14430/Return to the Savage Land, Part II: The Goddess and the Queen

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Return to the Savage Land, Part II: The Goddess and the Queen
Date of Scene: 23 March 2023
Location: Southern Lake - Forest
Synopsis: The X-Men defeat Arrash, whos is actually Deathbird trolling them (it's Sharra kinda-backwards, she so funny). The prophecy is fulfilled, at least in part (Deathbird IS a Princess). Tanya, the would-be Brood Queen is in custody. And the... new hive continues to grow in the center of the Savage Land, ready to consume all around it, while ironically under the protection of the uncaring Celestial defense systems.
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Rahne Sinclair, Iara Dos Santos, Tabitha Smith, Marie-Ange Colbert, Rogue

Jean Grey has posed:

Pursuing their leads on the fate of Tanya Anderssen, once-partner of Karl Lykos - Sauron - the team returned to the Savage Land. After crossing the inner sea, they reached a dense jungle around Aerie Shalan, home of the avian Aerians (not the other kind, Rogue). In the jungle depths, their journey was interrupted as they came upon a gruesome sight: a tyranosaurus feasting on remains that might once have been a triceratops, now strangely sick and mutated. As the t-rex turned on them, its features - including budding wings - made the transformation unmistakable:

These animals were infected by THE BROOD.

The creature was dispatched quickly, awkward in its nascent transformation and lacking coordination from a Queen. Still, itt. Soon after, under cover of conjured fog and led by an allied Aerian scout named Typhet, they made their ascent to the Aerie, a great rocky spire thrust from the jungle and adorned with classical architecture. Inside, it didn't take long to locate their goal, or rather, the glaring psychic dead zone that contained her.

There, they found a laboratory, powered by some of the strange alien technology that they found in Sauron's volcanic lair. And in it, a containment vessel, housing a woman matching Tanya's appearance... save for her own signs of progressing Brood infection. While the heroes explored the chamber, locating computers full of research belonging to Lykos and Anderssen and an access point for the Celestial core, they also triggered a warning message in the form of a holographic image of Arrash, the 'false goddess' who had taken control of the Aerians. After destroying its holo-projector, the chamber quickly sealed around them, and Tanya's pod began pumping mist into the room.


The X-Men are faced, more or less, with an 'Escape Room' scenario, a sealed chamber quickly filling with what they have every reason to suspect must be some kind of Brood bio-agent. Their escape, normally a simple matter of wanton property destruction, is hampered by the same power-suppression field that they encountered when fighting Sauron, here localized to the laboratory. The sealed doors are very durable-looking metal sci-fi affairs, and the walls are solid mountain rock. And time is rapidly running out!

They still have access to various items in the room: Tanya's pod itself with the woman asleep within, her various logs and research, unidentified bio-medical equipment, and the access panel for the central computer.

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma looks over at the lady inthe tube, "I'm sorry." The one in late stage Brood infection. That if they took her out of suspended animation might transform in short order. There's nothing they can do for her as of this minute. Emmag oes over towards the computer,w here she moves to take out a flash drive and looks for an access point. Finding one, inserting it, and going to download all the data. Glancing over at the panel hooked up to the wall,a nd then the computer. "Rogue, can you perhaps figure out something with this system?" She remembers Rogue having some level of fluency with the alien technology from her mind-nomming. It's a suggestion, not an instruction.

Emma goes to take the data, and then looks over at hte door and the power cables. "Tabitha, darling.. Do you think you can help make a controlled flame burst? Perhpas if we take the cables.." THere have to be some pretty heavy power cables connecting hte system -and- Tabby is an expert thief.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair mentally tries to keep herself calm as the clock starts to tick, with the gas pouring out and the door slammed shut the first thing that she tries is to use that enhanced physical strength of her hybrid form to try and lift the door by herself. She does not expect this to work but if it does budge more power too her. If it doesn't however she will attempt to try and use those amazingly sharp claws of her to rip into the door and see if she can shred it. That doesn't work well then she is going to have to think of something else. Her gaze going to the person in the stasis bed and her lips curling into a growl as a amazingly stupid idea crosses her mind.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     As an educated Zoomer, Iara knows how to work Windows and Android, she might even be able to program one of those ancient machines known as a VCR if given the chance, but whatever these machines are... she has no clue. The gas though? Gas is bad. Grabbing a swivel chair, she immediately takes stock of the mutants here with the sliding door. She's not in any leadership position, but she's forming a plan regardless. Nodding to Rahne with her big shark nose as the wolf mutant scratches across the doorframe, she slams the chair into the crack of the door where it meets the wall, breaking off the rolling wheels and leaving the metal shaft connected to the seat.

    "Rahne, help me get some space between the door and the wall here, we just need a big enough gap for Tabitha to put one of her little explodey-balls in!" It seems the plan is less to pry open the door and more to pierce a new hole at the crack of the door like an ice pick, the shark-mutant using her super-strength to jam metal into metal, and then use that hole as the spot for Tabitha to destroy or blow back the door... hopefully.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The stasis chamber is opening and a bunch of that weird stuff Tanya was made to huff is being let out along with any other liquids is not a good sign as Boom-Boom tries and probably fails to not breath or get any on her as close to the pod as she was to peek in it with Emma.

"Gross, this stuff better be like all meant to slow down the bug stuff coming out?" she asks while she looks back to the others and then around frantically.

The blonde might be having some problems accessing her powers again. Little more than sparks and small popcap level bombs for the moment as she reflexively tries to charge something.

"Please tell me someone is figuring out how to turn off the damn power dampening field? We can worry about the door after and I bet I can solve the damn gas gunk problem to if I could so boom and blast fast enough." Tabby might also start sounding a little hyperactive in her worries. That and so much energy stored, this is probably what would normally happen with Tabitha's usually horrendous diet.

Backing up from the stais pod a bity more she keeps a guard up, trying to spark her plasma and get some ionisation going. Whatever comes out may likely be hostile. Or just really bitchy. She's not putting up with a Brood Karen.

Expert thief is probably a bit of a stretch. Competent, she'll privately admit to. "I dunno if any of this stuff will catch normally. I could totes make plasma normally. But I dunno." she responds to Emma "Maybe I could make a bomb out of everything if I had more time to charge I dunno. But I'd probably be a Brood by then and that'll suck because that's not one of my life goals. I'd rather be a cow again than some stupid alien hivemind monster." she is slowly still trying to charge a bomb of any size, slow work, finding that sweet spot where things are more stable.

It's not fun but maybe she can plant something useful where the others are suggesting.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
This felt like a life and death situation. She had to figure out what to do, fast. Ask the cards? Her powers were limited at the moment. If she got answers, they might be the wrong ones thanks to... whatever force was behind all this interrupting her commune with fate itself. However, while a doormat she may have often been, an idiot Marie is not. Without a word, she's rushing to the 'residential' room. Digging through drawers to pull out all sorts of flowy clothes, and making her way back over towards the pod.

