15219/AVENGERS FOREVER: The Wake of Tempus Khan

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AVENGERS FOREVER: The Wake of Tempus Khan
Date of Scene: 25 June 2023
Location: Yeongyang-gun, Republic of Korea
Synopsis: The X-Men travel to Korea to save a very special mutant and encounter a rift in the very fabric of time!
Cast of Characters: Logan Howlett, Rogue, Emma Frost, Yukio, Tabitha Smith, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Ororo Munroe
Cast of NPCs: Tempus, Ego the Living Planet
Tinyplot: Avengers Forever

Logan Howlett has posed:
Beneath 1407 Graymalkin Lane.

Several Hours Ago ...

The digitally-rendered globe of the Planet Earth swims through the air before the mind's eye of Charles Xavier. Thousands of pinpoints of light, scattered across every continent. Each of them a life. A mutant life. When he focuses, he can hear their thoughts.

                                           Should never have done Calculus ...

     Vielleicht nur noch ein Bier.

                         Geuneun nal jug-ilgeoya. Naneun wiheomhada. Dobda!

Charles' eyebrow raises quizically, zeroing in on the cry for help. It becomes clear. The single point of light becomes a young man in homespun clothing, hiding from something. Something bestial and menacing. Lurking in the dark.

>> To me, my X-Men! <<

                                     * * *

Yeongyang-gun, Republic of Korea

Now ...

The Blackbird has found an out-of-the-way landing area in a wooded clearing just of the Gacheon-ro. A river runs nearby, and the verdant greenery looms on high hilltops in every direction.

"Right," Logan speaks up, smoldering cigar clenched between teeth and a heavy hiking backpack slung over both shoulders, "We go it on foot. Kid we're lookin' for is Hwang Chung-Ae. Mutant. Chuck's not sure what it is he can do, but he does know there's somethin' lookin' for him. We gotta find him before it does."

The Wolverine looks at the gathered X-Men and mission specialists around him. He jerks his head skywards.

"Rogue, how 'bout you get skybound 'n see what you can see. Might be a farm. It's on the river here, so we just follow it east."

Rogue has posed:
Aviators on.

"We're goin to Korea." Rogue had said from the pilot's chair once the SR77 was airborne.

A second later and she added on. "Where is Korea?"

They made it though, and the Belle brought the jet down to a landing on the lovely greenery with a expert ease from those skills that she borrowed from her idol and bestest friend Carol Something Danvers.

Having unstrapped from the pilot chair, Rogue snatched her bomber jacket off the back of it and zipped her green and gold suit up to her neck from the lazy half-chest zip it'd had throughout the flight.

Once outside, Rogue tucked her sunglasses in to a inner pocket on her jacket as she adjusted it over her shoulders, then heard Logan's words. "Yeah, okay. Sure thingg." Is all the southern gal says before she just looks up and vanishes in to the sky.


Emma Frost has posed:
Emma is there as backup telepath. This is a search and rescue operation, so having someone able to help coordinate the team is useful. She goes to focus her eyes and goes to quickly share the downloaded Korean language and primary writing language with everyone in a quick download. And what information she could get on the area from a quick skim through minds from the South Korean Embassy in New York before the Blackbird had launched. Enough to hopefully give them all a very minimal idea of what they would be running into.

"Well, if it's obvious enough that Charles can sense it but that he can't get a good reading on it.." That's likely an indicator of something rather powerful.

Yukio has posed:
Having heard a whole set of stories about Logan from her grandfather, Yukio keeps as close as possible to The Wolverine, while still giving him his space so it's not too awkward. But she is rather keen to see Logan in action outside of the Danger Room.

In lieu of a proper X-Men costume, she's donned a regular ninja training gi, all black, with tabi boots. It's the lack of a mask, and her flowing pink hair that kinda ruins the whole black for hiding in the dark concept. But at least she looks cooler than just wearing her normal every day clothes.

"Do you think he wirr be friendly or attack, Logan-san?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The flight even in a super sonic jet always takes a long time. Plenty enough that the last few legs of it Tabby may have had one to many energy drinks and snacks.

So once they touched down Tabby had to find a spot. Then run and catch up with the X-Men. Black and yellow two piece looking more like biker leathers. Raybans with red lenses on her nose and an earpiece still playing some old eighties hair metal and rock.

"So like you know do we know who is after the kid? I mean I can look after him while everyone plays beat em up on like the "Democratic Peoples' Republic." she air quotes and snickers at just how obvious that the place is not any of what she just said.

The others get a grin as she bounces about maybe a little hyperactively. If she fell asleep on the flight they'd probably never wake her up.

At least she's sober. "If the kid's scared, he may lash out. So like gentle touch, no being scared, but no seeming like you're pissed. Even if he does hurt you. It's not his fault. Those are the right pronouns?" she doublechecks.

Last time Tabitha did this the kid could manipulate gravity.

There was yeeting.

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean had made a Face (tm) at Rogue, booting up the navigation systems while the other woman does the pre-flight. In this particular case, the route takes them fairly close to the North Pole, over Alaska and Siberia. Visualizing plane routes is weird, but it's shorter than flying cross-country. And, perhaps, a less busy route, which is relevant when you have a supersonic dubiously legal spy plane as your main mode of transportation. "I'm gonna take a nap," she tells Rogue, as she gets in her seat. Which may defeat the 'copilot' thing a bit, but the Blackbird can mostly fly itself.


She's back awake before they arrive. It may be a beeping alarm on the console that does it, informing them when they're near the end of their route, or it might be her sense of the shifting telepathic background noise, from basically -nothing- over those empty reaches, to something buzzing with people.

"That was fast." It was not.

