to weaken us all? Combined we may be able to take him. But I'd rather we find some way past this obstacle.>>

With a wry tilt of her head, <<I'd rather not use a weapon but if needs must, I will.>>

Rogue has posed:
Rogue went away for awhile, flew off. When she comes back, she lands near to where Storm is on the shore. She's not got any wings anymore. "Where do good wings go when they die..." She mutters upon any looks she might have gotten too.

Her green eyes just sweep around at the others, her loose hair flowing around her bare shoulders as her piratey-themed outfit yet remains in good condition, even after all the ship-board fighting too.

When she overhears the name of Sauron, she starts to walk past some of the others loitering around. "Gonna find out where his wings go when they die next..." She mutters under her breath. So peeved, so angry.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Marie, to some degree, is still playing her part from before they gained their new allies. Cloaked in her robe, letting the hood stay up more often than not. She doesn't know if her more simplistic self will disrupt the alliance they have, so she's not about to risk it.

<<As long as I can see the battlefield, I can attack using my cards.>> Marie suggests, before looking over towards Tabby's display. <<...or I could use one of those, possibly. Which end faces forward?>>

Someone, it seems, is more than willing to throw the first stone for a change. Marie has a... history... with Sauron, afterall. She's perfectly willing to deliver a few lumps and collect some long overdue payback.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara Dos Santos, the Shark-Girl, wakes up to the sound of people gathering overhead, on the upper decks. She winces, her scales feeling a bit dry from sleeping out of the water, but the footsteps overhead are just loud and prominent enough to bother her and not let her sleep. In a vain attempt to somehow brute force some rest she bites her soft, leathery pillow in frustration as she presses her face into it.

     Phangor screeches in pain.

     There's a commotion below decks as the two begin shouting at each other, with Iara prominently yelling "I WASN'T TRYING TO EAT YOU!" at one point, but they seem to calm down, Iara walking out of his room shaking her head and pulling the sleeve of her X-Men uniform as she sticks her arm through it and the shark-girl heads up to the upper deck to join the others.

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean looks a little too cheerful as everyone joins up. "Wakey wakey. Time to storm the castle." She looks up the mountain and back toward her team, where the mood seems less confident, given their state. "It's not all bad. Rahne and Iara haven't seemed to suffer much effect, so we lean on them." So much for Rahne being the weak one! "And Rogue's got some juice," she adds, as the once-again wingless woman returns.

As they chat, she walks to where some Aerian weaponry rests against a log, grabs a pair of rifles, and tosses one over to Tabitha, managing -just- enough TK that it slowly wub-wubs over, rather than hitting her in the damaged arm. "Madame Mcsplode has the right idea. Everyone who isn't feeling like they can rely on their own tricks, grab a gun. Or a mace. And maybe we can figure out what's zonking us all out. Could be that Sauron is behind it, and we can turn it off."

Regardless of how they solve it, Jean's voice is full of resolve: "This is why we train the way we do. Even without our full powers, no one here is a pushover. We've got he experience. We know the tactics: Try to keep distance, he can drain you like Rogue does - if you've got anything left - and try not to look him in the eyes."

There's also a quieter, X-Men only back and forth going on, that brings her attention back to Leanne. <<It does seem like the amulet could be related. Power-shielding, power-nullification? To her it's just some royal heirloom, I doubt she has much understanding of how it works.>>
In the meantime, Sep and Leanne continue their more specific, leader-ly plotting, the Queen even drawing some diagrams in the dirt with the tip of her sword. "Aerians and Pterons have... difficult relations, typically," Sep admits, glancing around at some of the 'friendly' Pterons, who are perched here and there in the nearby rocks. "We could likely convince them it was a 'normal' attack, act as a distraction. They would surely rush to meet us, and Phangor's force could lay in wait, ready to jump in and make it a two-sided fight. That should give the rest of you time to maneuver."

Speaking of Phangor... there's some strange noise from the boat, and some scuffle thereafter. "Insatiable Tubanti wench!" But soon enough, the Pteron leader appears on the deck, mostly no worse for the wear, and soon makes a flapping descent to the beach, overhearing enough of the discussion to have an opinion: "My people will do ask you ask. But I must be present for the battle with the tyrant! My people must seeeee as I bring him to his knees. Or there will be chaos."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would look over at the others and tap at her arm. "We have to ambush the thing over and not let him throw in his legions against him." She would muse over and then tap at her chin. "That actually gives me an idea as you said. Look at him. We can't exactly avoid eye contact.. But we can serve as one another's eyes. It's within our capabilities, at least, Jean to pass along sensory information. If someone's going to be engaged by Sauron, we shut off visual dat ato their brains, and pass along sensory perspectives from the rest of us. So at least in the short term so long as we stay close we can keep him blocked out and minimize exposure from lack of vision."

Mental sensory sharing. Of a -very- compat and tricky nature, admittedly. Which would require a great deal of trust.

"Rahne.. Do you think you can handle if we go with this being our eyes and ears?" Emma says that very, very flatly and amusedly.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne is politely ignoring the sexual events going on belowdecks, which bring themselves above. She isn't being arrogant at all; her previous actions have cemented her in the eyes of the crew as the party's medic, and she's taking full advantage of that.

With a leather satchel at her side, set up so it's not tight and she can shift with it on, she's managed to get bandaging.

Salve. Creams and ointments. Clean water. Cloths. Needle and thread. Alcohol. The things that you really want when one of your friends has gotten a potato to the eye, or a knife to the gut.

She looks at the weapons, then gives a visible headshake to Jean and those who are watching. Then she gives Iara a glare, which has nothing to do with the fact that she just came out of an illicit liason with someone she's not married to.

Or does it.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Ororo frowns as screams drift over the water from the ship. She waits a moment, eyebrows raised, for the hubbub to subside, listening to Emma's recommendations. <<Excellent, she can be our eyes.>>

With a pointed glance at Jean, <<I'm going to ask her straight out. Jean are you with me on this?>>

As an afterthought, <<Perhaps our Madame McSplode has a ranged weapon for me? Do you Tabitha?>>

When there is a break in the Queen's planning: "Your Majesty," Ororo, approaches Leanne and inclines her head slowly, giving her the dignity of her station as a peer. She gestures for them to walk somewhat apart from the others, saying in a voice pitched for her ears alone, "I have a request. If we are to bring the full force of our powers in your aid against Sauron, then we must unblock them. Are you aware that the powerful amulet around your neck may be weakening our abilities?" Ororo's pale eyes stray to said amulet then rise to regard the Queen.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue stands off to the side and folds her arms across her stomach now, calming down some she is merely observing, listening, and watching. Her eyes do flicker from one face to the next as she hears the suggestions to whatever plan is ultimately decided upon, but for her, she's just quietly here.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
"Doctor Madame McSplode!" she points out her completely made up doctorate. The woman doing her best to cradle the weapon. Her aim is probably going to be attrocious, but sweeping beams maybe kind of don't need it. "Kinda wish I had one of those healing factors though." she states and hmms while she looks over the weapon in hand.

