3801/Big Top Follies:Part 1

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Big Top Follies:Part 1
Date of Scene: 16 October 2020
Location: Empty Field
Synopsis: Lighting fire, missing people, but now with clues.
Cast of Characters: Remy LeBeau, Noriko Ashida, Bobby Drake, Raven Darkholme, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Julio Richter

Remy LeBeau has posed:
6:00 PM Friday the 16th of October: Abandon Field

Three days after the event in downtown Bushwick where the Ringmaster and his cronies had tried and failed to bring their show to the masses. Also to find new talent for the next leg of the show. Scared off by one Illyana driving them off into the world. But they had kidnaped people, taken them all those that had filled out the work paperwork between 18-25. The count that is now officially done in Bushwick 151 mutants. One Noriko from the noses of the very people protecting her.

This field on the flyer right outside of the city. Where they told everyone the show would be, but it is empty, not a soul or building or tent in sight. The circus had flown the coop.

The trees are swaying in the chilly autumn breeze, the smell of the seasons filling the world---no popcorn, nothing fried, just the bitter cold.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
There was a time discrepancy between when all of the others were taken from mutant town and when Noriko disappeared behind the coffee shop she works at in Salem Center.  From the alley actually, leaving behind her lime green backpack and her cell phone.  Some days have passed without a peep from the teen.

< Hey, Kitty.  Just wanted to let you know I'm okay and that everything is fine!  Noriko > comes buzzing into Kitty's phone.  A number of nuanced things about the message seem off for the teen.

Whose number /is/ this?  Caller ID does not identify it as Noriko's number.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Iceman arrives at the deserted field with the others dressed in his X-uniform and in his translucent ice from, prepared for whatever they might find on arrival. What he was not expecting, however, was an entirely empty field. Frowning slightly, he says, "Seems like they've already split, and with a whole lot of people with them. Any idea where they might be headed next?" Without prior involvement with Ringmaster or the circus, Bobby asks the others gathered, to see if someone else has some idea.

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique pulls up to the field in a Japanese racing bike, a helmet over her head, her body clad in sleek black leather trimmed in crimson and blue. She unstraddles the bike and kicks down the stand, keeping a bit of a distance from the so-called heroes as she watches, the reflective visor hiding her face.

Not that seeing her face would help.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde had been in Bushwick along with Illyana, observing the circus signing people up. And she'd advised Noriko it would be better to let some of the staff or X-men check on the situation. But Kitty was then was distracted away from what happened next with Noriko filling out the paperwork as she went to check on a woman who had been flown up into the air against her wishes by one of the circus members.

The worry about Noriko had just started up as she didn't show for class. Her cell phone wasn't difficult to track, not with the hacking skills available. The backpack was found, which just generated more worry.

Now Kitty has really raised the alarm. "So the circus seems a good spot to look for her," she says as they approach the area, having just recapped what they know as they arrive to see if they can find Noriko at the circus. Lockheed rides on her shoulder as they arrive at the empty field.

She gives a slow nod towards Bobby, frowning at the sight of the vacant field. "I-" she says and the her phone buzzes. Kitty pulls her phone out and checks it. "Message from Noriko. It says: Hey, Kitty. Just wanted to let you know I'm okay and that everything is fine! Noriko"

Kitty frowns as she looks at it. "I can't imagine she'd just send that, not after being gone for days. I'll start investigating the number," Kitty says, pulling up some of the search algorithms she and Doug wrote long ago for doing searches for just this sort of thing. To see if it's a cell phone or land line, and start locating which cell towers it is using.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The number is easy to find it's register to Francis Buttercup. The signal is from deep in France. But it is moving quickly, than it blinks out of reality.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue has her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket, her two-toned hair is flowing in the cool autumnal winds above her shoulders and her green and gold suit is keeping her nice and warm! Her eyes, however, scan the area and she expresses a look of disatisfaction. "And here I thought I was gonna get some cotton candy t'night." She mutters, with a glance toward Bobby, then to the others. "I mean, is it normal for Carny Folk t'just skip out on a date and place for doin' their Carny things?"