Once she's out of her seat, geared up, and out the back, Jean takes a breath in of the local air, but then inevitably looks toward Logan. "You know the area at all?" Obviously, Korea is not Japan, but basically ANYWHERE on Earth, there's odds that he knows the place better than the rest of them.

As Rogue shoots upward for recon, she, predictably, does it her way, reaching a hand up to touch her temple as she tries to focus in, from that prior general noise of background thought, to focus in on anything more obvious. However, a mere moment after she does it, she lowers her hand, and shakes her head, looking almost dizzy. "Woah. That's... weird. Some really jumbled thoughts out there."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Another of the team is antsy to join Rogue in taking to the skies. Lockheed gives a few flaps of his wings and follows after her. He's in purple, like always, but then it's such a stylish color that he never really needs a change.

Kitty's wearing a uniform of mostly black slashed with dark grey. Someone let her near Forge's fabrication machines again and she's been tweaking her costume designs.

"Nice place," she says as she looks around after deplaning. "First time on the peninsula for me. Will have to cross this off on my map now. Glad he's south of the border though," she comments as she follows the team.

Logan Howlett has posed:
"Not that I remember," Logan admits with a roll of his broad shoulders, "Saw a bit of Seoul durin' Ripper in '51, but that's more'n a hundred miles in the other direction. Still, the terrain ain't that unusual. We can work it out."

He's already trudging along in the direction of the farm, following the distant rush of the river that they can't quite see through the greenery. Yukio's question draws a faint nod from him.

"Reckon so. He's just lookin' for help. But that don't mean he's not gonna be scared and maybe lash out on accident. Remember to pull your punches. That goes for all of you. 'specially you, hyper-active explosion gal."

Jean's read on the telepathic situation makes Wolverine's brow furrow, and he cups his hands to his mouth and shouts skyward: "Rogue! Whaddaya see?"

A glance is paid towards Emma, and he speaks low: "Maybe hold back from trying to read what's happenin' in that direction. If somethin' happens, we need at least one of you brainiacs workin'."

Rogue has posed:
When Lockheed joins her, Rogue glances over to him. "Be careful around here." She warns him. "I don't think this is North Korea, but I've heard its somewhere around here... thus the whole Korea thing. They like shootin' missiles at stuff. Last thing I want is our purple dragon mascot gettin' missiled."

Rogue's green eyes start to scan the horizon then as she takes in a odd sight. It causes her to lean back and just hover with one leg up bent at the knee and the other pointed down to the ground far below.

She blinks her eyes, squeezes them shut, and re-opens them again.

It isn't until Logan shouts up at her, that the Belle glances back and down at where they all are down there. Her white bangs flow across her face, requiring her right gloved hand to come up to stroke them out of her way again. "Somethin is happ--" She cuts herself off, before her right hand presses the X-comm button over her left breast. She speaks in to it then as the red lights up behind the black X-shaped comm unit.

"I'm seein' stuff up here, like some kinda strange lookin' Blade Runner city super imposed on the sky. It's fadin' in an out like it can't decide if its ... real or not." She says as her eyes once more scan the sight that she's witnessing up here high in the sky.

"Ya'll see anything strange down there?"

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would glance over at the others and go to speak, "So what do you think is so horrible all the way out here that I'm at risk of things?" But, very well. She limits herself as Logan requests her to as she goes to fold her hands together. "Boom-Boom, I think that you'll be better suited than I am to scanning on the ground." Tabitha is by far the better athlete and fighter, so if they run into trouble she'll be far better on point.

If Jean can't decipher what the thoughtsare, then Emma's not going to have more luck. Instead, Emma goes to cheat on another factor. She goes ahead to try and sense local wildlife.. Trying to scan through the trees and ground for any higher thinking animals that have good senses and awareness. Presuming she can pick some of them up.. She goes to try and then sweep ahead through their senses about to try and get a ground-eye (or scent) view of what's gonig on. Translating animal senses to something that a human mind could decipher took effort, but was quite possible.

But with what Rogue is saying Emma gets the impression over that she's looking at things from the completely -wrong- perspective. "What the hell?" She goes to try and quickly pull from Rogue's mind what she's seeing - if the southern belle permits.

Yukio has posed:
"A Blade Runner city...?" Yukio looks towards Logan in confusion, "katana no machi?" She asks, interperting Rogue's words rather literally, and assuming there is a city of sword wielders up ahead. Concern aside, Yukio looks to tense a bit into a ready posture, as she keeps following Logan's lead. Though she does on occasion peek skywards, the dragon is still a fascination for her, and he's so adorable too.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There is a pout when Logan tells the blonde to throttle back. "I'm like bowling a perfect game on bringing kids home safe from asshole being hostile." she points out. "So not like my seventy fifth rodeo. This kid's getting the chance I never got." Tabby was already living on the streets a while when the New Mutants found her.

The telepathic scanning Tabby just leaves to the experts. That being Jean and Emma. So that leaves her free to just not worry about that and keep her own footprint to a telepathic minimum.

Rogue's scouting gets a chuckle. "Get some Seoul Glow!" she off key sings softly. "Sure it's not like Pyongyang fronting and trying to be all I'm the real Korea?" her geographic awareness does suck. But she knows fronting when she sees it.

Jean Grey has posed:
"It's sort of like the thoughts are..." Jean searches with her words as she struggles to explain, falling in at a pace beside Logan. "Mixed up somehow? Things that would have happened at different times, all mushed together, layered on top of each other, or out of order, maybe? I don't know if it's something to worry about. Could just be a bit of disorientation, maybe."

One fact of telepathic communication is that the thoughts of other people, as a rule, never make sense the way your own do. There's something fundamental to the workings of your own mind, and no matter how good you are, other people's thoughts- well, they're just that. Always something else.