Thankfully despite her often vapid demeanor. The blonde does know her way around a firearm so she accquaints herself with things like the safety catch. Mostly making sure the weapon is aimed down at dolid ground or water for now.

So responsible!

<<That absorbing trick. That maybe kinda might play into our hands. I can reabsorb my own energy after discharge. It might let me resist. And I can control what happens after. Normally. Make him think he ate a live bomb. I got nothing in the tank to blow up that big even if I got my full powers back. But maybe the panic can distract him so one of you can just brain him with a brick or something.>> she suggests over the mind link. <<A really big brick!>> she adds and grins while fumbling her good eye down the sights of her rifle.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
The calls from below deck? Yeah. That's getting Marie to blush. Rahne's not the only one who's on the more modest side of the coin, though this likely surprises nobody.

"As you wish, Madame Grey; better to be over-armed rather than under-armed." the French girl surmises; strength is not one of her strong suits, so she'll opt for the ranged weapon. Moving over to Tabby for a quick primer on how to use the thing once she's secured it. It's an if she has to, not necessarily a when... but she wants to be prepared nonetheless.

"Are we expecting the... other enemy forces to be there, or just Sauron's?" she asks curiously. Sauron's the known quantity. The regent less-so, and the cult leader with the advanced weapons knowledge? Who knows what tricks are up that one's sleeve.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Shark-Girl is not just any Brazillian, but a Brazillian with a shark body and little in regards to shame. She grins toothily, then opens those rows of triangular teeth to stick her tongue out at Phangor, saying "Oh, I'll show you insatiable..." before she gets quickly distracted by Emma and Jean, probably for the benefit of everyone else. Her face goes blank and glossy-eyed as her jaw hangs open a little, the face she always seems to get when she's not thinking, but it's not to say she's not listening. On the contrary, her face becomes animated again as she furrows her brow.

     "Can't Jean like... Just keep a mental finger on our brains?" as she reaches up and puts a finger demonstratingly on the top of her head. Kind of realizing she must look and sound like an idiot, she shakes her head, saying "I mean like, I don't know how psionics work but she has a link to us all when we talk through the psychics, right? So with a connection to us, can't she focus on that link like an early warning system, and if one of us start getting taken over by Sauron she can move in to shield that person... Kinda like those old cartoons where someone tries to stop a dam from busting by putting a finger in the holes, you get what I mean? When she detects his presence in one of our brains she can swoop in there and shield us. It's like... Five Nights at Freddy's. You close the doors when there's a monster there, not the whole time, otherwise you run out of juice."

     Shark-Girl falls silent for a moment, furrowing her brow, saying "Am I making any sense?"

Negasonic has posed:
    Ellie lets out a long slow sigh, speaking for the first time in quite some time. "Didn't go to Exploding School to be called Miss or Mrs McSplode..." which well it amuses her but it is honestly a half hearted snark.

    This field trip to the Savage land is much to much power dampening peril and not enough riding dinosaurs and having fun. Not that the sullen teenager would admit she was hoping to have a lot of fun and no responsibility. Serious sullen silence.

    She will grab a gun, and a mace honestly. No one said limit your arming yourself to one. Her uniform and gear has held up well since it was designed to cradle her fragile fragile body in case her exploding was mistimed with her own blast shields, but she is sorely lacking non-exploding offensive powers.

    Said Mace is weighed and swung around a little eperimentally.

Jean Grey has posed:
"It would be disorienting, and I don't know how long we could maintain it... but it's something to try in a pinch," Jean considers of Emma's plan. "Fool him just long enough if someone needs to get close, let him think he'll have them under his spell and then pull the rug out."

Ororo has her own plan, and with a request for Jean's support - diplomatic or moral - she makes her way nearer to the Queen.

Leanne, when questioned, looks down and touches it, where it rests at the hollow her throat. "The amulet acts as a ward, I know this. But for my person alone, as I have understood it, granting me various protections. How would you... presume to test this, or even deactivate it, were it the case?" There is a long pause, and then, after seeming to consider her trust for these people, before she reaches behind her neck, to unfasten the clasp that holds it.

"Examine it, if you like- but for battle, I will not go without it. Perhaps you might understand its working better, and if so, I will take heed of your wisdom." She gives both Ororo and Jean the opportunity, if they like, to look it over. Even to modern eyes, it is impressive, its gleaming surfaces showing no obvious seams, no points of access or controls, while the blue crystal at its center glows softly.

"Normaly, maybe," Jean answers Iara, after eventually returning it. "But his hypnosis is pretty strong. And right now, me and Emma? Not so much." Other plans are floated, but Jean doesn't commit to any details now. "I think, past a certain point, we're probably going to have to wing it, to a degree, once we're face to face with whatever he's got going on."


There may be room for further preparations to a small degree, further narrowing of plans and tactics. As far as the Queen knows, they will face only Sauron and his Pteron allies at their rookery, although their numbers are considerable, compared to their more 'commando' team. And soon, they're on the march.

It takes another few hours to make it up the slopes to the mountain caves. Although both the Aerians and Pterons fly (and Leanne has her mount), both keep to the ground for the last of the approach, to avoid enemy notice.

Then, when they are close enough, Sep begins his part of the plan, breaking off from the group. The Aerian troops circling toward the other side of the mountain, loop around, and fly back in, as if approaching from the direction of their native territory. Soon, alarm-screeches of the enemy can be heard, and numerous Pteron warriors launch from the many cave openings to meet them in the open sky. Phangor's own troops hide in the mist, and then, as promised, swoop in from behind.

"Our time is now!" cries Leanne. Their destination is a particular cave that Phangor has told them will lead fairly directly to the inner sanctum. It's a way up, but she can carry several on her strange mount, and Phangor another, and Rogue a pair easily. Thus, combined with their own fliers, they make the ascent quickly!

Inside, the caves are as one might imagine, dark and damp, the mists condensing into water that drips from the stalactites above. But it seems the Aerian diversion is working; there are no guards immediately to meet them. This allows some cautious progress, until they make it through a tunnel and into a large interior cave. It spans many levels, with a variety of tunnels leading off to every part of the mountain or to smaller roosts. There is also some kind of pillar in the center, a central meeting point, perhaps. As they move in, the chill cool of the outer tunnel fades, and things grow noticably warmer.

"The chieftain's chamber is there, on the far side," Phangor tells them, gesturing across. But they are not alone in here, even under the state of alarm. Flapping wings can be heard all around. "Let us-"

And then, somewhere, there is another of those sharp cries, nearer. An alarm. They have been spotted, now!