"I do not know what this is... but I cannot imagine we wish to be breathing it." she comments, before starting mission Rip N' Stuff. As in ripping the flowy garments into thin strips and shoving them into the tubes as best she can. It probably won't /stop/ the gas. But it might slow it down, and if it slows the gas down it might buy one of the others enough time to figure out how to get them out of here.

Being this close to the source of the gas probably isn't the smartest idea, but this was her family she was talking about. There were sacrifices she was willing to make.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is at the main central computer, as the others rush around to respond to what was happening. She quickly taps on the various computer entry keys, absently biting down on her bottom lip as she tries to access the computer's secured data. She's frantically tapping the screen, the buttons beside it, and doing her best not to get frustrated.

She does spare a few glances over at them, as they do what they're doing, but ultimately her eyes go back to the screen before her.

"I'm locked out of the core files. All I can access is ..." She just trails off there, and keeps working.

Jean Grey has posed:
The door proves pretty secure. The metal is too tough for any claws short of the Wolverine variety, and the rock isn't far behind. Because it's, well, rock! It's not clear if the seal is totally airtight (though one might expect some precautions against spraying Brood-gas into the rest of the Aerie 'accidentally,' assuming that might not be the eventual plan), but there is a bit of space in the necessary grooves in the rock that support its structure, allow it to move into place. Enough to reach under and get a grip to lift? No. But to wedge something in there? Maybe!

Definitely not too hard for Iara to break down a chair leg and give that a shot.

Tabitha's experimentation with her bombs arrives at a similar result as under the dampening field in prior instances: she can get small ones going, but at a certain point, her control cuts out, causing them to either stop growing... or maybe go off accidentally, depending just how far along the fuse is. She can certainly get a spark to ignite something, but the chance of blowing a hole straight through any of what surrounds them? Unlikely!

"I can't move it..." A hand falls from Jean's temple, where she was trying to concentrate. Like Emma, and Tabitha, esoteric powers like hers have been among the most hard hit here. But seeing Marie go to work, she does what she can to help there: just getting near the vents to stuff them might feel somewhat dangerous, but she can create a very small amount of force to blow the gas in a direction as it emerges, so it's not going right up into her face!

Which leaves their 'computer expert,' Rogue! As she goes through the screens she can access (still filled with alien glyphs she can somehow understand, and the occasional strange blare of sound that seems to communicate far more data than it should), she can find a variety of lesser systems. There's a fire-suppression system. Climate controls for the room. Some kind of calendar/scheduling system. And ... music?

And while they're all doing this, without any actual input from Emma and perhaps AGAINST her expressed wishes, there is a soft sound from inside the chamber. "...w-what? Hello?"

Emma Frost has posed:
Oh, lovely. Now the waking up lady that's in late stage Brood infection is starting to come to. One thing at a time. Emma Frsot goes to pull up what few hazy things she could from Tanya. ""Doctor Anderson, I presume?" Emma would quip over lightly. "We're here to help. Lykos.. Told us of your peril and helped send us to rescue you." Alas, they're all too tall to pass themselves as Stormtroopers. Hopefully a light joke to reassure the very, very distressed (quite realistically so) woman.

"Please just take a few breaths and remain calm. WE'll resolve this." Sure, she didn't -think- stress could accelerate a transformation, but no sense risking it. And don't ask her for help. Yet. OR for more information. The girl needed a few minutes to process things and get beyond her panic mode.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair look to Iara and gives a nod of her head. That seems like a good idea, she moves in and gets in a position to support the shark girl, while not being as strong as Jaws she did not skip out on weight training. Getting a firm grip and helping use her height and weight for leverage she gives a nod of the head to Iara and then growls out the worlds. "Three. Two. One. Heave!" One Heave she starts to put her big furry back into it and tries with the assistance of her friendly neighborhood sharkgirl tries to open a wedge and hold it for as long as she can.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The woman making a noise in the pod. "Umm, hello Tanya? Please stay in the pod. You've probably been dozy a lot and if you get out you might fall over and make a mess and embarrass us all." Tabby calls back. Best case scenario Tanya is still a while way from transormation yet and just has post anesthesia mobility issues. Worse case, Brood Queen trying to eat or turn the rest of the women.

A hell of a party foul that.

th everyone else trying top find solutions to their two main problems.

"Anyone got a panel open near the door or the compurers or something? I can't boom but maybe send a charge back through the wiring, short the whole thing?" she asks and hmms as Rahne and Iara maybe create an opening.

The look on Tabby's face as she measures up how much room and or rteach she might have totally affirming how much this is going to suck.

Once there's enough room she can squeeze between the two anthropomorphic mutants and stick her arm in and grab any wires to conduct her own bioelectricity back through. Something might explode on the other end but how much and how big is a question. She just hopes the hotwiring does the job. Either open a door or shut down the power dampening.

Wherever that is.

It's still going to be rough on her, electricity is not like just taking a fireball or plasma blast. This stuff hurts like plugging AC into DC.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     "Porra..." the Shark-Girl says with her brazillian-portugese accent through gritted, triangular teeth, shoving with all her might on the chair with the wolf girl until there is a break in the metal, the seat of the chair snapping in two. She takes the shaft, the only part of the chair left really, and pulls on it with Rahne to let Tabby's arm through, her nose on fire as she feels the electromagnetic current radiating from the smaller mutant's endeavors. She closes her eyes, her gills flaring on the sides of her neck as she tries to hold her breath with the increase in gas... If a T-Rex can be infected, surely she could be too, if they stay in here too long...

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
The way the gas is unnaturally changing directions even as Marie stuffs things into those vents to try and prevent it doesn't go unnoticed... and in this crowd? There's only one possible source.

Well. Two. But the second would require a liplock or something with the first.

"Merci, Madame Grey!" Marie replies, shoving as many things as she can into those pipes until she doesn't see any more gas coming out, runs out of material to clog them with, or runs out of pipe to fit more material into.

Then she's standing up quickly. Standing up and backing up -- though for all she knows, she's already too late for that. Trying to reassess the situation and where she can be the most help, now.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue frantically taps away at the alien glyphs on the computer system in front of her. Her heart races as she listens to her friends behind her trying to stop the poison gas from filling the laboratory. She can hear their panicked breathing over the sound of the computer keys clacking under her fingers.

"Climate controls..." Rogue quietly says to herself. She swipes one of those strange alien glyphs to the side, then pulls up what she can access with regard to that. She frantically tries to access the air vent systems, to shunt them, to restart them, or even just pump in new, clean air, to fight against whatever fart gas was coming from the pod with Tanya McMysterygirl in it.

With a grunt of frustration though, and the telltale heat on her brow indicating that her temper is starting to get the better of her patience, Rogue just sweeps her fingers over the terminal until she activates the Music section. Why? Who the hell knows. Maybe music can sweep the locked doors open again....

Jean Grey has posed:
The pod seems to be operating outside of their influence, perhaps under the same program that started flooding the room. After a few moments, the clear top opens, and Tanya sits up. She looks a little woozy, wobbling and leaning to press her face into her hand for support... whereupon her fingers register the strange feeling of those growths on her brow. "It's... advanced pretty far. I figured, that she was lying..."

