14363/Return to the Savage Land, Part I: the Aerie

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Return to the Savage Land, Part I: the Aerie
Date of Scene: 16 March 2023
Location: Southern Lake - Forest
Synopsis: The X-Men return to the Savage Land, traveling to the Aerie Shalan, home of the bird-people. On the way, they discover a T-Rex feasting on a dead Triceratops (as one often does, in the Savage Land), save that both seem horribly infected... and display Brood-like features. The creature is destryed without mercy, and soon the team enters the spire. They arrive at a lab full of more alien technology, and discover the missing Doctor Tanya Anderssen in a suspension pod, also showing Brood-like features. As they investigate ways to free or help her, a hologram activates to taunt them in the form of the apparent 'false goddess' of the Aerians, before sealing the POWER-DAMPENED room as it fills with what is almost certainly some very, very bad mist!
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Rahne Sinclair, Marie-Ange Colbert, Tabitha Smith, Ororo Munroe, Rogue, Sharon Smith, Iara Dos Santos

Jean Grey has posed:

After an extensive hunt, the X-Men captured Sauron at his volcanic lair in the Savage Land. Along the way, they befriended the Kingdom of Lemuria, an isolated, medieval-era group of Antlantean-descended people dwelling beside the inland sea. The Lemurians were involved in a three-way local conflict among the avian Aerians and Sauron-esque Pterons. Each had fallen under some undue influence: Queen Leanne forced into exile by her uncle, the Pterons enslaved by Sauron, and the Aerians under the sway of the 'false Goddess' Arrash.

With the aid of rebels from all three groups (and after temporarily disabling one of the Celestial computer cores designed to protect the local wildlife by 'normalizing' superhuman abilities), Sauron was defeated. Yet this victory left questions unanswered. Tanya Anderssen - the one true love of Sauron's human counterpart Karl Lykos - remained missing, kidnapped from her research station in Tierra del Fuego. When Sauron attacked the lab, the X-Men thought he was responsible for taking her, yet both monster and man (once back in human form in SHIELD custody) denied involvement, instead blaming the Aerians for taking her, a fact not inconsistent with the bird-person Rogue found near the Plunder estate, after an attack on the research camp near the entrance to the Savage Land.

Although the team is hesitant to take Lykos at his word, the Aerians remain the only stone yet unturned in their visit.


On their return, the X-Men enjoy an embarassment of allied assistance, making what was a harsh trip the first time quite a bit more comfortable. Lord Plunder and the Autumn People secure the valley entrance and provide river transport (without attack this time!), and Queen Leanne makes good on her own offers of safe travel and assitance as they cross the plains and sea, sending first an escort of now-familiar dino-riders and then a second ship. One of her allied rebel Aerians accompanies them as a guide. As before, they leave the Blackbird behind - the chance of the tech being jammed in some way by the Celestial system is too great a risk.

Eventually, this trip brings them across the Gorahn sea. While the near shore touched a vast, open plain, on the far side a dense, lush jungle flourishes in the shadow of the towering Aerie. The dangerous jungles perhaps provide a good evolutionary answer to the origin of the Aerian people as a whole: sometimes, it's just safer to fly.

Emma Frost has posed:
And along with the rest is sitting Emma Frost. For once forgoing her more traditional easygoing garb given horrific, horrific past experiences and wearing just a one piece X-Men jumpsuit. With a yellow 'X' belt buckle and with heavy boots rather than her normal heels. She's lost too many expensive things to this miserable area and she's not going to do so again. If she loses an outfit, it will be on someone else's expense account.

She would muse, along with the others, "So what sorts of things do we know from.. Lykos' discussions with SHIELD about his missing madame?" Emma's still cross that they have to play catchup to stop whatever this wretched latest Dino Rider crisis is.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
For the most part Rahne is trying to recall her previous exploits in the Savage Land, all of it seems to be a blur, as if Disney brought in a new actor for her. Still she is wearing the traditional X-Man uniform, this one made of the fantastic atom that allow her to shift and change without them causing wardrobe malfunctions. She takes a moment to stay a quiet little prayer to Saint Michael as she follows after the other in her hybrid form, feeling that in the strange and unknown land having enhanced senses might be a boon. Her ear flatten against her head as her nostrils take in the unfamiliar smells.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
A return to the Savage Land was in the cards for Marie; the Oracle of Xavier's always felt it to be her duty to help out where she could be useful, and when there was a prophecy to follow... it was certainly possible that she could be. Besides. She was a New Mutant. The yellow and black uniform said as much, and also kept her ready for anything with the belt-pouch that contained her deck of tarot cards.

Right now, she's quiet. She's listening. Emma already asked the question she wanted to know; she didn't make it to the confab with SHIELD -- so any insight the former Sauron might have provided them is, well, not information Marie has yet.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There was enough time to travel home, dump Sauron who was kept at arms length for most of the trip, badger some of the healers for her arm at the school.

Her own uniform replaced. Black two pioece with yellow padding at the sleeves, arms, and shoulders while black synthetic leather clings all over. Except her toned midriff. A red leather jacket with plenty of hidden pouches filled with all kinds of snacks and tools underneath while her hair is kept out of her eyes via pony tail and some red tinted rayban wayfarers. Or at least knock offs made via the Shi'ar replicators like her uniforms.

"My money, this Tanya chick is like sooo the actual big bad. Did a honey trap on Lykos' chicken nugget half. Did the same thing to the Aerians. But is so gonna throw them under the bus. Or out bootheels." she ponders with a thoughtful hmm and scrunch of her brow, lips pilled inward.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Queen Leanne's ladies-in-waiting helped restore the remnants of Ororo's sleek unitard, irreparably stained, but dyed black now. The return trip has been so easy, that all that is missing is a sedan chair. Gone the mad pursuits or sudden attacks.

Ororo floats lazily above the group, skimming the top of the jungle canopy, her pale eyes trained ahead and behind their caravan. She is far from complacent about the trip - the group has experienced too many bad surprises for her to suppose it won't happen again. Yet, friends and new allies go a long way toward her relaxing enough to enjoy the exotic flora and fauna.

Rogue has posed:
After the first adventure here, Rogue had learned a few lessons, and this time... upon a return, she'd changed her approach. For the better? You decide!

Rogue now traverses the savage lands dressed in the recreated attire of Ruby Roundhouse from Jumanji, with a green shirt replacing the original red one. Her backpack, a sturdy khaki-colored rucksack, is strapped to her back, while various survival tools, including a machete, a canteen, and a compass, dangle from the leather belt around her waistline. She generally holds her backpack straps as she adjusts it while they travelled, but otherwise just let her hands swing at her hips as the group moved along.

In the now, Rogue just takes a moment to gather in their surroundings, and reach for her canteen, where she is taking a sip from it a second or so later, before twisting the cap back on, one hand going to her hip to shift weight on to her left leg...