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would take a moment to look over at the Queen and murmur mentally along hte link to the rest of the team <<We could have snuck in if she hadn't been quite so prone to elocute upon our arrival>> Seh goes to quickly try and sweep ahead.
    Sending a telepathic message <<Rahne, if you can spot anyone quickly ahead of us? And Iara, if you can quickly neutralize them?>> The slower they were up here on the surface, the faster they would get dogpiled by eveyrone Sauron had with him. Which would no doubt be considerable. Andin theory most of the ones here might be innocent or coerced. So they had to give some level of restraint.
    Emma doesn't setup a group meld yet. There's little reason to and it could rapidly get overloading.
    <<I suppose once more unto the breach. If you might care to give us as many entrance possibiltiies as possible Tabitha, Ellie?>> Giving the two room to dow hat they did best.
    <<Storm, if they bring up a large number of attackers, please give them a windy welcome. Rogue.. You and Jean deal with anyone unfriendly taht arrives in your own most indulgent way. You two have earned this after all>>

Rogue has posed:
Once they reach the cavern mouths, Rogue quietly touches down on the rocky floor. For a moment she just wandered with the rest with her hands on her hips, but soon she just started to float along within the darkened cavern tunnel. "Lotsa branchin pathways, would be easy t'get lost in here." She quietly comments before falling quiet once more.

When things open up, and the sound of incoming winged enemies becomes the inevitable push toward a conflict, Rogue just shoots off in to the darkness above. She lays in wait behind one of the hanging rock formations, before she strikes at two of the flying creatures, by striking them with one of those stalactites!

Smack! Boom! She hits them hard, then feels it crumble in her hands, and when more see her flying about,t he fight 'is on' as they say.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara responds back with "Yeah, I can do that." in her portugese accented voice verbally to Emma, "Am I still going nonlethal here or we going lethal now? 'Cause when you say fast, fastest isn't pretty, as Professor Logan says..." Her pointed shark nose tilts upward, not looking at Rogue, something else... squinting as she thinks, and then says "This cave's... hot. Too hot. It's weird."

     She tries to peer down to see the source of the heat, taking another quick peek for any ground-based dinosaurs running around before turning her attention back to the pit beneath them, trying to see if there's any sign of light down there.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabby hauls her weapon as best she can, even her good arm is not in the best shape. And it's not her dominant hand. So aiming will feel extra wonky with blurry eyes. <<Best I can do is crowd control Emma. Too big a boom may cause a cave in. Rocks fall, everyone dies.>> she states.

Luckily the laser weppon totally helps in some cases. Sweeping it mostly at groups of Sauron's Pteron minions before anyone can rush them. Spray and pray at this point.

The sounds of the fight and friends getting up in melee makes it more votal she pick her shots. Unfortunately this is where her injuries start making her a liability. The odd point blank boom gets a few off her literal back but she's very disadvantaged. "It is a little warm, maybe be extra careful of those first steps!" she warns.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne isn't a flier. Rahne is, however, agile as a minx, and with her halfway form active she's also able to climb. She uses ledges and pokes her head into caves, ducking in and out, and scurries ahead. She's small, fast, and a very hard target, and is also difficult to see/spot/pin down.

Emma told her to check ahead, so she's checking ahead. But given how interesting this place is, there's a lot o places TO check. She ducks into a cave, comes out another connected one, and vwips to the next closest. She nods to whoever sees her, then pauses. Hot air, from that one. Weird.

<<This one's safe to use for cover,>> she sends to the group. She normally doesn't talk much over the mind-thing. Especially not when shifted, it's extra hard at those times. But she's really interested in why we're getting hot air from these darn caves.

Skitter skitter, let's get 'it 'er.

Negasonic has posed:
    Ellie follows along armed for war, staying as close to the Tabby since she is pretty roughed up. At some point in the sneaking along through the caves she mutters "My stealth stat is maxed out, at least this is how it works in Skyrim.. no one can see me..." she is definitely still quite visible. Though other than the whisper she is trying pretty hard to be stealthy.

    Not that it helps when they are spotted and combat, dire dire combat, ensues.

    She opts to follow Tabby's lead though and uses the laser weaponry instead of her boom ability. She does not want to boom the cave. Especially because well... who knows with the powers kind of being unreliable. Would suck if they undampened mid-boom.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
"Thank you for your trust, your majesty." Ororo accepts the stone and withdraws from the others, holding it cradled in her hands. The amulet is heavier than gold or lead and weighted oddly as though the center is liquid. It is no ordinary mineral; its magic palatable to the sorceress. Someone changed its natural composition with a spell that acts as a ward to magical powers.

<<Jean, unless you see something that I don't. The amulet is not responsible for sapping our powers. But it is great protection to its bearer.>>

An hour before they reach the caves, Ororo, not without some sadness, returns the amulet to the Queen. "May it protect you during the fight to come. Great good luck to you, Your Majesty."

A laser gun, one of the few 'conventional weapons' is passed to Ororo as they reach the caves. She familiarizes herself with the weapon then shoulders it in order to concentrate on the cave. Stalagtites like teeth will make for convenient weapons. She can condense the mist into fog and if need be, use her fists. Up ahead the fight begins.

Ororo rises into the air to search for the enemy.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Tabby's arm isn't in the best of shape, and Marie doesn't have the best of aim. Between the two of them, well, hopefully they manage to pick off some of the foes before they get into proper melee range. The fact that the blonde girl isn't at full strength is probably the biggest reason that the French girl sticks close to her. If they get caught in melee range? She can be more than just her own blade. That, and, well. Marie's a follower, and it's easier to just, well, follow the examples set and make with the pew-pew.

"Tu ne nous prendras jamais vivant!" she calls out at their foes, firing off a couple more shots. Rough translation: 'You'll never take us alive!'. Because when she was introduced to the concept of action movies, Marie was dutifully informed that, when engaged in a fire fight, you MUST make a bold declaration that you certainly won't regret later. It's the rules of warfare.

And Marie-Ange Colbert is nothing if not polite.

Jean Grey has posed:
There's something on the central pillar. A throne, although at the moment, it is empty. Yet a figure perches nearby, and as the attack begins, spreads its wings, and flies out to meet them. Another Pteron-shaped figure, larger than average much like Phangor. Is this the fight she's been waiting for, the big green cheese himself?

"That's Khalf!" Phangor calls. Guess not. How many of these off-brand Saurons are there? (well, a whole cave)

"He -was- king," Phangor exlcaims, in a bit of helpful exposition. "Now he is a pathetic slave to the tyrant!" The words are spit with great distaste. And notably, Phangor does not meet the former king for a mid-air duel. He's making a straight line for the far cave, clearly focused on reaching Sauron.

Meanwhile, several of the others provide some covering fire, which holds the Pterons back a bit, although their numbers do seem to be increasing, as the screeches bring more and more out of their caves. Not a great long-term prospect of a fight. Leanne acknowledged this in her plan, and flies forward on her giant bat, Jean in one of the passenger seats, as not to tax her own telekinesis more than she needs to. They're making the same direction as Phangor, but are thrown into an evasive maneuver as Khalf dives toward them, barely missing.

Rahne does as Rahne does. Which is to say, she runs off sniffing.

Ellie barely avoids an arrow (ok, pointy rock) to the knee as one of the Pterons hurls one her direction. SCREECH! It dives for them, but takes a blast in the last seconds, crash landing in their direction. The weapons, fortunately, seem to stun more than incinerate, at their base setting, so that's something...