As the others work to sabotage the door, a brute force effort that just needs time, it very much falls to the 'two Marie's to keep them all from breathing that stuff. The plugged vents work... for a little while. Some seeps through, and some is probably pushed back into the system, building pressure. One of the rags pops back out. It's a little like an old cartoon, trying to plug the holes in a boat with their fingers.

The other Marie (of the Anna variety) finds a few things as she messes with the climate controls. She can bring the temperature down (from Jean, on the sidelines: "Do it, it was evaporating as it hit the air, maybe it'll stay inactive longer at lower temp?"). But this isn't the big thing. It's another delay.

What is, is that the room isn't actually air tight (the stone structure might not have accomodated it), but that it operates a negative pressure system, which serves to keep the airflow directed -inward-, effectively keeping the gas in with them. Rogue could disable that, if she chose, buying them some time.

But it would theoretically risk exposing the rest of the Aerie!

Meanwhile, the door-sabotage efforts yield progress! Scott would be proud of their putting physics to use in the field, in this case the application of a pretty basic principle of mechanics: the lever. It's a force multiplier, and while the piece of furniture she's using isn't stronger than the door, it proves stronger than part of the rock structure the door is built into, and a part of the 'lip' of where it locks in breaks off as she yanks back. This exposes some internal structure, and a crack for Tabitha to shove her hand into.


A few seconds later, and there's a... less than dramatic sizzling sound, as Tabitha focuses her power into the electronics. Nothing explodes, back in her own face or elsewhere. But there's a slight hiss, and then a CHUNK, a metallic sound of something moving, disengaging?

No doubt, someone gives it a HEAVE-HO. But it doesn't immediately roll back open. It goes a little way, and bumps into something. But it gives them a crack of open space.

Then, the music comes on. It is, in fact, quite beautiful, something melodic and ethereal. Jean: "I've heard that before..."

Tanya, while all this is going on, has managed to haul up, and climbs unsteadily from the chamber. She's definitely still a bit uncoordinated, but seems to find her footing, step by step, heading toward the more human-friendly looking computer at the desk, where Ororo had found the research logs earlier.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Yay! We did it, still not out of the woods. With the physical stuff out of the way the large wolf thingie makes her way over to Tanya and then just pointedly ask the lady. "Do you know how to disengage this security measure?" She does kind of look up as the music chime play and then looks at Jean and tilts her wolf like head again. "Maybe a musical puzzle or lock? What is the song? Perhaps if we complete the sequence we can get out of here." She does kind of scan around for something that might be a instrument or way of creating something to harmonize with the song

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma would watch over at Tanya as the woman would go to advance towards the computer. Emma would follow along after her intently. Watching her.. But not interfering with her. No.. Emma's going to see exactly what it is she's after. "Tabitha, darling, do you think that when we make ourselves out of here you could find a way to help overload things? OR can you shut it down from that console, Rogue? And I find the music rather dreary. We'll have to change it out when we redecorate."

One thing at a time. Emma's makign sure to keep a watch on Tanya, trusting the others to do their bit.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Lever-action! Iara may not know these complex machines, but simple machines are easy! With the door stuck part of the way open she grabs the door around the side of it and PULLS with all her might inward, like she's opening a tin can, hoping to pop that metal right out of the rock and get the door open all of the way! Her muscles tense, and she's forced to inhale again, but now gives a throaty, yelling "AAAAAAAAAAAAARGHH!!!" as she tries to pop that door out of the stone surrounding it, hoping the rock does indeed prove weaker than the metal door...

Tabitha Smith has posed:
When Tabitha grabs at the electronics and wiring, she does have to melt and get rid of any insulation first. Luckily her plasma still generates a lot of heat so anything there melts away and leaves bare metal. "It's like a lucky dip!" she half jokes while her shoulder visibly flexes under her yellow padded uniform.

A clench of her eyes and a wince in expectation is made. Last time she tried this she nearly electrocuted herself. But so far there's nothing coming back on her. It's possible that the door defaults to closed with no power. The sound of thinks moving and hissing. But no exploding gets her hmming while the others get working.

"If you guys can move fast on this, I dunno if letting go will force the doors back closed. Like the opposite of a bank vault. I've got the latch held open, the weight of the door is the rest of it." she states.

"Soon as anyone can slide under, go go go!" No point waiting for it to be open enough to casually walk through. Time is a thing. "Andele!"

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
"Personally, I like the music, Madame Frost. I wonder if I could adapt it for the violin..." Marie comments idly, before realizing the work she's done is, well, being undone by the force of the gas being built up. Rahne and Emma're watching Tanya, so that's covered. Rogue has the machines in tow. Iara and Tabby on the door. So Marie? Marie's going to keep focusing on getting those rags back into the tubes. It might lead to the exact same result, but every time that gas has to build up the pressure to push the cloth out, it's still buying them valuable seconds. She does, however, make sure to do so with her face facing the door that Iara and Tabby are working on. Because if they get it open, it might be a case where they need to make a break for it before it closes again.

...and speaking of...

"Right, Tabitha!" Rahne might be the best choice to slide under, being generally tiny and able to shift. Otherwise... possibly herself or Rogue, as both Maries in the room are about the same height and weight. (To the POUND no less!). So it's now that she stops stuffing the pipes, instead letting her body tense and preparing to slide like it's summertime and there's a Crocodile Mile laid out on the ground the second it looks wide enough.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue nods quickly to what Jean just said before frantically striking down the temperature setting for the lab. She knows that the colder the room is, the slower the poison gas will spread. She gently rocks back and forth on her hiking boots, the pent up anxiety inside her building up with each passing second. Once she gets the temperature set as low as possible, she returns to the music section of the alien computer interface to cycle through some of the ethereal tracks that are playing now.

"Pretty. But don't recognize it. Could be from one of those Pirates movies though." Rogue idly comments before she looks back over her shoulder toward this Tanya lady...

"I think whatever gas is in the air still is gonna get dealt with by the climate systems now, but..." Rogue looks over to the door, to where the others are, her powers not entirely gone, her strength still somewhat within her. She starts to walk over to it, her fingers flexing inside of her fingerless gloved hands.

"Lets get this thing open..." The Belle says, aiming to help do just that now.

Jean Grey has posed:
"If it triggered while I was in there, it was probably done remotely," Tanya echoes back at Rahne, as she settles down at the terminal. She seems pretty disinterested in the business with the door, all told. Maybe it's because she's already infected. And who knows, maybe all of them are, too. It provokes a certain fatalism. "Where is it..."

Meanwhile! There's something to be said for brute force.

Once Iara can actually get a grip on the door, the calculus of forces turns in her favor. The door is heavy and strong, but it doesn't extend that deep into the wall, and pulling on it she's turning the whole thing into her lever, pitting its strength against the rock rather than against herself. It will take a great deal of heroic GRITTING and STRAINING, but after a few moments, they'll all start to hear the sound of something cracking...

... and as Rogue gives up on browsing the bird/alien music playlist and goes to join her, the second set of super-arms pushes them over. There's a louder sound, and soon visible crack-lines start to radiate out through the nearby stone surface, until with a final heavy crash, a chunk of wall gets torn off by the levered force, the door pulled inward right out of its seating. As soon as they give up on holding it up, it falls over with a tremendous crash. Certainly, Tabitha won't need to do anything to hold it open after that!