Jean Grey has posed:
"The spire above, that is the Aerie Shalan." This is the voice of their guide, a gold-feathered Aerian warrior and scout named Typhet. He gazes upward, at what appears a massive, narrow mountain that rises from the surrounding jungle with terrible abruptness. At its spire, and at many other points around it, structures have been built into the stone, classical looking edifices of white stone, balconies and domed towers. It is hard to imagine its construction. Of course, the Aerians have been seen in possession of unusual technology, things perhaps left by the Atlanteans or the Celestial themselves, although their understanding of the devices has been shown quite limited.

"If your plan is to break into the place... it will be difficult. There are no entrances at ground level, for why would we need such a thing? And in the air, you will be seen from far away, and the alarm will be raised." Down here, in the dense jungle, his glances often flick nervously among the trees. "We could trek close, and climb. But you would be at great risk during the ascent."

As for Karl Lykos-slash-Sauron's interrogation? Jean is with them, for the convenience of answering certain story questions! "Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have full recall of Sauron's knowledge in human form. And we may have scrambled things a bit ourselves, with that... psychic interrogation Emma and I did when we caught him. When he broke out of jail, as Sauron, he instinctively flew to the station in Tierra del Fuego, probably to find her. But she wasn't there. Presumably he found the same evidence we did - maybe a feather or two, Rahne you smelled them, didn't you?" she glances over. "Either way, he traveled here, attacked the Aerians, but was driven off by their 'goddess.' Then he went to the Pterons. They naturally war with the Aerians most of the time, so it was easy to gain their trust, before he hypnotized their king and took over. But we captured him before he could launch their invasion."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would muse over fro a few moments to herself in thought. "We could approach more covertly. Ororo, you could throw up a fog around us for concealment. Rahne I presume you could get enough of a scent of her or something to let us get an idea fo where to go once we're in. And Marie-Ange, this will be certainly where the cards have their say as their seer. Tabitha, you can explode our way in eaisly enough or Rogue can smash. Jean can play carry duty for those unlucky ones of us who can't fly under thier own power. We can get inside readily enough. Even if there are power dampeners, I have faith in your and Ms. Munroe's ability to pick any particular lock we come after."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna turns her canine head towards Jean and gives a slow up down nod of her head. She does stop every now and then to inhale the various scents and sniff at the air like a dog, while those ears move and turn flick with the various sounds. She briefly considers adopting her wolf form but right now she wants her hands incase she needs a bow bar, drink of water, or access to some of the medical supplies she pack in the various pouched and backpack she is trekking with her. "I am familiar with the scent."

She then stop to sniff the air again. "Strange, there is something that I can smell that is...Different. Something sick and different. Best be cautious." Said in the primal growling voice that could give Logan a run for him money. She does try to keep her nose pealed for any familiar scents closing in.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
"So, stealth until we explode in on them. Not very polite. Somewhat risky to our group,too" Ororo drops lower through the trees, still flying but looping around low branches and tree trunks.

"You know," she says addressing Emma, "that any weather I produce here will have an effect elsewhere. Which," she cocks her head to one side and lays a finger to her cheek, "probably won't be liked by the eco-system machinery very much. If there is a nearby lake I can produce some mist if that's what we decide to do."

"Sick and strange sounds like death." Rahne's warning pushes Ororo to fly a few meters ahead of the group.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
"Just on the safe side. Someone brought low tech old school ordnance right. A gun?" Tabitha asks while she ponders plans. Tower, no ground access. Can be seen.

"Well I'm gonna think, maybe like we're looking at a smash and grab. Fly in fast before anyone shoots us down, those of us that can do a  rough landing or fly. See how hard I can knock on the door while we clear a landing spot to circle around and bring the non fliers in." she ponders

She keeps her features scrunched up in planning.

Holy crap she's actually planning. Almost like she was some black ops trained type girl.

"Think growing fog might actually get us made earlier. I'd bet hard and quick in, then we can take our time after we've made some breather room. I'm expecting booms to not be that big after last time we were here. Least I have my arms working finally." she adds and playfully flexes the gun show.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is reattaching her canteen to her belt via a fancy clasp and holster thingy she bought on Amazon, then looks up when she hears Emma suggesting she smash stuff. "Oh sure, Rogue, just do that thing you do, endlessly, where you just punch stuff." She mutters loudly. "Just do that, every time, never be the one who decides the intelligent plan, the key points of strategy or how to overcome our enemies with sheer genius ideas of ingenuity. Nope, just punch. Smash things, Rogue, do that..."

She keeps muttering to herself as she looks up at the tower, listening vaguely to what everyone else is saying.

Finally, she claps her fingerless-glove covered hands together with a *thump* of black and brown leather. "Okay, lets do this. I'm ready ta fuck some shit uuuuup, know what I'm sayin?" She asks everyone.

Is that water in her canteen...or ...?

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
"If we fly, I should likely be carried... if I fly under my own power I will certainly be seen." Marie offers matter-of-factly. Of course, that's even assuming that her powers decide to stay manifested... the Savage Land had been troublesome to their abilities. Hopefully, it won't be as much of an issue for them this time, though maybe some of T'Challa's teachings can help supplement her, there.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Cover, yes, a good idea, this might work," Typhet agrees with Emma's suggestion, before glancing toward Ororo. "She is right, that it should be carefully done. My people are clever, and if the weather seems very unnatural, perhaps it would alert them." This seems to acknowledge Tabitha's concern, as well. "One of the... machines that you spoke of, exists in the spire. Arrash tells her cultists that she will unlock its ancient secrets for the faithful. So perhaps they can use the it against us? I do not know."

He looks ahead. "The sea is too far, but there are rivers that feed into it, we can travel to where one passes near below the spire, and you can draw upon your magics..."

Jean, meanwhile, gives Tabitha a kind of funny smile. "It's not like the school usually needs a huge armory. If I'd thought of it, we coulda asked Hope for a couple spares, she's got... a whole collection." But Jeannie definitely doesn't have a gun! "Maybe we split the difference, plan wise. Get as close as we can, then you can do your blitz. We do want to be careful here, about collateral damage. we're here to free the Aerians from whoever this Arrash lady is."

Rogue gets a pat on the shoulder, forall her muttering. "You're so good at it, though. But seriously, any other ideas..."

It sounds like their plan might be a vague splitting-the-difference among a few of those. As much cover as they can manage to sneak up, then Tabitha's smash-and-grab. Overplanning isn't really their style, anyway. Eventually, they get closer to the bottom of the spire, near the small river Typhet told them about. It moves slowly here, the water more murky and muddy than pristine and swift. And then there's a sound- and they may quickly identify the source:

A little ways from the river lays the body of some large reptile. It is clearly dead, with the buzzing of insects and such that accompanies such a thing. Next to it, a much larger saurid stands on two legs, head bowed, feasting on the carcass. But there's something off. The smell, that Rahne caught, it's stronger here, enough for the non-enhanced noses, ripe in the air. Inevitably, someone steps on a branch or kicks a rock, and it turns, its maw fresh with blood and... strange ichor. With a better view, they can see that the dead one has multiple strange growths, some of them overflowing with the same fluid.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would nod over at Jean, "WOrkable. We just need enough of a blanket of fog to get close and then breach into it. If it just covers a few hundred meters, even if they know it's not natural there's only sof ast they can respond if we go in quickly enough. Hopefully amongst Ororo and myself and Jean we can give us enough cover to insert. Then it's just a matter of those of you that can locate the hostages to let us get to them as fast as possible." She would fold her arms together over and gives a nod over at the bits from Tabitha. The X-Men aren't the type to overplan things unless Scott's in the field.