<<Try and push across>> Jean projects, as the fight unfolds. <<We can't get trapped out here, bogged down with the minions. Rahne, what do you have down there?>>

Rogue has posed:
Up in the cavern sky, Rogue takes evasive actions to preserve herself from a horde of incoming dino flyers by disappearing in to the upside down forest of stalactites. The winged flyers have a harder time navigating those things, than Rogue and her Wonka Bubbles version of flying does. She rips one of the stalactites from the ceiling though, and hurls it right at this 'Khalf' fella.

It garners his attention, however, and he shoots up to chase her in to a ceiling cavern air duct. The two vanishes inside it.

Within it, Rogue and the dino flyer are squaring off in a bout of fisticuffs, Rogue landing some hits to his elongated face before he strikes back at her.

With rocks falling, the two tumble back out another hole in the ceiling only to have Rogue holding on to the dino-flyer by the back of his head, trying to just choke him out, and let him fall all the way to the ground should he black out in her arms...

Emma Frost has posed:
Well, the one that Phangor is running right past is definitely one that's being delegated to. Just a minor minion in the spectrum. Emma goes to advance forwards, heeding the advise voer when it would come to not getting boged down. As the group goes to brawl about, Emma goes close to the ground. She's simply going to bypass as much of the melee as possible, and make her way towards where the little patsy remembers as where Sauron gave him all those specific orders from. That should be the center of here and where Sauron had taken over the nesting grounds.

So that was where she would be heading now. And she goes to share the general direction with the others <<I'm sure wherever the lizard upstart gave his little cretin his personal blessing is where he's waiting for us>> ALong with a rough image of something large and metal behind Sauron, from the ignored King that Phangor had so cavalierly dismissed taken in as little more than a mook.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
<< Spiral, >> the wolf's brain sends, curt and abrupt. Not the person, but an image of spiraling, downwards. A long tunnel. << Warm. >>

On her end, she's got a feeling from the air on her fur that there's a larger opening head. You can tell these things, after a bit of experience. She has herself on alert, and isn't showing up at openings upstairs anymore.

Because instead, she's keeping herself low and quiet, approaching the place below. Just a wolf girl with a nose that is in a place where it should not be. You know you'd do it too, if you were there.

What. Is. In. Here, now? The wolf needs to know. So she pokes her nose inside, and looks around.

What could go wrong?

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Laser gun still shouldered, Ororo hangs suspended in air, eyes shut, reaching for the natural rock of the cave. Minerals slowly accreted by water and time into teeth, razor sharp, hang above them. Stalactites. A danger to friend and foe alike if aimed badly. Ororo intends to aim well.

A crack ricochets above the noise of combat and a series of stone daggers rain on the flyers aiming themselves toward their ranks. One especially is aimed at Khalf. Rock flies through the air breaking above the enemy, stopping just short of Rogue when Ororo gestures and halts them with a wall of air.

Two winged flyers rush to flank her and she calmly shrugs the laser rifle from her shoulder and fires in rapid succession at both of them. The actinic blue of the laser searing bright in the dim light.

Tabitha Smith has posed:

These are the sounds Tabitha is vocalising, not just what the weapon itself is making. The added boobs swirling around where she can, hitting anyone looking to get a jump on herself, Negasonic or Tarot.

"Twenty bucks or a sixer Sauron jumps on Rogue!" she suggests and grins as best her bruised countenance allows.

<<See if the two piece and a biscuit there knows where the power dampner thingy is. I bet there was a squaking 'Nothing can stop me now!' gloat!>> she queries and takes that time to at least make sure there's no friendly fire. It gets hard ro tell when things are a little blurry because you need glasses normally.

Negasonic has posed:
    Ellie panics, just a bit, at the arrow that grazes across her armored joint nearly crippling her. She returns a blast with the fancy rifle stunning it and sending it crashing into the ground. "Oh shit..." well that is definitely less dangerous than if she were to blast it.

    No need to kill any brainwashed Pterons after all.

    Right right. Move forward. Jean is right. She inhales and starts to push forward, trying to bring up a trickle of a charge to make a blast shield to help deflect and defend as she brings the stun rifle up once more to shoot another of the assailants.

    "Absolutely not taking a bet on Sauron jumping Rogue.. that is a stupid bet... no way." her next shot though she goes PewPEw.

    If they can ID the power dampener she will absolutely end up using her whole ass charge she is building painfully slowly to try to blast it.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara follows Rahne, looking up at a swooping Pteronodon as she ducks under it, planting her palm on the rock they're walking on before grabbing a stalagmite, breaking it off into a makeshift... pointy stick. It'd be a stretch to call it a spear. Another one comes swooping down at Iara, prompting her to shout "Nao, voce nao!" in portugese as she hurles the pointed rock at the pteronodon... in a form somewhere between a spear chuck and a shot put. Either way, her aim is on target, and she konks it in the head, sending it crashing into the rock bridge she's standing on before falling into the pit beneath them.

     Iara looks around for something else to throw as the first pteronodon circles back around, at first grabbing to see if she can pull the same trick again on another stalagmite, but this one crumbles in her hand. Seeing the flying reptile start to swoop in she ducks and runs towards Rahne, eager to get down this spiral and towards whatever the source of this heat is, and away from these flying reptiles!

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Right now, Marie's just going to do her best to serve as suppressing fire. Content to serve as another volley from the battery of fire served by the trio of New Mutants, and using skills she learned on the dance floor to walk backwards with the rifle. "I have your backs!" Marie declares -- whether that reassures people enough to let her handle the rear guard duties is anyone's guess. She wouldn't trust herself alone, that's for sure.

Though she rarely trusts herself in anything, so that's besides the point.

"Does making the pew pew sound help to improve your aim, Tabitha?" asks Marie, before she squeezes off another pair of shots. Yes, she will believe Tabby if the blonde says yes. ... and likely start doing it herself, too. These are life and death circumstances, afterall!

Jean Grey has posed:
Khalf the Mighty gets drawn into a two-on-one fight, which immediately means his odds are pretty bad here. Though another prime example of Pteron brawn, in his brainwashed state his instincts fighting instincts are terribly direct (it's hard to say if they'd be better normally, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt). He follows Rogue up a tube, the two smack each other around, and then come out the other side. Her life drain isn't at full power, though, and he's a big boy with some impressive lungs, so he keeps fighting longer than she might expect. The two topple, rolling in the air, reversing positions back and forth, until he gets Rogue underneath him. Maybe he's going to ride HER into the cave floor?

Nope. He's goint to get brained in the back of the head by a rock, courtesy Ororo!

Khalf gives a pained screech, then takes another punch from the Belle, and she's able to swing around back on top of him. They hit the cave floor with a fleshy THUD, him breaking her fall.

Freed from his attack, Leanne flies ahead with Jean, and the two disappear into the far cave, as does Phangor. <<You done playing?>> Jean thinks right into Rogue's head in particular. <<We're... gonna need you in here.>>

Others keep fighting, exchanging fire, forcing a slow advance. Negasonic's shield provides a useful bulwark here for Marie and Tabitha, giving them a 'safe' direction, cover they can use on one side while they cover the rear with pewpew. The fastest way for them ends up being one of those stone bridges, taking them across the center of the chamber and toward the further side.