With victory at hand, the hall is open beyond them... and Typhet is standing there, looking worried. It looks like the door closed between them, cutting him off. "Oh! You managed to, erm, open it." He looks a little impressed, but this look soon shifts to worry, as he notes some of the strange gas creeping over the floor. "Um."

Jean stays with Marie, helping her as long as they keep going, until the door crashes down and it's time for everyone to go. Tanya remains at the computer just a few moments longer, before standing up, again, a little shakily as she does. She pulls something out of the system as she does. "Here. We'll need this. It has... well, what she was making me work on, but it might be useful for us, too."

Once they get out into the hallway, it takes a certain distance, before people feel their powers coming back to them, the effect far more focused here, than it was at the prior pillar. Jean takes immediate advantage, conjuring one of those blazing talons to shear off some of the rock to seal the tunnel behind them. It may not guarantee the entire rest of the Aerie is sealed off, but it's something.

"I guess next stop is the gathering hall we picked up earlier?" she wonders, looking over at Emma. Both of them can feel it, the numerous minds there. "How are you feeling, Doctor?"

"Still myself, but... I don't know how long I have. So who are- wait. One of my father's friends, he ran a school..."

"That's us," Jean echoes back, already on the move down the tunnel, with Typhet moving on ahead to lead them through the twisting place. "But I think the pleasantries will have to wait, assuming we all make it that long. C'mon."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna pauses as she looks at the door and then tilts her head, she might be able to squeeze but she have to drop into her human form. And with the brood scientist and the gas, she doesn't want to exactly give away the advantage. Still when Iara and Rogue brute force it she nods her head and then begin to move out of the room filling with gas. She lightly fist bumps Iara as she passes. "Nice job." She then settles on her legs and rest her front arms on the ground kind of like a dog getting ready to sprint. She sniffs the air attempting to get a wiff of the fresh air and anything usual that might be coming. She then projects her thought so Emma and Jean can pick up << Do you want me to watch Tanya or do you have this Emma? >>

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would glance over at Jean and give a firm nod, "Yes, we have more things to deal with. And I'm sorry.." She takes a breath. "Do you have any issues with my taking whatever we can from you? I'm sorry, Doctor Anderson, but we need your expertise and we have no guarantees that you'll be able to help us the full way through." The intent of Emma's tone clear and very direct now. They have no way of treating a late stage Brood infection, they have to stop the infection from spreading throughout the entire mountain.

And into the rest of the Savage Land. "So do I have your permission to go into your mind? I wouldn't if there were other choices." but they might have to put the woman down in short order, is what Emma is not directly stating but she's rather certain is a nasty, yet possibly inevitable direction that things will take.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Just to be on the safe side. and the possibil;ity of a second door slamming down. Tabby makes sure she's the last out. There's even some psyching herself up as she finally lets go, no more electricity needlessly running through already destroyed circuits

The arm is yanked out of the hole with maybe minor scratches for a change.

Diving out the door after everyone, and skidding into the hall like it was home plate she rolls from her chest to her back to see if there was and thankfully isn't a redundancy.

"Huh, need. Wonder if they did built it like our bank vaults. Safety measure." she states.

At least when she gets out of the range of the power dampening she perks up. Nothing like that rush of feeling full power come back on.

"Be nice if we knew what we were huffing when the systems like opened and dumped you out of the freezer." she also asks curiously.

Jean Grey has posed:
"You can take it, if you can use it." Tanya holds out her hand for Emma, but there's no convenient USB thumb stick. It's a... crystal.

"That's how they store things, apparently. It's some kind of hyper-dense memory crystal." The... Aerians do? As for the idea of her staying back and being 'watched'? "Leaving me alone with one of you wouldn't bode well for _them_, I don't think. So better that I stay with you. And if things get too far..."

For some reason, almost instinctively, she looks to Jean. Who seems surprised at first, but then nods, a little grimly. "Right. I've done it before. Sure. You can count on me, if it comes to that."


After traversing the twisting cave halls of the place for a while, they finally arrive at what must be their destination. Typhet has told them it is a kind of gathering hall, sometimes a worship space (for what was once their rather diverse pantheon of spirits, cultural heroes, and ancestors), but in general a place of gathering. And indeed, it is graniose.

Apart from simply being a huge cave, the interior has been worked with supporting architecture, arches built into the wall, more decorative than functional, creating alcoves for statuary and other art. More impressive, is the far end. There, a raised ledge creates a place of focus, with a balcony looking inward on the hall, and behind it, accessed through more columns and arches, an exterior balcony facing out over the jungle.

It is, naturally, upon this high mount that they find the waiting figure of Arrash, as they saw her in the hologram, now attended by an entire hall full of Aerians, bent in fervent worship.

"Be ready, children. The outsiders come soon. Show your faith and your devotion to stand against them, and you will be rewarded. All the gifts of the stars above, all the power of the Ancient ones who once dwelled here, this I shall give unto you..."

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma knows what htat look that Tanya's given to Jean is about. She accepts the crystal and looks over at Tanya with sympathy. "I'm sorry." If they could have reached her earlier, they might have been able to stop things before it got this far. In Emma's mind.. The woman is brave, using her last moments to try and undo what monstrous things that were done and willing to have herself neutralized if need be.

Emma goes to glance over at Arrash and muses, "Quite a narrative one we have here." She would glance over. "Tabitha, do be a dear and be your uusal self. Marie-Ange, are the cards speak to you anything about how to show her to her proper place?" If anyone can make something truly terrifying that even it would make a self-proclaimed goddess' knees buckle, it would be Marie-Ange with the fury of the cards at her hand.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahna pauses for a moment, her nostrils flare a bit to get the scent of the place before she gets ready for what may come. She glances at her companions waiting for them to weigh in before she does anything rash. Her wolf lips curl into a bit of a snarl as the large red werewolf bares her teeth and growls in that throaty fashion, the normal wolf 'Back of I'm the Alpha Monster.' fashion.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Once Tabitha heard the name she'd had a thing waiting for this kind of moment. Now she gets to actually use it. "Hey Arrash, We're the ointment!" the fact that there's some old artwork hanging yp and over on the cave walls close and above gets her grinning.

A bunch of softball sized powered bombs fly and detonated right at them. Strong enough to take chucnks of rock out in decent amounts and weighst.


She's long learned you never aim directly at the big bad when you can add a suckerpunch instead. Mostly cause they always no sell something.

To the aerians thet were in worship shhe grins and starts lighting up her fists in gouts of purple glowing plasma.

"Lets roast birds!" she grins.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara does NOT go down to human form, hating to do that on a good day, instead she does squeeze through... forcing her shoulders through, and then her hips getting stuck fora moment, but as a shark-lady she's plenty flexible, so she makes it through with only momentary slowdown before chasing after Rahne.

