14632/Danger Sessions: No Peace Amongst the Stars

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Danger Sessions: No Peace Amongst the Stars
Date of Scene: 15 April 2023
Location: Danger Room
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Rachel Summers, Monet St. Croix, Tabitha Smith, Illyana Rasputina, Douglas Ramsey

Rachel Summers has posed:
"Dream with me.>>

Rachel's voice reverberates through physical and Astral space alike. When she closes her eyes, it's an invitation - silent, soft, psychic - to the rest of her teammates to do the same.

"It's a quarter past three and the world is pitch black.>>

The encroaching evening's only just beginning to bleed dimming warmth into Westchester's blue skies. A fully costumed Prestige holds her hands out to either side for the taking, hoping to form a circle of X-Men in the featureless heart of Danger. The docket for tonight's exercise landed in the team's inboxes several days after Phoenix and Wonder Woman's joint Brood debriefing-- a meeting which Rachel herself missed; maybe that's why she felt strongly enough to take the initiative here.

"The world is pitch black and silent,>> she gently narrates, each word inviting her teammates ever deeper into the dark and comforting veil of a shared dream, "until a message from beyond screams through the calm:>>

Whether they've sunk into the warmth and softness of a familiar bed or not, the next four words invoke the equally familiar shriek of an alert cycling through the comms of whichever hands are available:
"A call to action.>>

Here and there - in Dangerous and Astral air - a radiant field of data springs to life around the group. Here, it's a hemisphere of holoprojections scrolling with the Atlantic Starport's specs, operating procedures, and security protocols; central to all of it is a pulsing red light with
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There, it's a cockpit aglow with mission data -- the inevitable next step from being yanked into consciousness by the realities of life as an X-Man.

"A drifting ship; a single distress call, followed by silence.>>

On cue, the data stream's populated with not only that distress call - roughly thirty seconds of a roughly masculine voice too distorted by static for discernible language - but the Starport's subsequent failed attempts at hailing the ship, along with confirmation that the ship is slowly approaching Earth orbit.

"A mission: Search for survivors and get them out alive.>>

Rachel Summers has posed:
Here, the seemingly endless expanse of metal tiles lining every surface of the Room fade into rippling darkness.

There, the team's in a shuttle racing towards a vast Kree spacecraft. Consisting of a central hub with four long spokes that each taper into their own propulsion nacelles, its once proud hull now serves as the living memory of the nameless traumas it has endured. Scars, scorched gashes, and hastily patched metal tell the story of a crew forced to endure through dwindling resources and ceaseless danger; the warped and bulging stretches dotting its chassis speak to a myriad of internal stresses ignored in the service of completing the mission.

The Daxamite thruster array roughly jammed into one of the nacelles, rudely interrupting the symmetry of Kree engineering; the remnants of passenger vessels crammed together into a gnarled spire stretching up from the top of the hub; the debris intersecting the spokes at several points as if the crew had no choice but to jam whatever they could find into a hole and pray, all of it screams adaptation by any means.

There, the shuttle eventually, inevitably docks.

There, everything fades into darkness.

Here, rippling projections have settled into a cavernous docking bay. The X-Men and their shuttle are not alone: an array of exploratory and emergency ships lie derelict, decaying, and largely undisturbed. Some simply sit upright in their bays, waiting to be taken despite their ruined state; others are flipped or dashed against walls; others still are merely shells of themselves, the lionshare of their bodies strewn elsewhere in the bay-- or missing entirely. Most are of Kree make, but a handful of other cultures are represented among them. Long strips of lights line the ceiling, and only a few do anything more than lie dormant or spark uselessly, turning the bay into a maze of twisted metal and shadows.

Behind the team lies the sealed door to their personal transport, brilliant golden light shining through its window; at any time, the team can return here to exit the shipl and end the scenario.

Ahead of the team, on the other side of the bay, lies an air lock. Its doors are cracked open, admitting a hint of red emergency lighting from the other side

Around the team, there are stirrings in in flickering darkness. There are muted scrapings like nails over reinforced steel. There are utterances too soft for human ears, a clicking and chittering cadence. There are long shadows dancing across derelict vessels.

There are floors gently, rhythmically swelling and settling underfoot.

There are walls that writhe between flashes of of light.