One way or another, the engagement eventually reaches the far side, even if they have to fight for every inch. The chamber beyond is easy to see into once they're close, as the tunnel isn't very long. And there's no bait and switch, this time.

It's everything they expect.

The cave is rather large, and likewise, quite warm, a heat radiating from the stone floor. Although natural in its original formation, it has clearly undergone (and, indeed, is still undegoing) a process of less natural excavation and conversion for new purposes. The reason, obviously enough, is the massive piece of machinery in the back, which extends into the rock both above and below, a gleaming pillar of strange metal, blinking lights, and other sci-fi miscellany. Around it, a number of the Pterons seem to have been engaged in an effort to reveal more of the device, with signs of digging around the base, both with primitive tools like pickaxes and shovels, and a few notably less primitive ones, like huge laser drills, being used to peel away the rock.

Other parts of the chamber have been expanded as well, and its alcoves are full of inumerable other scientific devices. Some match the design of the pillar in the back, although others are more clearly identifiable as belonging to good old current, modern-age Earth. Pumps and tubes with liquid, strange power converters, all sorts of oddities. In total, it is a laboratory quite befitting of a dinosaur mad-scientist.

And the Doctor is in.

"WHAT IS THIS?! Who dares interrupt my work?!" cries yet another humanoid pteranadon, yet this time, the voice is all too familiar. "You?! What is it with you people? Why must you always ruin things? If you'd just done as I'd asked, none of this would be happening!" Sauron's ramblings might not be coherent, but the threat is undeniable.

"Well, what are you cretins doing? Stop them!" The whole digging crew is still in there with him, and they rush forward to provide their boss a last line of defense.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would close her eyes as she would hea don in <<Lovely. WE've met the main actor behind us. Storm..>> She would muse over. <<A thought. I'm not sure of your ability to use lightning in here and do a controlled blast o fit.. But Sauron is near such a lovely conductive surface.>> All those lovely metal bits and wires over the console he was working over. It would make for ever nice a shock ot his system.

<<If you can, try and isolate him and keep him too spread thin to try and use his powers. I'll be on standby to try and help cycle senses if we need to.>> This is Rogue's opportunity to smash after all.

Meanwhile, right outside of the cave would be a strange looking, far bulkier looking Pteradon that had stayed out of the entire fight. Bulky, friendly yet cranky, watching everything with rampant glee while carrying a large sword over in a hand. As the group of X-Men would rush on past, he would go.

"Swoop yes see something!" Then, at that statement as they would run past, he would hop off his perch, wings beating, and flying out of the cave over towards the ocean like some sort of private joke.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue lands in a heap on top of Khalf. Her face is down on the back of his head, and her hair is all around her face. It's not until she hears the mind message sent right in to her inner thoughts that her head snaps up. She moves her right hand to toss her two-toned hair back out of her eyes, and lets out a groan. "God." AS she starts to sit up, straddling Khalf from behind him, she just looks up at Storm. "Nice assist." She says then before putting her weight on one foot, then the next.

Back on her feet, Rogue starts to move at a slow jog at first before she spies the direction that Jean, and the others went. "Okay, okay..." She raises a hand up to wipe at her face some, smearing dirt and grime across her cheek before she lunges in the air and takes off again.

When she arrives in this new cave, she comes to stand off to the right of Jean and the group all taking in the sight of what is being worked on here. "God, this is nuts." She grumbles before starting to move to defend her friends.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There's a brief bit of awkward kinda pained laugheter. "Aim. Nice one Tarot!" Boom-Boom jokes back with a chuckle. The figt in the cave eventually moves on and maybe a few times she wobbles on the riskier ledges before being counter balanced by her friends.

With the fliers getting ahead Tabby does her best to not hold folks up. Mostly by making sure she doesn't pick the wrong direction.

Eventually they get into a clearly obvious subterannean evil lair and lab.

Of course Sauron throwing a tantrum just gets as much of an eyeroll,

You know the last time he asked us to do anything I think it was 'Be dinosaurs.' That sucked no matter how awesome a firebreathing Raptor actually is." she complains and with much disdain for the big green chicken. "Hey, Cloacahead. Get clucked chickenshit!" it's not her best taunt but she has a concussion migraine. as she takes a shot at the winged mutant miscreant.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Meanwhile, downstairs, Rahne has found some stuff too. Another cave chamber, although this one more like a bubble in the rock. The bottom, full of lava, radiating heat like nobody's business. She can see the bottom half of the sci-fi gadgetey thing, and as she sends the image through the link to everyone, she scents Iara behind her.

<< Checking it out, >> she sends, since there seems to be no combat here. Chance to get a jump on Sauron, maybe. And possibly find out What The Frick is going on.

She slips into the cave, and explorerates the heck out of it.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
"Anytime," she returns, then rises into the air to make her way into the next chamber. Heat, both natural and produced by the work in progress dries the air. A stentorian voice, well known to her, bellows a challenge. Ororo doesn't deign to answer.

<<Emma, you and your murderous thoughts. I just might be able to..." she doesn't finish the thought.

Senses extended to the maximum, Ororo draws power from the heat and stone around them transmuting it into an orb of lightning ringing her hands.

A strobe of light streaks across the cavern aimed at Sauron and the metal machinery surrounding him.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara follows Rahne, hearing the familiar screech of Sauron in the caves above as she explores the source of heat with the werewolf mutant. They both come across the giant metal pillar coming out of the lava, where the brazillian mutant... puts her hands on her hips. She looks to Rahne. She looks at the high tech pillar. She looks to Rahne.

     "Soooo..." Iara says awkwardly, sidling up behind Rahne much like she did Phangor when he was out on the boat deck with the others the previous night. "I've been practicing this move that Colossus and Wolverine invented, they call it the Fastball Special... I could try to throw you over the lava at that thing if you want..."

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Despite her desire for vengeance, the parts of her brain just screaming for her to, well, do exactly as Tabby did. Shoot their former tormentor right in his dinosaur face. Marie doesn't.

There are other foes here, and plenty of 'bigger guns' than herself to deal with the main threat. If all of their weapons are trained on the main baddie, it just means they'll get swarmed by all the underlings. See, someone was paying attention in Scott's Tactics 101 classes.

...but she's definitely planning to kick Lykos when he's down and it's safe to do so. Yes.

So it's the digging crew that serve as Marie's targets, as she tries Very Hard not to look at Sauron himself. Though, so many Pterons among them, picking out exactly which one of them IS Sauron to avoid looking at isn't the easiest of tasks. So, she's just using the anecdotal evidence as best she can. Got a pickaxe? You get a pew! Laser drill? You get a pew! She's got plenty to go around!

Jean Grey has posed:
Naturally, having a big fancy gun, Tabitha to just... shoot the bad guy. This is sound thinking.

A volley of energy beams lance across the chamber. She may not be a sharpshooter, but flapping arm-wing man is not known for hyper-agility. She'd definitely hit him.