When Kitty announces the message, Rogue narrows her eyes, and shakes her head. "This is weird. I mean, sure she's young'n all, but who wants t'willin' join a Carnival? I'm from a small Mississippi town, an' even I think that sounds like something a redneck would do."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio is looking even grumpier than usual after a Blackbird flight, as he clomps toward the deserted fairground just to Bobby's left. He tugs at the collar of his green uniform jacket, drawing the garment a little tighter around his shoulders, and surveys the area, then crouches to place a gloved hand on the ground.

"I try to take a little while off to deal with midterms, and our people go and get themselves kidnapped by /clowns/?" he comments in his accented voice, sounding equal parts disbelieving and affronted. "I can appreciate a good scam to get out of a test, but this is ridiculous. Just fake a fever like a normal person." He glances sidelong at Bobby, then adds in an undertone, "Uh, not that I would ever do something like that. I'll just, uh... see if I pick up any vibes."

With his hand, he's using his earth senses to listen through the ground, feeling for hints of vibration that might lead them to the caravan of large vehicles that would be needed to move the tents, animals, and sets from place to place.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The field is normal nothing down below. Besides a natural empty rock formation, water in a pool. But nothing down there, hiding.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby Drake glances over at Julio and smirks just a little bit, a touch of amusement on his lips when he mentions faking a fever. "Don't teach that to /my/ students," he says, but he's clearly teasing, and not particularly worried. His own students have their own whole set of excuses lined up without needing any help from anyone else. He does, however, watch as Julio reaches out to try to sense if there's anything unusual around them. "I mean, running off to join the circus might sound like fun to someone.. And yeah, them skipping town doesn't surprise me either. The question is -- where are they going next?"

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique walks out into the field and looks about. No one knows better than Mystique that appearances can be deceiving. Maybe Illyana had moved whatever threat it was out - the little minx was certainly capable of it. But weird kidnappy mutant circuses don't tend to just pop up overnight, like spring daisies or dead telepaths.

She pulls off her visor to reveal her own face, blue-skin dark, eyes golden as she shakes out her hair and calls out to the heroes. "I can't believe you flew a jet here," she says.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty finishes doing her hacking and says, "Well, it came from a phone registered to a Francis Buttercup. And it's pinging cell phone towers in France. I believe I recall them saying something about having been in France and has a few people leave the circus which is how they had openings," Kitty says. "Though the phone is no longer pinging any towers. So, if it's not Noriko in the first place, could just be someone from there sending it. Though we could check out the area if we can't find where they went to from here," she says.

Kitty looks around the area. "Let's fan out and search the area, see if we can find any evidence showing where they might have gone?" she suggests. "I'll investigate this Francis Buttercup."

Kitty looks up as Mystique approaches. "Did you have anything to do with this, Mystique?" she asks. "I know you had your eye on the circus. What do you know?" she asks.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is walking over toward Kitty to join her, though her eyes glance ovr to the others, and specifically at Mystique she just narrows her eyes a bit toward the woman. She's not particularly comfortable having her here, nor does she really fully trust her either... issues, lots of unresolved issues.

All the same, Rogue smirks toward Julio. "Please, don't mention clowns. Especially this time'a year, or you're gonna like... summon'em, or somethin'."

A glance is given toward Bobby, then back to Kitty. "Have we checked their website? Surely they have a website, right? If they don't have a website, the nthis is definitely not a circus, and actually, legitimately, a creep show, kidnappin' poor impressionable youths..."

Julio Richter has posed:
"There's a great cave down there," Julio observes wistfully as he stands back up and claps the dust off his gloves. "Too bad there's no one here to fight. I could drag them down there and kick ass. Or just go for a swim, if I'd brought my trunks. Who planned this mission, anyway? Swim trunks, next time."