So Jean isn't stressing too much. "I don't think there's anything innately harmful," she adds, looking over at Emma. "But it definitely feels a bit off."

Flying Cyberpunk cities, on the other hand...

"Uh, say again?" she echoes Rogue on the comm, lifting her gaze.

She turns to Logan. "If there's something up there, that doesn't seem like a coincidence, considering."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Lockheed does a little wingover, the agile space dragon able to practically do hairpin turns without losing speed. Maybe he's making a statement about what would happen if missiles were fired at him. Or maybe he's just enjoying being out in the air above the idyllic wooded scenery.

Though what Rogue is seeing draws the yellow, pupil-less eyes as well. Lockheed draws up, flapping in place as he hovers and waits for the team on the ground to catch up.

Kitty doesn't have a lot to say yet, just hiking through the summer woods. The gently flowing river just adds to the area's beauty. Though Rogue's communication draws Kitty's focus quickly enough. << Huh, >> she responds before pulling out her phone and working it quickly to pull up a few satellite images to confirm, << Shouldn't be anything like a city out here in that direction. >>

Ororo Munroe has posed:
<<It is like a mirage,>> Ororo projects. Having seen to securing the Blackbird, the weather-shaper has flown skywards to assist Rogue with the aerial reconnaissance. The Southern belle is certainly more durable that Ororo is, but Ororo has ways of seeing things that others might miss.

Up she goes in the air and establishes a comfortable hover a few meters away from Rogue's position. The wind whips her white mohawk and the cape she's wearing. It is a classic look for Ororo on this mission, wearing her silver bodysuit with golden accents. <<I am not sure it completely exists. It... disappears and fades from my sight, then returns.>> Her whiteless eyes are trained on the distant apparition and apparently have no trouble discerning such details. <<And there is more. There are multiple weather patterns all overlapping. Not just clashing, but existing on top of each other. Like a sirocco blowing into a hurricane. I have...>> she turns her head to Rogue, fretting her lip. <<I have seen nothing like it before.>>

Logan Howlett has posed:
"Blade Runner city ... " Logan mutters to himself, glancing in Tabby's direction and putting a hand over his comm to mute his voice before he speaks, "I thought you were the high as a kite one."

Logan's attention turns to Yukio, and he offers a brief explanation in English (part of his job is sharpening up the young ninja's linguisitics): "It's a sci-fi movie. Eiga. And that's right, no cities like that out this way. It's all country, far as I know."

"I don't know, Emma," he adds with an exasperated sigh to the luxurious blonde, "I just don't want to explain to yer shareholders or whatever that you melted. Consider it a favor to the workin' class, huh? Thanks, 'Ro. Sounds like things're weirder than Chuck first thought."

He's sniffing the air, noting something strange that Emma may well pick up at the same time. There's plenty of fauna here, but their scent trails seem to appear and disappear at random. He opens his mouth to speak again when a creature - around waist high - darts across the rough, leafstrewn path ahead of them.

The creature is lizardlike, running on two legs with two smaller forelimbs. It's forehead is a strange plate that has two horn-like tips at the top and two more protruding horizontally beneath the eyes. As it vanishes into the bushes again, it fades from view entirely.

" ... ... "

Wolverine takes a deep breath.

"Smith, if you've been fuckin' around with our water rations, I swear to God Almighty I'll - "

He doesn't get a chance to finish that sentence as what can only be described as a sleak, flying robot manta-ray zips past them at eye level trailing a holographic banner in Hangul: EAT AT UNCLE SOOK'S!

"O ... kay."

Rogue has posed:
What Storm says to Rogue causes her to look over at the other flying woman. She has a weirded-out expression on her face as she looks back at the randomly changing skyline. "I ain't seen nothin' like it before neither. Closest kinda madness I've seen like this is the lines'a fat people at the Golden Corrale back home come dinner time." Quaint.

Rogue is turning to look at Lockheed when a giant long necked dinosaur appears out of seemingly no where. "Lockheed! Look out!" She shouts to Kitty's dragon buddy before she tries to grab him by the tail and pull him out of the way of the big old creature lumbering by.

Rogue looks again to Storm before she once more presses her comm badge.

"Ya'll, this place has gone pure wonky. I'm not even sure where t'begin t'fix this kinda bug in the Matrix." She notes, still hovering many meters up in the air above the rest down on the leafy pathway.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would sigh, "I'm far from going to melt at something so -simple- like a telepathic overload." She's about to go on about her opinions of him mor ein depth over as she moves to stop herself and focus over on the objective. That means tuning Logan out and paying attention to what's going on around them. Since everything goes to focus upwards.. Emma keeps some eyes down towards the ground just in case.

The sudden blast of.. Energy? Whatever it is? Goes to have her scramble. "Ugh!" She goes to take a moment to reassemble her shields as something that feels like quiet going ot build up to a screaming city catches her by quick surprise. But one thing any telepath learned very quickly was how to tune out noises for their own sanity. Or have mental breakdowns.

<<Jean, I'm.. Having a thought here.>> Emma goes to focus through her disorientation. <<What things here are real?>> She has a quick theory..

Yukio has posed:
Yukio nods at Logan's explanation, but it does lend to a more puzzled look on her face. Why would anyone make a city out of a movie, and why would it exist here of all places. Her grandfather sure was right about the kind of adventures Logan gets into. But then she's distracted by the zooming lizard-creature and calls out to warn everyone "bakemono!"

But the lizard creature disappears as soon as it appeared, followed by the flying manta ray ad, and that's just about enough to make Yukio lose focus for a moment. Did she just step into Wonderland?

Looking at the more experienced adults around her, Yukio quietly asks, as if not caring to have her answer heard, "...are we rost?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There's an indignant look on Boom-Boom's features "I ain't smoking till I get home!" Tabby states with hands out in a whoa hold up gesture aimed at the short Canadian. The city in the sky gets a blink and she shakes her head.