Except the beams of light dead-end in the air. Not around him, like a personal shield, exactly, but at some threshold across the middle of the chamber. They just... end. And as they do, a large blue light on the pillar behind him blinks to an angry red, then cycles to yellow. Matching lights on the rifles in the women's hands do the same, turning to yellow. And the guns just stop working. Turned off. Deactivated (Marie, who's shooting at the nearer charging dinos, manages to hit one first - but her gun then turns off at the same time as Tabitha's).

At the same time, there's a ... sound? Voice? It's computerized, but loud, and incomprehensible.

Ororo's lightning bolt gets something of the same: it arcs through the air, but connects not to the metal, but some point in the air. Again, a light flashes red on the pillar.

And then a thin blue beam emits from part of the machine, striking the woman. Rather than pain, it causes an instant, sudden numbness, briefly causing her to crumple to the floor, although she will regain her senses - without any feeling of pain or harm - a few moments later.

The voice/sound plays again, albeit slightly different.

"Hehehehehe," cackles Sauron. "Yes, that's not going to work! Against the RULES, you see. It's very sensitive!" He hops around. "Seems you're out of tricks. Oh well!" At the same time, they're charged by the rush of dino-defenders. Some are Pteron warriors like the others, although it seems like he's played 'mix and match' with their physiology, with other saurid species. Nearly all use more vicious weapons, whether those picks and shovels... or the LASER DRILL.

That one's a real menace. It comes forward, waving the thing around dangerously, like it can barely manage the weight of it, and the cutting beam slices around dangerously, risking to cut through whatever it passes and leaving melted scorch marks in the stone where it passes.

Leanne and Phangor are both still airborn, so they make for Sauron directly, but only one makes it: the bat tumbles out of the air as one of those laser-sweeps cuts its wing, leaving Jean and Leanne on a tumble part of the way there. Phangor goes on, flying straight for Sauron. "Oooh, who are you now? I thought the natives had all learned who was top of the food chain."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue watches all the laser 'nerd weapons' not be able to reach their ultimate target, which has her express a certain level of disappointment, mixed with frustration. She sees the laser mining weapon fire upward at the bat wing that holds Jean and her escort aloft. When she sees it tumbling, the Belle shoots up in the air to catch Jean by one of her hands. "This is not our best vacation ever." She tells the redhead before flying her to a safe place.

"I'm gonna try an' see if I can destroy that minin' beam." She then says before any response can be given to her.

Rogue unholsters that good old fashioned gun from her pirate holster, having reloaded, and prepared it before they set off from the beach...

Back in the air again, the Belle flies around the mining laser beam as it zips through the cavern's steamy atmosphere. She tries to get close enough to line up an easy shot with her pistol to destroy the mining weapon by firing at its weakest looking point!

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would just flat out look over at it for a moment. Before she would mutter under her breath, "... Impressive work, Lykos." All right, so the mad saurian had made an equally as mad monster-saurus wrecks for himself.

<<Iara, might you care to take a bite off teh top?>> Emma would consider in the direction over of the dino-mite and tries to focus. Well.. Sauron's got some sort of ridiculous contraption setup to shield himself. He's probably giving that creature general orders.

The machine is automatic in it's defenses or wired to him directly. It makes direct attack quite difficult. But.. He's likely registered some of his more important minions to be able to pass thorugh it. One can't make a horrid monster and abomination against all life if it gets short circuited when you mix-up something. So presumin the thing is given instructions along the lines of 'kill the interlopers' and Sauron's busy threatening them..

Emma goes to then reorient it just a bit while it charges in. She moves to paint an image over of Sauron in it's mind and points over at Sauron.. That again she casts an image of Rogue upon and thens quawks in that familair mental tone..

<<GET THEM!>> Simple enough to hopefully piggyback off of things and not too technical to be noticed.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
Iara waits for Rahne to shift into full werewolf mode for full digitigrade spring action off her palm as Iara swallows. Not mentioning to Rahne that she's never actually done this in the field before, she ducks into an angled shot put pose before launching with all her might, shouting "HIIII-YAH!" as she launches the werewolf up and at the pillar. She was aiming high, and almost overshoots the greeble she was aiming for, but Rahne manages to latch onto one of the outer vents of the column sticking out of the lava.

     "YES!" Iara shouts, "You got this, Rahne!" the shark harlot shouts at the pure little Irish Catholic mutant, and then blinks as she gets a mental message from Emma, thinking <<Uh, I'm down here with Rahne, be up in a jiffy!>>

     Iara sprints back up the way she came, taking it a bit slower once she gets back up to the perilous rock bridges of the caverns, thinking "Little off the top, little off the top..." to herself... and then looks to Jean, saying "Hey... uh..." as she looks at the folks flying above, "Can you pick me up with your brain and bash me into Sauron like an action figure?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabby does sometimes have some common sense. He's a bad guy, he's going to gloat. She has a gun.

So lets just shoot the bastard. And it seems her luck is enough that she gets that beam heading right for him.

Only it doesn't and Tabby is confused as her weapon powers down. Along with the others her friends use. "The crap, those wings should be extra crispy now. God damn buzzard ass!" she yells while she hears the sound of thatb weird computer voice. "God damn now why didn't we drag Doug down here!" she complains as she rushes in the direction of where Storm was hit, "Tarot, can you check on Storm!?" she asks as she rushes on ahead. the rifle might not pew pew but it's still solid enough in her one good arm that maybe if she can get close enough.

CLANG! And various sounds of hitting things.

Of course between that and minions getting up in her grill with tools and dino bits and pieces, this is not her best idea.

She might have used up that common sense in trying to shoot Big Bird.

Negasonic has posed:
    Ellie tries to keep the shield up, though ... it is a bit risky... the more it builds even from the trickle of charge. She will need to let it go eventually and expolosively.

    "Uh." when her laser gun stops working. Okay now she isn't sure what to do. Though when the workers start to charge, she sighs and lets the blast go, trying catch as many as possible in a broad shot to not hurt any too much and turn the tide maybe.

    She has to try.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
The girl with the bad arm, broken facial bone and blonde hair, is clearly not a threat. Neither are the people downstairs. Right. Right?

Rahne nods to Iara, comfortable with the shark girl in a way that many aren't. She puts her hand into Iara's, then her safety afterward. And she shifts to full werewolf mode, and...

One panicked flight later, Rahne is coming up behind the lines. She pauses to nod to Iara, giving a thumbs-up, but a moment later she's through a heat vent and climbing upward. While she dislikes leaving Iara behind, she's absolutely certain that anyone dumb enough to stop her will find their lives vastly worsened for the experience.

On her own side, Rahne Sinclair has her some climbing to do, and tight spaces to get through. Some false starts, and a couple moments when she's holding on by her teeth, but...

A furry hand comes up behind, and then there's a little redhead looking around. Quiet, but ready.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
The air is electric with energy beams and lightning until there is nothing. A cosmic switch turns the Queen of Weather off and she crumples to the floor. Disoriented, someone's discarded tool stuck bruising her ribs, Ororo tries to recall what happened. It felt like instant anesthesia without the hangover.