Just as the Starport reported, there are signs of life aboard this vessel; the question is whether any of it's worth bringing back.

Among the team, there's no sign of Rachel.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
As they're called into action in the Danger Room, Monet St. Croix lets out a sigh. This is going to be lovely. She keeps her thoughts to herself, on the way towards the ship she's takin gher time to review what data they have over on the layout of a typical Kree ship of that class and size. Crew complement, passengers, deck layout. They don't necessarily have much to work with. She can broadly sense alien minds but interpreting them is somewhat beyond her capabilities without some effort. She'll be limited to strong emotions and broad locations. She doesn't like being helpless in any given scenario. This annoys her.

As they approach the ship, Monet just can't quite hide her complete surprise at the size of it. Seeing a layout is one thing, but an actual encounter with something that big? It puts perspective in mind. One thing to think, another to visualize. M looks out at it. The damage patterns.. She goes to evaluate how it was hit, looking over the pattern of the impact waves on it and the damage. Looking at the Daxamite Thrusters.. Cursing her lack of knowledge generally on such starship design. Would those be something that were part of the standard design or something retrofitted in by the crew? The Kree were a borderline Xenophobic race. So them having the technology in them of another species meant more unknowns. Then again, for a huge starshpi that might as well be the size of a space station, all those passenger liners hooked up to it made for quite a great many possibilities. Too many variables.

They weren't going to be fitting nearly as many beings in the shuttle as there could be survivors on the station. M tried to guesstimate if she could get a rough idea as to how long ago the damage was. Not her specialty. She couldn't even begin to calculate how many passengers there might be on it.

They land in the docking bay. Lights flicker. Monet grabs a secondary oxygen tank and a small medical kit with spray on medical gel. Sealant for patches. Air filters. Monet might be able to withstand a loss of pressure for short periods, but it didn't mean she wanted to take a risk of it.

"Boom-Boom, I'll defer to you on this operation." Or was it Meltdown on this particular eve? Tabitha was the one that had the most experience with the Brood out of all of them and space things. One left leadership to the one most suited for an occaison.. And for this excursion, it meant the girl that at times was called the Barbie Trailer Park Edition release toy.

Examination reveals as they go in that there could be up to several hundred beings on the ship from the estimated crew and passenger pads, much of the damage simply seemed to be from the ship's operational lifepsan and the expense of having to fully repair things when they could be patched up. So, as they land Monet goes to start to try and sweep for the nearest cluster of life signs that she can. At leas twith Illyana with the group they can blow up everything if they have to beyond as cale that even Tabitha can manage.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Turns out the Shi'ar totally have spacesuits that don't look like trash. And it just so happens to be that the X-Men do have a few of tghen squirreled away after so much hi-jinx in space and via Mike Erickson's swiping a ship on his defection. And Tabitha managed to find one before!

Mostly blue in colour, ribbed padding down the sides with a lighter blue piping. Silverish metal shoulderpads leading into acollar around her neck. The same metal at her waist, wrists and ankles. Clearly where the seals for pressurisation.

Luckily the helmet is one of those ones that forms and retracts around the head of the wearer. Letting Tabby keep her hair in a high ponytail and yellow tinted glases on her nose. How it handles oxygen storage she doesn't know but hey, if she gets sucked out to space she shuld be okay.

The real dangers are inside the ship. Like trying to figure out where the bathrooms are on an unknown and dilapidated Kree ship. Spooky stuff.

"Okay, so like ugh, more Brood. Hopefully these are built more like normal squishy bugs. The T-rex one started healing and that is so messed up. Anyway, like, first rule of bug hunts. If one of us encounters a Queen and gets pounced. the first one of us to free the pouncee gets to say... "And she airquotes here with gloved hands. "The Line!" They should have all seen Cameron's Action Blockbuster Classic by now. The movie is old enough after all.

"So like we should probably make sure like we can find a working computer, make sure life support is on. Cause no air means no booms, and limited air means no booms either. Also like internal scanners. Standard like Star Trek stuff. I'm only experienced cause it was fighting some when the New Mutants found me on the street. Wasn't the the big stuff but like there's always a little of every invasion in New York before you guys joined. Enough that brood still scares the fuck outta me. That and you know, the current crap down in the Savage Land in Antartcica. Not the one that is Florida." she states.

