7267/Shi'ar: Reckoning

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Shi'ar: Reckoning
Date of Scene: 08 August 2021
Location: Annandale-on-Hudson
Synopsis: Several X-Men and their SHIELD allies follow Jean as she races to save her parents. The Titans arrive to assist. While they're able to defeat the remnants of the Death Commandos and several strange Shi'ar androids, Davan Shakari brings a mysterious young man to the encounter. Jean calls upon unknown aspects of the Phoenix to revive her father, dying from a heart attack from the stress of the attack, but is then seemingly destroyed -- or absorbed -- by the mysterious figure.
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Clarice Ferguson, Jessica Drew, Illyana Rasputina, Donna Troy, Terry O'Neil, Rogue, Gar Logan, Michael Erickson, Kian, Kaida Connolly

Jean Grey has posed:
Annandale-on-Hudson is a small town (technically a hamlet) in Duchess County, north of Westchester, situated along the river as its name might suggest. It is a quiet and peaceful place, remarkable only as the local school town for Bard College. In a way, this is not accidental. John Grey is a professor there. Together with his wife, Elaine, they raised a daughter there, named Jean. Together, they'd lived a rather idyllic existence existence, before the discovery of their child's extraordinary abilities after the death of one of her young friends in a car accident. Since then, their quiet, normal life has had... occasional interruptions.

Tonight is one of those times.

Moments earlier, an hour south, Xaviers School for the Gifted had come under attack, with Shi'ar special forces transporting down from the orbitting cruiser T'Korr, led by their diverse alien shock troops. With the aid of a defecting Shi'ar spy, SHIELD backup, and a robust defense from both the school faculty and its extraordinary students, they failed in their apparent objective: the deaths of exiled Shi'ar Princess Lilandra Neramani... and of Jean Grey. Their attack had reached the secret sub-basement used by the X-Men before it was finally repelled, only for Jean to suddenly panic under presumably psychically-gained information: that her family was also in danger, the Shi'ar obsession with the Phoenix hosts requiring the elimination of her entire family lineage. With Clarice already on hand in the basement, she'd demanded an immediate portal to her childhood home -- against objections that it was likely just another trap.

Be that as it may, the group from the basement arrives instants later, on the front lawn of her childhood home. Which, as it turns out, is presently on fire. "Mom?! Dad? Sara?!" Of course, she starts immediately for the burning building.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Well. ...shit. Clarice regards the burning building sadly, and with hardly time to pause for thought, gestures with her hands to open a portal. One end of the portal opens above the worst of the blaze - the other end is deep inside the Hudson river. Water immediately begins to pour over the blaze, as Clarice redirects her gaze to Jean. "Do you sense them? Are they in there? I can redirect the portal to protect them from the flames," she offers in hasty explination.

Jessica Drew has posed:
On the expressway into danger has become a habit associating with her asset, Michael Erickson, aka, Cal'hatar. Jess would be the last to admit to being out of breath and in pain. She missteps as she comes through the portal - reopening the wounds on her thigh and back; even rapid healers like herself need time to recover from Shi'ar lance wounds.

Heat from the inferno tightens the skin of her face, in stark contrast to the well-kept grounds. She runs across the lawn, close behind Jean Grey toward the house.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
A girl can't get a break, she really can't. Caught up in a delicate ritual at ground zero for the world's arcane bastion, a Russian sorceress might ignore the her cellphone except that it rings at all. The triune tone tells her everything quite necessary. Putting a pin on a hanging spell is never easy, taped by a sharp word, where hopefully neither the current Sorcerer Supreme or a galumphing pair of enchanted snakes will trip over it. A moment later, she falls through the floor courtesy of a flame-licked stepping disk.

The terminal end of that disk blossoms at Xaviers School, and out she steps with that blade in hand and one too many excited members of her legion tumbling through the barely-glimpsed backdrop at Limbo. The portal collapsing cuts off the war-cries, disturbingly akin to a haka, produced by far too many demonic throats. "Who feels like giving friendly gift baskets to our visitors?" she calls out, Russian clipped and sharp, that black smile curved in a smirk. Anyone who feels fit to answering the Demon Queen of Limbo's arrival has a few moments, as she circles her hand loosely in a circle. "No reason we miss the party! Let's go find trouble." Ideally, that means getting a direction to the /who/, because Jean.

Donna Troy has posed:
    In orbit on Asteroid M, Donna Troy sits with Diana, who's receiving medical attention after the assault on the Watchtower, when an emergency alert comes through the T-Com. The message: 'Attention, all available Titans, this is Vorpal. The Shi'ar have initiated an assassination attempt on civilian targets, namely the family of the person whom they consider to be the host of the Phal'kon - Jean Grey of the Xavier School. The Shi'ar attacked the school with absolutely no regard for the lives of the students and were repelled by us, but now they have moved to attack Jean's family in hopes of drawing her out to Annandale-on-Hudson.'

    Donna frowns, glances at Diana, considers the place they are currently visiting, and takes a moment to step aside. Switching to an all-Titans broadcast, she speaks into her T-Com. "Terry, stick a rabbit hole in the main room at the tower, other end to your destination. Everyone else who's spare, get down there and help him. I'm currently on Asteroid M and uh... there are things I'm needed for up here, but I'll be watching closely through the T-Com relay. Terry, please activate the bodycam function. Also, I'm going to send you an image of where I am so you can open a Rabbit hole if you need back-up. Be careful everyone, the Shi'ar forces include a number of uh... meta-Shi'ar. They should be considered very dangerous."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
When they go after you, it's just what happens in 'the life,' but when they go after your parents?

