7187/Shi'ar: Night of the Raptors I

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Shi'ar: Night of the Raptors I
Date of Scene: 02 August 2021
Location: Main Foyer
Synopsis: Shi'ar troops, led by the elite Death Commandos, attack Xavier's mansion from multiple angles. A defense is raised in the back yard, and the school staff hold the day, if not without several injuries -- and the strange discovery of cloned soldiers tied to James Proudstar. As casualties mount and Jean tries to coordinate the response, a moment of sudden psychic fear reveals another danger -- and another possible target for the Shi'ar.
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Talia Wagner, Alison Blaire, James Proudstar, Tabitha Smith, Gabby Kinney

Jean Grey has posed:
Last Issue...

It was a tremendous surprise to most of Xavier's School when, a little earlier in the afternoon, the school greeted a pair of visitors. One might be casually familiar to some, in the form of the Titan member Terry O'Neil. The other was familiar to but a small handful of X-Men veterans, those who had been with the team some six years prior when they went to put an end to the Brood Invasion. She was their ally then, but seeks their protection now: the exiled Shi'ar Princess Lilandra Neramani.

After reuniting with her intergalactic soulmate in the school's very founder, Professior Xavier, she had shared a story -- and a vision -- of warning. Her brother, the Shi'ar Majestor, their Emperor, was plotting to somehow gain access to the Phoenix's power. For opposing the scheme, Lilandra was marked a traitor.

It's been a tense few hours as the X-Men's leaders sit around the mission room planning for a journey out into Shi'ar space to deal with the problem. Yet likely unknown to most, a battle rages above them in high Earth orbit. And as the Shi'ar break one of their vessels through the Justice League's blockade, things are about to get very chaotic around the school.



It's evening and the majority of daytime activity, chores even when the students are off from class, is over. Now the school is attending meals, students are spending time in the rec room, or back in their rooms (probably on their phones and computers). Everything is normal, until it isn't.

When the alarms go off, they go off... everywhere. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there are intruders all over the building, and even on the external grounds. Notably, none of the exterior alarms (covering the various fences and natural boundaries to the school's land) trigger. Whoever they are (OK, it's pretty obvious who they are), they've beamed directly in.

Rogue has posed:
"I didn't know there were laws against transporting a dead horse in the back of my truck!" Rogue grumpily says from the kitchen counter, her phone up against the side of her face. She'd just gotten home a few minutes ago and is standing there in the kitchen with her keys on the counter and the ticket in-question beside them.

She's got her eyes out the back doors to the patio when things start to go awry....

"Yeah, I mean, I know it was kinda weird, obviously, but I was only takin' it down the road to the old man's place who said he'd know what t'do with the body..." Rogue sighs.

She sees people beaming in out of no where though and sighs again. "What the hell is goin' on now?" She glances around then says in to the phone. "I gotta go, I'll call ya later."

Her phone is hung up and Rogue steps out in to the backyard to stare at the intruders.... glare....

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde walks towards the school from the tennis court, wearing a white skirt and a blouse appropriate for the sport. She has a small bag in hand, and there is a racket case whose strap is looped over her shoulder. On the other shoulder rides a small purple dragon with yellow eyes. Kitty's ponytail bounces about as she walks light-heartedly towards a door that leads to the kitchen. "Oh please let someone have something good made," she says, pulling out her phone and glancing at it to see the time.

The door to the kitchen ahead of her closes behind Tommy as her tennis opponent heads inside, the green-skinned mutant wearing his Mets hat. "To spite me, no doubt," Kitty mutters through her grin as she watches the student head in.

Moments later, Kitty's phone starts to chirp in a rather alarming way. She chose the ringtone well for when the school's systems detect a threat. She's already pulling the phone back out to check it when she sees Rogue step outside. "What's going on!?" Kitty calls, not having seen anything yet as it's happening behind her.

Lockheed has seen it though. The little dragon gives a few flaps of his wings, lifting off her shoulder.

Talia Wagner has posed:
And Damnit.

Talia just got picked up by Clarice right after she and Mystique bailed from The Watchtower and the League HQ on the moon fell.

There was a brief stop, slam back some Whiskey, which in hindsight seems unwise, then leap to make sure the mansion doesn't get blown up. No matter what Colossus says about it building character.

She and Blink appear through one of her portals on the back porch not far from Rogue and look around at all the alarms. "Fuck.. go get Dyani Clarice." and Talia is already turning towards Rogue and racing past her to grab the door back inside. As she does she hurriedly explains "Shi'ar are going to destroy everything and anyone to get to Aunt Jean.. we need to hustle now. They took out the Justice League's base already."

The Magenta mutant as she teleports off to find the young bee girl.

Which Kitty probably hears as Talia bursts into the Kitchen.

Alison Blaire has posed:
One tour leg concluded, Alison is glad to be back at the one place she knows where she can always evade prying eyes of the journalistic kind. She was in her room, having come back from an invigorating run and ready to take a shower. She is discussing final details with her agent over the phone as she reaches over to untie her sneakers. "- I don't think I'm ready for /that/ at this point. A musical is a very long-term commitment, and besides, who the hell knows how to rollerskate anymore?"