     Coming into the hall, a gathering space, she makes her usual sweep of the room with her eyes for any sign of Phangor, and failing to see him, she furrows her brow a little bit, sensing a fight about to start. She follows Rahne's lead in snarling a big-jawed display of powerful rows of teeth, and at Tabitha's signal she charges after the bombs explode, shouting "I call a leg!"

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Once into the proper hall, Marie stands to the back of the group. Emma gets a solemn nod to the instruction. "Oui, Madame. Please, ah, cover me?" she asks.

Most of the time, the cards use Marie. She is fate's servant. Her willing messenger. Ready and able to deliver her verdicts upon a waiting world. Today? She uses the cards. Because she remembers the way the Aerians reacted to one of those cards on the ship, and having seen Arresh, she thinks she understands why.

Marie's fingers slide into the pouch, feel the edging of the cards. Hunting for one in particular. She draws the Temperance card, closes her eyes, and...

Arresh is no longer the only towering, angelic form in the hall. This one hovers, wings flapping steadily. She may be the smaller of the two, now, depending on how well Marie's powers are working.

Marie's voice, but booming, echoes forth from the second angelic form. "Silence, blasphemer! You will lead these children astray no longer. You turn them away from the true Gods that protect these sacred lands, and your day of judgement has arrived!" The image of Temperance looks towards the gathered Aerians, "Stand aside, children. The heretic's punishment need not be your own, but only the truly faithful will be spared the divine reckoning that will come."

...if this works? Well. All those years in the convent may have been worth something afterall. Just pay no attention to the maiden behind the outsiders.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue leaves the smelly laboratory with the others. She follows along with them, eventually lifting up off of the ground to simply fly, with her left leg extended out behind her, her right bent up with her knee pushed out forward. She just flies.

Through the corridors, castle-like, or cavernous, she just keeps her fists balled up, and at her sides, with her green eyes sweeping left and right.

When they come across the Aerians, and the one commanding them, the Belle settles back on to the floor, and shifts her weight on to her left foot, while her right is extended out just a bit to the side. She folds her arms across her stomach, and watches...

If these fools want to throw themselves aggressively at them, she knows her friends are just gonna wipe the floor with them either way.

Jean Grey has posed:
Arrash's opening sermon is met by property damage from Tabitha. She blows a hole into the arch above the false goddess, sending a goodly pile of it dropping directly onto her.

It falls right through the vision, as if it weren't there.

"No mortal may touch me," she pronounces in return, her tone almost patronizing, while her lips (the more visible part of her face, since that veil and half-circle headdress cover her eyes and hair) curl just slightly in amusement. Spreading her arms (and the feathers beneath them) apart in some sweeping gesture, the second, proper set of wings on her back likewise spread and take a beat, as if propeling her upward - although it is unclear if there are any such physics truly involved, if this is only some kind of projection. And if so, can she hurt them?

THAT question is answered as she gestures, conjuring a sort of javelin into her hand, another thing of light...

...and then hurls it toward the group. In flight, it splits into multiple individual shards of light, each aimed toward one of them.

"That's not- look out!" calls Jean, holding up a her hands to summon up a barrier, which crackles as the light-bolt hits it. "These things aren't exactly not-real, either."

While this is happening, Arrash's 'flock,' all the Aerians gathered, have turned, collectively raising any assortment of weapons or merely moving forward with raised hands. They're probably no match for any of the group, power wise, but there's a lot of them. And as Typhet quickly cautions, "They- my people, they don't know what they're doing."

So indiscriminate bird-slaughter? Probably not very X-Men-ly.

Fortunately, as they start forward, they're met by a second vision. Dueling goddesses? This, certainly, causes pause, as many glance back and forth amongst their peers, caw'ing back and forth in their language in an uproar what one might suspect is spontaneous religious debate. Some still do press forward (there are always eager zealots), and some in the crowd even turn on one another.

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma Frost gives a nod over to Marie-Ange's words. And she goes to then aplify the call of the flock. They're in religious fervor so there's only -so- much she can do. But she can hoepfully get the majority of them to look over at the angel.. And to turn thier backs over to Arresh. Let the goddess see herself.. Beign /ignored/.

IF she's just a construct, she won't care about such things. If she's real.. THen being ignored by most of her 'followers' present will grate on her very much. Emma goes to push them to look -away- and over at Marie-Ange's presentation. Leaving it to the rest of the team to handle finding a way to stop the haunting hologram!

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara had half a mind to tank this shot. She's been riding high in the Savage Land, brute forcing that door, winning the Caber Toss, sleeping with Phangor, part of her wants to prove her might against this blast and this asshole that's in front of her now.

     She thinks better of it when she feels the crackle of energy zipping towards her and quickly tries to dark out of the way.

     It's too late. The shot grazes her arm.

     "PUTA MERDA!" Shark-Girl yells, her body shivering and tense with pain and rage. Typhet's words make her pause, but only for a moment as she charges, and her attacks... they're not LETHAL, they're not intentionally lethal, but they sure are rough. She punches one bird man in the gut before picking him up and throwing him into another, eyes looking for projectors like she disabled in the previous deathtrap room.

     Here, she hesitates a moment, but decides to risk it, grabbing her bleeding arm with the opposite hand and then licking her bloody palm, her eyes dilating as she feels the now familiar sense of frenzy. The pain becomes a distant memory as her senses are ignited, her eyes tracing the rock walls as her electroreceptive nose feels for the electricity powering the projector just as she did before with Tabitha's arm in the door, only this time it's like using a magnet for that needle in the haystack...

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair her eyes and her fur is buffeted by the back blast of the javelin of light. She snarls again and then eyes the hologram, looking at the light and seeing if her keen senses can pick up a source to where the projection is coming from. She looks over the cavern, seems natural most of it stone work so they are looking for something electronic. She does back to hose lessons she had a Logan, while her hybrid senses are good, she has a form that is better. She shifts and her form twists and shift as she hunches down and expands into that 1,050 pound wolf form of her and then starts to sniff, something electronic, something producing ozone or static. Her ears twitch and begin to move as they try and go in for a humming. She stalks forward giving a warning growl to the bird folks as she moves.

Her ears perk, then twitch as she leans forward as if trying to see something she is sensing but not seeing. A quick prayer is had as she takes off at top speed. Chaging the hologram but not moving to tackle or attack it. Now she is aimming to raise by it towards the balcony. As she runs her form starts to twist and change going from all fours to the classic werewolf form and lomping with her arms and legs. As she approaches the edge of the balcony she leaps and holds out her claws making for all intents and purpose a leap of faith.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabby watches the debris pass through the women and she's already thinking possibilities. "Oh I'm gonna touch. I'm gonna poke. I'm gonna bitchslap upside your fake ass head!" she states and when those javelins start aiming at everyone. Well she might not do forcefields but she can meet kinetic projections with her own bombs.

If you ever wonders if Tabby could tank a blast from Cyclops, this is probably how she'd do it. Shaped blasts going off as spheroids hit javelins, directing plasma and heat and force away from her friends.