There's a grin to Yukio as well. "Watch the original theatrical release. With the Harrison Ford narration. Closer to the original novel. Anyone that prefers the 'Director's cut' can go take flying leaps. Clearly not a fan of the further mutated adaption or the sequel.

The telepathic ups and downs getting even Tabby frowning. <<Gah, what the hell is that? This kid projecting day dreams or some crap? Like someone screwing with the volume on my headset and then channel flipping from an action movie to a wildlife documentary.>> she complains and pinches her nose.

"Logan, when do you drink anything but beer? I'm stealing that when I get home. Damn this crap is noisy!" as far as mental meltdowns. Here's one they did earlier.

Jean Grey has posed:
<<Sounds... that's sort of what the thoughts feel like,>> Jean echoes back up at Ororo. Her description, in greater detail, seems to match up with whatever the telepath is getting. Which, well, at least there's something to be said for consistency, right?

And then the weird advertising robot flies by them. Logan's reaction covers hers.

"I know I see a lot of stories about how quickly Asia is moving with robotics, but... not this quickly, right? I think I need to see this better myself." And so now, she gently takes off, floating into the sky in the direction of the other two. "That said, I feel like I'm starting to get a pattern here." And while Emma has a thought, it's evidently not quite where Jean's are headed. "I don't know if what is real is so much the distinction as when. High tech robots, floating sci-fi cities? Well, the thoughts I was getting, they felt like they were from the same people but more like, different points in time overlapping. Distant memories, next to recent input, next to... well, imagine a mental state that includes memory of a thought you're also having in the moment?" Trying to describe perception of a 'future memory' is weird, linguistically.

Then again, this stuff isn't exactly out of the realm of normal for the X-Men. She's seen memories of herself, from a daughter she hasn't had!

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde's eyebrows go up a bit at the sight of the little lizard. Though the flying drone is what draws action out of the X-man. Kitty taps away rapidly on her phone, bringing up its passive scans of the electronic signals in the area.

After a few moments of analyzing them, she says, "Hrm, doesn't look like it's remote controlled. No signals going back and forth to it. So more like it's programmed to fly a path," she says. "Good way to lose it. I mean, pretty high tech with that hologram, to risk it like that," Kitty adds with a frown.

She glances up frequently from the phone, keeping up with the others. "There's a network out here. QuantumNet it's labeled. Signal keeps dropping though." She doesn't see a reason to start trying to hack it, so just keeps an eye on it for now.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Ororo looks down at the manta with those whiteless eyes, examining its flight path. <<The robot is exactly what it appears to be,>> she projects over Jean's telepathic web. <<In fact it is all what it appears to be, though it fades in and out of my sight. But when it is perceptible, it is decidedly *real*. I would not think to dismiss this out of hand as some illusion or trick.>>

Ororo drifts closer to Rogue, enough to get her attention with a hand gesture. <<Perhaps Rogue and I should stay above ground and provide reconnaissance. I can haze our approach slightly,>> she says, and her mental tone conveys to Jean that she defers to Jean's tactical orders.

Logan Howlett has posed:
"We're here for that kid," Logan explains into his comm, "Dollars to donuts, he's the reason this is happenin'. Few fake cities and dinosaur ghosts aren't gonna stop us. Hell, we just got done wipin' the floor with dino-brood. This ain't nothin'."

The trek through the woods is full of similar strangeness. Creatures eerily similar to dinoaurs visible out of the corner of the eye. The occasional, distant sound of cars or hundreds of voices like one might hear in the city. Even the occasional person dressed in strange, neon hues who approaches the group down the path before seeing them, giving them an odd look, and vanishing entirely.

"We're not lost," he tells Yukio, "Whatever all these things are? They're the ones that're lost."

                                     * * *

"This stuff isn't made up. It's real. Just not 'always' real, far as I can figure. I've seen illusions before. This isn't off ... it's tickin' every box."

Finally, the group arrive at another clearing. In it, there is a farm house and a stretch of lawn that ends at the bank of an idyllic river. It would seem like an image right out of the work of Henry David Thoreau's Korean cousin where it not for the ... hurricane?

No, not a hurricane. A vortex of some kind, to be sure. Through it, the farmyard takes on a myriad of appearances that shift and change as easily as sand in the wind. One minute a futuristic city. The next a scene from a paleontologist's picture book. Then back to the farmyard.

At the center of it is a creature that stands at least ten feet tall, roughly masculine but lacking any distinct features. It's skin is a white liquid metal of some kind, constantly shifting and changing. It moves jerkingly, as though caught in something like thick mud. It approaches something.


There, cowering against the outer wall of the farmhouse, is Hwang Chung-Ae. He's probably no more than fifteen, his black hair waving wildly around his head in the wind that is strangely not felt here outside the vortex.

"Shit," Logan growls under his breath, before he tosses his pack to the ground and points at Yukio, "Stay here."

Then, without further warning, he dives into the Vortex. He vanishes for a moment before shimmering into view in the scene displayed inside - moving as though he too is weighed down.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue's eyes go down to see Jean ascending up to join she and Storm (And the Heed). When the redhead arrives, Rogue looks between the other two women, and nods softly to what Storm says. "A bit'a cover might raise some confidence that we're not about t'get ... I dunno, phased inta some other reality?" Rogue questions before her stare wanders back to the ever-changing landscape around them. "I got a bad feelin' about this one though..."

She'll start to fly off again though once Storm has her hazy cover provided for the fliers, and when they come upon the idylic house in a rather disturbing vortex, Rogue once more slows her flight. she glides further down now toward the others before she spins around to look back at the vortex. "Is that the kid?" She asks, moments before Logan goes full Leroy Jenkins and just dives right the Hell inside.

