3196/X-men: Road Rage

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X-men: Road Rage
Date of Scene: 02 September 2020
Location: Upstate New York
Synopsis: Betsy, Beast, Julio, Rogue and Iceman stop a mercenary attack on a convoy. But Vulture and Green Goblin get the drop on the X-men.
Cast of Characters: Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, Henry McCoy, Julio Richter, Rogue, Betsy Braddock

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The Blackbird screams through the sky over the western reaches of New York State. Kitty Pryde is sitting in the pilot's chair, heading towards a drop off point for the assembled team. Things are happening very, very fast.

    Just One Hour Ago...

The call to arms had gone out suddenly, summoning available X-men to the war room for a briefing by a tired-looking Kitty Pryde. She quickly shooed everyone into seats with a serious-sounding, "This is time critical, we're wheels up in 30 minutes, so listen up."

The screen shows a photo of the inside of a chop shop. "This is a Salem Center chop shop that Betsy and Kurt shut down. Important are these crates and plans..."

The screen shows crates labeled as having held military-grade armor for a Humvee, and another that held heavy weaponry. A picture of plans for an armored Humvee with a machine gun on the roof are also shown on a workshop bench.

"This chop shop was commissioned to build an assault Humvee like our troops use in Afghanistan. Betsy extracted that it was commissioned by this man..."

A picture of a severe-looking bald man with a large scar across the left side of his jaw appears. "Ramses Harden. He had a hard timetable for them which suggested the vehicle will be used soon."

"Harden was a Captain in the South African army before being dishonorably discharged," Kitty says. "He bounced around a few world hot spots, doing mercenary work. Not always of the reputable sort."

Kitty takes a moment to let that register. "I got a facial recognition hit on him from some day-old footage," she says, putting up a still of Harden and another man going into a bank.

"Hacking the bank I found his account. There were two recent wire transfers which went to two different employees of Plexeter Research Incorporated. PRI. So why is Harden paying off employees at PRI?"

Kitty says, "I am in the process of hacking PRI, but this is military grade security. They have government defense contracts. I haven't gotten in yet. But, they have two executives who foolishly use their personal email for company business."

Looking around the room, Kitty says, "PRI is working on a power inhibitor that is more effective than current versions. One that doesn't just target mutant powers. It seems meant for legitimate use, such as letting prisons secure supervillains. They are shipping a prototype to a supermax prison for testing in place. That, is what I believe Harden is aiming to steal while it is being transported. The two people that payoffs were made to, there's reason to think they would know details about such a shipment."

Kitty pulls up a map. "Here is PRI in western New York. Here is their destination. I expect the attack will wait until they are clear of the city. Less chance of police response and interference." She looks at the time on the monitor. "The Blackbird is needed for another op tonight. I arranged for some rental vehicles for the team here," she says, marking a spot on the map. "I'll fly the Blackbird and drop you off there, then proceed to go support the other team in their op."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
    Back in the present...

The Blackbird drops off the five X-men at an isolated little roadside stop where two high end SUVs from a rental company are waiting for them, the keys inside. As the plane lifts back into the sky and jets off, Kitty's voice comes over comms. << Good luck guys. I'll be too far away to assist directly, but if you need computer support I can provide I'll help. Assuming I'm not busy being fired at.>>

The exact types of vehicles being used by PRI in the shipment are not known in advance, but are likely to be something pretty secure. A heavy truck or even an armored car.

The team's first task is to find the PRI vehicles, and then guard them on their trip to the supermax prison. Without letting PRI realize they are being guarded, as they would probably call authorities if they sense they are being followed.

The route they would need to take is fairly predictable with knowledge of when they are leaving, which the team has. The PRI convoy is already on the road. Time to saddle up in the two SUVs and go find them. Now the hardest question. Who gets to drive?

Bobby Drake has posed:
Once they touch down, Bobby heads over to one of the SUV's and hops in the driver's side, grabbing the keys and getting it going. He's in his X-men uniform but not in ice form, at least not yet. It's a little less conspicuous that way. He checks the rearview, the side mirrors, and then waits for everyone to hop into their respective vehicles so they can head out.