The alerts sound and the dazzler lets out a loud sigh. "Look. I have to go. Yeah. That sort of thing. Yeah, let's do lunch."

A few seconds later, she is jogging out into the backyard, bursting out behind Rogue. "What on Earth-" she pauses, coming to a stop right behind Rogue. "Ah-ha," she says in a tone of voice that indicates she is as pleased as that one time she had to do that musical shoot with a certain purple dinosaur for the sake of charity.

James Proudstar has posed:
There are a small group of kids down by the lake, apparently someone thought it was a good night for S'mores.

     They're still gathering wood and setting the fire when the alarms go off and strange visitors start to materialize. James is standing on the tennis court talking with Tabby when he hears the noise, the kids. James doesn't hesitate, the smell, the feel. he knows what his people feel like and this isn't them. He pulls Tabby into hos arms and takes off at sprint moving through the woods like a jungle cat. He calls out, "DOWN!" James has drilled with these kids enough the drop instinctually.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Unlike Kitty, Tabby has not actually made it in from the backyard when the alarms start going off. Well so much for the celebration of her good news. She instinctively holds tight when Jimmy takes off running. Well okay, she holds on with one hand but the other immediately begins forming a fiery little yellow ball that begins to grow in size as he runs. She's definitely been needing to blow something up but this was not quite what she was planning on.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney was actually in her room when the alarms go off. The book she was reading is tossed to the side in favor of rolling to her feet. Already dressed thankfully she kicks into her boots using the quick-tie tug she'd been taught to pull them snug, and then she heads for the closet. With a few shifts of clothes to reveal the back where she'd hid her body armor. It's pulled on over her shirt--screw hiding it, if those alarms were going off, she could only assume Something Bad was happening. Suited up in under a minute, with a few knives pulled out for good measure, she heads for the hall at a full out run to the nearest window. And it's there she flings it open only to crawl out on the roof where she starts to round about toward some of the teleported Shi'ar that were below. She crouches low for now trying to remain unseen by those below.

Jean Grey has posed:
As Rogue first confirms it, there is a fairly large force in the open ground behind the mansion. A number are standard Shi'ar Imperial troopers, obvious at a distance by the way their helmets conform to their feathered head crests, giving them a unique shape. They are led by what is clearly a lineup of their 'heavy' troops, uniquely powered individuals taken from alien races across the Imperium. Out back, these include: a large creature made of rocks, a large green humanoid alien with cybernetic enhancements, and a seven-to-eight foot tall... robot? Suit of battle armor? It's not clear. Actually, the last one is a two-for-one: the big robot is being ridden by a smaller robot!

A small squad of soldiers materialize in the kitchen, as well, as Kitty moves unwittingly out of one fire and into the frying pan. Get it? They're led by a single bulky-looking soldier who, uniquely, does NOT have a feather-crest shaped helmet, although his armor leaves his appearance a mystery.

Those on the ground floor will quickly realize there's stuff happening on the second as well, flashes of light visible through the windows. Gabby, as it turns out, hears this up close: surprised shouts, and then the sounds of fighting in the hallway. She runs, and can spot the chaos in various directions. A flash of what looks like one of Scott's eye blasts (but is it?) shoots past a junction in the hallway. And as she's breaking for the window, something strange comes out of a (blessedly empty) dorm room behind her. It is... some kind of bug. It has many arms, and they are holding swords. It turns to look back and forth, first down the hallway away from her, but then back toward her direction.

<< We're clear in the sub basement, >> comes a mental report from Jean as she starts coordinating. << But we have intruders everywhere else. Any teachers on the second floor will see to student safety. The rest of you handle whatever's closest.>>

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Seeing the the eyes of Rogue and Dazzler looking behind her is enough to cause Kitty to whirl around and see the assembled troops on the backyard behind her. "Ah, nuts," Kitty says, dropping her bag, and after a moment, unzipping the case and pulling out her tennis racket.

She glances back over her shoulder to Rogue and Dazzler, as Lockheed flies about circling above Kitty. "Alright we don't need to have this go the violent direction," Kitty says towards the alien visitors. "We can sit down and talk-" is as far as she gets before the sounds of fighting come from the school. "Ah nuts, why don't they ever lead with, 'we come in peace'," Kitty groans.

A few students over by the stable get yelled to by Kitty. "Get to the woods!" she tells them, since going to the house would run the gauntlet of Shi'ar troops. Kitty gets a solid grip on her tennis racket. "Of all the days I wish I had Carol's saber," she mutters under her breath as she takes a ready stance.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney was intending to get out onto the roof where she would have the high ground. The noise of those fighting around her, and the tell-tale optic blast from not far off, causes her to turn again just in time to see the multi-armed sword wielder come out of the room behind her. This causes her to pause just a moment because this individual, as unusual as it was, looked nothing like those feathered sorts she'd seen through the window. So either this was a student she didn't know or some sort of advanced infiltration. Either way she grins broadly, scars crinkling in the process, to offer out, "Cool swords!" It's such a friendly greeting given the circumstances. So very friendly. Her hands drop down to grasp the knives sheathed at her sides flipping them out to be held blade up. "Sorry, mine's in the shop, but I've got these!" One of which she hauls back to throw at the face of the bug. Whatever it's reaction, she's already moving. Right behind that throw she runs forward, leaping up to send herself flying feet first at it to try and get it off balance hopefully before it can react. Smol projectile incoming.