"We're a well oiled machine, our Danger Room Synergy Sessions are really payin' off." She dry quips.

Emma Frost has posed:
The group arrives there and.. Emma Frost can only look and stare over at it. "What the hell..?" Then she goes to shut up as she adjusts to what Jean has said and goes to focus her mind on the here and now (as much as there can be such a concept when one is facing the past and the future out of sync).
    <<Is he the cause of all of this? Or is whatever is after him?>> Emma goes to try and dig about mentally.. She's not scanng Hwang Chung-Ae. No.. She's scanning for everything else. not those things coming back and forth untethered from linearity.

She's trying to find if there's some greater direction to them. Charles had said possibly that something was after the boy that he couldn't say precisely what it was. Emma attempts to try and probe as widely as she can for some sort of intent, for some sort of purpose. For some sort of.. Direction. Everything coming out isn't in such a blind panic or freaking out, which to her indicates some level of coherence and focus. And all this is so disorienting and they're from such wide apart and out of sync.. So Emma is trying to see if she can get something over in common with everything. Some sort of.. Focus.

She speaks along the mental link <<Whatever this is doesn't -seem- to be coming from the boy. Whatever it is has him petrified. HE's pleading with it to stop. And it's growing.>> As best as she can tell the vortex is getting bigger and bigger..

Then Logan runs in. <<Bother, I suppose one of us should go after him.>> Volunteering herself.

Yukio has posed:
The conversation between Jean and Emma gives Yukio a sense that she really is nowhere near as ready to join in with the X-Men as she thought. "We are in a memory? But a memory that didn't happen yet?" She turns to look at Logan with a kind of expression that could be only interperted as 'help me'.

"Stay...?" Yukio doesn't seem to think it's the best of plans, but nods her head in respect to Logan's decision, she waits, though she looks a bit frustrated at not being able to help. She tries for the time being to keep her eyes on Logan, and not get distracted by the way too many oddities that shift in and out of existence all around. Hoping not to get sucked into some demonic realm by accident.

<<I would go after him but he said I should stay...I can't disobey>> Yukio replies to the mental link, sounding perfectly fluent in that method being engaged.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Ten foot robots kind of stick out. "I hope that things not like some wacky new sentinel and is just part of whatever else is being conjured up." she wonders as she looks at the robot. Everything else. Then everyone else.

"It is the kid making this stuff happen. So reality warping? Great. Hope he doesn't suddenly imagine we aren't real!" Boom-Boom is still pulling guesses from her shapely behind.

Logan being reckless just gets and eyeroll. "Why is it when I do the crazy things I get yelled at or chewed out." she complains. "He does it and every one says 'Badass'." this coming from a woman that dangled herself out of the Blackbird to improvise countermeasures against fighter jets not so long ago.

She does at least put herself between the robot and the others going after the teenage boy clearly scared. <<You can totally disobey, I do it all the time. A friendly and pretty face will help calm that kid way better than gruff Canadian. Blonde Cougars go a long way too!>> she adds and grins at Emma.

To the Robot, Tabby looks up at it and grins. "Sup! You ain't gonna cause a ruckus I hope?" she asks while it still visible in front of her.

Jean Grey has posed:
"I've seen something like this before..." Jean murmurs. The comment, though, is mostly made to herself, and she doesn't elaborate. Maybe it's one of those 'difficult to explain' kind of knowings she sometimes has.

Logan charges ahead, and that's really nothing unusual in and of itself. Tactically speaking, there's a lot of reasons to throw the guy who's very bad at dying into danger first. Flush out the threats, where they'll do the 'least' harm. Because it still ends up being harmful, of course, just not as permanently so. In any case, given the picture, her instincts seem to be telling her one thing that she happily extends to the rest: <<In just about every place and time we've ever seen or experienced, weird machines chasing mutants never ends well for the mutants.>> Thus, she's siding with the kid over the white metal creature until she has reason otherwise.

It is, perhaps, a little more emotional than cold logic. But screw it.

As for their order of battle, she seems perfectly willing to engage behind Logan, flying toward the creature - and the vortex as a consequence. En route, she wraps herself in a telekinetic sheath. <<First order of business is getting the kid clear and safe. Hold offense on Big White until it does something hostile, but be ready. Yukiko, keep to the perimeter,>> she confirms, sensing whatever hesitation and of no mind to overrule Logan. <<And keep your eyes out for us. And for anything else weird happening.>>

And while Emma scans generally, she reaches for the kid's mind, hopeful there might be something there to give them context to the whole thing.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
<<Rogue, assist Logan,>> Ororo directs the other woman flying near her. <<I will do what I can from above to even the field. Be ready to fly to safety,>> she warns her.

Ororo swoops down until she's at the edge of the vortex, hovering in mid-air. A tight personal bubble of ultra-fast wind keeps the sand and debris from actually hitting the weather shaper.

It takes her a few minutes to decide on an angle of attack. Slender fingers extend and splay as Ororo hurls her will against the phenomenon. Smart enough not to try and undermine or direct it immediately, she starts throttling the air currents that feed the vortex and instead rob it of additional energy and momentum.

Logan Howlett has posed:
As soon as Logan passes into the Vortex, followed by Tabitha and Jean, the noises change. While outside was eerily silent save for the strange overlapped soundscape, the inside is roaring as winds of incredible force rush in concentric circles about them. The cowering man shouts 'stop!' over and over in his native Korean, while the metallic creature speaks.

"Release me, child!" the creature shouts over the din, the voice entirely emotive and not at all robotic in its sound, "You cannot hold the Voice of Lord Immortus! Release me!"