As Mystique approaches, he gives her a funny look -- not a trace of hostility, in spite of the team's history with her, just simple curiosity -- and agrees, "I can't believe I let them fly me in a jet anywhere." /He/ doesn't have history with her, at least. He does give Rogue an amused snort, then holds up one hand and with the other, mimes zipping his lips. Hopefully if there are any Halloween murder clowns around, they'll hear their shoes honking as they approach.

Bobby and Kitty's suggestions that the team figure out a next stop finally draw him back to business. Well, as businesslike as he ever is. "Let's split up. I'll look over here," he says, heading in the direction where he felt that nice cave. "Maybe someone drew an arrow in the dirt or something. Then you'll be glad you brought a dirt wizard. Just you wait."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The sound of thunder rumbling in the distance, as it sounds like a storm is rolling in. It was supposed to be clear, but now a massive dark cloud is over the field.

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique flicks her eyes towards Roge for a moment. The contact is brief but intense, but none of it plays over Mystique's face. She practically invented the pokerface. Suck it, Lady Gaga. "Hello, my dear." she says softly.

But then it's back to business. "Searching the area seems useful. The most disposable ones should fan out, in case of traps. Or invulnerable types. Are you invulnerable right now, Anne-Marie? I can never keep track," she says. For her own part, she draws out a silver case and removes a thin black cigarette lighting it as she surveys the area with a slow strut.

"I do hope it's a trap. I cleared all my plans for tonight."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby follows after Julio as he heads in the direction of the cave, because why not? It's not like he has any better ideas of where to start looking in an empty field. The storm doesn't seem to bother him, though. "Yeah yeah," he mutters at the sky, "I can do that, too." But he doesn't. For now, he just wanders across the field, looking for any sign that a carnival had been here at all, let alone having recently departed.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde frowns at Mystique, but if this is anything of her doing she doesn't seem to be behaving in that fashion. Plus if Kitty had to guess, the other mutant seemed more opposed to the circus given her earlier behavior. Kitty remembers the history though, and keeps a wary eye on the other woman. "Rogue, sometimes it's ok if you have to punch family. Just saying," she comments as she walks slowly around the area, looking for any clues as to where they may have gone.

She stops to glance up at the suddenly looming storm. "I didn't think Storm could make it," she says. Then calls out slightly louder, "Thor, if that's you, can just all hammer toss yourself over here and chat with us," she says. Not thinking it's Thor. But being wary of lightning just the same.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue's eyes are first on Julio as he starts to wander off and she shakes her head. "That's never a good idea, Buck'o." She tells him with a quick grin before her gaze goes /back/ to Mystique. An all too familiar stare will cross Rogue's face, at least familiar for Mystique, the look of defiance in Rogue. She raises her chin up a little and just stares down her nose at the older woman. "You made me this way, remember?" She softly replies back to her. "I'm invulnerable, and stronger than you'll ever be." She adds, because, hey, family drama!

She turns away though and starts to walk off, as Kitty starts to shout to the heavens in hopes that the storm is anything but a harbinger of evil clowns about to pop out and attack them all. "Surge!" Rogue joins in the shouting. "The sky is about t'do your mutation-thing! Come on! We need ya t'protect us from gettin' zapped!"

Julio Richter has posed:
As he fans out, the ever-disposable Julio does make a tempting target for any traps or ambushes that might be in wait. His vibrational awareness will give him an advance warning if someone starts running toward him, but other than that, his only real defense would be his boyfriend's timely intervention on his behalf. He'd rather brave the slasher-movie dangers than the family drama, anyway. He has enough of that all on his own.

Thunder isn't much of a concern -- the Earth itself is his umbrella, in a pinch -- but it does make things nice and moody. Very seasonally festive!