Incomprehension slows her movements but she rises, getting to her feet then levitating. Pulling on the magnetic tides deep within the rocks of the cavern, she gathers power for another try. Face fierce with concentration, her white brows furrowed, she throws a bolt at the laser drill in hopes of disrupting its machinery.

Jean Grey has posed:
Wisely enough, several of the team make the rampaging dinosaur with the heavy laser machine their top priority! Emma fiddles with its programming; although Sauron's brainwashing is difficult to overwrite, swapping a single bit of data is doable. Like its target? Sure, why not. She gives it an image of Sauron.

It turns and... horrifically cuts the nearest other Pteron in half!

OK. So EVERYONE has trouble telling him apart from all the other Pterodactyl men. Still! It's a useful outcome. Now it's just kind of confused and slice-and-dicing around inside its own troops, which is valuable (if, let me reiterate in the strongest terms: really gross), although the violence is still rather indiscriminate and the drill is causing a lot of area damage with each sweep.

... so it's maybe a smart thing that Rogue decides to use some 'old tech' to sort the problem. BANG. There's a pop, the drill shoots sparks, and flickers offline.

No comment from the techno-pillar.

Similarly, Ellie gets away with a blast in close-quarters, as the dinos rush in at her. Still at whatever percentage strength as it's been, but no PENALTY assigned. A mutant raptor thing goes flying.

As the others fight, Leanne, Phangor, and powerless Jean are the closet to Sauron, having made their half-flight, with Phangor himself attempting to claim the honor of first blood. He leaps into battle, and for a moment, the two clash. And Phangor is a mighty opponent, to be sure...

But he's Sauron-lite, at best. A moment later, and he's skidding across the stone floor, trying to drag himself back upright. At the same moment, Rahne, who had vanished from the entire effort, comes crawling up from somewhere beneath the pillar, through what seems like a natural crack or vent in the stone near its base. She scoots up on all furry fours, right beside the machine.

Leanne goes in as well, although from the ground she has trouble as Sauron lifts off out of the reach of her sword. As she steps nearer, her amulet's central light glows a brighter blue. A similar light lights up on the pillar.

The voice speaks.

Her amulet... answers? Albeit in a much less booming voice.

Jean answers Iara, once she's gotten back to the fray. <<Maybe? I think I've got one shot, maybe- not sure that thing won't zonk me for it.>>

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost ducks down hard. And then she goes to mindlink the team. It's difficult, it's painful, and it's disorienting. MOre than usual, even as she goes to put what limited power she has into it. Pulling information from one and sending it to the next. THis moment is when all of them are going to have to focus on these few final things. Emma braces herself on a rock, ducks low, closes her eyes..

And informations hares. Spacing. Placement. Status. Threats. She goes to share it across the broad melee throughout the caves, sending as much specific information as she can. Now is the time to get everyone in sync if Sauron's about ot break out the heavy handed hypnosis. Emma goes to dug her hands into the nearest anchored piece of rock, drawing blood..

Now to hope the team can make teh most of this maximum moment of chaotic carnage.

Rogue has posed:
When Sauron is up off the floor in flight, Rogue appears out of no where with another torn-free stone column that she strikes at him once, twice, three times a lady!

When it shatters she takes a swing at him with her right gloved hand, then uses her left to pop a shot off in to his stomach with her good old fashioned pistol gun shooter.

But soon, Sauron's counter strikes has her flying backward to get out of the way again, so as not to end up taken over by whatever weird power this dinosaur freak has in his arsenal.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Things are being broken and Tabby still can't feel her powers doing what they're mean to. A few more Dino people get themselves wailed on by a deactivated energy weapon. "C'MON Chicken Nugget!" she yells at Sauron while he's probably distracted by everyone else.

"If you're so bad ass powerful you can beat us with our full oomph. But no, you're just chicken I'm calling you, gotta cheat like a wuss!" she yells and starts looking for the neck thing to break.

It kind of loses it's weight taunting while Rogue is batting the buzzard around and shooting at him.

So maybe along with the concussive migraine she might be starting to feel arsonists withdrawals. The booms just aren't big enough for that rush.

Maybe more vandalism will help.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
That little redheaded head looks around, having drawn basically no attention at all. She feels Emma establish the link, and since she had to go human form in order to fit through that last bit of crack (sounds dirty now that I say it out loud) she gets into that too.

<< Um, hi. I'm back here. >>

Then she adds, << I see some buttons. On the machine. >>

She's closer to it than Sauron is, so, y'know. Really there's only one choice.

Random button mashing is good, right? That's how she keeps beating Rogue at Smash.

Don't tell Rogue, she thinks that Rahne's just that good.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Without the technical know how, the forces swirling around Storm translate into the parlance of magic. She understands natural forces. The amulet exchanged energy with the force that put her to sleep. Eyes screwed shut in frustration she grasps for an explanation. It is in front of her face...and yet.

<<Did you see that Emma? They shook hands. Talked!>>

Oblivious to the battle, Ororo seats herself, hands touching the living rock beneath her and listens to the earth. She can see the magnetic force fields resonate between the amulet and the machine that stopped her cold. She can see the forces but does not understand them.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
There's not a lot that Marie can do right now, her weapon is useless -- beyond for parrying a blow or two, so she opts to serve on dedfense. Especially when she feels that mind-link come up and all those other thoughts invading her brain. It took a lot to get used to, and maybe she's still not entirely, but at least the people in there are ones she likes.

Looking around, she spies the anchored Emma... and rushes over to the blonde. Gun is dropped, traded for one of the tarot cards she'd kept special for a moment like this. With powers being uncertain at the moment, she opts for more rather than less. The Ten of Swords is what she calls forth, and while the ten floating blades appear... it's more like a ten of daggers, at the moment. Still, they're positioned as a very pointy wall between the rest of the fray and herself and Emma.

<<I have you, Madame Frost! Allow me your defense, focus on this!>> Without much direction otherwise at the moment, shielding the team's telepathic link so that said link can more easily focus on maintaining it, and keeping the team coordinated? Seems like her best play.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara takes stock of everything. Sauron. Giant pillar techno-thingy Rahne is pushing buttons on. A swarm of dino mutants. Jean almost passed out. Emma and Rogue asking for help. Swarm of dinosaurs.

     What does she have to use with this? Herself, possibly Jean but she'll probably pass out... and the shark mutant's uninjured and at relatively full power. It's high time she put her body to use. "HEY SAURON! PICK ON SOMEONE FROM THE SAME EVOLUTIONARY TIME PERIOD!" she yells as she barrels towards dinosaurs like a linebacker. Anthropomorphic dinosaurs, she figures, are less dangerous than regular dinosaurs as they lack the forward cone of death for the claws and bites to all attack at once. These guys are even using weapons! They don't take stock in their natural abilities! So they can't be that strong!

     ...And it pays off. She breaks through them like a running back, thinking fast. <<How do I avoid his eye contact?>> she thinks to herself, looking down Doctor Lykos's body, so similar to Phangor's... and it hits her. The loincloth. If she can focus her eyes on that patch of brown among the green, there's no chance of her eyes wandering to see the red of the pteronodon's eyes... She's inadvertently been training for this!