The creature takes another heavy step forward, foot meeting the ground with a deafening thud. From that same footfall a burst of energy spreads outward in a ring, making the vortex wider. The very air seems to bend and crack, showing the raw stuff of the multiverse through the gaps. Images of times past, present, and future. What will be. What was. What is. What may never be. What never can be.


It seems to pay no attention to the others suddenly present inside the Vortex. Instead reaching out for the boy, growing closer and closer.

                                     * * *

On the outside of the Vortex, it is a strange sight. Those who traveled inside reappear eventually, though they do not seem to be moving in real time. More like still images that change and warp into one another with the beating of the multiverse's very heart.

One moment it is the farmhouse. Next, Logan, Jean, and Tabitha all wear costumes unlike anything seen before. Then, Logan appears noticably aged and is clad in a leather jacket. After that, Jean wears a green miniskirt of Sixties fashion and a butterfly-like mask. Next, Tabby wears denim shorts and a yellow plastic trenchcoat and pink goggle-glasses. Finally, it reverts back to normal. Cycling over and over.

> Temporal Cross-Rift forming. Eradicate. Eradicate. <

Out of the woods pour several synthetic creatures clad in white plastic armor with glowing blue faceplates. Their arms extended, making no qualms about rushing those who remain outside the Vortex with vicious intent!

Rogue has posed:
The Southern Belle floats alongside Storm, watching Jean moving in after Logan. She considered calling out to the redhead, but she knows that Jean is pretty wildly reckless sometimes, just like the Harry Guy she's chasing after inside the wild multi-verse vortex.

When Storm tells her to go in after them, Rogue nods softly, pulling her green bandana out of her jacket pocket as she starts to tie it off around her head to keep her hair down. She's floating toward the vortex as it starts to pulse and grow larger, pushing right up against her and about to consume her all itself...

She finishes tying off her bandana, seeing the trio of teammates changing appearances through the strange shifting view of the strange interference. "Weird... why is it always so weird..." She mutters over the chaos and noise all around her. Leaning forward, Rogue is about to fly through it when she catches sight of the army of white robots coming out of the peripheral of her vision. This stops her where she floats.

" Storm?" Rogue questions, pointing toward the enemies that are attacking them out here, with Yukio being in danger and the youngest of them out here, Rogue aborts going inside the Vortex and instead turns, adjusting her body's gravity to fly toward their new enemies now, to fly right in to them and bull them over like a Mississippi Battering Ram!

Emma Frost has posed:
And then everything goes to chaos. Emma Frost doesn't bother in all the confusion, all the anarchy to try and figure out what's going on. She can just pick up from general context that things are bad. Now is the time to fight to survive. As people shift back and forth, from outside time and space and linearity. From this reality and others. They can only do their own little bit.

And Emma's body goes to shift. Skin flesh tone seems to fade. Maybe it's a trick of the light? Maybe just all of the chaos and energy? The spinning vortex, the things coming from it? She goes to follow Jean's direction with precision. Things are breaking.

She can -finally- break something back. She goes to stride towards one of those large things. Her body seeming oddly bright. And she moves to take her fist up and over. And slams it into the leg of the thing. It cracks inwards.

THe thing's leg. Not her fist. Emma Frost's body is hard as rock. A prism. Virtually invulnerable..


Yukio has posed:
Congratulations Tabitha, you just found a way to utterly freak out the ninja, as Yukio turns to stare at Tabby, all aghast, "he can do that!?"

Of course nothing is ever just one thing with Tabitha, and she proceeds to absolutely shake Yukio's world by suggesting an older man, like Logan, can be disobeyed. A man who her grandfather made her promise to treat in reverence. It's quite a shock to the system. At least there's Jean to make everything normal again, and she nods her way, <<I will stay and hold until I must act, do what you must.>>

It then gets kind of wild, and Yukio does well as told, until there are assailants popping into place. She looks around her, counting them up, and chooses the ranged weapon for the occasion. Swiftly releaseing the 9 section whip from her belt, she starts swinging it to dissuade anyone from coming in close. There's no banter or anything, just alert whirling of her weapon to dissuade attackers.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
It's a very Jubilant outfit Tabitha gets stuck with. Somethings feel off. The trench coat should never ever be worn with shorts for starters, no matter how amazingly she fills them. The tint of her shades changing and she frowns. Worst thing is her hair suddenly being a lot shorter like when she was younger.

There's a look down at herself. Jean's dress actually gets a wolf whistle. "Nice, ditch the mask." she compliments and suggests before she realises the lack of hair on her head.

"Wait, nooooooo." she's looking at the armored thing, then trying to reach and pull on what was once a thick, full and well cared for mane bound up in a pony tail and now just short and kinda spiked wildly.

"YOU BASTARD!" she's already charging plasma in her hands. The problem is she doesn't know who to bomb because the big guy is seeming to want to get the hell away as well. And the kid is scared. Kinda hard to explode when maybe there's just weird stuff and no one being all malicious.

That doesn't stop her being pissed off. Just stops her directing that anger for now.

Jean Grey has posed:
Sometimes, Jean hates it when she's right!

There are probably nice robots out there, not to be artificial lifeform-ist about it, but the track record with mutantdom is pretty bad, and seemingly little improvement here. No one chill is named 'Lord Immortus,' and their 'Voice' is probably going to follow suit. While unaware of how the distortion may be affecting her from an external perspective, said liquid metallic menace gives her plenty to focus on.

As it takes those thunderous steps toward the boy, she sweeps into position between them. Around her, the telekinetic halo grows and intensifies. It's not outright destructive, but rather pushes back against whatever ripples that are spreading outward from it. Spacetime is above her 'normal' paygrade, but... this isn't exactly her first time seeing the infinity of creation, multiple universes and possibilities spread out before her.

Heck, it's not new for a couple of them!