Talia Wagner has posed:
Talia didn't actually look at the backyard though as she left those troops and Rogue behind. She was headed inside to help hustling.

Which means she is right there when the ones materialize inside said kitchen. "Drack..." she curses. There are students around after all. Though that is a curse word on some realities.

Her hands snap up and she just starts firing Hexbolts. There is no pause to negotiate with the Shi'ar in the mansion. She is aware they came to fight and murder her sorta not really in this reality Aunt. Or use her like a lockpick. Eitherway this is bad news and the birds won't hold their fire either.

Purple and crimson bolts of energy just fly and not on a happy knock silly stun setting but more lethal as she charges ready to parkour but aiming herself bodily right at the big bulky looking guy without the crest.

If anyone is one of the Guard it is that one she wagers.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar skids to a halt on the gravel on the beach looking about and finding them alone.

     "Mr. Proudstar what's going on?" James smiles, "Just some guys with bad intentions. Come on stay close, stay low like we practiced. Oh, this is Tabitha. Tabby this is the wilderness club."James lists names and they all just nod, eyes wide. "Ready?" Jim nods and heads off into the woods. The path this time is much more circuitous trading speed for cover and stealth. They gather stragglers as they go. Heading back to the mansion.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith scans the surrounds as she is carried. The fiery little ball in her hand reaches about the size of a baseball before Tabby selects the nearest target within range of her throwing arm. The lucky winner? One giant robot being ridden by a smaller robot. Fitting really.

Well... it was in range until James outran the strength of Tabby's arm. So Tabby holds onto the time bomb in her hand as she waves with said hand to the wilderness club then mutters, "Get me close enough to use this thing, Jimmy. You know how much I wanna blow one of these creeps up."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had seen Kitty coming up to the patio but things were escalating quickly. "We got trouble." Is all she says before turning to the group of kids sitting on the patio furniture. "Get inside." Rogue says to them just before the sounds of fighting can be heard INSIDE too.

Rogue curses.

A glance is given to Dazzler but Rogue just whips her hoodie off and shoots up in to the sky about fifteen feet before turning and facing the intruders.She starts to fly toward them, hoping to get some of their attention as she aims to fly over them toward the tree line of the forest at the edge of the back yard...

Alison Blaire has posed:
Alison takes stock of the assembled forces in the backyard, quickly thinking of what to do before Rogue takes off like a rocket. Her intention is clear- she's the moving target. The Dazzler knows, then, what to do. Drawing upon the sounds of fighting and chaos that wash upon her from the entire school, she charges up.

Her move is not to project lasers or beams onto the attackers, which might come later, but instead it is a brilliant cascade of chaotic color and light to wash upon those who have committed the effrontery to set foot here as if it were only so much empty land open to conquest. In order to complement Rogue's maneuver, The Dazzler performs her signature move in order to affect the equilibrium of the assembled forces- never say she never did anything nice for you, Anna-Marie!

Jean Grey has posed:
There are students in the kitchen, as food is always a draw, the social equivalent of animals gathering at the watering hole. This makes the squad that materializes somewhat akin to predators on savannah. At first, there's confusion: late night cereal bowls held in gawking disbelief, mouths open mid-chew as students gawk at what they're seeing.

Then there's chaos.

Some of the soldiers open fire indiscriminately, although fortunately, most duck down behind the various sturdy tables, and the first casualties include only a few pots and pans. Then Talia returns fire, and a great deal suddenly focuses on her: she drops a soldier immediately, but several others take cover behind the same tables, saturating the area near her with fire, until she gets closer to the squad leader.

Who... doesn't bother with a gun, pulling out a pair of vibrating high-tech knives. As Talia dives toward him, he lashes out with with one, likely forcing a rethinking of her reckless attack.

Weirdly, something about his fighting style might seem a little familiar.


Upstairs, as Gabby charges the bug, she finds its movements quick and precise, if a little less fluid and more jerky. Maybe that's a bug thing. But it reacts quickly to deflect the thrown blade with one of its many swords (upper right!)... only to find the whole young woman following the first projectile as a larger one. This does seem to surprise it, and it doesn't quite dodge out of the way, although it does react by jutting up and forward quickly with its two lowest arms, which are a little shorter and thus better suited to close combat. Gabby hits it - but feels a pair of blades enter her as she does. At least she can kind of handle that!

Elsewhere, James leads a group of students around the conflict, toward safety. Its a good plan. They almost make it to the house, when he realizes something: they're being shadowed. A flicker of movement in the corner of his eye, but it's gone as soon as he can look.

How could an alien out-stalk him on his home terrain?

Rogue's gambit of a direct assault and attention-grabbing certainly gets what she wants: the main force in the back yard opens fire with their alien energy weapons, quickly filling the sky. She can outmaneuver a few, but it's not long before they manage to tag her. And it hurts. It burns, not just through her suit, but the flesh beneath. Anyone else, they'd have a hole clean through. And once they tag her once, they start to-

Well, they start to narrow in their fire, until Dazzler's attack washes over them, and their accuracy goes to shit.