In which case the plan turns into 75% improvisation anyways depending on the team makeup and whether anyone particularly cares t listen to Scott on this end.

Emma winces. "How lovely and barbaric. Is that thing supposed to have those many things poking out of the side of it or is it just another wonderful aberation this world has more and more of lately?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair is kind of in the mood to boot some head too Daniel-san. But she is not as openly enthusiastic as Rogue, does wonder about that canteen so her nostril flair again to see if that is water or whiskey. The wolfen head turn to Ororo and nods, "Yes, death has a usual sickly sweet smell to it in areas like this." Jungles are great places for rot and decay to spread fast too due to humidity, that is if the wildlife doesn't pick it clean first.

Of course the source of that smell is not far off and when the T-Rex that seems to be eating and well, drooling ichor her hackles raise and her ears flatten against her head. She has to reign in that animal instinct to not growl so not to give away their presence. She tilts her head in the direction of the T-Rex to quietly indicate to the other that it is the source of the smell. Hopefully Rogue punching fist is up to the challenge of knocking out a T-Rex.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
"Alright, river mist I can manage so Rogue can go punch punch punch."

Nose pinched against the smell, Ororo eases around a tree to perch hidden in the leaves on a branch above the saurid's head. Looking down she observes Rahne's reaction which mirrors her own.

<<Stop.>> She sends back to the group at large. <<Might have an unfriendly here. Big one, too."

She parts the leaves then pulls back as the pestilent smell smacks her in the face.

<<Ugh...it's eating something. This looks all wrong."

Sharon Smith has posed:
Bad luck! A small, black cat stepped out from between Emma's feet, only begging the question: How long had she been there? It was also odd that she would choose such a small, vulnerable form to trot around in such a place. At te smaller size made her was dififcult to spot. She didn't add anything to the conversation, but kept her little black ears up.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
"I will bet the last pie I have in my freezer, Apple by the way, that Arrash, is totally going to also be Tanya. Calling it now!" Tabitha states and hmms along the way. "Could always do mind whammy and if anyone notices the fog, make them think it is natural. Nope, no band of badass and amazingly sexy women floating inside it." she adds an idea. So far she hasn't been negged on anything yet.

With the dead dinosaur and that horrible smell. She's pretty certain it was probably her and sqelchy foot steps. Tabby makes a grossed out scrunch as even her nose is hit by the smell like it was a punch from Colossus.

There's a quick look down in case she's stepping any of the nasty run off and hops on on foot then the other.

<<Gonna be all the nasty crawlies wanting their din din like the big dinosaurs? Soooo gross.>> she states and pouts. The mind link going up <<There is not enough incense to get rid of that! I say let it eat and go, food chains. No point letting it hakuna matatas.>>

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had smirked at Jean's pat and comment, then muttered something back to the redhead, before she'd shot a look over to Marie. "You can hop on my back if we need t'fly somewhere and you're worried about it." She offered to the French woman.

Rahne definitely smelled some kind of liquor in that canteen too, before it was capped up again.

Then they were off once more, and Rogue had her machete out. She'd been chopping at some of the foliage on the side of the group's path, just hacking away with her strength aiding in the blade's ability to slice through stuff with relative ease...

Up until they arrive at the view of the stench, Rogue letting the machete hang at her side then. "Ugh, more of these dumb things..." She grumbles, whilst clipping her sword to her belt. "Aaaalright...." She says then, starting forward.

"Ya'll go on ahead, I'll draw this thing off an' catch up."

The Belle just boldly starts walking toward the Dinosaur having a meal, stepping down the slope and waving a hand up at it to try and get it's attention. "Hello. Did ya know that thing stinks somethin' fierce?" She asks the Dinosaur on her way in closer...

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Stop. That's the order that comes from Ororo, and that's also what Marie does. Freezing in her proverbial tracks, although as the warning comes she is reaching for the little pouch, trying to get her fingers on a card in order to prepare herself in case they have to defend themselves against, as Storm put it, 'big and unfriendly'.

Of course, it looks like the /other/ Marie is going to take care of that and overrules the first order? Marie's unsure, looking between Rogue and Storm... but ultimately trusts that the southern belle can more than handle herself, as Marie starts to take slow steps in their original direction, only to speed up if others start walking again, too. No words. Not now. Too many potential predators around.

Jean Grey has posed:
The tyrant lizard does not roar to greet them, as it might, in a movie. Instead, it stares in their direction. If they don't move, can it even see them? Regardless, it doesn't rush to attack. Animal behavior, in theory, is driven by needs. The carcass is more than a meal. By comparison, the X-Men are small vermin, a light snack at best. So perhaps it has no quarrel with them. But there is something STRANGE about it, all the same. The way it stares.

Moreso, its meal. The details there are hard to make out, because of all the, well, giant chunks that have been bitten out and eaten already. But the parts they make out, they don't all go together. Maybe this was the classic fiction pairing (despite millions of years of evolutionary distance...), horned tank vs. jawed menace? The body has something of an armored, horned frill around its head. But she shape is wrong, too long, too narrow. The scales have fused into larger, flatter section in places. Along the back, there is a large growth behind its shoulder, with something partly emerged from it, a thin, diaphanous membrane. The other side has been eaten away. And something about its eyes... though lifeless, they remain open, and distinctly alien.

Some advise that it may be easier to simply pass the creature by. It's not the wrong instinct, in natural circumstances. But there is clearly something unnatural here. Rogue steps forward, and now, the lizard steps forward to give the signature bellow.

Except it stumbles a step in the process, body twitching in odd angles, and the roar comes out like a hacking cough. It rights itself, stares at her again, those tiny little arms pawing in the air. Until one suddenly starts to _grow_, mutating in front of their eyes. The little foreclaws meld together, growing into a single spike, while the limb sections both lengthen and merge, from an arm with distinct joints into something more continuous, like a tail.

After finding its balance from whatever feeling of disequilibrium, it rushes forward again, right at Rogue.

At the same time, Jean is watching this, and a look of horror spreads suddenly over her features. "Oh, no. Nonono... it can't-"

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost isn't paying too much attention over to the affair, even as she's busy nearly tumbling over Sharon over, "What are you -doing- herew ith us Catseye? This place is dangerous." Emma is distracted from the oncoming southern belle fist impacting over of Thunder Lizard by her hand attempting to reach underneath Catseye to pick her up. "Here isn't a good place for you to go off wandering on your own.."