     Her toothy grin broadens her display of those triangular, serrated, flesh-tearing teeth, claws from the dinosaur mutants scratching her with light cuts that are only superficially damaging, but certainly make her a bloody horrorshow. Intent on distracting the big bad so that he can't stop Rahne, she shouts "I'M COMING FOR YOU, KARL!" with manic glee, charging straight for him!

Jean Grey has posed:
There's nothing stopping Rogue from engaging, and she does! She and Sauron meet in the air. They've done this dance before, and last time, it ended with Rogue fighting her own team. This time, her powers aren't at full...

The fight starts well, as she gets a blow in by surprise. They trade a couple back and forth, and she too is thrown from the fight, ending up like Phangor. "Hah! None of you are any match for the might of Sauron!" the dino crows.

Now, a bit emboldened, he sweeps toward rest of the group, ignoring those nearer the machine and leaving ground-bound Leanne behind. His eyes blaze as he charges into them, leaving a choice: look away (and let him blindside them), or face the hypno-gaze. Fortunately, Emma offers a third option. Its disorienting, but it gives everyone a few moments to react and evade.

He's looking for targets, lunging in toward Emma before Marie throws up that boundary, but then finds a new one as Iara meets him head on. Her training keeps her eyes, um, occupied, and she meets him in a direct clash, biting his shoulder. At the same time, he seizes her with his claws. Energy ripples across them both as his energy vampirism is unleashed, a fight between who can 'eat' who the fastest.

Meanwhile, Rahne does the only sensible thing to do when presented with an ancient alien artifact: she hits random buttons. Beep boop, beep-beep boop.

After a few taps, one of the lights goes red. Error, maybe. She's... not zapped exactly, but a beam of light tracers over her. The voice booms again.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne rubs her head thoughtfully. She sends, << Preserve status nominal? >> Then she shrugs, and continues her quest for the right pattern of button presses to figure out what's going on. It seems that she's using her surprisingly not-stupid brain for once, and actually trying to figure out the buttons instead of just RAHNE SMASH.

Which to be fair was fun, but it didn't actually seem to do much.

She slows down and starts actually trying to decode the board a little bit.

Emma Frost has posed:
And there Iara is charging in at Sauron. Emma gives a grin over at Ororo <<They grow up so quickly, don't they dear?>> She would send a quick thought over to the Wind Goddess. Even as all she can really do now is brace. She's not particularly skilled over in melee and.. Then she goes ahead and sees one of the discarded weapons about. No, broken pwoer cell in the laser gun, spear shaft is shattered.. Then Emma sees Rahne over at the buttons, and goes to jog over towards the position of the younger girl. "Might I help?" She would offer to Rahne and bow her head over and quickly scan the devices. She wasn't Forge, she wasn't Henry, but she'd seen those big, shiny things that Shaw kept in the basement where he would maniacally laugh about world domination over while monologuing. She can't figure out -what- the buttons do (or even if this is the primary console).

Emma doesn't go to randomly push them,b ut rather stands back, lets Rahne button push.. And then calls out <<Ororo, do you happen to think you could figure out where all these lovely power banks are being charged from?>> Storm might not be able to actually zot them all down.. But if she could track magnetic currents and power readings, maybe she could help them figure out how to stop them?

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Is Sauron getting snacky? Probably.

Tabitha could do to eat as well. Luckily for her, if the opportunity comes while she's looking for machinery to smash, she's going to hit any and all agressive dino people still going for her. What telepathy she has is probably still good for making sure she can avoid being snuck up on.

This does get get her stumbling towards where Iara is currently fighting off the bird brain himself. "Hey, no mind controlling the buf shark honey! She's outta your league!" she yells and takes a swing.

With the rifle stock.

Under Saurons tail and into his cloaca. "That's for making me lay eggs Cluckhead!" she swears loudly.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Invisible energies coil around them. Ororo sees them in colors that transmute them into intricate swirls of mathematic precision, as complex as the gravity waves around a pulsing sun. The colors swirl and reciprocate, exchanging shapes as they communicate with one another. The half-unearthed machine transmits a message that she translates as 'all is well' in engineering terms it would be: 'all is nominal.' The amulet seems to echo the message.

<<Emma, Jean, are you following me? Following this?>>

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara shuts her eyes as she gets close enough to get her mouth on him. Starting the day biting a pteronodon man, ending the day biting a pteronodon man... only this time she actually intends to... Her jaws crunch, 4,000 PSI of pressure going straight to the doctor's shoulder and ribcage, her face and chest becoming splattered with his blood, but his claws are on her as well. Talon-like fingers sinking into her shoulder and side, there's a hellish glow as Sauron drains her life force as she bites him.

     Adjusting her grip, she wrestles with him, and bites him again, but the more he drains her, the more she heals... still, it's keeping him occupied. She lets out a frustrated, snarling yell as she bites again, and again, but each bite gets weaker, even if she is causing him immense pain and focusing all of his attention on her.

     Feeling her strength failing, she musters the strength to bite at him one more time... but this time, she goes for the neck.

Jean Grey has posed:
Predator meets predator in a vicious deathgrip, with Iara drawing blood, tasting bone. At the same time, Sauron's grip is... well, there is a reason this quest is what it is. He is a dangerous foe. Though she feasts on cold-blooded flesh, he drinks of her life force itself. In Iara's case, this is quite a bounty. As tough as she is, he can become, WILL become. She buys them moments, but how many...

Emma joins Rahne beside the machine, and receives a similar 'scan' and the accompanying epiphany. As the machine 'speaks,' in those loud blasts of compressed data, a language a thousand times more efficient than any human tongue, she understands the words. And by the magic of telepathy, everyone begins to understand. Error codes, status messages. Querries for authorization, denial messages. But most of all, context. The voice that speaks to them is efficient, logical, and purposed. It shares nothing of Sauron's mad genius, none of his character. The idea that this is something HE created? Or that he controls? That is a notion quickly dispelled.





Ororo puts it in a different context, understands it in a different context, because in a way, she and this machine are alike. Both are wardens of nature. It is merely a synthetic one... upholding an equally synthetic biome. This is the force behind the Savage Land itself.

<<I'm hearing you, Roro, this is... definitely something else.>>

But does it /help/ them? Tabitha attempts to help Iara, but is rewarded with a casual backhand, as if Sauron was swatting away a fly, sending her skidding toward one of his experiments, a glass tube with a half-cloned raptor incubating inside. Iara finds the strength to try and lunge for a last, deadly strike... but her jaws close around air. Sauron's drank his fill, and now holds her up with one hand, drained nearly empty, snapping feebly in the air, and tosses her away as well, like rubbish. "YES! I FEEL WONDERFUL! STRONG! I will have ALL of you soon. But you- hah. Definitely all of you first." He turns, back toward those near the pillar, Phangor, Leanne, and Jean.

And marches forward, eyes glowing, beak snapping, eager for more.