Accuracy doesn't matter much for a gigantic spray of earth and stones, which the big rock guy summons in a wave, crashing against the general area of the patio where Alison stands. At the same time, the robot pair charges in behind, apparently unaffected.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar blinks and curses thinking fast, moving faster a tomahawk buries in a tree. They are exposed here, vulnerable. but where is safe? "Move!" The kids gather close opening up their strides moving through the underbrush. This is James home turf he knows the smells, the sounds. Eyes? Trust them not, deceive you they can. He lets the kids pass him, the he grabs Tabs arm, "We got company, danger close, full spread." He stops takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde sprints forward in a zigzag, the tennis racket held menacingly. She's just trying to draw fire, phased to avoid being hit. It is probably easy enough to write off a shot that passes through the sprinting girl as having missed her instead.

She's just on the edge of the wave of earth sent towards Dazzler, though it's enough to throw Kitty who was running on said ground, phased or not. She flies through the air, tumbling as she lands and coming back to her feet again, finding herself right in front of the two robot-like creatures.

Lockheed zooms down from above, blowing out a plume of fire at the face of the rock-creature, a distraction most likely to buy Dazzler time before it can send a second attack her way. Kitty meanwhile hefts her racket. "I liked it better when you were on our side," she says as she swings with all of her might at the side of the big robot, again just aiming to keep their attention of her teammates for the moment.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Spluch. That's the sound of blades sinking into Gabby as she comes in very close proximity to the bug woman from her kick. The momentum as well as her weight, small as it may be, is enough to keep her moving forward in spite of the injury. An injury she doesn't even seem to flinch at in response. Instead she reaches forward to grasp at the shoulder of the bug woman to keep her balance while suddenly slamming her forehead into the alien's face. It's held there after impact along with a quiet, "I'm sorry," before her fist come up to the bug woman's eye level. There's no knives. She's harmless, right? Except the next *spluch* are from her claw slamming out into the bug woman's eyeball. It's all she manages before her balance is lost from the weight of her legs going momentarily slack from her own injuries causing her to fall back into a limping stagger.

Talia Wagner has posed:
Talia is fast and much like her father full of tricks.

She may not teleport but she does not know to use all those tricks and speed to her advantage. Launching herself up off the big island in the middle of the kitchen, sticking the forward momentum and herself to the ceiling as she races along it dodging side to side. She is good enough to dodge shots thankfully for her ongoing breathing.

When she launches herself down at the Squad Leader and he goes for her with those knives though she twists and tumbles out of the way, ending up low on the floor and looks all the world like she is about to blow a hole in him when she hesitates "John?" which may get her righteously stabbed by a knife or shot by one of the troopers.

But this is like running into the ghost of your dead lover. Okay actually it isn't like that. It is that.


Rogue has posed:
Rogue's seventh sense is only able to provide her with so much fore warning to avoid the first barrage of shots sent her way. When she's hit it turns right through her tanktop scorching her stomach and sending her down out of the sky to fly in to the tree line while dazzler's burst keeps the aliens from hopefully knowing right where she landed...

When Rogue sits up in the tree line she's face to face with two young girls from the school looking at her with terror on their faces. "Molly, Erica." Rogue says in a winded voice, clutching her stomach and wincing in pain. "Get off the property." She tells the girls. "Take the rabbit trails we went down the other day, follow them until you get to Gremalkin Lane... go to the first house down the road." The little girls walk toward Rogue and ask her to come with them. "I can't." She replies. "Just go, tell them ya ran away from your boardin' school and are afraid t'go back, have'em call Janet Van Dyne in Manhattan."

Rogue stands up then and keeps clutching her stomach. "Whatever ya do, don't telle'm you're mutants, and don't let'em come to the school themselves."

With that said, Rogue turns around and looks back at the girls. "Now go!" She says as they start to rush off toward the rabbit trails.

And Rogue rips a tree up out of the ground, taking back up in to the sky with one of the trees from the forest's edge.

Alison Blaire has posed:
As the wave makes its way to her, Alison is a little too slow getting out of the way- although she manages to move just enough to place herself out of the absolute worst of it. The blast that she uses to rocket herself out of there comes a little too late, which results in rocks pelting her and sending the rest of her nascent fight into a landing as graceful as that of an Albatross. The landing is accompanied by the kind of expletives that you usually expect from Logan, not Alison- but then again, she's a musician.

Bleeding from several places, and several others that will be sorely bruised soon, she scrambles to her feet. Her workout clothes are also torn, and she has dirt in her hair, her teeth and, improbably, her ears. She's not happy.

"Hasn't anybody told you? Rock is dead!" Nobody dare tell Nick that she just uttered those words, "Let's make that stick."

The sound from the telluric rumble had been absorbed, and the steady sound of fighting around her was like a stream she was dipping her toes into. Suddenly, she is glowing again, until the glow concentrates itself into a pinpoint of angry light, which then projects itself into a laser beam that sweeps its luminous blade towards the advancing robot and the rock man, not holding back the full intensity of her laser.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith nods and tosses the larger bomb she already made in the direction of the danger as a multitude of tinier ones form in both hands to replace it. A moment later both handfuls of cherry bomb sizes little bombs fan out in both directions as she scatters them wide in an attempt to hit whatever he's warning her about.

