4999/Full Metal Racket

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Full Metal Racket
Date of Scene: 03 February 2021
Location: Breakstone Lake
Synopsis: Never forget big brother can and /will/ kick your butt.
Cast of Characters: James Proudstar, Illyana Rasputina

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar is walking through the woods, it's cold and snowy and not really most peoples tea. But for a certain Russian and a stalwart Apache warrior it's a chance to get away from the hustle bustle of the house and spend some time together. A quiet walk sometime to connect, the moon is full and the lake is frozen so there's ample light even at night. But something is off. You can feel it, smell it.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
'Snow' is merely a fluffy dusting for the Siberian-born sorceress walking the perimeter of Breakstone Lake. She watches the shadows for trouble, buried wards that require her attention tearing her concentration in two. Or rather, a great deal resides in the world round her instead of focused wholly on the matter at hand, more than is directly necessary to avoid tripping over a root and landing face first in the lake. That might be unpleasant even for someone fairly resistant to the cold. Lingering, light footsteps could be done more easily if it weren't snowy but she still must guard against running into something in ways James doesn't -- he can just bash through a tree or bush, for example. Not so much her. Not most people's cup of tea, but whatever suits, following a crackling path where the firs and cedars stand resolute, spear-straight, under the sky. "Storms are coming," she murmurs, apropos of nothing.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar nods, the smell of storms are in the air but it takes James a minute to realize that she doesn't share his senses, and he stops, "Wait, you mean weather storms or are you being- we're not alone." James drops down low, well, lower and spins around slower. They smell human, about 30, military trained. They're all around us. They're moving on the school Yana."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Storms in the snowy upper clouds carry all the hints of a nor'easter. The winds streaming over the upper atmosphere push those snowclouds in close to the Atlantic, roughshod riders in advance of minion flakes that will pile up in heaps, just like armies of old. Cavalry survive, the peons with their spears and forks and sticks left in mounds on the field.

Illyana doesn't exactly hum, looking off into the middleground with her eyes vaguely silvered in the darkness. She doesn't turn back to him, but listens to Jimmy all the same, his words giving pause to shift her weight onto the back foot. "Students? Strike force?"

His senses are honed to a point hers aren't. Short of Logan or Laura warning her, there remains good reason to heed him. Teens wandering around or stupid locals trying to get a scoop for a website are one thing, but as she cracks her knuckles, the loosening pressure dances along her joints. "Fools, da? They forget the psychic timebombs."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar smiles as he watches her and nods, taking off into the underbrush, moving like an animal, easily and silently, he didn't bring his knives but you can hear bodies start to fall as he moves. He does take a moment to drag on back, showing Yana, "They're definitely not Shield, you recognize them? I think they were hoping to catch us unawares before any defense could be mounted.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Let them run, flitting through the woods, approaching the manicured grounds where hard-working students and staff attempt to create an oasis of peace and normalcy for those deprived of it by genetic birthright.

The most alluring of illusions, a deception stone-deep and no more, is perhaps the most brittle. Danger presents itself in the likeness of shapes emerging from shadow, the sylvan stillness giving way to a wave of humanity or a close enough facsimile to count. Sometimes the game is better played with a full team, but X-Force would be a rather useless strike force if they lacked the means to be stealthy. A flicker of her fingers banishes jeans and t-shirt for a black ensemble not far off her usual uniform, only her hair left pale as a halo. The hallmark of her office isn't in hand, not yet, but then it barely needs to be as she ghosts across the landscape, weaving through the trees, in a long arcing path that holds the frozen lake at her back. Easy to orient with that glass-sheen at a distance.