"So big thing, try and keep distance. Cause infectious parasite. Yana, judicious use of portal cuts. Telefrag em." she suggests. "Monet, think you can ping anyone psychicallsy?" it's meant to be a training sim so unlikely that will actually work unless Rachel is going to town on detail.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Dream with me.

Better then someone doesn't walk into Illyana's usual nightscape, fashioned by the fluid temporal and spatial crossroads stained in sheer wonder and unabashed horror. The call from Rachel brings her to this precipice maybe for no reason than piquing her own curiosity, a means to spend a Friday night in good company that's leagues above and beyond the demonic cohorts engaged in choir practice at this very hour. Lacking any other diversion as thrilling, she joins the evening's affairs with an open mind and a concerted effort to participate in an activity that normally wouldn't be very effective.

How far has this taken her from home? Shadows condemn all sense of the normal and the familiar. The cavernous proportions of the Kree ship defy even her sharp vision, barely enabling her to grasp quite how big this craft is, the final purpose, and whether they've accidentally walked into a Shi'ar space city or something that qualifies as a mere country outpost in the back end of nowhere. Something to ask about later; she wears her usual attire, black on black, a golden sheen over her hinting at arcane methods used to protect herself rather than donning a spacesuit that inhibits her mobility.

"I feel we are on the set of a space movie that turns out very badly. No independent German film references, da?" Tabitha isn't the only one to see a parallel no one asked for.

She looks to Monet and then back. "Portal severing works. Time to make the sword something better suited to ranged fighting." Soulrifle?

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Up in the booth, Doug adjusts his headset. "...No promises. I just watched 'Als wir traumten' again. It makes me wish I followed my boyhood dream of opening up a techno dance club in Dusseldorf."


Doug laces his fingers together over his head and stretches, before he adds, "Rachel's running this show. I'm just going to be interpreting your combat data and making minor adjustments within the parameter's she's setting. Overall direction - that's all her. But, still, every good sci-fi duct-creeper deserves a good soundtrack, right?"

He plugs his phone into the console, and with the brush of his thumb, calls up a playlist.


"Don't spend too much time grooving to my 1990s Tokyo nightclub mainstays."

Rachel Summers has posed:
For Monet, what would otherwise be soft, even silent signs of life echo resoundingly through the docking bay. Situated between two of the vessel's spokes, it likely sprawls through about half of the hub area-- the outer half, with the air lock in the distance funneling all arrivals through a common point for security's sake.

At least, that was the IDEA. Given the open doors, the red light, the extensive disrepair-- it's an easy bet that comprehensive security protocols are no longer on the menu here.

Rather than a straight A to B, the X-Superwoman can plainly through the waning light that the route from their exit to the rest of the vessel is a winding and irrational thing infested with switchbacks and dead-ends, thanks to all the broken ships and their detritus-- some of which has practically sunk into the ground. Her attempts at scanning for life signs return little more than gnashing psychic static, but between night vision and vast strength, finding a route through the maze on foot is more frustrating than it is difficult. Really, it's just a matter of time -- of eliminating the bad routes so she and the rest of the team can, eventually, investigate the rest of the ship.

The problem of course is that time is not on the X-Men's side.

For Monet, it's a chorus of hissing, vibrating, skittering extremities; a chittering harmony of devouring intent swelling towards a crescendo of wings and talons and razor-sharp fangs, a sliver of which immediately dives, pounces, or cleaves free of ruined metal in a bid to reach her.

For everyone else, it's eerie pseudosilence followed by an explosion of shapes triggered the moment Monet passes a bisected two-man explorer. It's shadowy forms blotting out the few lights that remain and the unmistakable silvery gleam of red-limned teeth winking in and out of sight-- a swarm of Sleazoids, the least of the Brood's commonly documented bioforms ripping and tearing their way out of hiding to confront their next meal with scything claws and crushing jaws. Much like Monet, Tabitha and Illyana are beset with ravenous bugs streaming from every available nook and cranny with little more on their minds than the taste of flesh.

If the team wants to find computers -- wants to learn more about this vessel and the possibility of survivors beyond monsters evolved to do little else but -- they'll have to make it from one side of the bay to the other before the swarm consumes them.