Jean Grey has posed:
In the woods, it's a game of cat and mouse. Something is after them, shadowing them, mirroring their movements. One second, its on one side, and then another. Actually... it turns out both are true. As James gives the command to spread out, shadowed forms leap from two opposite directions, down from the trees using everything to their advantage to the ambush. They're both bulky, athletic figures, but hidden away in alien armor. No crests. And like the first, they draw strange high-tech knives as they leap down, coming at them from both directions, one for James and one for Tabitha, although the latter catches part of her wave of explosives and is knocked back before it reaches her.

The eerie feeling is a lot more obvious here, as the first one meets Warpath: their motions are almost identical.


Around the kitchen, things are chaotic. The alien troops are well-trained and well-armed. If it wasn't for Talia's exemplary movement abilities, she wouldn't stand a chance. As it is, she draws fire long enough for the students to flee. But then she comes face to face with the masked, hidden soldier. She's deft, fast, agile- but he is too, dangerously so for his size and strength. That hesitation? It will cost her.

And she /does/ get stabbed. If she's right, this... thing doesn't seem to share any of the emotional ties.

Also that blade shreds her flesh like it was butter.


Upstairs, the bug creature is decidedly caught off guard. No weapon, no threat. And then there is. Suddenly, it's multifaceted eye is punctured, pouring some... presumably really awful alien goo all over the place. Many arms flail, slash, some without aim, but still dangerous as it staggers backward, defensively and in pain. Gabby comes away bloody, with several more cuts to join the first two impaling wounds.

Well, if they hadn't already closed.


Out back, Rogue sends more students toward safety, while re-arming herself with one of her favorite weapons of convenience. Christmas has come early, to Xaviers.

On the deck, the big robot has reached them, and it seems to recognize Kitty. Most of the others are unfamiliar, but these two? Yeah. "Apologies, Terran," the small one says from atop the big one. "But the Council's decree is clear. Surrender the host woman, and this will end. However: analysis concludes, surrender unlikely."

All the jabber aside? The robots stay away from her. Because they know her. Above the earth creature, Lockheed's distraction works, though very briefly: the rock isn't /easily/ flammable. But moments matter, especially when... well, giant rock things aren't known for their agility. Alison's retributive blast hits it squarely. And while it isn't easily flammable, as noted, that's a sliding scale. Enough heat, and rock does what it does: the laser leaves a molten score across its rocky flesh.

Of the robot pair, the smaller one leaps free as the blast rakes its counterpart. Apparently, his armor has a higher melting point or refractive index, although it staggers briefly before charging forward again. The smaller one may prove more dangerous however, coming down from above... and releasing an electrical jolt at the singer.

And Kitty? A student comes up beside her. "Hey, I saw some students trapped around the other side of the building, can you help me?"

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney takes the slashes though not from lack of trying to backpedal. She DID heal quick, but it still took some time to do so. Especially with puncture wounds... but the body armor she wore manages to stop at least the worst of one slash, while the other strikes a bit lower on her leg. Still no wince, or sign of pain, other than letting out a frustrated sigh. "Look, lady, this is a *school* full of *kids*, do you really want to be a child murderer? You've got enough injuries now to prove you put up a good fight--Why don't you run off, and we'll call it even?" Worth a shot.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde's tennis racket shatters against the big robot, not harming them which doesn't come as a surprise. And as the robots move to avoid her, Kitty pauses rather than following, biting down on her lip and a hand moving to her Star of David that hangs from the necklace around her neck.

"I don't want to have fight you, you know this won't end well for you if we do," Kitty says, trying to get them to back down. That's when the student comes over to her to get Kitty's attention.

The Jewish girl looks to the student and then over towards Rogue and Dazzler. << Jean, if you can hear me, tell Rogue and Dazzler I'm going to help some students. Call me back if they need me. >>

She turns and motions to the teen to lead the way, turning from the battle for the rescue mission instead.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar moves and the other counters, they're hands are blurs of strike and counter strike. Then Tabby hits the other and the one fighting John cries, "Shik'isn!" And he moves at Tabby giving James the opening he needs. They are matched in speed and skill but in strength. Jim drives his fist into the other man's jaw. But turns towards the man on his back calling in Apache, "Who are you?!"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
It's when her assailant gets knocked back that Tabby actually manages to spot him, her, it? Damned if Tabby knows and she really doesn't care either. She's not waiting for it to come after her again before she attacks again. In her right hand forms a larger bomb while the left forms another barrage of small ones which are tossed immediately toward where her target got knocked back to keep it out of melee range while the larger one follows behind them to catch it while it's hopefully stunned from the lefthand barrage. "Stay down!"

Alison Blaire has posed:
Alison is immune to light, but she is not immune to those who bring the lightning. Because of her career, she hasn't had a great deal of training in Danger Room scenarios and combat, so letting her guard down is something she's still working on. As the electric jolt is delivered, Dazzler lets out a scream of both pain and rage. But mostly pain, to be honest. As her sight starts to blur and her consciousness begins to slip away, she finds herself clinging to what sliver of sense she can still hold, and lets loose.

She releases all of her stored-up sonic energy, converted into a barrage of photon blasts directed to her electric assailant with a fireworks display Jubilee might have appreciated, had she been... well. Alive.