When he returns, Jimmy might well be seconds from falling through the cracks of reality, the air vibrating subtly to a mutant gift and a mystic call. His words earn a barely arched brow. Then the body. Conscious or not, it matters, the steaming breath a dead giveaway before she checks the uniform, checks the pulse. Her eyes narrow. A check of the emblem, determining if there's a ubiquitous X, an eagle, an A, half a dozen others immediately familiar. "Could be real, might be a front. You need to tell Jean or Scott."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar snorts, and smiles, as the sound breaks the night, and then here is unatural silence, "This is our dance. Not a problem. We can let them know what we found after it's dealt with." And the they're off moving throw the night, and disaptching these shock troops like rank amateurs, easily sending them back across the lake. James moves in an out of shadow, casually, giving the effect of moving i and out. They can't get a bead on him in the woods and the few shots they fire find the solid trunks of trees. With the ocnfirmation there is no more hesitation and as the last few fall back to the beach he follows at their heals.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Illyana cocks her head a degree to the side, barely that, a smidge that leaves her sheeted pale-gold hair breaching around her shoulder. A shoulder wreathed in a slender metallic pauldron starting to form, crawling into place where perhaps it did not before. A neat shrug gives James all the right in the world to proceed how he wishes; a momentary response not without measured recognition of what he's offering her on a silver platter.

Every day, a new damnation.

The whispers of midnight serrated and cold around them fall away, a hush that bespeaks tandem motion. He's the faster, the stronger, but she has commanded armies in her own right so follows the tactics of an ambush with relative ease. Darkness shifts and bends as they move between it, flitting onward, breaking up the passage into skips and jumps. Where do they roam, those children of ghastly manifestation?

The silver-fire sword manifesting in her hand in sudden jolts to run them through has no blade of steel to kill them, no gaping exit and entry wounds to account for. A searing burst of pain is enough to drop the average person unconscious, and those fueled by better stamina simply need a twist of the wrist, her soul incarnated as a blade thin and swift rather than broad and sharp. How the Apache warrior prefers to fight, whether fist or talon or worse, she takes the most direct strike with silvery overkill at her hands.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar uses blows of controlled force. He drops them easily, finishing them without regard, they came to his home armed for bear and the consequences are on them. But he moves down to the lake following stragglers and that's when it happens, the blur comes from over the lake and strikes James full force in a blink. The crack of the blow is a physical thing and knocks down close to a dozen fully grown trees close to the lake.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Sorceress, warrior. One half of a combat party, and without the rogue or the cleric, they have to tag-team best they can. Maybe ranger multiclass applies for Jimmy. Probably does.

She, on the other hand, has that broken template that transcends whatever constitutes a normal level cap. Totally unfair. A blurring shape moving through the sky to hit like a missile /is/ enough to swivel her in place, since in the balancing act, something moving that fast creates a soundwave and a ripple of movement. Other people in her place might swear. Jimmy, if he's conscious, very well could. Presuming he isn't flying back towards the school, which would call for a portal course correction until she can give him a softer landing. Assuming that's not called for...

Illyana Rasputina's brother is probably too close to let loose a string of curses. No reason to burn his ears, bringing him out to the brink. Her immediate reaction is to flit behind one of those trees, dropping into a three-point stance nearly, head lifted slightly. All the better given her gaze is dilated to the mystical Sight. The quarry might move fast, but their powers leave signatures, a taste, a fingerprint that a sorcerer like her can see. And how fun it is playing magic missile with a slapped on target.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar goes down hard, and gets up slow, "What the demon's breath was that?" His voice is shakey and he looks stunned. He doesn't search for you not wanting to give away your location. And then he's there floating over the water, looking down at James, his gaze steady, just as big, but with a goatee. "You're the me here? He laughs, this will be easier than I thought, you can't even fly can you?" James stands slowly eyes narrowing, "How are you? Who are you?"

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar gets the villain monologuing holding himself still, letting you focus keeping the attention on himself, The other Jimmy prattles on, "I'm you from somewhere else, another world here to invade yours we want a piece of this world ours is dying and your is still so healthy. Heh, you could say our whole world is on the warpath. James flexes his hands he needs his knives and needs Yana powers he trusts her implicitly. Those knives are in the room where they always are.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
"Looking," hisses Illyana, voice low, Russian broken into fine diamond dust and filling the spaces in the vowels and consonants. Eyes consumed in deepening glacial blue light is the sole suggestion she calls upon her innate power, Limbo thrilling through the veins. No sooner is the suggestion proffered than that damnable figure floating over the lake.