Rachel's hunched forward in the control room, studying the monitors intently with her hands tightly laced and propped beneath her chin. She's not down there, and what happens down there doesn't matter -- not in any real, visceral sense -- but her foot's bouncing erratically; her lips stay pursed; her brow, furrowed.

It isn't 'real', and it doesn't 'matter'; neither makes it unimportant.

"The big one's loaded," she murmurs off-mic without looking away. "They -- probably -- won't find it here, but it's... it's ready."

Green eyes mostly lid as she takes a slow, bracing breath in and out. After exhaling, she pushes a small smile on and spares a brief sideways glance towards Doug. "A soundtrack's always appreciated," she offers before setting her eyes back on the screens.

"Queue dark ambient next if you've got it," she absently requests, trying to keep the tone and mood light even as her features settle into a contemplative frown.

"Level 1's high energy violence, but after that...?"

Monet St. Croix has posed:
The warning from Monet goes in a moment later as she goes to pick up the bugs, "Incoming." She goes to immediately slide over to setup a group mental link to spare Tabitha teh effort of having to do so. Their priority is in quickly getting out of here and to a position they can get information from. Computers it is. She's only got a bare passing familiarity with written Kree - those data slates she was taking an hour or so to review while they were in mission prep.

She doesn't bother to go and give any more warnings.. but she's also not trying to engage the things in close quarters. She'll be overrun in that state. SO that means.. She quickly scans about the landing bay. There has to be somewhere to run simple maintenance over on craft, refueling equipment.. There.

She sees some cranes used for lifting things to use for repairs and hoisting. Then she's flying over towards a pair of them.. MOving to rip them up and out of the hull and moving to charge back over into the fray. Then she's going to use them like a giant set of chopsticks..

Squish-swash-SMACk as she whacks them around and moves to try and make a path through the bugs blasting out at them to try and make the way clear for the rest of the team to move along as effectively as she can!

Tabitha Smith has posed:
It's honestly the soft of situation that makes Limbo less scary to Tabitha. At least as an adult. Hells are just places. There's just as much scary stuff outside the atmostphere as there is extra planar. The flooring and walls get a poke with boot and tow and Tabitha makes a scrunched up eww face.

Despite the possibility that breathable air is a limited supply she does generate a few small glowing balls of plasma floating around. Light sources. A tap of her earpiece gets the comms up and running. A mind link won't cut it when one of your team is usually resistant to telepathy. "If we start fighting it better be Eighties Rock playing Doug!" she playfully suggests. The smell of the air gets more grossed out scrunching of her features. "Like someone left a corpse on a giant anthill. Nasty!' she states.

Most of the seatcrhing is done in silence. Well the eery sounds the ship makes while the women on the ship search. The skittering of claws and stuff on squelchy decking as they find themselves eventually accosted by sleezoids.

The drones.

Multi-legged, tentacle armed insectoid monsters. Exo and endo skeletons in all their hideous grossness.

Tabitha might know it's a simulation but she's still scared. A tenage girl's memories.

The glowing orbs wink out and soon get replaced by more focused streams of plasma. Putting as much punch as is safe, to try and blast through that chitlin armor and bone but not risk her friends.

Those she can't kill outright hopefully being hersed back. But that's a lot of bugmeat to push on. And only so much space ship space.

"So there's like a means to undo this stuff. Unbug, but this point it's a no return deal. So like just mercy for them. If you get infected. Maybe you can save your mind. I had an idea about jumping out and going astral. If I was like alone I'd leave a bing ass boom and wipe the ship but we still have that rescue option. Ray and the unbugged Kree peeps totes gotta be around somewhere!"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Data flows by on a monitor as code - Doug interprets it, and then says, "Hmmmmm." With one hand, he cues up something for after -


And then he begins subtly playing with the data. "Let's try this... subtly dialing up the Sleazoids' threat response. Increasing their cooperativity and implementing a 'divide and conquer' strategy where they'll try to get between everyone and keep them separated, but also out in the open, no backs to the wall. A harder press - less breathing room, less time to recoordinate and regroup."