"It's all a crock. We do this shit daily for funsies" like being in the danger room. Sort of. Tabby is not likely helping with the lights being super bright. But she wears sunglasses and tinted lenses at night. So she's mostly fine. And it seems the ozone Rahne picks up is probably just different enough from the ozone Boom-Boom's plasma creates. Tabby's probably smells cleaner for the ionized air.

The shapeshifters on the hunt get the blonde grinning. <<Think there's a real Arrash and not just some glitchy bitchy AI?>> she asks over the mind link.

It there's an emitter found. Tabby gonna slag it. When Rahne or Iara are out of the way.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Marie's saved from the incoming skewers through Tabby's talent for demolitions. She remains motionless, her concentration fully invested in the show she's putting on for her willing (and nudged) audience.

Marie's sat through a lot of sermons. Lectures on how she's actually the devil and going to hell and all that. So she can conjure up images of hellfire and brimstone through words easily enough... but she'll keep the angel's counter-'sermon' generalized. Avoid names, unless she happens to remember some of the ones that Typhet had mentioned /used/ to be worshipped in this cavern.

She knows she's committing a sin, creating a false idol. But it feels /good/ to use that which oppressed her daily to keep innocents out of harms way. A few extra prayers of repenting will be well worth the potential lives saved.

Rogue has posed:
"Good job, Marie. Let'em have it. Fuck their minds, like a horny monkey on a football." Rogue offers in a moment of team encouragement. Her eyes leave the French-woman when the tingling of incoming danger touches the back of Rogue's conscience. She snaps her eyes over to see the light javelin piercing through the air toward them all, but most importantly, toward her!

Limbo like a pro.

Rogue dips backward, leaning back enough to let the javelin zip past her, only getting a whiff of her body's scent before she stumbles back a step, then glares toward where the javelin had come from.

She sees a fight ensuing now, and with a bit of her flight power as a aid, and boost, the Belle launches a killer Double Dragon-style kick toward an incoming Aerian!

Jean Grey has posed:
The bird-man battle is the easier of the two. That's not to say that it is trivial, as this is definitely a pretty hectic level of Angry Birds(tm) they have going on. Like those they met on the ship some while ago, they are a skillful warrior people, and their flight gives them tremendous agility and variability in angle of attack.

But they're still, well, just bird people. The equivalent of fighting a mob of trained humans, maybe. Plus wings. Minus bone density.

So they squawk angrily, swoop here and there, diving and wheeling back. Iara becomes the focus of many, as she enters their midst like a gladiator, immediately scattering many who come her way. She becomes like the eye of a storm as more are drawn to her, trying to take her on. And unlike the X-Men, those who do choose to fight are doing so on religious grounds. Which means, well, they pull few blows.

At least, in the midst of their worship, they weren't TOO heavily armed. Some do bear arms, coming at her with curved swords or maces.

Arrash, for her part, does not abide by Tinkerbell rules. It does not seem that any cracks in the religious performance harm her. She watches some of the chaos, and almost looks amused by it, more than offended. Again, she raises her hand, conjuring a set of javelins which she dispesnes in a lethal arc, flying toward multiple targets. They're met in the air by Tabitha's bombs, and it seems that at least where the projection becomes 'real' enough to do damage, it also becomes real enough to take it, with the counter-fire detonating several in the air. Jean helps too, throwing up defensive fields.

And in the middle of all of this, Rahne... gets the zoomies.

Rushing past, bounding with all her feral agility, she clambers up the inner balcony and then aces toward the other that looks out toward the jungle what is easily a couple thousand feet below.

And then she leaps. Out into nothing.

And yet, she doesn't fall. She... actually, somewhat comically crashes into something, something that's out there, but totally invisible. Beneath her feet, there's a smooth surface, one that she probably has to scramble and claw at to get purchase. But... she's definitely standing on something. And as Iara fires up those electro-senses, she can get something too. Well, no, something is putting it mildly. It's huge. And its putting off crazy amounts of power, although much of it extends past the spectrum she is familiar with.

"The hell..." Jean looks over, sees Rahne scrambling around, and lifts of beside Rogue, letting the Belle kick one of the Aerians into the next zip code while she summons another flaming talon. "Let's see if we can't-" The fires reach out into the empty space, then close... sparking strange interactions as they make contact in the air. All of them start to see it now, in flickers and flashes. A bubble like shape.

A shield.

And at that moment, the hologram gets quite upset. "Tsk. Well, I guess we've come to it, haven't we?"

Below, Emma's telepathy and Marie's, well, blasphemy, have both done their part, and on top of the pure shock and trauma of Iara demolishing them, the 'zeal' of the religious bunch has lessened considerably. "Protect us, goddess!" some call up to her. But their pleas do not concern her. "... no, I think we're past that."

The image flies at Jean now, like a proper avenging angel, launching a volley of javelins at her and Rogue first, but then summoning a larger one as she approaches, a lance brandished in both hands, aimed at the redhead, as her own fiery projection grapples with... well, whatever it is she's gotten a hold of.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Shit! Shit! Shit! Like a cat trying to hang onto the drapes Rahna's back claws and claws scramble for purchase and the sound of metal on nail is heard until finally the dig in enough that she stops falling. She climbs up it until she can stand on it and then pauses as her nose now goes insane. This is not good, this is not good. The telepaths can pick up a bit of panic come from Rahna as she then turns to Tabitha and raises her arms up. "Tabitha!" She cries out as loud as she can to be heard over the din of battle. "Over here." She points alittle down to below where she is well....Standing on midair.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Seeing Wolfsbane act like a Supergenius. Standing in mid air. "Umm, maybe wanna jumnp back out of there Rahne!" Boomer yells out and dashes over to poke her head in and out or in whatever the heck display Rahne found and starts charging. Tabby clambers up and over to lean in or out. It's fuzzy on that to offer Rahne a hand just in case gravity decides it should be a thing and not an empty void.

"Move that cute floofy butt so I can 'splode!" she calls back out.

At least while she waits for Rahne to move she starts charging a blast in her empty hand.

Fighting melee is for the birds.

<<So do we want to leave this place standing. Cultural significance versus used for evil type crap? What's the call? I'm tired of being blueballed on booms here!"

Rogue has posed:
Aftering sending that Aerian flying off toward the grand horizon, Rogue lands back on her booted feet, then sways side to side as she considers another flying kick option. Being not entirely happy right now, and showing a fair amount of skin with her chosen outfit homaging one of her favorite movie franchises... the Belle is likely not safe to touch, and likely not wishing to absorb these damn insects.

When she sees the incoming lights of more javelin fire, this time headed for she and Jean, Rogue just spins around, then flies, flying forward to take her directly in front of Jean's position, to shield her from the incoming missile attacks!

She doesn't shout Jean's name, she just jumps in front of the redhead to sacrifice herself, if that's what it comes to...

Emma Frost has posed:
And with Rahne hanging up in the air, Emma Frost blinks and takes a moment to confirm that Rahne has not simultaneously developed flight powers, nor is Jean holding her up in midair.. Then as Rahne's instructions go out to Tabitha, Emma goes to speak <<Rahne, do you mind for a quick moment?>> Emma goes for permission to pull something from Rahne's head.

And that -scent- fills her. Like in the jungle, only worse.