While she blocks the way to the child, she speaks to him - using the telepathic shortcut of more universal conceptual communication than the slightly longer route of downloading Korean and talking in that. <<Hwang Chung-Ae? I'm Jean. We're here to help you but we don't understand what's happening. Can you show me? What happened to cause all this?>>

It's a dangerous situation they often encounter, when a young mutant doesn't understand their own powers. The robot isn't friendly, but the kid might have his part in it too. <<I can help you try to control what's happening to you, maybe send this thing away, but you need to trust me, let me in.>>

<<Tabitha-->> Jean is probably worried for a second she's going to blow things up early. But she doesn't!

Ororo Munroe has posed:
<<Into the vortex,>> Ororo orders Rogue, with a firm tone. <<All of you aid the child. I shall ensure we are not interrupted from without.>>

The winds whipping in the vortex pick up a little while Ororo shifts her focus. Overhead, dark clouds form. They hang heavy with the promise of rain. They make the tableau all the more bizarre as they phase in and out of existence, allowing sunshine and moonlight both to flicker for attention overhead.

The world-- the worlds-- respond to Ororo's will as she gathers her focus. It is not her power, it is Gaea's power, and the interdiction in the natural order of things takes all of Ororo's focus to channel and shape correctly.

"Break!" she cries out, and thrusts outstretched fingers at the incoming robots. Static electricity scraped out of the howling windstorm lances outwards with unnatural accuracy, crawling between trees and igniting the air in a dazzling blue plume. Moments later the wind starts to pick up, not in the vortex but the area surrounding it, to hinder and slow any reinforcements still oncoming.

Logan Howlett has posed:
<<Can you show me? What happened to cause all this?>>

Hours earlier ...

Chung-Ae is on his porch, sleeping with a school text open on his chest. From his perspective, he blearily opens his eyes to see the metallic creature appear out of thin air in a flash of light. It is surrounded by a dozen or so white, plastic-armored robots.

"Fan out and locate Rick Jones," the creature commands, the robots beginning to move off in separate directions, "Locate the temporal anomaly and bring it to - "

The creature's impassive, featureless face fixates on Chung-Ae who stares back in horror.

"You are the source. You must be eradicated. Do not be afraid. You die to serve Lord Immortus."

As the creature reaches out, Chung-Ae tenses up and some strange ability deep within his genome activates. He instinctually understands that the creature is trying to manipulate time, to erase him, and he reaches out with his own strange abilities to stop him. Holding the creature in place. The chaos that erupts from them dissolves the robots in an instant, causing them to disintegrate as though struck with billions of years of entropy all at once.

                                     * * *

Now ...

Jean is struck by the sudden vision from Chung-Ae, painting a clearer image of what exactly is happening here. He's let her in. Whatever temporal static was between them, he's let it go. From here, she can feel for the psychic mechanism of his abilities.

Logan holds up a hand to Tabby, shaking his head.

"Jeanie's got this, Tabby. We've got this. You're gonna save the day again, kid. Gonna be another saved mutant for yer scorecard. Just keep it simmerin'."

Logan Howlett has posed:
                                     * * *

Outside, the approaching automatons fight viciously. Their catchcry fills the air:

> Indigenous lifeforms have captured Tempus Khan. Earth-MU2152020 under threat. Attack Pattern Aion. Close breach. Close breach. Close -BZZZT- <

The robots are struck! Ripped apart by the wrath of nature! Even as the Vortex stutters and seems held back by the raw force of Jean's telekinetic ability, the synthetic soldiers are incinerated in columns of blue-white fire!

Rogue has posed:
With the follow-up command from Storm, Rogue backed off from her attack. IT was challenging, an internal struggle, but with the changing weather patterns, she knew that the Sky Goddess was about to really bring Hell and Fury down upon the strange synth attackers.

"You got it..." She states, turning in mid-air and flying past Yukio and her whip. Rogue soars with a great amount of haste in her speed level, impacting with the vortex to attempt to penetrate it and pass through it where the others are located.

Once through, with that strange sense of time delay, she drops out of the sky and lands upon her feet. Looking left and right, the two-toned haired X-Men tank just walks with haste to catch up with the others, coming up to stand near to where Logan is, her eyes going from the boy, the 10 foot tall bot, to Jean... then back to Logan and Tabitha.

She doesn't say anything, there's not much she can say to a situation like this.

Emma Frost has posed:
The sounds of the robots yelling is clean. Sterile. Unnecessary. They can communicate internally, can they not? They're artifiical beings. Why aren't they using some form of internaliezd communications? Because they were built in the vein of humans. Or not necessarily humans. Just that necessity to cater to vanity.

To look like the ones that had forged them. That begot a sense of ego. Why make a cluster of tools that were better than you, after all? And why grant them the initiative and intelligence to be more than that? And yet here they were. Facing invaders from another reality. Tresspassing. Defending.

And here there were choreographing what they were doing. Some sorts of spectacles were apparently rather common throughout time, space, and the tapestry o fthe multiverse. Because robots, of all things, still had to monologue thier attacks.

IT would make it all the more satisfying to slam her fist into one and watch it crumple. Not that Emma Frost was capable of satisfaction now. But afterwords.. Well.. She might very well feel something close to it reliving the experience to properly appreciate it. What Storm and Jean are doing seems to be working. And maybe they'll get some answers from this. Emma's face goes to hammer into another robot. This one.. This one she goes to try and leaev somehwat more intact. In the event that when this is all over and reality stops dilly-dallying.. Hopefully Kitty can pull something useful from it if she leaves enough parts left. So Emma's strikes are precise. Going to disable rather than destroy.