There aren't too many routs between here and there, so I'm pretty sure if we head down this highway, we're going to catch up to them. We're probably going to want to hang back a bit though," he says.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Eager to avoid having those inhibitors fall into the wrong hands, Hank followed with Bobby - hopping into the backseat on the passenger side. He settles in, the SUV shocks holding up admirably. "Don't get startled if I have to vacate quickly, Bobby." The Beast grins. "Or if I am not wearing my seatbelt. It'd be a pain to climb out while restrained."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio hates to fly -- and it shows. Getting out of the Blackbird isn't quite a 'kiss the dirt' scene, but the listless tetchiness he displayed in flight disappears the moment his green boots hit the ground. He jogs away from the ramp, boots scuffing on the asphalt as he claims shotgun in the SUV with Rogue. He glances toward Bobby and Hank's vehicle, but seems to think better of hopping in there.

"Why do we have to use a plane all the time?" he asks in his accented voice, probably rhetorically. "We should have a car, like Batman. Or I should get better at teleporting." He pops open the passenger-side door and ducks into the seat, propping his legs up on the glovebox. Once the door is shut, he frowns over at Rogue and asks over comms, "So... we're sure we're cool with the government being able to turn people's powers off?"

He might not be a strategist, or have any kind of leadership role, but he's not sure how he feels about helping U.S. prisons keep mutants confined. Call it a personal hangup.

Rogue has posed:
Out of the Blackbird, Rogue is dressed in a black X-Men jumpsuit with a black leather jacket over it. Her hair is tied back in a bun on the crown of her head with her white bangs loose and framing her face on either sides. She meanders over toward the SUVs with Bobby, but splits off and and moves to get into the driver's seat of the second car.

She gets inside and grabs the keys, gets the car running and waits for anyone else who's getting in her car with her. "Ya know." She says to those with her. "I never actually got an official license. But, I can drive like the wind!" She applies some pedal to the vehicle, making the engine roar! "Guess you get extra skills when ya absorb a buncha knowledge from random folks!" More gas is applied to the vehicle, more speed is gained! She's a crazy driver, barely good at all, don't listen to her.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"Anyone else wondering what the insurance hit on these rides is going to be?" Besty asks dryly, sliding into the back passenger seat of Rogue's vehicle. Because, really... the odds of them not destroying at least one? Probably not good.

Her violet eyes fade into a soft white glow, telling her teammates that her mind is already reaching out to try to sense their opponents... while maintaining the usual field mindlink the team requires to function best.

<<Let's get this show on the road,>> she tells them mentally, as Rogue takes the wheel. <<And I'll take you for your license test when we're home safe again,>> she tells the Southern Belle. Mainly because it's easier to telepathically convince a cop not to arrest her when there's at least the right registration and license for him to look at. Easier, yes. Necessary? Puh-leeze.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The two SUVS pull out of the parking area and onto the highway. It has stretches of just two lanes, one each direction. But there are frequent passing areas that add an extra lane for a few miles for one direction to be able to pass, and then that side cuts back to one lane while the other direction gets the third lane added to it.

It is late in the day but the sun is still up, though beginning its slow tilt down towards the horizon. Traffic is not too bad, it being a Thursday, with most people having been dealing with work rather than taking highways on long distance trips. Were this just a day later, the road might be crammed with Labor Day traffic.

The X-men come across a couple of trucks that could be the PRI shipment, though Betsy is easily able to rule them out. The pair of SUVs leave them behind and search further ahead up the road.