And she's picking up something.. Underneath them? Emma pauses, even as she pulls out from Rahne's mind to let the girl focus on Tabitha.

<<There's -something- alive beneath us. I can't tell more than that. I can't tell what it's thinking..>> Or where it is, from her mental tone of voice.

This leaves her just a few seconds too slow over in her twisting about to take in to what's going on with Jean and Rogue, and the possibility of impact is there even before it can fully register in her mind.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     It's been a while since Iara went full horror show. Since she lost control. Skilled bird-men with claws at the least, and swords and actual weapons at the most? Iara can only afford to hold herself back for so long. Fresh, red slashes cover her now, bleeding only a little bit from each one before her wounds naturally congeal much faster than a human's do, and soon she grabs one of the bird-men and swings him around to knock the others back... and then lets him go, her back hunched, her hands outstretched, her jaws opening and closing and tensing up like she's so, so eager to bite something.

     "Rrrrrrrrrraugh..." she says with a bit of a gurgle to her voice, "Next one... that comes at me... gets EATEN..." as her tense body gives labored breaths.

     The aerians... seem to back off, running as the battle is definitely not going into their favor. Iara takes a short step, her instincts wanting her to give chase, shouting "COME ON MANO, COME AT ME! I FUCKIN' DARE YOU! I'LL EAT YOUR FACE!" and when nobody takes her up on her offer, she just screams incoherently at them in battle-rage.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
"Behold, your false deity forsakes you in your hour of need! A true Goddess would fight for her people, not ask them to fight for her! Arresh asks you to sacrifice yourselves because she holds no real power to protect you herself! Go now, retreat from this place so this heretical idol may be properly dealt with!"

It's remarkably convenient that one of the outstretched arms of Marie's angelic creation lifts up and towards Rahne. Almost like it's offering a place for the wolf-girl to jump to.

Those beams coming for Jean? As much as Marie wants to will the being to intercept it.. she's fairly sure they'd be able to strike down her creation, and she's going to trust that Rogue can handle getting the other redhead out of the way in enough time to make sure neither of them get hurt!

Jean Grey has posed:
"Please do not blow up my home!" Typhet appeals to Tabitha! The bird-scout, himself, has been fighting a drawn out one-on-one duel with another of his kind, lacking special powers to win easily, but contributing in his own small way!

Due in whatever small part to t hose minor heroics, and in far larger to Iara literal beast-moding through the center of the Aerians, the flock has clearly lost faith. If any still worship their 'goddess,' it is in pleas for protection or deliverance as they turn and flee. Although they can fly, so they're actually pretty good at fleeing from land-based people. But that's neither here nor there!

While Rahne tries to make sense of what is happening beneath her, and Emma ponders the same via mental proxy, Jean tightens her grip on that ephemeral, fiery claw. This, perhaps, helps clarify the situation. Because as that energy construct tries to squeeze down on whatever is inside it, the bubble grows more and more visible, sparking and shiimmering in air, until something gives out. Not the shield, it turns out, but the cloaking system of the small Shi'ar scout-craft hovering there beside the balcony.

They can see it real good, now!

However, just as it seems Jean is about to happily crush it like a soda can (or disinintegrate it? or both?), the flaming claw flares out.

In the air, the charging 'angel' drives its lance into... Rogue, as she leaps into the way. It drives through her stomach, as sharp and solid as if it were made of steel. And while the Belle may not be up for dramatic yelling...

"No!" Jean screams, a flaming halo bursting out around her (and drawing that energy back, from where it was focused on the ship). It's not offensive here, but rather, the aura wraps around them both as she pulls Rogue into her arms. The angel tries to strike again, but the hardened light is only torn back apart as it tries to pierce this blazing shroud.

"Fine," declares Arrash. Then she blinks out existence.

Only to reappear upon the ship, right behind Rahne. Except now, well, with the Aerians in full retreat, she's given up the disguise. The shape is still the same, but she's shed the second set of wings on her back, and that strange, half-circle headdress has faded... to reveal a feathered crest in almost exactly the same shape.

The sudden appearance leaves little room to react, as she rather callously applies a boot to the wolf-girl's back and shoves her from the ship...

...fortunately, Marie is already on her way for the assist, and she lands in safe hands!

Emma Frost has posed:
Oh, there's going to be hell for someone to pay. Emma Frost just smiles. And..

Does nothing. She goes to look over at Rogue and moves to head towards her, checking to see if the southern belle is hurt or not. Emma's quickly running in her direction to see if she needs medical attention or support.

The sudden alien bird-woman that brought the Brood to the planet.. THere are those whom can make her suffer all the much better than Emma can. And then Emma goes to further do a quick sweep over, checking of Tanya's status as well. She can pull from the memories of the others what htat rising, intense stench is.

And she has a few fears as to -how- it got here.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Yeah Rahna doesn't want to get in the way of a Tabitha masterpiece. So she prepares to leap back to safety, then is promptly boot off the ship to fall like the infamous Coyote now too. She scrambles and then grabs ahold of the ledge and growls a bit as he scrambles up the ledge her back clawed feet trying to find purchase on the rock and in no way shape or form wanting to go into the brood jungle. She grumbles loudly, "Little help?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
While Rahne was on a ship, Tabby had been on a ledge with an arm out to help bring Wolfsbane back onto solider flooring. Or at least floor she can't see through.

The call to nbot blow up the tower at least gets heeded and there's a pout.

"Blueballed again!" she pouts before something that really brightens her day happens.

Arrash apepars outside the ship. Turns out it is a ship and not just a holo display inside the main temple room.

And the head bitch in charge standing right before Tabitha's eyes.

With a plasmabomb as wide as a hatchback car expanidng right in front of the blonde.

Luckily it seems Tarot is helping Rahne get to safety.

And Tabitha is wearing a grin like she just hit the jackpot. "Arassha gonna need some good ointments after this. If you survive!" she taunts and starts directing the glowing bright sphere of penmt up fun.


It'll still blow Tabby across the whole temple room but it does come with a rather loud "WOOOOOOOOOOO!" as she flies back. Middle fingers directed at the explosion just outside.

Rogue has posed:
With the power dampening effect still in place, Rogue just wasn't as invulnerable as she was used to these days. She knew that too, and it didn't stop her from doing what she'd done.

She lays back in Jean's arms, and just looks up at the other woman when she sees her face. She looks shocked at first, but then looks down at herself, and winces. She groans, as her head drops back again. What follows are sounds of pain, pain that she's trying hard to tell to 'shut up, fuck off, I'm in charge.' But, it's hard, very hard.

She starts to cough. "Did we win yet?" Rogue asks, looking to the side, but then bouncing her eyes back up to Jean's.

"I'm sorry I couldn't figure out how to ... to turn." She coughs more, another clear sweep of pain rolling across her features. "I'm sorry... I couldn't."

It gets worse, and Anna-Marie's face just scrunches up as she starts to get a clammy cold feeling across her body, her white bangs moving loosely around her face now, over her eyes and nose.

"Make them work together." Rogue says absent-mindedly now, her eyes blinking as her hair tickles her own face.