"Hola? Hoooooola!" he calls out, cupping his hands over his mouth, because genre conventions are what they are. In lieu of an answer, he'll search the ground for scratched-out messages, fliers for the circus's next stop, or glowing exclamation points that indicate a quest pickup location.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The thunder is hitting now, lighting a tree on fire, then a second tree, as if someone is picking them off with a gun. With each fire of lighting, it is getting closer to where the jet is parked.

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique watches the lightning igniting the trees, taking a long drag on her cigarette, "That seems mostly terrible," she says with a gesture.

To Rogue, she cocks her head. "I made you many things, my darling. Sadly, some of the most important things did not stick. How, then, can I assume about the remainder? I am pleased you retain your thick skin, though. You will need it as you mature."

While she remains relatively calm in the face of what approaches, she does reach under her jacket to pull out an automatic pistol. "No, Katherine, this is not my doing. I do not kidnap. I liberate."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde's teeth grit. "And kill," she says, though it's under her breath because she's not wanting to let herself go down this rabbit hole. Not when finding Noriko is on the line.

The first lightning bolt makes her jump, near as it is, and Kitty phases instinctively. The next bolt hits, and the next. She looks over at the distance to where the jet is parked and then at the group, and who can cover the distance fast enough. "Rogue! Get the jet out of here, lightning is heading that way!" she says. "Everyone else... if you can't withstand a lightning blast, get over here to me."

Her eyes go to Mystique. More teeth grinding. "You too."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The lightning strikes in the center of the field as the grass lights up into ablaze. The fire starts slowly, but then a second bolt is hitting it, sparking it up more. Someone is attacking this spot right now.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue's green eyed gaze is on Mystique, a look of restrained and cold emotions clear on her visage... at least until the lightning strikes come, with the very loud blasts of thunder. Then, Rogue's stare goes i nthat direction, a concerned look crossing her face as she exhales sharply.

"Maybe it really is Thor?" She asks, a second before Kitty shouts about getting to the Blackbird.

"Got it!" Rogue shouts, taking to the skies, and 'accidentally' knocking Mystique's cigarette out of her lips as she goes (total accident!)

The Belle flies low, not wanting to turn herself into a lightning target, and just zips right over to where they parked the SR-77... only she doesn't go inside it, she goes under it... getting herself up against the ship's hull and starting to lift the 70,000 lbs airplane up off of the ground!

Julio Richter has posed:
The repeated lightning strikes draw Julio's attention, obviously. Apart from Danger Room sessions with Ororo, he's never seen lightning act anything like that, which seems to indicate some purpose or intent. He faces the burning trees and takes a step back, then notes that they're tracing a path toward the Blackbird, and a small but gleefully evil part of him hopes it gets blasted. God, he hates flying.

Then the more sensible aspect of his intelligence kicks in and he realizes that they'll just replace the damned thing, and probably raid the scholarship fund to do it. "Hijo de puta nubarrón!" he yells, pulling on a mantle of shuddering green tectonic energy, then forcing a column of stone up to fire a boulder into the menacing cloud -- for all the good that will do.

The Earth judders violently as he makes it attack the sky, then he turns that to a purpose as well, shifting through a dance of mutant energy as he turns that shaking in on itself, causing the flaming earth at the center of the field to upend. The grassy soil roils and inverts to uproot and smother the flaming grass where it sits.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The sky is clear now. The sun is shining down on all of you.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"Pretty sure that Thor wouldn't be attacking /us/," Bobby says. "He seemed pretty chill at the beach party thing." That was his one and only encounter with Thor. He looks around trying to see if he can find the source of this spontaneous storm that is lighting the field on fire. Not that he seems too concerned about the field being on fire -- it's a field. And then the sky clears and he just stands there, "Okay what the actual fuck?"

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique moves closer to Kitty, "Thank you for the proferred protection, darling. Such solidarity," she says. She grinds out the remainder of her cigarette with a booted foot after Rogue knocks it away from her hand.