Finally, about 20 miles down the road from where the group started, there's an armored car up ahead with a sedan following behind it. There is a semi about 300 yards back behind the X-men's vehicles. The armored car is keeping it down to 55 miles an hour, resulting in other traffic passing it when they are able.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby gives a shrug to Hank as he hops in the back and says, "Hey, if you get flung out, it's on you buddy." But he's clearly just teasing and certainly isn't going to /try/ to fling Hank out of the SUV, at any rate. He watches as Julio heads over to the other SUV and gives him a nod and a grin. Then he focuses on getting them out and onto the road. He takes a spot falling in behind the other car so that Betsy's sensory perception can be up ahead and closer to their target. He's fine to take up the rear, keeping them going slow and steady as they approach their target.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
As the SUVs race down the road, Psylocke's mind races ahead and behind to locate their quary. When they catch up with it, her focus narrows. <<There,>> she sends as the armoured car comes into view. <<Two men in the truck. Pistols. Shotguns. No one in back. Three in the sedan. Pistols only.>> She's flashing them images of what she sees as well as a sense of the men's emotional states.

Her mind sweeps out, now, searching for their mercenaries. Find them, and the team will actually know where they need to go. The convoy is only half the problem, after all. <<I'll block their perception of us as long as I can.>> While looking for the bad guys, of course. Good thing she doesn't need her TK right now. Because her TP is being pushed considerably.

Henry McCoy has posed:
The Beast nods. "Indeed. Do as I say, not as I do." He winks to Bobby. He relaxes for the drive, no need for tension through the whole operation. As he spots the second group of vehicles, he hrms. "If we slow down behind them, they may consider us a threat." He thinks, waiting for the others. Over comms, he asks. "Betsy, can you get a read on their thoughts?"

And then there's the update from Psylocke. "Nicely done."

Julio Richter has posed:
"OK... guess that only bothers me, then," Julio mutters to himself when nobody else weighs in on prisons shutting people's powers down. He drums his fingers on the armrest built into the door -- a little peevishly, if we're being honest -- and, when Betsy identifies the convoy with the power dampeners, idly glances around in other directions, looking for any rampaging military vehicles. For the moment, there's not much else for him to do.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue smiles at Betsy's comment about making her an official driver. "You're the sweetest, Purple Rain." She tells the telepath seated behind her. She otherwise focuses on the driving and keeps her vehicle in-line with Bobby's, not wanting to get separated after all. With one hand on the wheel, Rogue whistles a tune the majority of the 20 miles until they come up on some interesting targets.

"Sounds like they got quite an affair goin' on." She comments on the rundown of it all. She leans forward and peers out the window. "If'n needed, I can pretty easily disable their vehicles. Fly right by one'a their tires and punch a hole in it, or some such." The Belle idly suggests.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
After finding the two-vehicle convoy, following them is simple enough. Betsy is able to keep them from being suspicious of the pair of SUV's keeping their distance behind them.

The men from PRI don't seem too concerned. The drivers of the armored car work for the armored car service and it's pretty much business as usual for them. The security in the sedan are arguing over whether to listen to music or try to find a preseason NFL game on the radio.

The semi behind is slowly gaining, as he wants to go faster than the 55 mph that the convoy is doing, though there is not a passing lane at the moment and won't be one for another few miles.

The convoy is followed without event for the next 15 minutes before something starts to happen. When it does it happens fast.

Betsy hears in her head someone's thoughts, somewhere off to the right of the road. The person is speaking, not just thinking. "Driving 55. Armored car. Sedan following. Get ready and... MARK."

Up ahead another semi-major rural road intersects the highway they are on. Though the X-men's road has no stops, every other road that crossed it so far has had stop signs.

On that road up ahead over on the right hand side, four vehicles can be seen driving towards the intersection. There's a big dump truck in front. Behind it is a large vehicle with an abnormally tall profile. It could be a Humvee with something on top. There are two vehicles that looks like SUVs bringing up the rear then. All four vehicles are picking up speed rather than slowing as they approach the intersection ahead.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
It's not so much that Betsy isn't willing to weigh in on Julio's question, as it is that the lion's share of her attention is on her psionic scouting mission. It rather precludes the ability to engage in a philosophical debate. <<We need this convoy to keep moving,>> she notes to Rogue's comment. <<But those humvees are another story.>>

She mentally draws her teammates' attention to the crosscutting convoy ahead. <<Targets acquired. Show time.>>

The team, as far as she can see, needs to get ahead of the convoy and intercept the mercenaries. She can cover them mentally when they do... or she can drop the pretense and errect a TK shield to make things easier on the defenders.