She's cut off over as Jean Grey goes to yell, and then she can only look over at the mutating dinosaur and stare, "What the hell?" Even as it takes her a few moments to actually -process- what happened here. She can only look at it blankly fora few seconds over until she goes to try and lash out over at it with a psionic attack. Trying to at least slow it down some.

Engaging with creatures was at least possible. She'd had to do it a few times in the Savage Land while depowered.. So hopefully while doing better power-wise she could slow it or shut down. From whatever morass it was mutating or rotting as.


Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna watches Rogue, her big golden eyes getting a little on the feral side as she bares her teeth a bit and growls slightly. Wolves being pack animals she is loath to leave part of her pack behind. She looks in the direction Marie is going then hunches down a bit so her shoulders are higher than her head. Those large golden eyes flit from the T-Rex to Rogue.

Noting the strangeness of the creature it is eating she sniffs the air again, the scent is very alien but yet familiar and then when the T-Rex transforms it all but confirms it. Brood. Her lip curls into a snarl and then finally she gives into that bestial instinct and let out wolf howl before she loops forward, using her longer arms to propel her with the back legs. She then leaps and snarls landing on the back of the creature and starting to claw it with those large savage claws that can rip a car apart. Thankfully her human reasoning is sharp enough that she tries to avoid the boils and puss not knowing what they might do to her.

Sharon Smith has posed:
Picking Sharon up was quickly realized to be a mistake. She didn't flail and scratch at being picked up, but made a point to use her claws to climb up further onto Emma's shoulder, and half on her head in perhaps the most annoying, uncomfortable place possible, at least for Emma. Sharon looked plenty comfortable in her new spot.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha gets a better look at what's happening and then even she has the exact same feeling of dread that Jean has. She was in New York last time she saw one this close and it was the New Mutants that saved her and brought her to the school

"BROOD!" she yells. It's up there with sentinels in some of her nightmares.

"Crapcrapcrapcrap!" she yells and is already charging a large amount of plasma two hands fast and franticly it may be a very bad idea to be anywhere in front of Tabitha right now.

"Tick... Tick... Tick..." she yells as more warning for the rest of her friends.

The Tabithadouken bright and rushing forwards in a controlled stream.

Hopefully Rogue can move fast enough before it hits.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
No way is Ororo going to let the intrepid fighty Rogue deal with the beast alone. There is no time for disgust or wonder at it mutating in front of their eyes. It doesn't bode well for the world if they can change at will.

Lightening crackles and sizzles around Storm's hands. Pale eyes glowing she flies at the mutating saurid oblique to Rogue. She doesn't relish touching it.

It's taser time. A large ball of electricity orbs its head as she flies in a rapid circle around it. She only hears Tabitha's warning in the nick of time and pulls up.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue paused her approach on the beastly thing, when it did its pathetic attempt at a movie-roar at her. This just made her wince, put a hand up in front of her face to fend off the stench, and then stare with a almost sorrowful expression for the creature. "God... you're like Jeepers after that night where he got in to the Taco Bell..." She's saying when the change starts to mutate its form right in front of her.

"Uh.... I don't think dinosaurs could do that.... Hey you guys---" Rogue calls back over her shoulder. "Do Dinosaurs do that?" She asks, pointing at it now, before it strikes at her, and she jump-flies backward to land atop a large rock's edge, her boots planting down upon the rocky surface, her hands at her sides.

She's perched there when the others all rush in with attacks.

"Guess not..." The Belle mutters, watching what the rest of the team is able to do to the creature, plus... you know... if Tabitha is going full Bomb on it, she can't rightly get close to it anymore either.

"Storm! Be careful! That thing is sick as hell!" Rogue shouts, now backed up far from the combat of bombs, lightning, and Bow-Wow Girl.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
The threat reveals itself, and Marie stops again. Eyes close briefly as she focuses on her cards to summon the image on them to life; in this case? The Five of Wands. She doesn't realize it's reversed, but the fact that it is, is certainly appropriate for the moment they're faced with. Conflict.

The 'wands' in question appear in the form of wooden poles as tall as the seer herself. She grips one with both hand, the remaining four move to float behind her.

Tabby's warning is heard, and backpedaling to make sure she's /not/ in front of the Mistress of Explosions is the name of the game. She's seen enough of the blonde's work to know what's coming next... and thus she holds her action.

"Dinosaurs do not do that!" is confirmed from one Marie to another with a frantic shout.

Once the explosion does its thing? She's going to command the four floating staves after anything that's left of the mighty Rex. Treating them essentially as oversized and blunt wooden darts, aiming for eyes, or nostrils, or other places that she can shove them. Wounds created by the blast? When it comes to something like that, vital organs are big targets, and there's no such thing as fighting fair. It's more fight dirty and try to play keep-away.

Jean Grey has posed:
The T-Rex's condition is both blessing and curse, at least from the perspective of those attacking it (for the creature, no doubt, it is pure horror in every sense): whatever foreceful rewiring its nervous system makes it awkward in motion but also almost totally unaffected by pain.

And telepathy, it turns out. Although Emma may discover one thing immediately in that contact, a vague, distant, and utterly chaotic input from somewhere outside its thoughts.

Its poor coordination is obvious as Rahne leaps at it, as it does thrash to try and snap at her as she darts past, but misses entirely. Subsequently, it seems to completely ignore her as she gets atop it, tearing into it with her claws. She can see, that unlike the tricera-brood, most of its natural anatomy still seems intact, although there is a decided pair of growing bulges just below its neck, vaguely similar in position to the single one left on the carcass. These, assuredly, are where the wings will grow, although there's a question if a winged T-Rex could even fly, or if they'd end up as humorously vestigial as its forelimbs.

Speaking of...

It's this barbed forelimb, vaguely tentacle like, that first jabs at Rogue as she makes her approach, and while it moves with a greater precision than the rest of the body, her reflexes bring her clear.

And then... the fireworks.

Rahne will have just enough time to leap clear before the thing gets lit up like a christmas tree, electricity coursing through its body, leaving burns at the impact and exit points of the bolt. It should be dead, or at least, probably be facing a heart attack. Maybe it IS dead, at least in part? But despite the smell of burning flesh, it takes another awkward step forward, slow, unwieldy.

Then the bomb hits, just off center, and the explosive blows a crater into its flesh. It's a massive trauma, the kind nothing could survive for long. And yet, like with the electricity, it continues to move, almost zombie-like... despite the fact that it's now missing part of one of its hips. At this point, it's almost trivial for Marie to hit it, those massive spears piercing it from many angles, at least one through the brain via the eye, several more elsewhere, and the last pinioning it to the ground through Tabitha's hole.

Is it... STILL alive? It's no threat, surely, as it writhes there, on the ground.

A moment later, Jean extends a hand, and a blazing talon of yellow-orange energy washes over it, and the carcass behind it. They beat it, but she... she disassembles every last molecule, just to be sure. "How are these here?"