As she blacks out and falls back, the last thing she sees is the multicolored aura of her blasts leaving her.

Talia Wagner has posed:
Getting stabbed absolutely is a bad experience.

Getting stabbed by alien vibroknives in the hands of one of the best stabbers out there even worse.


That is the elegant noise TJ makes as she is stabbed in the guts by someone she knows and has emotional ties to, even if he is some sort of brainwashed Shi'ar shocktroop right now.

Remind her to hexbolt someone in the Imperial Guard later.

Still she isn't out. She nimbly wraps her tail around his leg and there is a flash of light as TJ disappears.

It probably confuses the troops huddled around Warpath.

More confusing is probably when he goes ham on them and starts brutally tearing into his own men.

Best ace in the hole TJ has is the ability to possess just about anyone and ride their body like a pony using all their powers.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue takes the large tree up in to the sky where she turns it around at its base and swings it about in her arms... she hides behind the large trunk and starts to fly it right back down toward the invaders on the lawn. Dazzler's location is noted, but she's lost sight of Kitty for the time being... but its also kinda hard to see past the branches of the tree.

Nonetheless the air borne Belle starts her downward charge with the tree in her arms!

She sweeps in low and starts to run the yard with the tree held horizontally along the ground, intending to bull right over the Shi'ar soldiers between her and Dazzler's location!

Jean Grey has posed:
Gabby's clearly bested the bug, which skitters backward in a sort of defensive stance, various blades menacing the space in the air in front of it. It doesn't lunge at her, but... it is making chittering noises of some kind. Communication? With her? With its squad? After it's backed a certain distance from her, it does turn and run...

...but deeper into the mansion, since Gabby is at the window.


In the woods, the brawl with James becomes increasingly obvious for what it is, some kind of clash of mirrored equals, like fighting his own shadow. They trade blows, although at points it seems futile, both equally powerful... but equally durable as well. As for that question? The 'shadow' in its featureless armor answers in a single word, in the same language.

Fortunately, Tabitha's ranged attacks do a bit better with its counterpart the barrage of bombs knocking it clear long enough for her to land a single, larger shot. This time, it doesn't get up quickly, giving her a moment to aid the other engagement.


While the electrical barrage Alison faces suffices in shocking her unconscious, her retributive final shot accomplishes its intent, and the blast sends the much smaller component of the pair... well, sailing, a good ways. Which causes the big robot to turn. "B'NEE!" And then it runs after where the smaller one was launched.

Well, that's something.

At the same time, Rogue descends from the sky with her mighty tree. As it turns out, this is a pretty useful defense, as well as an offense: she takes some incoming fire, and the wood splinters and burns, but absorbs a good bit of fire. And then it's... bowling time? Sweeps? Insert appropriate quip, as a whole bunch of Shi'ar goons get Grand Slammed across the ground.

This leaves things... quiet, out back?


Well, there was whatever Kitty was called off for. Must be important, right? The student leads her, desperate, just out of sight of the others. "They're here."

As she does, Kitty is contacting Jean. << Of course, I'll pass it on->> she begins, relaying her information to the others, but then suddenly something seems to catch her. << Wait, where are you headed? That side of the building feels empty, there's just one presence near you and it- >>

Presumably, this is just enough warning. Barely, maybe. As they round the building, the student beside Kitty suddenly changes, its body bulging in misshapen directions, this way and that, back toward the bulky green form they'd seen out with the initial attack... and lost track of in the chaos.

A Skrull. The Shi'ar really take their diversity hiring seriously.

As its body changes back, those cybernetic implants become visible again, and some device on its hand glows with weird energy. Something strange. Something she realizes instantly reaches beyond 'normal' space.

Something that can hurt her.

Which leaves the kitchen. What's there to say? The alien clone soldier is a frightening thing, copied from the template of a powerful man. The same strength that drove that blade into Talia now does the same to the confused troopers, whose armor seems no match for its vibrating edges.

They fall. Messily.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
As Dazzler sets off her blast, Lockheed circles back around overhead, looking for another target. He spots her collapsing and the little dragon drives down, feet grabbing her by the shoulder and lifting her, wings flapping hard as he flies her along the ground towards where a shelter by the tennis courts lets him get her out of sight of the fight. He sets her down there on the ground, Dazzler no sooner released than the empathic dragon suddenly darting his head up as he senses alarm from his favorite human.

The warning from Jean causes Kitty to phase, and at the first glimpse of shapeshifting from the creature, to dodge to the side. Normally she dodges to not give away her ability, but in this case it might have saved her life.

A blast erupts from the weapon, catching her in the left shoulder. Pain sears through her body as the impact of the weapon flips her bodily to slam into the ground. "Ungh," she groans through a faceful of grass, and pushing herself back to her feet though it's just her right arm that responds to the command to move, the left hanging limply at her side. She still has the handle of the tennis racket in hand though the head is shattered, leaving a somewhat sharp point on the end. Kitty reaches to the strings hanging from it, phasing them off it to turn it into an impromptu stake. "You just made a big mistake. Bub," she tells the unknown alien as she faces off against it.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar drops the pretense, engaging with raw power. Moving from knife to wrestling over powering his opponent with his strength. He lifts the other man and slams him to the ground with enough force to crack stone, ripping away the helmet. "No! How?! This isnt possible!"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
When her target stays down (whether because she told it to or otherwise), Tabby immediately turns to see how James is doing. She frowns and moves closer to offer her help in putting his assailant out of commission. As the other man is slammed into the ground, Tabby throws the time bombs in both her hands as she shouts, "Move back, Jimmy!" She's aiming for center of mass because that's the easiest way not to miss.