Lightning and such aren't in her usual wheelhouse. She leaves noisy theatrics to Magneto and his spawn. Still, she's curious to see Xavier's crew in action - and she wonders just what fingers are pulling these strings.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde looks relieved as Anna-Marie gets to the jet in time and does her Superman thing with it to get it away from the approaching lightning strikes. She nods approval towards Julio as he quenches the fire. "I don't know that shooting boulders at a cloud..." she starts to say.

And then trails off as the cloud starts to dissipate. "...is going to do much," she says. "Or, you know. There's that whole elemental air and earth opposition thing," she says. "Or more likely whoever is behind it stopped it." Kitty looks over to Lockheed and whispers to him, "Go see if you can spot anyone in the area?"

Kitty looks around at the rest. "There was kind of a ghostly guy doing recruiting for the circus. Could be he's in the area. Or, others."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue, beneath the Blackbird, raises it up in to the air and is tilting it toward its starboard side. With the ship about 50 feet in the sky, she turns to fly it toward the others when she sees the shadow of the plane on the ground. "The sun is out now?" She calls out from beneath the jet's belly.

"Seriously, is Storm here?!" She starts to lower the SR-77 back toward the ground, back toward the loving, lovely, green grassy ground, where the Circus is supposed to be right now... except it's not.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Kitty's phone goes off from another incoming text.

< =] You wouldn't believe the stuff I'm learning. Nori > comes from a signal in Los Angeles.  Nori?  Happy?

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio is preparing to figure out what to do for a second volley when, just like Kitty, he's derailed by an unexpected total success. He stares up at the now-cleared sky for a second, then thrusts both hands in the air and does a little jog-dance, like Rocky Balboa at the top of a set of stone stairs. He doesn't let Kitty being realistic and practical rain on his parade, either, turning toward Bobby and pulling his hands back to initiate a double overhead high five.

"Easiest boss fight ever," he enthuses with a grin, before turning toward the fire pit he got to smother itself. "Now let's go see what they were trying to burn up."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The singal is static in LA. It seems that is where they are.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
There seem to be words burned into the ground, but from the ground it is hard to read.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde pulls out her phone and checks again. "Another text from her," Kitty says, frowning. She runs the tracing programs and says, "Los Angeles. I'm going to try to get a virus into the phone that will let us get into it remotely. Hopefully tap the camera and microphone."

Kitty connects to one of the remote servers that she and Doug keep outside of the school. "Ok maybe a picture of a frowny worried face," Kitty says. She swipes through the phone a few times. "This should do," she says with a bit of a grin.

She injects the virus into the .png file and then cues it up to send. "Ok, Kermit the frog looking worried. And I'll add the text. 'Love that you're learning stuff, but we're worried you ran off. Come back home?'"


Noriko Ashida has posed:
< -_==?=????????? Nori >  comes in reply over Kitty's phone. Not a peep more beyond that mystery, though the signal hasn't changed.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue walks out from under the Blackbird, her aviator sunglasses on over her eyes and her white bangs flowing in the wise around the sides of her face. She strides over to the others, standing beside Mystique now as she watches Kitty do her virus stuff. There's a click of a lighter, as she lights up a cigarette of her own and puts it between her pale pink lips. She takes a puff on it and then blows the smoke out to catch the wings of the autumn winds.

"Los Angeles?" She asks. "I hate that place...."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
As the Blackbird takes off, anyone looking down at the earth will see large burn marks in the ground.

BACK OFF!!!! :(

The writing is like it is done with a childish hand; three hours later, that hacked phone goes offline. But while it is active, Kitty hears laughing phone, teaching lessons on how to be a good clown pictures of kids between 18-24 all being taught by an older male clown. He seems to be fun and good natured; everyone seems to learn so well and pay total attention when he speaks or teaches.

The phone is then taken, the camera smashed, placed with other phones on a large iron pan, and placed into a furnace to be melted down.