Typhet peeks out from behind a tree. "It... where did it go? I have never seen one that looked as such. You see? Their false worship, it has brought evil to the whole of the land."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna's oh shit sense hit just in time to see the lightning and fireballs coming her way, if she was a normal person she probably be dead, but thankfully she is a werewolf like creature that has enhanced speed and reaction time. So she leaps clear of the creature lands and skids along the ground. Just in time for her to splattered by guts and gore like the front row of a Gallagher concert. Rahna now the gross factor kicks in. "Oh lord it smells worse on the inside.." She then shakes herself like a dog, splattering blood and visra all over the place as she tries to get it off.

Emma Frost has posed:
It takes Emma Frost a few too many moments to catch on to what is going as the Tyrannosaurus disintegrates. She's a few too many seconds behind Tabitha's warning to the group, and she's only just starting to try to get her way over into it's consciousness as the warning hits.. And then it's going to explode under hte barrage from the rest.

Emma's commentary to Shannon is cut off as the poor cat-girl is dropped hard and those claws dig into her. THey might take off some skin depending on how tightly Sharon was going with them.

Emma goes to reel backwards as Jean goes to squish it over and then pants, eyes wide. "Lovely." She wasn't present directly ofr the sheer barbarism that was the Brood invasion. She braces herself over and closes her eyes. Running the chaos through her mind.

"IT's.. Chaotic. Disrupted. I.. Think that something's disrupted it's link to the hive. But I'm also guessing there are others." She's not had close telepathic contact with a Brood before.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara snaps back to reality from her place behind Tabitha once the screaming starts, looking more confused than usual at the other X-Men as she asks "What!? What the hell is a brood!? She barely has time to react before the beast is already laid into by the more powerful mutants, her black eyes wide as her shark jaws hang agape in both amazement and bewilderment. She stands with feet apart and hands out, like a baseball player ready to steal third base, just looking on as the others take care of this giant carapace-laden... thing that looks straight out of an 80's sci-fi movie.

     "Why is everyone yelling!?" she shouts, for once realizing how odd it is to have everyone actually shouting rather than communicating through thought-speak, so this MUST be important for some reason, unsure if she should even get near this thing, let alone bite it. The ones in the movies always have acid blood or something, right? "Porra." she curses under her breath, partly feeling useless, but partly thinking that the others were right, they should have brought guns, with her mutant strength she could've been laying into it with a big ol' gatling gun or giant laser or something instead of standing back in shock...

     Though if any of them suggest, for the umpteenth time, to strap a giant freakin' laser to her head...

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Ororo shares Rahne's holy shit moment.

"Oh nooooooo," she screams over the snap and pop of her taser bolt.

Hovering overhead and clutching her heart, she watches open-mouthed as the agile Xer misses being killed by friendly fire, only to be gooped by mutant pus. Then, she watches in disbelief as the shell of the creature staggers forward as though animated by another mind.

"That...that, was too close. I'm so sorry, Rahne.

The Phoenix's orange fire puts paid to the rest of mutated saurid while Ororo descends next to Rahne.

"You alright, considering?" She shakes her head, still stunned, at the idea of almost taking one of their own down.

She looks from Rogue to Typhet, "All gone. We are efficient if nothing else."

Sharon Smith has posed:
Sharon Smith lept from Emma's grasp and dashed very quickly along the perimeter of all the commotion of an exploding T-Rex. She neared enough to give a sniff at the thing before it evaporated into yellow-orange energy. She sat and stared at the empty spot, as though expecting the monster to suddenly re-appear out of thin air for an early sequel.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue gracefully drops off the boulder, her boots landing softly on the earth. She strides confidently towards Jean, watching in awe as the Phoenix consumes and obliterates the monstrous creature.

With a twist of her wrist, Rogue takes a sip from her canteen, standing beside Jean and nodding in agreement with Storm's assessment. She glances over at Jean and offers her flask, impressed by her mastery over the immense power she wields.

"So, what in the Hell was that all about?" Rogue asks, turning to their tour guide with a puzzled expression. "Seems like y'all have got some serious trouble on your hands around here."

Her emerald eyes drift back towards where the infected dinosaur had stood just moments before, her mind racing with thoughts of the danger lurking in this strange place.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Staves pierce, doing their job... and Marie would have pulled them back, but Jean's too quick to utterly destroy the thing -- which includes the majority of her summoned weapons. The staff in her hands remains, though, and the French girl switches to a one-handed grip to use it more like a walking stick, but in a position where it'd be easy to take up for defense again if required. Probably when required.

Tabby and Jean certainly seemed to know more about that thing than she did, though. Marie knew dinosaurs don't normally do that. She'd seen T-Rexes in the flesh before, after all. However, what does do that? The question goes to the blonde.

"What... what /was/ that, Tabitha?" she asks, eyes wide, not focused on any one person. More trying to keep an eye out for more of those... things... that might appear.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Maybe Tabitha could have incinerated the thing in one blast. But she has too many friends around that the blast she might have needed to do what Jean finishes off. Might have caught folks in the radius.

As it is, Tabby looks more than a little winded. Then catches some of the mess Rahne shakes off. "RAHNE! GROSS!" she yells out and straightens herself out with a wobble. Flicking some of that gunk from her hair and face onto the ground where she throws smaller streams to incinerate as much as she can.

"Seriously Jean didn't you know, like..." she doesn't really want to remind Jean of what happened but that a Brood is here

Emma gets a frantic look. "There shouldn't be a goddamn Hive! Crapbaskets. So. Okay. New additions to my theory. Tanya, was she in New York during the invasion? So infected then, now it's coming out. She's doing a number on like the Aerians, Arrash is probably a goddamn Queen and Tanya is bye bye." you could blame the weed for the paranoia right now but she hasn't actually smoked since they started planning this whole trip.

"Think we messed a spot. Tatot. That... was fucked up." she says and just does her best effort to mentally info dump everything she knows about the brood.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair thankfully got known of it in her mouth, she groans a little bit as she looks at Storm and then Tabitha, the word trigger discipline and friendly fire racing through her mind. Jean and Emma might pick up those thoughts before her entire body does the inhale of breath and exhale in one of those sighs, you know the one your dog does when it disappointed.

Jean Grey has posed:
"There can't be a proper hivemind without a Queen," Jean answers Emma. "And there... well, shouldn't be any Queens LEFT." There's an odd authority in her voice when she speaks of such alien biological principles, echoes of knowledge not truly her own. "And these are-" she indicates the two, well, scorch marks that are left, "-rather, were warriors. You can tell by the wings." What, is she a Doctor of Space, too?

The fact that she missed Rahne causes a sudden flash of concern. "Rahne, we- come here. I can try and get it off, more carefully. Normally, they're not infectious by contact, there's a process to it, they inject an embryo and it transforms the host. But this thing, it looks like it was only eating the other one... I don't know."

She lifts a hand to her temple, and with time, calm, and a bit more care, starts -pulling- the splatters of fluid on Rahne and any of the others, dropplets collecting together in the air, in a larger and larger little ball.

Then she disintegrates THAT.

When Rogue presses him, Typhet, too, lacks for answers. "I fled with Sep," Leanne's Aerian paramour, "when the cult started exerting influence. None of this was here, then. Well. There were great lizards in the jungle, yes. But it is rare for us, to venture below the canopy."