Jean Grey has posed:
"So easily fooled," the once again towering green alien answers Kitty, its features twisted in a predatory leer. It stalks forward, clenching and unclenching the fist on its non-enhanced arm, almost the distinction seems somewhat moot. As it stalks forward, that hand takes various forms of its own, a claw, a spiked, club-like bludgeon, and then finally... perhaps in immitation, mockery of her impromptu weapon, into a vicious spear-like blade.

"We have plenty of data on you, on your friends. Your abilities are quite like one of the Guardsmen. With this," and the device on his other hand pulses, "I can collapse your spatial displacement and-" He grins. "Well, you can imagine the rest."

Menacingly, it aims the arm device again, and fires-

Rogue has posed:
Rogue settles down on to her boots on the grass, leaving a series of torn muddy trails in the grass behind her and the tree she just plowed the lawn with. In the wake was also the bodies of the Shi'ar soldiers.

The tree, on fire and crackling now, is tossed to the ground with a thump and crunching of branches, while Rogue turns around to start walking to the first Shi'ar soldier she sees trying to get up....

She looks down at herself, seeing the hole in her shirt she just starts to tear it open, not off, just tearing the bottom of the shirt off with its burnt edges around where they shot her....

She walks past the soldier who is on his knees now and just kicks him right in the chest, sending him tumbling head over heels across the ground with likely some sickly crunching noises of his own...

With her torn shirt piece now, Rogue wraps it around her head and ties it off as she walks to the next three soldiers in worse shape on the ground but still alive. With her hair tied off now, Rogue begins her assault on them, one by one punching and tossing them around like rag dolls. She's well aware of her anger too, meaning she has no control of her power right now....

The sight of Lockheed out of the corner of her eye catches her attention and Rogue tracks him to where Kitty is... She crouches quickly and picks up two of the Shi'ar weapons, turning to fly toward where Kitty is fighting, Rogue starts to double-wield Shi'ar guns, squeezing the triggers aimed at the one fighting her friend.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar steps back whether in shock or listening to Tab's direction is unclear but as Tabby drops the hammer Jim moves to the other trooper. He puls off the helmet revealing the same face. "What the Actual Fuck?"

Talia Wagner has posed:
The Shi'ar squad leader looks around slowly with a large group of his troops in bloody pools all around him. "Okay. This sucks." the hulking figure muses.

Still. What the hell is she supposed to do since she is gutted but in possession stasis right now.


She steps out onto the back patio with a "It's TJ in here don't shoot!" in case someone is inclined to hit her with a tree due to the armor. Looking around to see how the fight is going but the backyard seems pretty mopped up honestly.

Okay good sign....

She tumbles out in a blur of energy and ends up bleeding on the back porch of the manor.

The tall Shi'ar squad collapses behind her effectively in a coma that will last twenty four hours. <<One to beam up to medbay please>>

Which is when someone dips into existance through a boring ass portal to snag her bleeding up into his arms and teleport her away again. Brotherhood member when someone reviews the tapes if anyone bothers.

Leaving a bloody mess in the kitchen, an unconcious squad leader, and her own pool of blood on the patio.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty starts to rush the alien, trying to close the distance before he can fire. She sees that she's going to be too slow as he raises the weapon and the energy along its barrel pulses and she sees him pulling the trigger.

A sudden blur of purple shoots through the air as Lockheed flies himself in front of Kitty. Wings spread he takes the full brunt of the blast, the little dragon tumbling through the air and slamming into the wall of the mansion behind her.

The roar that comes out of Kitty's mouth is nearly blood-curdling to hear. Even as Rogue's shots rain down on the alien, Kitty leaps at him, good hand lifted overhead to stab the sharp end of the broken racket handle down into the alien's shoulder from above.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Seeing that the guy you just blasted with two bombs looks just like one of your very best friends in the entire world is a special kind of head trip. Probably not as much as seeing it when you ARE the guy but still. Tabby staggers back a couple of steps in her own wave of shock.

Jean Grey has posed:
In the woods, in the clash between James and the strange simulacrum, pure rage proves an edge. The clones are made to serve, to fight, but perhaps such raw passion is lost in the process. With titanic strength, it's slammed to the ground, and when the alien armor's helmet is ripped away, the truth is made clear. A face like his looking back him.

Like, though not quite the same.

There's not much time to think on the implications, however, as Tabitha powers up another destructive orb. Layed out hard, the clone soldier has no chance of avoiding it.

It doesn't get back up, leaving them safe... to ponder the implications as the second soldier is examined, appearing identical to the first.


Outside, Rogue brutalizes the Shi'ar troops, most of whom are already stunned or injured. Like many of these great galaxy-ruling alien races, the Kree, the Skrull, they are individually a bit more robust than a normal human. Stronger, tougher.