Rogue has posed:
With a heavy exhale, Rogue glances over her shoulder to Betsy. "Betsy, take the wheel." She tells her, knowing she has the ability to telekinetically achieve such a feat! She glances over to Julio then. "Don't freak out." She warns him with a smile before she opens her driver side door and simply back-shoots out of the vehicle like she just got sucked out of an airplane at 30 thousand feet!

She flies back to where Bobby and Hank are, smiles at them, and then shoots up into the air at high speed, curving up above the road they're on, one gloved fist held forward while the other is down by her hips, and her right knee bent with her left leg extended out behind her, she soars on ahead.

<"Tryin' t'get to'em, will keep my distance till I get the go ahead order!"> She declares over team comms.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio nods at Betsy's directive, then raises an eyebrow at Rogue's dive out of the car. There's a bit of distance before that intersection, and his best abilities are limited to direct contact with the ground, but with a properly channeled shifting of the earth itself, he might be able to at least slow the oncoming attackers down from ramming speed.

He taps the switch to set the window rolling downward, pops his seat belt, and sticks his upper body out of the window like a cop in an 80s action movie, setting his butt on the seam the window glass disappears into.

The wind buffets him fiercely, but he focuses, draws in enough seismic power to effect a shift in the earth's crust, and with a series of tai-chi-like arm motions, directs the the ground beneath the asphalt of the cross street to buckle. This makes the formerly smooth pavement into a cracked, pitted and potholed obstacle course suitable to ruin one's suspension and shake out a few fillings if they are fool enough not to hit the brakes.

<<Better targets for you, Rogue?>> he suggests over their telepathic channel. And, if the oncoming targets are slowed enough, they won't hit the dampener convoy, they'll hit... Oh, right. This car. The one he's hanging out the passenger side of.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby Drake watches Rogue shoot out of the car ahead of them and lifts a hand to her in a little salute but keeps pace behind Julio and Betsy. He's not going to pass them, and so he just keeps the wheel steady for now, watching how their vehicle moves so that he can react as needed. He glances over his shoulder at Hank and says, "Let me know if you need me to get you somewhere in particular." Because if Hank wants him to speed up and try to pass, he can try to get him closer, but for now, he lets Julio's quake and shake do the work, watching Rogue's progress as she sails overhead.

Henry McCoy has posed:
He watches as Rogue flits off, the window rolled down - just in case. "Soon enough. When things break down, I need to be near enough the enemy. Or the convoy. I can vault from their vehicles to the problems." The Beast offers, nodding to Bobby from the back seat. "I expect she'll stir up the hornet's nest, rather quickly."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Things begin to happen rapidly.

Julio causes damage to the cross-road that the apparent bad guys are approaching on. As soon as the driver of the Humvee and the two trailing SUVs notice, they turn and steer offroad, driving over grass and dodging trees, breaking through small bushes as they head for a spot ahead of the armored car to intercept it.

The dump truck? It's committed already, and loaded down to increase its weight for maximum effect when it rams the convoy. But Julio's damage to the road does slow it, and when it reaches the intersection it's a little slower than the mercenary's meticulous timing had counted on.

The dump truck just barely manages to catch the corner of the sedan with the three security men it. The dump truck is out of control from the hard bounces and ends up turning too hard and rolling over a few times off the highway.

The sedan is sent spinning by the impact, moving it into the lane of oncoming traffic! An approaching semi is not going to be able to stop or swerve in time, and will likely obliterate the sedan and it's 3 occupants unless someone intervenes.