"We can't stay down here. And Tabitha's right, at least in the sense that whatever the answer is, it's probably up there. So let's get this operation in the air." And thus, soon, they are!

Ororo draws a fog bank together, and they take flight, with Rogue and Jean providing extra lift for those who can't manage on their own. Typhet flies ahead; his appearance isn't likely to startle the defenders, and it allows him to scout for them. "There- the third tier balcony, it looks quite clear. I think we can land, without being spotted." Hooray for Typhet doing at least one useful thing! Soon, this finds the group on a rather luxurious looking tiled balcony. The architecture has some similarities to the Lemurian, and to classical Greece, perhaps via way of a common Atlantean root.

From there, the group can wander a little, in the spire, with their telepaths providing easy enough stealth, while Typhet provides knowledge of the place itself. And though Tanya's mind remains elusive, what they can discover, is a place deeper in the spire, where there mind doesn't reach. Typhet told them there was another machine here. So it seems a likely destination. Separately, there is also a clearly larger gathering of Aerians, in a direction he identifies as some kind of worship hall.

"So... power-dampening room that might have the woman, if she's even still her. Or what I'm going to guess is the newly-rededicated temple of Arrash?"

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma Frost goes to close her eyes and engages in a bit of mental trickiness. It involves geometry, probing, and tracking minds. Esitmating distances, directions, and pulling what strings she can. From in the castle, Emma goes to pull whisps of consciousness where she can. Rats squirming about. Birds pecking after dropped bits of food. Random creatures scurrying along. From those Emma starts working over on a rough idea as to -where- the dead zone is caused by the power dampening.

She focuses, and in her mind and extending to the others makes a display of a telepathic illusion as to what the castle 'feels' like. And she goes to make the illusion glow where the dead zone is. "Likely somewhere in there. " SHe would deadpan.

While nodding to Jean, "So if there's no Queen then it will have gone feral. So could htere be others around that it could link up with? And does that mean that it's some sort of freak survivor?" HEr unexpressed bit being 'or are there more of htem'? ONe crisis at a time.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair makes sure to say a extra prayer for Jean tonight. Or maybe she'll get her something nice, either way once the glop is removed she can breath fresh air and thus becomes the group blood hound again. As the fog rolls in her mind flashes back to her youth on the moors and how the little children would play in the fog. Pushing those happy memories aside she focuses in and starts to move as quickly as a 450 pound 8 foot tall killing machine can, which is surprisingly quiet all things consider. Rahna stays low and keeps her ears keen and her nose to the wind as she move along. Trying to form a mental map of her surroundings and her pack based on sounds and smells.

Rahne pauses as Emma and jean mention the power dampening and on the mental network voices. << Do you think my abilities will be the effection again? I can go in and scout around if you want me too. >>

Rogue has posed:
Rogue twists the cap back onto her canteen, securing it to her utility belt with a flick of her wrist. She adjusts her Roundhouse adventure shorts and nods in agreement with Jean's plan. "Y'all heard the lady. If you need a lift, come on over."

In a blur of motion, Rogue takes to the air, carrying her companions towards the citadel. As they explore the eerie jungle fortress, Rogue can't resist the urge to touch the strange decorations scattered about. Her fingerless gloves allow her to feel the textures and fabrics with ease.

But the mention of a 'deadzone' of mutations catches Rogue's attention, and she hurries to catch up with the group, her boots crunching on debris scattered across the castle floor. "Hold up, y'all. What in tarnation are you talking about?" she asks, her eyes darting to Jean. "We ain't going into no null zone again, are we? We just got our powers back in this crazy place. And if there is such a zone, it's gotta be a trap!"

Despite her reservations, Rogue follows her comrades onward, muttering to herself about the dangers that lie ahead.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara cracks her knuckles, saying "Power-Dampening room? Alright, me and Rahne on point then, us brawly-types are more resistant to the effects..." Not so useless now, definitely. She's piecing together what the others know from what they're saying as she heads up to the front, dressed in her black and yellow bumblebee standard suit, though hers leaves most of her arms and legs bare, ending at the upper thigh and bicep respectively, with her finned feet and webbed, clawed hands exposed. Whatever it is, it is kinda like the old movies.

     "Hive mind, queen, if it's like an ant hill or a beehive, then the queen should be in a well protected location..." she declares aloud, as if that wasn't no doubt an annoyingly obvious take to some of the others here, spoken only to make herself look more competent in this situation. A little more thought goes into her next line, saying "What if, like, you know how Magneto's helmet can block Cerebro? What if wherever the Queen has hidden herself has a similar effect, like that metal Sauron had down here? So the Queen's hidden herself in some high-tech facility underground or somewhere and that's blocking her connection to the other brood-thingies?"

     She looks back from Rahne to the others behind her as she walks along, and then goes back to sniffing the air alongside the wolf mutant, on the lookout - scentout? - for anything that might evade the mental detection of the psykers.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
The river shares its energy with Ororo, giving the group the gift of cover. The incident occupies her while they fly and land on the balcony.

Hive mind and Queen. So perhaps that is the explanation for the creature's corpse staggering toward them. And yet, the Queen doesn't exist. Ororo shares her scattered thoughts with the others. Then, mentally points at Emma as she asks if there are more of them.

Ororo walks through the Emma's map that unfolds like a hologram.

<<So off to the Machine room then?">> she hovers a moment before striking off behind Rogue who mutters to herself.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Keeping up her part of the mind link. Boom-Boom helps Mind-Trick any potential security problems. These are not the droids they're looking for.

Makes things easier to sneak about the place but she does still sneak. There's waay too much going on that Tabby can let herself be her normal flippant personality. Those like Wolfsbane, Shark Girl, and Catseye can likely smell that Tabitha is very much terrified of finding more Brood.

The invasion in New York was where Rahne and the New Mutants first met a very scared blonde barely able to blast even a human sized drone. Now Tabby is still fearful and has gotten way more powerful.

<<Ever read Ender's Game? Know you're about to get your species wiped out? Squirrel a queen egg or thingy embryo in someone. Delay the transformation, but sumething went fucky?>> It may be speculation, and it might be just a random one off that was the last of the species. <<Did we still have all that stuff to shut down the power dampening tech from last time?" she further ponders inquisitorially.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Marie's definitely one of those that takes up the offer of a lift, though she'll let the last stave vanish before she does. A twenty-five foot tall summon would not be the way to even try and stealth their way into the place.

The warning of a power-dampening room brings a frown to the girl's lips, though. Maybe she should've grabbed a tree branch or something as a makeshift weapon, just in case Friend Computer decided that their mutants powers were against the rules again.

Speaking of rules, one of the rules she'd learned from when Mary tried to teach her that dice game? Never split the party. So with Rogue, Storm and others headed towards the Machine Room, Tarot follows that group. Fingers on her deck, head and eyes constantly moving. Not frightened, but wary. Nervous. Trying to stay ready.