"Make sure they know this isn't a joke..."

Her voice is weakening, she's definitely in trouble, and her ability to control her skin's absorption power is most assuredly not functioning anymore, and she just HAD to wear this skin revealing jungle adventure getup...

With another cough, Rogue refocuses her eyes up on Jean and whispers something up to her then, her voice ghostly soft now.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
...oh no. While Marie's body is inert, she can still see the battle waging before th em just fine, and it takes an act of sheer willpower not to just drop the projected image of the angel and run to check on Rogue after her Marie-twin was too late to get out of the way of becoming a shishkabob.

Three years ago, there was no chance she would've been able to keep the image going.

Today, though, thanks to her years of training at Xavier's and apart from them, she's able to trust her teammates. Trust that's rewarded as she notices Emma running to join Jean and Rogue. Maybe, just maybe, she /is/ an adult now. She definitely wants a drink when she gets back home.

But first thing's first. Since Rahne didn't make the jump, Marie guides the oversized hand of the angel to try outright to /scoop/ Rahne up and set her down on the ground, and out of the way of the blast.

Iara Dos Santos has posed:
     Iara feels... awful.

     There's a visible slouch to her bloody, slashed-up body as she nearly stumbles, and then falls to her knees, sniffling. Is she crying? "Hungry..." she whines childishly, the amazonian shark-girl sounding exhausted as she complains "They got away... hurt..." Her frenzy seems to be subsiding and the pain is coming back to her, her breath gasping as she realizes just how injured she was. It's not the worst some of the folks have seen her, not by a long shot, but to her instincts, to that predator drive, that fight was a net loss. She expended more energy than she gained, and combined with the pain, sparing the lives of the Aerians is little consolation in the short term.

     Slowly, her mind starts to clear as she looks to see Jean and Rogue, blinking, having missed when Rogue was struck entirely. "Foda..." she whispers under her breath, willing herself to stand again, gritting her triangular teeth as she starts walking towards Jean and Rogue shakily, clutching the arm Arrash hit with a javelin earlier...

Jean Grey has posed:
Rogue, for Emma's reference, is very very hurt. That lance was as good as real, the same kind of advanced hard-light tech as the Danger Room uses... but without the safeties. As good as the genuine article. As deadly.

This explains why Jean is, to put it lightly, freaking the absolute fuck out, which is not a sentence you generally want to read. For the moment, in the center of the blazing aura, she can be seen simply cradling Rogue's body.

It is, indeed, not 'Arrash' standing on the ship, any more. Although few enough of those here may know her in person, most may have seen her in their files. It is Princess Cal'syee Neramani, Majestrix Lilandra's elder sister... and the Shi'ar terrorist known as Deathbird.

Or at least, it is her image. Let's not get too excited.

Fortunately, once Rahne is clear, Tabitha has little reason not to hold back. She charges an extra, extra-big splodey ball and tosses it in the direction of the ship. It is a nice, chonky target, and there's no missing. The explosion is just SPECTACULAR. All of them feel the backblast from it, as the shockwave washes over the balcony and back into the hall.

Meanwhile, Rogue is bleeding. With the spear vanished, the stuff that's supposed to be inside threatens to, well, not stay in there. "Nononono..." continues Jean, panicked, disbelieving.

Whatever Rogue whispers, it doesn't look like she cares to listen. For the second time in this place, she leans to touch her lips to the other woman's. Rogue doesn't have the strength to make it enjoyably romantic, but pragmatically, with her auto-on Phoenix costume, her face is one of the only parts of her exposed anyway. But Jean has strength. And Jean lets Rogue take it. She doesn't pull back, but locks in, something that woul almost assuredly kill most people, and realistically not even help Rogue. She doesn't have a healing factor to transfer.

Except Jean doesn't weaken. Her insta-costume, at first the familiar green, loses its color, now shining pure white, save the golden accents. The aura blazes around them, taking its fullly defined avian form. And in that moment? Jean's life force is inexhaustable. It is all creation, life itself, focused down to 5 foot six. And through the conduit of Rogue's power, it flows into her, freely. At the same time, those gold gloved hands cover the wound, the same precise control she might use to tear apart the rocks knitting back her flesh, atom by atom, until she is one and whole.

For Rogue herself, there is darkness, cold at first, then welcoming... and then, almost brutally, an overwhelming light. She hears a voice, searing and deafening. It is not the first time.

As all of this is happening, the explosion clears. The Shi'ar ship is still there, but clearly damaged, listing to one side, an engine burning. The shields are down, and Emma can sense the minds aboard. No Deathbird. But those loyal to her. Desperately, they re-route power, activate backups. There is discussion of some kind. "We can't, it will exceed safety-" "-do it!"

Whatever 'it' is, they do, in fact, it.

The shield flickers back into existence, flickering in and out. The ship starts to turn, and maybe it's Iara who feels the charge, one of the guns powering up.

Behind them, a scream. Rogue is laying on the stone, safe. Jean is in the air, and her costume is red. The fiery claws reach for the ship again as it begins to fire-

And then something happens. All around the entire vast crater that is the Savage Land, the ring of volcanic mountains that demark its borders, the towers activate, siblings to the pillar here, and at the Pteron lair. Now, each and every one activates in concert.

The Shi'ar ship explodes.

Jean screams again, and falls to the cavern floor beside Rogue, the aura extinguished. And each and every one of them feels, for a moment, totally numb, their powers suppressed, to a brutal degree of intensity. Even Rahne and Iara are forced back to their human shapes.

Jean Grey has posed:
A moment later, there is a blast of that 'info-sound,' except it rings directly in their minds. The volume is almost deafening, at least at that psychic level. And this time, the machines do them the favor of translating.



Their minds tremble, reality feels like it weighs down upon them, crushing them down to nothing...

...and then relief, as they're allowed to re-expand. Except they're no longer there on the balcony. They're back in the clearing of the outer valley, in front of the Blackbird. Rogue and Jean are unconscious, on immediate inspection, although neither shows any sign of actual injury or harm.

Tanya remains with them.

Soon enough, they'll be met by a small team from the science station there, who are understandably surprised and baffled by their sudden appearance. There is, of course, much to do in the immediate aftermath. Care for Jean and Rogue, medical care for other injuries... containment, for their would-be Brood Queen. All of that will happen, in due time.

... as they wonder about the job left undone, seething, growing, at the bottom of the spire.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Human again, how nice. Wolfsbane doesn't have to smell the sickly sweet broold goo at the bottom of the valley and the light show and display was very impressive. But she is also worried about a friend, named Iara. After taking a moment to clear her head she opens her backpack and some of her supplies, a bunch of bags of jerky, slim jims, and summer sausages spill out because the amount of calories one burns as a hybrid is insane. She picks up a slim jim and rips the package off and takes a bite of it before she picks up the summer sausage and starts to remove the plastic protecting it. "Iara." She has got enough of the plastic off that the beef wiener is free to be eaten. "You aren't you when you are hungry, it isn't a snickers but eat this." She offers it to the now human shark girl before flopping down and biting her slim jim, having already devoured a