"I've been completely merged with a symbiotic alien to the point where my sense of self began to dissolve, but have I ever told you that the Brood *really gross me out*? But it makes me wonder... if they're a product of evolutionary pressure, what was their world of origin like? What preys on the Brood?"

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Verbal confirmations only come from Illyana, the black-clad Russian stretching her hands out and opening a flat, narrow-lensed tear in reality that takes more than a passing look to even notice. Alas, even these small apertures prove devastatingly effective at tripping a swarming group. Long trip, that one. It happens to exit from the pits of space into a molten-hot planet whipping around its parent star well within the 'bake all living things dead or vaporize liquids' zone that makes long-haul spacefaring to exotic destinations a bit unfortunate.

Extraplanar monstrosities and alien horrors tend to coexist in the same mental creative avenues. Overlapping them doesn't particularly appeal -- it happens just far too often, as Tabitha probably knows. "We can accept Ben Klock or Led Zeppelin if you want the classics," she opines behind the shelter of her arcane-reinforced armour. Trust a Russian to give a suggestion on a dangerously addictive drop. All this while trouble runs past Monet and burning into the flaming ribbons produced by Boom-Boom, which means she needs to coordinate.

Another cruciform slash creates pinpoint holes to rip the bugs out of their current existence and reorient them into the Tabitha-created hellscape. "Purge them all is a bad choice, you are saying?"

Threats crash inward in ever greater numbers, the mirror-walled portals she spontaneously creates at the speed of thought sometimes boxing them in and not sufficient to stop everything from every direction unless their idea of fighting is simply hiding within the myriad walls. Not sufficient for the Demon Queen, who takes a moment to express that edged remainder of her humanity. So it's kind of a sword. A sword of...

As... feathers. They look enough like feathers or leaves, hard to tell apart. Ones spiralling around her when they emerge from the faultless shard slammed into her piecemeal soul, and then unleashed in an explosion of white-gold energy shards. Ranged attack?

Rachel Summers has posed:
The first few swings of Monet's crane batter dozens upon dozens of Sleazoids out of the air; each one creates a new pocket of forward space for the X-Superwoman to occupy before the next wave of Brood piles in to meet her.

Likewise, Tabitha's precision-minded conversion of precious oxygen into superheated plasma turn clusters of Brood into writhing, flaming tangles of limbs and devouring wrath tumbling out of her way; those that aren't burned by Tabitha herself or the fires she's starting scatter just far enough to preserve themselves so they can form a fresh offensive push against the explosive delinquent.

Of course, scattering is a dangerous bid when the Queen of Limbo's demonstrating her hard-earned mastery over time, space, and the dwindling embers of her very soul: Brood evading Tabitha's explosions or sweeping in to replace those crushed by Monet are caught by narrow-lensed portals and spiritual shrapnel. Those that don't simply vanish from the bowels of the ship are rendered shredded heaps of ruined organic matter that drop from the air like stones.


"Yeah, that's a good idea," Rachel murmurs, nodding vaguely and watching the screens. "The real ones-- they aren't just mindless animals, right? They're part of something bigger-- just, one enormous composite with a million bodies."


The next time Monet swings her crane, it still turns a handful of Brood into paste and parts; more, however, nimbly break away from the mass, diving or soaring out of what had been a tightly packed, viciously direct fist of Sleazoids into a looser formation swirling around Monet's flanks and back-- a claw of hunger intent on presenting her with just enough space to suggest freedom before sheer numbers threaten to turn it into a deathgrip tightening around the X-Men's prodigy. The next attack comes a mass of Sleazoids divebombing from behind; the next, a phalanx of stingers and claws from the right-- and on, and on, each strike from the collective intended to draw Monet into focusing in a different direction, thus opening her up to more attacks from more angles, all while the aggressors continue the dance of weaving a gnashing web around her.

Tabitha's precision - her careful balancing act between offense and biological needs - is likewise exploited by thick waves of Brood spreading into clusters encroaching from several angles at once. Unlike the hit and run tactics Monet's subjected to, however, these monsters refuse to pull back, as if daring the young woman to burn them ALL before she's crushed beneath their flaming, lashing bulk. It's a gamble as tenuous as the line Tabitha's walking by setting a precious, potentially limited resource ablaze, but Sleazoids are not known for their self-preserving instincts; suffocating prey beneath the weight of their burning dead is a valid strategy when dealing with such well-equipped prey.