She creeps forward, staying low, shaping the most insidious of narrow, hairline portals behind that man just as tall, broad of chest and shoulder, and very likely to break most of them like matchsticks. Even a woman turning herself to diamond wouldn't have much luck. Familiar appearance superimposed against the lake gives reason for her to grit her teeth. Jimmy is beyond arm's reach, the other-James -- knowing him, he'd be a prat like *Jas* or *Jamie* -- even further.

And he's rude.


No one then to accuse her of unkindness when she slams down a borrowed memory into reality. Taller. Bigger. The right balance requires black hair dusting a hardened jawline. Skin gone richly copper, the blood-dark red band around his brow. A foot and a half taller and then that figure recalled from astral walks and dreams goes crashing through one of those fire-etched portals. In a split second, another hairline fissure behind Jas yawns wide, framing him between two. Partly in, partly out of the portal, there the man stands and the world shines in distorted rippling redness.

Swirling and lurid sunset clouds whirl around that imposing silhouette.

"What would our people think of you, little brother?" John asks.

James Proudstar has posed:
Other James gasps and blinks, "No, you? Here? How? NO!" and there is rage in his voice. And that was when James strike he smile and sings a warriors song as he sees his brother and he leaps across the water. It's not enough but he has friends, a friend, the best friend. and the stepping stone forms where his boot lands, then another and then the knives are in his hands as he hits the man. They dig deep, knives of vibranium, not quite soulsteal or even adamantium, but they slice into the man and James does the damage he knows would kill himself before shoving the doppelganger through the portal to the astral plane.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Time ripples in leaking imperfections, painted onto a world that runs at one speed from another that behaves in contrarian terms. Vermillion bands wash into the rusted red sandstone of Colorado and Utah, the soaring windswept cliffs in their myriad banded striations echoing the Four Corners area. Violence that gifts serpentine, impressive meanders know nothing of the touch of water, but the scouring presence of the wind.

There is cruelty in this. The mystic arts being put to a fell purpose, commanded by a shaman standing between the upper world and the underworld, and places between. Broken feathers and eagle plumes wave in that wind, as the tempests stir the sky to dazzling, almost impossible shades.

"I have always been here. Such arrogance and blindness, to believe you could escape our ancestors?" John Proudstar is older, though not old, and stands in the full command of his stature. Larger than even his younger brother, lip curled slightly in contempt, that dire judgment burning through his glowing eyes pulled from residual lore and stolen memories and shared hurts and trials. Tones that rumble with deepening force presage the thunder, the twisting of a realm rising to the call of its master and monarch.

"I'll never be proud of what you became and what you did to become it." For he's forced to react, and fast, through the bloody dance of vibranium knives cleaving through the effigy of his sibling flung through the barrier that splits the worlds. Other-James surely packs a hell of a punch, even still, and theirs isn't an equal fight even if it looks it.

He has the benefit of mass, but not momentum. And her name isn't Magik for nothing.

<</Now/! Take him!>> John's lips speak the language he surely never knew in life, classical High Demonic.

In Limbo, the very ground rises in a seething, plated mass as shapes emerge en masse. Not only the twining wrath of segmented feathered serpents and the grey-feathered crow-daemons, but more horrific creations fed perhaps a little /too/ much passion from their radiant-eyed queen. A young queen, at that, not impervious to anger or rage, so imperfectly girded against it. Wrath is a poison, mark it well, and she flings her hands wide as a double-barred pentacle burns as a shield to guard Illyana. A deflection more than anything, but numbers aren't on other-James' side.

Real James, another matter if he jumps through to join the dance.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar follows into the fray. And he gives as good as he gets. Their are tears in his eyes as he fights along side his false brother against this false version of himself. As the battle as warriors with Illyanna and the daemons. They fight until Other Proudstar is done and then there is heavy breathing and the other John pats his not brother on the back. James smiles at you and shakes his head.