The armored truck speeds up, trying to clear the danger now that the drivers are alerted to it. But the Humvee and the two trailing Landcruiser SUVs pull onto the highway right behind it. A cover at the top of the Humvee is let go, the canvas blowing off to the side and revealing a high caliber machine gun.

It opens up on the back of the armored car, trying to hit the tires but the Humvee is too close to start with and the bullets dent the back of the vehicle.

The two Landcruisers drop back a little further, providing cover and room for the HUmvee to work. The men inside have automatic weapons.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
As Rogue shoots out of the car, Psylocke pulls her telepathic power back in, so the only thing she's fuelling is the team's mindlink. This allows her to reach out and grab the wheel and the pedals with her telekinesis. She slinks her body forward lithely, between the seats while Julio hangs out the side to play quake'n'shake. Curling her legs forward and then extending them, she's soon in the driver's seat, and able to redirect her telekinesis to other tasks.

Like attempting to lift the gunner clear of his perch so someone else can rip the gun from the roof of the vehicle.

Julio Richter has posed:
Oh, fun, an armed escort laden with machine guns, and our boy Julio is dangling all his vital organs out of the window of an SUV that's currently on telekinetic autopilot. His reaction to this development is twofold; first, he charges up and then fires off a single explosive burst of seismic power. The concussive detonation rips through the air ahead of the SUV, aimed between the escorting Land Cruisers, directly at the humvee's gunner mount as Betsy plucks out its operator.

Once that's done, Julio condenses the magical element of his seismic charge into a gleaming stylus that sketches out the squatting figure of Tlaltecuhtli ahead of the X-men's lead vehicle, creating a transparent ward that will act as a shield for the SUV (and his squishy, squishy body). Granted, it's no more durable or resistant to penetration than ordinary stone, but it's what he can provide.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue swoops out of the sky when the vehicular madness begins to unfold. "I hadn't even done anything yet." She mutters as it all starts to go crazy out here on the road. She watches the Humvee get intercepted and handled by friendly fire, and she sweeps down toland beside it. With people inside taking notice of her, they naturally start to blame her for it all, and all their guns aim right at her... and begin to fire.

The Belle will start to move then, toward the gunment, attempting to smack their weapons out of their hands while bullets bounce off of her body in all different directions.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"Alright, hang on," Bobby tells Hank as he picks up speed, coming up close on Betsy and Julio's vehicle just in time to see the sedan spinning out into the path of the semi. One hand reaching out and shooting a ramp of ice up and over the Sedan, creating a bridge over it and down onto the other side, attempting to redirect the Semi right over the car. It should be thick enough to hold the weight for the short amount of time that the truck will need to clear the vehicle beneath the bridge.

Henry McCoy has posed:
It's the people in danger that has Henry scrambling. "Help the others, Bobby. Stop the attack." The door of the SUV is flung open, and Beast launches towards the out of control sedan. He gallops along, using all four limbs for locomotion. Then ther's an ice ramp - which the car is on course for collision as well. A growl and he leaps in front of the oncoming sedan.

There's a pretty ghastly crunch - the sedan barreling into Hank. He does stop it, muscles flexing as he heaves the car to the side, rolling with it. That had to hurt, but they are out of the path of the semi.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Iceman makes a ramp that the semi-truck drives over, taking it overtop of the sedan rather than crushing it. The truck comes back down heavily on the other side, hitting his brakes and eventually coming to a halt. But no worse for wear other than maybe needing some suspension adjustments after.

Beast manages to stop the sedan before it smashes into the ice ramp that had to be thick to support the weight of the truck. The three PRI guards inside are dazed, but in good condition with just bumps and bruises. Though their vehicle is disabled and they are not going to be able to help in the fight.

Psylocke and Rictor make short work of the machine gun mounted on the top of the Humvee before it can shoot out the tires of the armored truck with it's high caliber bullets. All of the vehicles are continuing up the highway, the armored truck fleeing and trying to gain speed.