Similarly, yet more Brood risk being cut to ribbons just to crowd Illyana, seeking to take away her ability to pick them off from safe ranges and obscure the rest of her team to blunt the impact of her support fire.

The floors, the walls, the ceiling-- they swell and settle to a rhythm utterly divorced from the soundtrack pumping through the bay, and there's nothing gentle about any of it.


"They scare the shit out of me," she quietly admits, sparing another brief glance for Doug. "I--"

Rachel pauses, tongue poised against the inner curve of her teeth.

"They were wiped out," she continues a beat later, "way before I ever got here, but the IDEA of them... you know? And ever since the team uncovered the Savage Land hive, I've just..."


They squeeze themselves through ducts.

They burst through the cracked windows and gaping holes of ruined ships all around the bay.

They haul themselves up through holes in the floors, the walls, and the ceiling that weren't there before, having chewed and clawed their way through solid metal just to greet the X-Men.

Rachel Summers has posed:

"I wonder," she quietly concludes, "and I worry."

A few moments of silence as she studies the screens, and then:

"Maybe something preyed on them, once upon a time... but it's just as possible that they evolved past it, isn't it?"


The group's slow, but steady progress through the derelict maze threatens to draw to a deadly stop should the Sleazoid swarm have its way with dividing and conquering the trio of powerhouses, miring them in a battle of attrition against hundreds -- thousands? -- of ravenous Brood. The data Mon

Monet St. Croix has posed:
They're at quick risk of being overrun! The slashes go into her back from the Brood swarming over her. So they know what happeend to all of the crew and passengers. There could easily be hundreds, if not thousands of Brood here. Each wiht the physical abilities of whatever host bodies they had replicated with. Monet's skin can take a great deal of damage. Her suit, not so much. But she can withstand vacuum and extreme temperatures and hold her breath for a very long time, exposure is not anything she has to worry about.. For now.

She goes to try and form a phalanx with the rest, moving to try and make as much space as she can before she goes to focus. Then she -thinks-. And she moves to try and setup a psionic jamming field. The Brood have a hive mind, lead by a queen.. A group this focused needs someone coordinating it, the Brood aren't feral.

She can't break the link or mislead it.. But she can hopefully for just a few moments try and disrupt and jam it. A quick verbal warning is given to Tabitha and Illyana along the comms. <<Close your minds>> Closing her eyes, moving to brace herself under the barrage of blades going around her as she would bleed and be hurt (as much as the simulation allows, at least) before unleashing a psionic jolt to the Brood! Trying to disrupt as much of their sense of communication and orientation as possible.

If she could just break the link for a few seconds it would give them time to coordinate before being overwhelmed!

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The bugs are trying to cut the women off from each other. More than a few times Tabby had to run and scramble and jump and all that not being hurt. It usually results in the head of a drone explding and getting gunk on her. "We can probably save someone. But that's for the big brain science types. That hive mind thing is the worst. I dunoo if even the professor, jean, and every telepath combined could untangle that mess and a super charged cerebro bucket on everyone." Purging clearly the last resort.

"We gotta press on through, find our friend and any survivors. Find a way to find them if we can. If they were planetside, there'd probably not be so much problems. Tabitha is pretty strong a fighter, but in a pressurized container with limited space or air to breath and none of the air outside the container. She can't fight with the sort of reckless abandon she's known for.

Plasma streaming from her fingers can pack a punch but it can chew up the resouces needed to not suffocate

She's running out of room. And sip born air and she knows it. What good is a space suit if the others don't have one. What good is a space suit that's under threat of turning into a space pikini.

The mindlink between the X-men is shut off but not before "I uhhm, wouldn't poke that cocaine bear!" she warns over the comms. Hiveminds are a lot of minds to untangle like she had expected earlier.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"Like ants in a hive. Everything is pheromones and subvocal signals, modes of behavior that alter the way other Brood behave-" Doug muses, "But the real danger of the Brood is that they absorb the traits of the species they parasitize. So for instance, let's add a couple of Brood that have parasitized Skrulls-" He inserts that code.

"...Enabling them to adapt their physical bodies in order to more efficiently engage a threat."