Yukio has posed:
Yukio hopes everyone else knows what they're doing in that vortex, because she can't bring herself to do anything but give in to the flow of combat. Her control of the element is a graceful thing, her movement like a dancer, and yet each time she launches the whilring weapon, it follows with an electrical charge to further thwart the robotic opponents. The wide swings and long range allowing her to strike multiples at a time, as she swirls about in a dance of the nine section whip. Electric Boogaloo.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
It's probably a miracle Tabitha has not exploded anyone or thing. There's no hiding she really, really wants to, needs to blow something up. That flicker of plasma flame in each hand joined by more surrounding and floating like the sort of firey wisps of several Asian cultural legends.

Nothing gets exploded yet and despite that encroaching need to direct that power of hers through her nervous system.

Tabitha is actually holding back. Much to the relief of Jean and Logan wrangling the teenager.

To be fair, Tabitha has been in their position, and who knows what the crap is happening with this Immortus guy. But he seems explodable. She's just following orders for the moment.

Jean Grey has posed:
What a difference a little perspective makes.

Without resistance, Jean pours through the boy's thoughts, backwards and forwards, her mental presence there beside him in those memories, as if an observer in his own mind. Watching, gaining whatever understanding, and presenting a smiling and reassuring presence. "You've got some really special abilities, it seems like. Obviously, your name's not Rick, but it seems like they were enough to count for this thing, to bring it here. But it doesn't belong, you know? So we're going to send it away."

Which is then what she sets out to make happen.

Teaching this young man will, no doubt, be another challenge among many the school has endured, but in the moment, Jean isn't going to drag him through the laborious processes of self-discovery, practice, discipline. For now, she'll be here holding his hand, showing him exactly what he needs to do. Inside his mind, she can feel the mental pathways that direct the neural signals, the base-line impulses that tell those collections of X-gene active cells to do their thing. And in his case, it's a pretty wild thing.

"You're keeping him here, you see? Your reflex was to stop him from hurting you, so that makes sense. But we don't want him to stay. We want to... yes, it's a like push. Push him away from here. But not 'here' here. 'When' here. Your mind can look around like that, I think, you have a sense of 'when' that is bigger, more real - that's far beyond most peoplee." She reaches up to her temple, and focuses with him, showing him a recollection of her own. Maybe not the full brunt of it, but a glimpse, of a moment, when she looked out at many versions of herself, her familiy-to-be-that-isn't. "It's very big, you know. So we have to give him a strong push. Yes- there, like that. Don't worry."

"He doesn't belong here."

Around her, the telekinetic aura burns, as she continues to do what she can to stabilize things. But really, it's on him. His powers, with just a bit of a friendly push.

Ororo Munroe has posed:
Yukio's blistering electric assault is not as widespread as Ororo's, but it strikes hard and decisively when the blows land. Ororo takes a moment to assess the situation, glancing back over her shoulder at the calamity of energy happening within the vortex. She can sense Jean's efforts to stabilize the breach, even as it reinforces Jean's telepathic intention to do so.

<<Kunoichi, hold them off!>> Ororo orders the younger woman. <<Shadowcat, watch her back and call targets!>> And with that instruction in place, Ororo lifts her hand and points an index finger at Yukio. A single crackling arc of electricity joins her fingertip to Yukio's charged staff, providing her with as much raw electrical power as Storm can lend her.

Trusting the younger woman to handle the dangers around them, she throws the brunt of her will back at the vortex. Not just stopping it in one dimension, but expressing her control of the weather across the most influential, adjacent realms. No wind, no dust, no sleet or debris-- her palm curls into a fist as Ororo forcibly overrides the strange nexus of atmospheric phenomena into a calm, unified whole.

Logan Howlett has posed:
"The Phoenix Force?!" the metallic creature, Tempus Khan, says with alarm, "No! You can't! You - "

There is a flash, different than the one that spawned it, and the creature topples backwards. For a moment there can be seen an alien landscape, a distant blue-white sun, and then the gap snaps shut.

All at once, the Vortex quietens. The barrier between 'normal time' and this confluence of 'whens' falls down, and the universe snaps itself right like an elastic band drawn too tight. Those robots that are not destroyed are gone, though the remains of their destroyed compatriots still litter the ground.

On Kitty's device, the strange wireless signals have vanished. Ororo will sense the weather become normal once more. Rogue will see the distant Blade Runner city and strange dinosaurs likewise disappear to whatever cell of the temporal honeycomb they belong.

"You did good, kid," Logan says, giving Tabby a gentle pat on the cheek with his hand before he moves towards Jean and Chung-Ae to make sure they are both alright. He sniffs the air, looking towards the house before shaking his head. He reaches out telepathically to the group.

<< Don't wanna go into it, but there ain't nothing here for the kid. Let's get out of here. >>

Logan Howlett has posed:
                                     * * *

Somewhere else ...

Tempus Khan marches bitterly across a strange, purple desert with undulating dunes. Three synthetic Chrononauts in white armor follow him.

"The power source is destroyed. The Fire Witch made short work of it."

> Unusual energy signatures. Class XII or higher. <

"In this era? Impossible!"

<< Quite possible. >>

The voice echoes from within Tempus' head, he turns swiftly and shouts into the barren landscape that stretches about him for miles.

"Who speaks?!"

Silence greets him at first. And then laughter. Mocking laughter. Echoing within his mind. Echoing against rocky canyons and vicious badlands. Bubbling beneath vast oceans. Cackling in the trees of steaming jungles.

The omniscient eye of the viewer ascends. Upwards, ever upwards. Upwards until the great sphere of a planet suspended against the velvet curtain of space can be seen.

Slowly it turns, rotating along its inexorable access. Slowly it turuns until the features - mountains, plains, oceans - contort and shift to form a leering visage. It's mouth contorts, forming words that echo through eternity.

<< Ego. The Living Planet. >>