The mercenaries know they are facing people with powers now. Those on the sides of their cars where Rogue is at start peppering her with automatic weapons fire. Rifles and submachine guns. As they see that the bullets are just bouncing off her, while Rogue successfully pulls weapons out of hands and tosses them behind her.

A bald-headed man leans out of the passenger window of the Humvee. He is handed an assault rifle with a grenade launcher mounted beneath the barrel. He takes aim at Rogue and fires, even though his own men are in the car right beside where she's flying.

The other Landcruiser spot the blast from Julio, and Iceman's ice, and they lean out of their vehicle and focus their fire on the cars behind them. Julio's shield deflects a number of bullets from their SUV, while Bobby's is getting peppered with bullets.

Hopefully Kitty got the insurance policy on those cars.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Still a bit shaken from the impact, and quite a bit sore, Hank leaps from the sidelined sedan onto Bobby's SUV - clinging to the rear. "Guns. Always guns." He growls, seeking cover as he clings to the rear door.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio ducks back into the SUV as small arms fire -- and small arms themselves, once Rogue goes to work -- come flying back at him. Sheltered inside by the ward floating ahead of the front bumper, he takes a second to focus and charge up another quavering green aura of seismic force. It flickers and shifts around his upper body as he leans out again to slam his hands together, firing off another window-shattering concussive detonation at the land cruiser Rogue isn't harrying. "Shoot at me, Gilipollas?" he snarls. "I will /bury/ you."

Rogue has posed:
Holding a rifle in her hands, Rogue snaps it in to two halves, then throws the two pieces behind her as she whips around-- with her Seventh Sense tingling --shen leans to the right and lets the Grenade Launcher round soar right past her to detonate out on the side of the road!

"Rude!" Rogue shouts at the bald man leaning out of the vehicle, looking atll Marine-like. "So damn rude!" The Belle says to him as she starts to march right on up toward him.

She doesn't hesitate a beat, she tears the door off of his vehicle and tears him right OUT of it! He's a bigger guy, a real nasty looking fella, but he doesn't stand a chance to her. She glares up at him as he is helpless to her touch. "Teach you some manners." Rogue shouts as she then turns and hip throws him out in the direction the grenade had gone!

Bobby Drake has posed:
As soon as the goons in front of them open fire, Bobby instantly transforms into ice, his translucent form much better when facing bullets. The SUV is going to be a mess, but he should be fine. With the sedan taken care of and Hank safely-ish back on the SUV, he swerves into the lane that oncoming traffic would be in if there were any and pulls ahead so that he can pace Betsy and Julio's vehicle.

The grenade fire that Rogue dodges goes off nearby and Bobby swerves a bit as dirt hails down on them and bits of asphalt along with the gunfire that is riddling the SUV with bullets. Now he increases speed, attempting to catch up to the Humvee, or at least get Hank closer. Yes, they're driving /toward/ the bullets.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Yep. Psylocke just *knew* their SUVs weren't going to survive the op.

As the bullets smack into Bobby's car, she can't help but mutter, "See? This is why we can't have nice things."

Her hads wrap about the wheel and she throws up a telekinetic shield in front of the car (in front of Julio's ward), shaping it something like a low-nosed torpedo. <<Keep your arms in, Richter,>> she sends to Julio. <<I'm going to ram them.>>

Sure, she's usually happier going one on one and spining a katana through the bad guys' brains, but there's something to be said for blunt force trauma, too.

Her foot presses heavily on the gass and, even as Bobby is drawing alongside, her car surges ahead, aiming for the nearest of the bad guys' vehicles.

If all goes well? Another set of bad guys are going to roll. If not? Well... that's what Julio's ward is for, right?

Henry McCoy has posed:
Seeing the human tossed from the vehicle, towards a grenade, Beast all but curses. "Blast and bother! Keep going, Bobby." Apparently this is his exit! Again he leaps from the SUV - towards the downed Harden. He won't let the man die - but he's not going to be letting him get away either. Not when he as the ability to stop him.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Harden is sent for a ride by Rogue as she dodges his launched grenade and then throws him out onto the side of the road where he bounces a few times in the grass before coming to a stop, left behind by the vehicles.