Doug puts his finger on his chin as he thinks about that. "All life consumes other life to exist. It's a chain that we're only really beginning to seriously visualize breaking, at least on Earth. I suppose what the Brood are is that atavistic urge made manifest - to be really *aware* of what you're doing, because they *are* sentient regardless of how they behave - to relish the killing for its own sake, and make it as degrading, painful and violent as possible."

He thinks about that, and then says, "Let's play up some of their more recognizeable behavior patterns for them to take advantage of. How do Brood track prey? Maybe they can be confused by bright light, for instance."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Illyana's mind remains a place beyond the reach of telepathy by and large. Hardening the unreachable boundaries takes no more effort than falling back on habit, reflexively reaching for the stepping disks of Limbo as the realm literally threaded through her genetic code seals off the last reachable extents.

"Better dead than eaten," she hisses between her teeth. As long as her legs remain enviably straight, all is (mostly) well. The Danger Room pushes all of them in different ways, repeatedly hammering on the trigger points to set them off. Kind of the point.

"Why are we staying /put/?" The team mobility expert probably has it up to here with standing there dealing with one sleazy Brood wave after another. Holding back doesn't exactly line up with her values.

Hence, she ducks forward and reforms the scattered knives of her soul. They come flying back to her hand, converging on her fist to be sent in a tempest whirling around her in a tight circle. "Let's go! M, catch! Boom-Boom--"

--and there's a stepping disk there, connected to the one twenty-five meters ahead on a bare patch of wall, and another on the dark ceiling double that distance, and another beyond that. Ways to fall at staggered intervals that play catch as catch can, diving on non-linear paths. One way forward, which means she's tracking up the hall towards any kind of sundered airlock.

The woman isn't particularly interested in sticking around to find out what they do, since the alternative is ugly.

After all, who else other than a Jean clone knows the spell to snuff out life in a horrifyingly wide radius and serve it up as one hell of a restorative smoothie?

Rachel Summers has posed:
At first, it's like slamming brain-first into a wall of thorns.

Monet's scan for lifeforms ran into static; her attempt at severing the synaptic connection between the Sleazoids and their director meets stubborn, pointed resistance, a concentrated pushback of psychic energy like a spiked shell around an army of minds. Pushing against the obstruction -- pushing THROUGH it -- is sure to give the multi-talented X-Man an excellent sample of just how much pain the Danger Room can inflict, physically or otherwise; eventually however, resilience wins out, allowing a disruptive counterfrequency to radiate from Monet's mind. The Brood not only recoil, they screech hurt and confusion in unison.

There is a moment where one Sleazoid in particular stares deep into Tabitha's eyes, its golden gaze bouncing erratically as predatory imperative's tossed and tumbled through the storm of competing instincts stirred up by Monet's psychic shockwave. It - like the rest of the swarm - ultimately jerks back from each of the women, buying them the breathing room their teammate risked herself for; the only difference is that it collapses in a flaming heap before it makes it more than a few paces away.


Reaching across the control room, Rachel touches the back of Doug's hand mid-function.

"Exactly," she whispers, shifting in her seat to look fully in his direction. "Brood are on a level way past apex predator because they're capable of selective evolution-- picking and choosing the ideal combinations of traits pulled from the genetic library of whatever species the hive's already consumed. Right...? So:"

Her eyes flick towards Doug's screen. The underlying source code that drives the simulation's a heap of nonsense to Rachel, but the man with the gift of language can easily work out the point she's driving towards because it's right there in the code:

"What happens when someone's arrogant enough to think they can weaponize a race of hyperadaptive predators?" she softly wonders.

These Brood have already been altered from their base genetic template.

"What happens when they're just smart enough to make them even more adaptable...?"

Such as a controlled exposure to Daemonite DNA -- a different species of shapeshifting alien, armed with innate psychic talents.

"What happens when a gain of function test goes horribly right?" Here, she manages a tight, weak smile before adding: "Great minds," quietly.

'Let's go, M! Catch...'