Jean Grey has posed:
"It seems like all these 'core' locations have machines at them. It may well be that they came first, and the locals built around them... or were even put here purposefully?" Jean considers, as Rogue - quite understandably - worries about them ending up in another scenario like last time. It got awful close. "I know it's dangerous for us, but we can't just ignore it. And the other place is full of bird-people, so maybe they're distracted. Might be a good chance."

And there's a possible up-side. She glances over at Rahne, asking if they can disable it again, and then looks back at Rogue. "Maybe? If this 'Arrash' can control it, and assuming she's not a bona fide, true 'space goddess,' be that Celestial or whatever else... it means there has to be another key here, right? Like Leanne's amulet? Do you still remember what I had you, erm, 'borrow' from my head, last time?"

There seems little argument on where they're going, regardless. Between Emma's mental mapping and their local scout, they soon make their way to a chamber.

It's not like the massive cave Sauron was working in, but a proper, well-appointed workshop, attached to some adjoining quarters. There's no huge metallic pillar, but keen eyes will soon pick out multiple gleaming, chrome-silver surfaces with unusual controls, their surfaces built into the design of the room (or perhaps, vice versa, the whole room having been built to mostly conceal them). There is ample technology on display, but most notable, is a large rectangular pod, sized conveniently to house a humanoid, and attached to a variety of machinery, including several tubes leading to a nearby tank.

Otherwise, the space seems empty. There is a gentle chill to the space, and as the mutants arrive, they will feel that tell-tale disruption that they encountered before, albeit far more localized here. And weaker? More focused? It's hard to say.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Wolfsbane first order of business is to get a good wiff of the place to see if she is smelling anymore brood or odd odors aside from the sterile work environment that would permeate a location like a lab. She lets her team take point as she registers the various smells in the room, nothing out of the ordinary so her hackles don't raise and her eyes sweep the room again as she tries to get a feel for the place. She raise to her full height and begin to explore, letting the other handle the container, she stops near the pillars and tilts her head to the side.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Shark-Girl winces as she walks inside, her nose not only sensitive to smells but electroreception, evolved to sense the electrical field of living organisms but here, radiating through the air? She's naturally drawn towards whatever is drawing and using the most power.

     Along the chrome panels she starts pushing random buttons to see if they do anything, frowning at the machinery, the savage land having seemingly no end of its mysteries.

Emma Frost has posed:
It feels the same way as the group makes thier way over towards the machine pillar. They have one crisis at a time they have to deal with. FIgure out what's up with Tanya and the other hostages. FIgure out what's up with the machine and stop it or revert it to it's oriignal setting. THen go to see what is up with the Brood. One thing at a time. Emma is more than content to let the heavier individuals in the group go in front of her this time in case there's something hostile. Hopefully no raging monologues meet them at their investigation. Emma moves along cautiously towards their target and braces herself. A quick look sent to Catseye to behave herself.

Emma goes to approach the pod and almost rests a hand on the glass. "There's someone in it." SHe's careful. Very, very careful. Not ot move too close. "Human, female. In a stasis tube." Emma's tone goes almost raw acid.

"SHe's infected."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Sneaky is as sneaky does and with the larger mass of Aerians distracted at the temple so that leaves less problems to getting to the lab where the tech and power dampening seems to be held. Her continued part in the mind link set up by the three telepaths helping make sure no one actually sneak sup on them.

When she and Emma take a peak in the pod. Tabitha winces and looks paler than Emmaa's outfit did at the start of this adventure.

"And kinda starting to turn. Nasty. We can fix that right, that's not too far gone?" Boom-Boom's knowledge mostly limited to what she's seen in person and some of the second hard stuff from X-Men that were in space.

"I hate it when I'm even partially right? Guessing we found Tanya?" she ponders.

"And now I'm dreading that the Aerians are like infected and havent noticed it yet. And ugh, bird brood fight. We're gonna need our powers like mad for that." she states.

Somehow she pulled and started eating a snickers bar. She may need the sugar content.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue can only sigh in disappointment as she feels the familiar sensation of their powers fizzling away. She doesn't even need to test it; she just knows they're gone, or rather reduced. It's a feeling that's all too familiar by now, and it leaves her gut churning with frustration.

"I remember some of it," she tells Jean with a disheartened tone. She recalls the information Jean had transferred to her via a dramatically timely kiss in Sauron's cave, but it's not enough to stave off the sense of helplessness that grips her now. "I might be able to hack into their system if we can find any of their hardware in here..."

As the others move towards the pod, Rogue lingers behind, her eyes scanning the room for any sign of alien technology. "No way am I climbing into that thing. I've been to Dave and Buster's enough times to know those rides are trouble," she mutters to herself.

With a cautious stride, Rogue sets off to explore the deadzone of the workroom, her gaze fixed on the hunt for an alien computer interface that might allow her to deactivate the power nullification field. "These null zones are gonna give us all cancer, mark my words," she grumbles to herself.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Marie wasn't the one that turned off the last machine, or even really interacted with it -- having been busy trying to fend off Sauron -- so she'll let her teammates who are more familiar with the tech they're encountering try to decipher that. What she can do is stand watch the way they came in, so she positions herself just inside the workshop-area.

"I will make certain that we do not have any... surprise guests." Marie offers, turning to face the way they came. While she might not be able to stop them, she can at least try to alert the group if any potential foes approach.

Emma's words, though? That sends a chill right down her spine. "Oh no." she murmurs, realizing that means that the creature they encountered earlier is likely not the last they'll find here. "Is it Madame Anderssen?" she asks aloud. It seems that Tabby wasn't the only one thinking their objective might just be the infected woman in the pod.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Emma's discovery is grotesque and shocking, it propels Storm to explore more of the room. Ozone scents the air. Ororo sniffs as she lifts back off the ground to make a circuit of the walls. She is wary of building a charge in the room, fairly certain that it would make the electronics go tilt, affecting the mysterious pod and likely setting off a defensive reaction or alarms.

Continuing the exploration, she notes aloud,<<See the work pods? The screens?>> Writing like none she has ever seen covers the screens and what she assumes are touchpads serving as keyboards.

Moving on she encounters another script, one she has seen before but doesn't understand. The last work station stops her exploration dead.

"English," she says aloud. Someone has been working here who speaks English!"

Rogue's humor makes her smile despite the human captive in the pod.

Jean Grey has posed:
... fortunately for them, Iara's initial random button presses provoke what seem like error responses. These are actually somewhat familiar now, to the time when Rahne engaged in something similar with the prior computer core. Beep boop.

Others may join Emma and Tabitha near the pod for their own looks in time, as everyone explores the space. Within it is a blonde woman, seemingly human, perhaps in her late thirties or early forties. It's easy enough to recognize her from the photograph they found on Tanya Anderssen's desk back in Argentina. She looked better in the photo, admittedly, lacking the chitinous buildup around her brow and forehead, a traditional expression of the Brood life-cycle in a humanoid host.