Psylocke drives forward and rams the Landcruiser that is firing at herself, Richtor and Iceman. Bullets ping off Iceman's armor, showing he was prescient in armoring up!

Betsy's collision knocks the attacking vehicle out of control. It flies off the road a good thirty feet before it hits a post, the front of the SUV partially wrapping around it and coming to an immediate halt.

That leaves one Landcruiser, most of their weapons already ripped out of their hands. And an armored Humvee, minus the machine gun that was going to shoot out the tires. And also minus the boss who was the brains of the operations. Things look bleak and the Humvee pulls to the side, braking and then making a sharp turn to do a 180, preparing to speed off the way it had come from.

The remaining Landcruiser sees the Humvee bugging out, and it steers hard to the right to try to ram the side of the car into Rogue, then plans to do a similar 180 back to its left.

Up ahead of all of this, the armored car that was the mercenaries target has opened up a sizeable lead on the fighting vehicles in back. It looks like it may make a clean getaway.

Which is when a figure with large wings suddenly drops down out of the sky. Claws in one foot latch onto the back of the armored car's roof, while the other foot reaches down, metal crunching as the claws rip through the door and pull it off, dropping it on the road behind.

Vulture looks back towards the cars in back, shaking his head at the poor showing by the hired mercenaries. He drops down into the back of the armored car to get at the contents within!

Rogue has posed:
Rogue doesn't budge when the car swerves in her direction. She completely allows it to, because compared to that car, she's an immovable object. She just lets it slam right into her shoulder, /then/ she reacts by just reaching out and trying to tip the vehicle over on to its side!

"Wanna play bumper cars, huh?" She asks those within it. "Fine, lets play bumper cars. See who wins..." The Belle floats up into the air and drags the car over on to its side before she lets it just fall on over on to its roof too!

Hovering in mid air, Rogue looks around for the others. <"We all good then?"> She asks <"Everyone okay?">

She asks that just as the Vulture arrives, which makes her eyes narrow. <"Who the hell is that?">. Without questioning further, Rogue starts to fly toward him though!

Betsy Braddock has posed:
As the Landrover goes careening off, Betsy continues to speed up, looking ahead. Her urge to curse is stifled by her noble upbringing. <<You guys take care of those mercs,>> she suggests to the rest of her team, for all that Rogue is already acting on the same thought she is. <<We're going after that truck.>> You know. The one being attacked by a supervillian.

But the real problem is that they're just too far back. She tries giving the SUV a bit of a telekinetic kick, just as she would her own body. But that's not really going to allow her to recover the distance in time.

Doesn't mean she won't give it the old Xavier try, though.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio darts a quizzical look at Betsy as her directive echoes in his brain. Then his eyes widen as she completes the thought, and he does as he's told, ducking back into the vehicle and focusing on drawing up another helping of seismic power -- for what, he doesn't know quite yet.

He's thrown around in the vehicle during the ramming maneuver -- good job undoing your seat belt, estúpido -- but escapes injury so long as the purple-haired brit can keep the SUV under control. He watches as the other vehicle goes flying off the road and is preparing to give the other Land Cruiser a nudge in a similar direction when a winged figure he doesn't recognize descends onto the armored car and starts tearing into it.

"Hijo de puta, I HATE it when they fly!" he yells, leaning out the window once more to fire blast after concussive blast at the armored car. He might not be able to do much more than dent it from this range, but at the very least the titanic banging on the outside of a metal object ought to give everyone inside one hell of a headache.

Titanic at first: as Julio's energy reserves tap out, each detonation is weaker than the last, until finally he fires off one that would barely knock someone's hat off from 20 paces. After that, he slumps back into the seat, trying to fast-track a recharge for whenever the winged attacker comes back into view.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The two Landcruisers are not disabled, and Beast jumped off the vehicles to go secure Harden.