Reality lenses open along controlled radii, giving Boom-Boom and M a Limbo-borne lifeline out of trouble that they need only take. The Sleazoids are not equipped to deal with teleportation-- not directly; some grow longer and leaner, their wings extending out ever further to enable swifter flight in the hopes of keeping up with Illyana's agile leaps through space, but all that really does is ensure that danger's lashing at the team's heels all the way to the air lock. Monet's strong enough to force the doors all the way open if she wishes it, and being able to see some of what's on the other side makes another disk-jump a relatively safe bet. Past the door, there are old streaks of blood on the floor, trailing up one of the walls; the chamber's big enough to fit a couple dozen at a time for processing, even though some of it's taken up by toppled, broken scanning equipment.


Rachel Summers has posed:
"... and, okay, it turns out Illy's entirely capable of just saying 'fuck you' to adaptive Sleazoids, which -- good to know," Rachel remarks after looking up from the screen. "Okay... ... okay, so I used the editor to build it, and I kinda-- I was working off the top, you know? Which means it MIGHT be a little..."

The redhaired psychic softly groans, grimaces, and swallows the rest of her preemptive apologia.

"The security checkpoint's got a working terminal, so all they've gotta do from there," she explains, "is get to the cantina, right?"

And indeed: Doug can plainly see that there is a tiny group of Kree clustered there, having perhaps chosen a defensible point with food and water over one without.

"But they're gonna be hunted the whole way there."


A roar emanates from beyond the air lock doors, unearthly in its savage intent.


"Level 2's surviving the Brood Deathstalker," she softly informs him.

"... plus whatever other wrenches you decide to throw in, because -- frankly -- first time working with DEdit, and it's... it's a lot."

Monet St. Croix has posed:
Monet can handle pain. She is nowhere near the tolerance of those like Rachel and Illyana for what she has been through, but she can handle pain. It helps through the agony as the psychic backlash hits her and threatens to overwhelm her that she selectively shuts down part of her mind. SHe shuts off her pain receptors telepathically, going to reroute an drewire parts of her brain to prevent herself from blacking out. AN extremely dangerous thing to do mid-melee. But evne as blood gushes out her nose and she edges to psionic combat over with the hive mind to disrupt it for just a few seconds as more blades scythe into her..

She's given them a few seconds even as Illyana goes to teleport the group out and away as she takes a moment to pant, going to rewire her brain back to normal as the group is teleported along. "I think I can focus on the life signs." She rubs at her temples, and tries to hone her telepathic power. SHe has a very strong sense of ~what~ the Brood feel like now mentally.. Hopefully she can tune it out over to try and figure out where the survors are so they can go ahead and get to them!

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Portals! Now they're thinking with them. "Dead leads to eaten and both aren't as bad as assimilation. I don't wanna become a bug!" she yells over the noise of the fight into the comms channel the three women share with the two people over in the booth contrlling things like Bugs Bunny getting Duck Amuck.

Tabby using what Illyana can prvide to give herself some room to move. Every day might be leg day in the gym but she's getting an extra work out this time.

"The fuck these things dowing now. Ugh, how the air situation." the exertion has her breathing pretty hrd as she occasionally has to go short range with her blasts like the one that just tried to give her a longing look. She does not try to make contact with it physically or mentally. Mostly because most of the psychic stuff is probably just Rachel's side of the simulation and Boomie might just possibly have jokes intended to try and break Rachel's concentration. Like corpsing on stage.

Boom-Boom can eventually get to the air lock throug the extra shapeshifting and just on the safe side. when she gets to the panel she kind of activates the helmet. It should keep some air around so if she hits the wrong button and gets herself sucked into space. Illyana can yank her back in.

"Okay, lemme see what we're looking at. You are here? Where here. Where are non bugs? Hurry up! I dunno about you sexy ape ladies. But I wanna live forever!"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"It's one of the most adaptive Virtual Intelligences ever made." Doug says, "In fact I ran the numbers once and there's a greater than zero chance of the Danger Room A.I. achieving true sentience. I thought about constraining its code to prevent that from happening since... it's a combat AI. I don't know what it would DO-" He pinches the bridge of his nose. "But I wasn't going to act unilaterally on it, since I'm not staff. I did a presentation about it in school, and then I think something happened so it just kind of got tabled-"

He examines the behavior patterns of the Deathstalker, and then he says, simply, "Rachel... you've got a DARK imagination. If you ever decide to run a game of D&D... count me out. I need to sleep at night." He puts his hand on his forehead.