...But not that tough. It's probably a good thing that Kitty needs help, distracting the angered Belle from turning to mass butchery.


She arrives, a raging, rambo-esque with her headband and pair of BFGs, in time to see the alien lift its strange weapon and fire. It aims for Kitty, but doesn't get the target it's looking for. To the Skrull, the dragon is a nuisance creature, and he prepares for another shot, or just to fight the 'little human girl' close up, with faith in his superior physicality.

But that doesn't account for getting shot a bunch of times. The Shi'ar guns, as noted previously, are no joke, blasting a few holes through his large, strange form, somewhat mishapen even when he's not shifting. But the damage, the pain, it doesn't just stagger him, but makes his whole body spasm and ripple.

And gives Kitty time enough to put her stake exactly where she wants it.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar looks over at Tabby, then at the kids. He licks his lips, they're dry. He's breathing hard. He looks around scanning the woods. "We're clear." He picks up the clones and nods to Tabby, "I- I've got nothing. John died in the last invasion, he died leading the X-Men back in 2012. I- this isn't possible... but apparently it is." Jim nods to the kids, "Come on, move slow. The battle for the backyard is over but there's still pockets of fighting."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith stares a moment longer then slowly back away from the fallen troopers before turning to head slowly back toward the house, keeping her eyes scanning for anyone else she might need to ... hurt.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue hates guns.... but in this instance she's willing to embrace them a bit, especially when she sees what they do to that Shi'ar bastard.

Rogue lands on the grass near to where he was and Kitty is, she holds the large space rifles up by their stocks on her hips and she looks at the carnage, eyes the Shi'ar bodies, suits, helmets.

"God... damnit... space nerds..." She says with a heavy sigh before she looks up at Kitty. "Are you okay?" She asks, then she spots Lockheed and... well yeah.... rushes toward him to check on him next, tossing the two guns aside.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The sound of the blasts from Rogue are not loud enough to make it through the thundering in Kitty's ears. The cry of pain from the alien as the impromptu stake is buried deep in his shoulder also goes unheard. He collapses, and Kitty just stands there breathing hard for a few moments, her stomach feeling like it's turning inside out.

She turns towards the mansion and the sight of the little purple dragon laying there limply on the ground. Kitty staggers over to him, arriving just after Rogue, though she might not even see her old roommate for the way her eyes are focused on Lockheed.

"I'm ok boy, you saved me," she tells him, reaching down with her one working arm to run her hand over him. "Lockheed?" she says, tears coming to her eyes.

She moves her hand over in front of his nostrils and a little sob of relief is given. "He's still breathing," he says. < HANK! JEAN, I NEED HANK! Lockheed is hurt! > she thinks, the mental equivalent of a shout.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar frowns as he comes through the trees with the kids and he dumps the bodies. "Guys, Lockheed's hurt. Gather up all the medical herbs you can find." He nods to the girl who hands him her pouch and then leads the others back into the woods. James looks at Tabby, there's a moment and then James of again. Arriving at the little dragon's side. Touching him gently, his words singsong a prayer of healing. He takes herbs and makes a poultice. "Stay with me, Hero."

Jean Grey has posed:
And with that, the fighting behind the mansion seems to subside, although it's premature to declare victory. In the best circumstances, they'd need extensive sweeps to be sure all the alien troops are accounted for, let alone these unusual clones. If they're half as good as James, there could be a lot more hiding in the surrounding wilderness. Plus, who knows how many of the injured are down for good...

Well, on that later count, they might not have to worry. As the X-Men count their own casualties, they'll notice the bodies of their fallen foes, in whatever state they may be, each begin to shimmer with residual energy and then vanish away. Much like how they arrived. Much like how Talia left. It makes something clear about all of this: the Shi'ar don't want to leave evidence behind.

The heroes are left alone. Kitty and Rogue with their fallen friend, another veteran of the cosmic journey that started all of this.


Throughout the fight, Jean has maintained close mental contact throughout the school, not just with the X-Men, but with older students, residents, whoever is there to handle the action. It's standard practice when they're in the field, and invaluable in a situation like this, coordinating the response of the entire school. It is faster, more efficient than electronic communication. And, without a similarly powerful telepath, impossible to listen in on or jam.

It means that Jean's response to the situation with Lockheed is immediate, instant, if not all good news. << Can you get to us? The sub-basement access is compromised, we're fighting them down here, one managed to get through somehow, it's... I don't know, living gas, maybe, we're- >>

Kitty, and everyone for that matter, can feel the emotion in the conversation, Jean's concern as she hears about Lockheed. And not only him, but a half dozen other such cases around the mansion, as fights are won, but not without cost. From Kitty's perspective, it is single trauma, but Jean absorbs each and every one. And then she, and everyone else, can feel something much worse.

<< Oh no. Ohno ohno- >> Panic like this in Jean is not something that most of the younger generation knows, although the earliest X-men, those who knew her when she was new to it, can remember times that tested her. Fear first, increasingly desperate. And then behind it.... anger. A mental flash, of a nice house, and then a rush of faces, identities, essences, thoughts. And then finally the impulse to action, at whatever cost.

<< My parents. >>