Her prognosis? Jean sounds skeptical, once she joins Tabitha to take a look. "She's already showing physical signs, which... isn't good. Normal medicine? Not a chance." Not that the X-Men operate exclusively in the realm of the normal.

Then Storm finds something, and she drifts that way to share a look. As Ororo scrolls through what's there, it quickly becomes apparent that these are her notes on a partial set of Karl Lykos' own work. The actual purpose of the content is less decipherable, as while the school boasts several PhDs in genetics, they don't happen to be in the room.

But one could make an educated guess.

Then, as Marie goes to watch the door and just as Iara hits another button, a blue light flashes to life, from some kind of emitter in the ceiling. Beneath it, a figure springs into being. She is, certainly, 'angelic,' recalling details of Sauron's description, or the Aerian reaction to Tarot's conjured vision on the Lemurian ship. Tall, graceful, feminine, in flowing robes of Aerian style, although unlike an Aerian, she boasts two sets of wings, one sprouting from her back, and another streched beneath her arms, like a bat, although likewise feathered. On her head she wears a half-circle headress, decorated with rays like the sun, with a veil that falls to conceal her features.

She looks over them, imperiously. "You tread where you do not belong. But fear not. I will bring you into the flock."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna begins to make her way over to the English terminal but pauses when the image appears. She stops and stares at the 'hologram' we'll say. "Flock? What sort of flock do you speak of?" Much as she wants to use the term friend computer she decides against it and just asks, "What do they call you miss?" She tilts her head in that quizzical dog fashion her right ear twitches just a little bit as she tries to smell the funny particle lady, not that she might have a smell aside from what the TV smells like after its been on the fritz.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara blinks up at the holographic being, shouting "Oh HELL NO!" as she leaps to the metal tube, digging claws into it, and then leaps from the tube at the emitter, trying to tear it out of the ceiling or break it with a cinderblock-breaking Mario-style punch just in case whatever it is that lady has planned is based around the same device. She has no way of knowing that, but physical destruction is her best skill, so a calculated risk is what she's gonna do, and she doesn't exactly care how she lands.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The response to Ororo's guess about someone speaking english gets a hmm. <<So, gonna guess she was working on fixing herself but things got too far. Probably hoped someone else can fish thhe job?>> Tabitha's guess is as good as anyone's but she isn't going to mess with buttons.

It's while the others gather to lookk in the pod that she shrugs her shoulders.

The hologram, that gets her blue eyes widening behind the glasses. "Huh, wonder if we got an AI or just some fancy comms. Arrash right?" she tries talking with is, following up Rahne's question with a guess.

That might not get a response when Iara gets a little more hands on with things. That cannot be good at all.

"Oh... Flock!"

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Eyes still on the screen, she answers Tabitha, "I'm not sure. Certainly looks like she was trying to understand. I wonder if she was a willing test subject?"

Ororo's attention is ripped from the screen when the winged visitation coned in blue light appears. Ethereal and other worldly, her words threaten and dictate change neither wanted or desired. The words of a tyrant with no real empathy or compassion for her would be subjects.

Ororo straightens to her full height, and cannot contain the sneer on her face. She answers as imperiously, certain of her place in the world, "We tread the earth which is -our- mother. -You- do not belong! And we will drive you from here, intruder."

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
As her guess is confirmed by some of the others, Marie's shoulders slump visibly. Does this mean that they've failed in their objective? She watched 'Alien', once. It usually didn't go too well for the infected. However, since there's people far more versed in the machinations of the Brood than her in the room, she'll ask the question.

"Can we help her?"

Of course, that particular thought gets interrupted as the blue light fills the room and the angelic creature appears. The light is enough to make her turn to look behind her, but the woman herself makes her gasp. Her years at the convent certainly made angels /important./ It was rather literally beaten into her.

The words that follow, though... they draw a less than positive response from the girl. Angels were important, sure. The God they served? Marie believed in him, yes...

...but the only thing she'd blindly obey was the whims of fate itself, and even that wasn't completely blind anymore. It took years. Good(?) influences like Jenny, Julie, Mary and others propping her up and helping her build the slightest shred of self-confidence. A shred that grows because the 'angel' before them speaks contrary to the core of the redhead's being.

She doesn't draw a tarot card. She draws about eight of them, and splays them out like a fan in her hand in front of her. "Non, deciever. My feet walk only the path fate intends them to, and I will not be anyone's sheep." The words are practically growled.

There will be no willing surrender today.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue strides up to one of the computer interfaces that seems familiar to her memory of operating the last one in Sauron's Mount Doom cavern. She exhales slightly as she approaches, while the rest of the team inspect the pod that presumably contains Tanya. She taps in what may look like a random sequence of entries into the machine, scanning the output with her emerald eyes. She reads the data, her lips moving in silent conversation.

Suddenly, a hologram materializes, accompanied by a vaguely threatening message. Rogue glances back at the angelic-looking woman who delivered it, muttering "Flock you, Lady." She then returns her focus to the computer, trying to access the information she needs.

"I can't access the main Netflix account here," Rogue reports to the others. "They have some kids' accounts, but I doubt we'll find anything worthwhile, aside from a bunch of trash shows." She employs an odd approach to describe her actions on the alien computer system. "Do we need to open that pod? Is Tanya still alive?" she asks the rest of the team, searching for a way to open the pod if possible.

Jean Grey has posed:
"My flock, the faithful of Arassh," the shining being answers Rahne, its tone mild and seemingly benevolent, even if the message is truly anything but. "Those who reject me-" It isn't clear if this response is actually to Marie's rebuttal, or some kind of canned, programmed thing. "-will instead be condemned to join the-"

Iara's impulse is destructive... and it is not wrong! And it also demonstrates something informative. While, as a rule, the X-Men have failed in any and every attempt to damage the Celestial cores, -this- construction is not as sturdy by quite some measure, nor protected by any of those same automated defenses. There's nothing to stop the shark-woman here. She jumps up, gets a grip, and rips with all her strength and might. And it turns out, she has a lot of those!

There are sparks and flashes a-plenty as she pulls the thing down from the ceiling, and smashes it good. Even before then, the image abruptly cuts out as soon as the power connection breaks, ending the ability of the villain to monologue in their direction.

Which, you know, that's not nothing. Those monologues get really tiresome.

Rogue succeeds in gaining some access, and doesn't have trouble pulling up the status for the pod. What she discovers, however, may be somewhat alarming. Although the warning here is printed in unknown alien runes and blasted in more dense info-tones, there's enough of the weird alien knowledge Jean donated left up in that head of hers to translate: CONTAINMENT VENTING ENGAGED. Did Rogue do that? No, the command, she'll quickly ascertain, was external.

Thus, neither the emitter's destruction nor Rogue's fingers at the computer stop what happens next. The door Marie had been guarding suddenly slams shut. Then there's a slower, subtler, yet still all too obvious 'hiss' as some kind of seal of the pod apparently disengages. Quickly, the fluid medium within, suspending Tanya, begins to seep out through the vents, evaporating into a heavy mist as it contacts the air, and then slowly beginning to fill what is now a clearly sealed room.