But now Vulture has broken into the back of the armored car. As Betsy gives the vehicles a burst of speed and Rogue flies ahead of everyone, closing the gap much more quickly, Vulture steps back into view, carrying a large case.

That's when movement in the sky off to the right side might catch people's attention. Six small missiles come zooming in, with two of them homing in right at Rogue, while the others go for the X-men's rented SUVs.

The source of the missiles flies up out of the trees where he was hiding. The Green Goblin on his war glider! Another series of four missiles launch from the underside of the agile glider and streak forward, not aimed at anyone directly, but heading between the X-men and the armored car.

Anyone surviving the six incoming explosive missiles might see Vulture starting to take flight and make his escape. But only for a moment. The second volley of four missiles explode, releasing dozens of flares which burn bright enough to temporarily blind anyone who was looking in that direction, and cover the escape of Green Goblins accomplice.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby lets out a blast of ice at the Humvee, attempting to stop it by freezing its wheels in place just as missiles are suddenly fired on the vehicles. "Ohshit," he mutters under his breath as he tries to swerve the Humvee. Sure, he can survive it, but he'd rather NOT be rendered into a lot of little icecubes. His SUV takes a hit but keeps on rolling.

He raises up a hand to try and make some kind of barrier to stop the next incoming volley, but that's when the flash goes off, blinding him entirely and he slams on the breaks, just trying to stop the vehicle so that he doesn't crash into anything or anyone, tires screeching and the smell of melting rubber in the air.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Psylocke's telekinesis is formidable. But all those missiles, espeically with flash grenades embedded in them, is enough to tax her. Letting out a shout of surprise and that brief pain that comes from having a flashbulb go off in your face, she wrenches the wheel around. The SUV spins a full 360, coming to a stop as she slams the breaks and throws herself into a defensive maneuver.

She throws up telekinetic shields to keep the missiles from impacting the team's SUVs, but it means that she cannot use even enough telepathy to maintain the mindlink between them all -- nevermind trying to shut down the minds of their attackers.

Her sole focus is on keeping those missiles from hitting anyone or anything important. Magenta psychic energy ripples all around her and around those missiles, her shield revealed wherever explosive material or collateral debris strikes it.

Rogue has posed:
Up in the air, Rogue turns to the side just as the 3 projectiles scream through air toward her, and normally she'd be able to dodge them, most likely... but when the sky turns into a flash of light that is designed to BLIND, it does just that. The light flashes over Rogue's form and she raises her arms to shield her vision from it...

This, of course, means the missiles slam right into her and explode!

The Belle is sent flying back in the opposite direction, vanishing into the treeline on the other side of the street. She slams into the ground and rolls over and over until she comes to a stop near the base of a tree, her jacket shredded off and the left side of her suit torn open, with her left arm mostly exposed now, along with the outside edges of her left thing also exposed, due to that being where the blast detonated primarily against her body!

"Son of... bitch!" Rogue mutters, lost amongst the foliage, a good 35 yards off the road's side now.

Julio Richter has posed:
"¡Ay mierda!" Julio shouts as the rockets blast toward them. He drops his last concussive explosion into the midst of the oncoming barrage, hoping to deflect or detonate the incoming missiles, then reaches out to snag his ward with a vine of magical force and swing it around to shield against any that remain on target. It does absolutely nothing against the flashbangs, leaving him staring at black spots and blindly fumbling his seat belt back on in a desperate, last-minute nod toward the safety he has been recklessly disregarding throughout the fight.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
In the aftermath of the sudden barrage of missiles, the Green Goblin and Vulture make good their escape. They just have gone low and zoomed around beneath the trees which are getting thicker in this part of the state, so even an aerial search doesn't turn them up.

All of the attacking mercenaries are captured though, thanks to the X-men, including their leader, Ramses Harden. With luck, perhaps the interrogation of Harden might shed some clues as to where Vulture and the Green Goblin might have taken the stolen prototype power inhibitor.