That's getting personal. And most of the Titans have at least one missing parent or a demonic entity with issues.r
The Rabbit Hole opens up into the Tower once Vorpal has seen the flaming house. "I'll be right back!" He calls out to the group and, turning to walk into the Tower, he taps his T-Comm: "Calling all avalilable Titans to the main room!"

As he walks in, leaving the hole open, he describes in broad strokes what the situation is. "I'm in the Main Room with a -" and Donna's transmisson comes in just as he was doing this. Great minds think alike? "... what she said!"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had been with Kitty and the injured Lockheed up to the point where they needed to move out to deal with the continued threat facing them.

She'd told Kitty they'd bring her in if they needed her but otherwise to stay with the little dragon who was still asleep.

When Illyana offers her services of quick transport, Rogue is there to accept. She'd changed out of her burned and torn clothing to get in to her green and gold boydsuit. She kept the torn tanktop material wrapped around her head like a makeshift bandana though, and kept two other items from the assault on the school...

Rogue comes out of Illy's portal carrying two large Shi'Ar Rifles in either of her hands, holding them aimed upward with the stocks resting against her hips. She looks around the new area and huffs. "This is definitely where Jean was raised..." She idly comments before shooting off in to the sky.

<"I got over watch, like that game they play in the rec room, whatever it's called."> She says over the comms.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan responds to the call by flying down the open elevator shaft of Titans Tower as a hawk, morphing back to normal by the time he's close to the rabbit hole. "I got the message. You know you're not doing this by yourself. I don't know anything about what's going on over there, but when has that ever stopped me before?" That's the kind of good help he is. He'll just adapt and change to what the situation calls for. It's what he does.

"Going on three! One..two.." He jumps in, feet first, before finishing, coming onto the scene in time to see a whole lot of water being dumped on a blaze. "Okay, that's not something you see every day," Beast Boy remarks, and he takes to the skies as the hawk again for a better look overhead. All green, all the time.

Jean Grey has posed:
As Clarice starts summoning portals, dumping water over the house, Jean works her own abilities as she strides up the front steps of the building. Lifting her arms she makes a parting motion and the flames before her seem to melt away in the matching directions, the chemical reactions occurring across the facade of the white-painted wooden house cut short at the molecular level.

"They're in there- my mom and sister, my dad, oh god-"

As ever, there's a sense of rawness about her, her panic and anger at the situation felt by nearly everyone in the vicinity, as her psychic discipline lapses under emotional strain...

And then, as Clarice ponders whatever assistance, she's nearly shot in the head.

Rogue senses it coming, but she's not quite close enough, as she rises from Illyana's hellish realm, but Jessica does feel it coming, and that fractional warning is the only thing that saves her, the energy weapon's shot far too fast to react to in normal time.

Michael Erickson has posed:
    While everyone unloads across the state, the only other friendly Shi'ar than the empress, the Imperial spy and soldier, Cal'hatar (known also as Michael Erickson, and on occasion the Red Sentinel) prepares to step through the portal into the current Phoenix's hometown. His previously polished black chrome armor is now scarred and pitted from the Black Cloak's lance blasts, and he walks stiffly past the Empress in the sublevels of the Xavier mansion with a nod of understanding and swaps out with Jessica the Shi'ar infantry rifle he's taken from a dead trooper for the heavy electron rifle she'd taken from his cache before the SHIELD SUV it was in went up. "Better I take up a defensible position," he tells her, dragging himself a bit as he goes toward the mouth of the portal. "They'll be coming if they're not there alreaday. I'm used to being a sharpshooter."

    He'd say 'sniper', but they don't really have them in the Imperial service. Not the way humans do on this planet. "You want to...nngh. Serve as my spotter?"

    And then they're through the tunnel and heading out onto the lawn, carrying the rifle in his arms with some laboriousness. "Christ. We'll need to kill them all if they're on this kind of mission. Matter of honor." A moment to glance at Jess. "You okay?"

Kian has posed:
    A year and a half on this mad planet, and Kian is developing Earth-appropriate reflexes.
    To wit, when Terry and Donna's calls comes through the T-com, he's already halfway down the open shaft to the main room before he stops to ask himself what in the name of all the Gods he thinks he's doing.  And even that isn't even the slightest delay in his flight.  Donna /tavar'h/ and Terry /tenar'h/ have asked for help.
    So really, he doesn't even ask what's going on; he just flits on through, following Gar and immediately going upwards to get some sort of overview.
    As usual, he has no idea what he's going to do.  He's going to just wing it.
    Uh, no pun intended.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"What?!" Kaida calls out, head popping up from within a bowl of now mostly eaten popcorn and staring over the edge, "Hold on! Hold on!" The bowl flips up and the last few pieces of popcorn go flying up into the air and then start to fall and she calls out again.

"HOld on!" And a popcorn piece vanishes.

"Just a sec!" Another gone.

"A moment!" And then the last few pieces vanish before the bowl hits the ground. A few kernels now scattered as the blur of a mouse vanishes down toward the women's dorm area. Then she comes racing back in adjusting her cape like cloak with a new addition of a tiny red scarf that flares out behind her by nearly a tail length. She shifts her sword on her hip and then clears her throat.

"Ok! Ready!" And with that she leaps through the portal and arrives right into on to the scene. She immediately stands there, as if posing heroically and taking in the scene.

"Fear not! For I am here!" She declares. Into the din of people rushing about, barely able to be heard but pose she does before she nods as if she's sure everyone has seen and heard her before racing right toward the fire, sniffing the air and listening for sounds of people in direct trouble.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"Of course, I'm okay," she snaps angrily at the Shi'ar agent. Who wouldn't be, beaten up and running toward a burning house?

Adrenaline and spider sense narrow Jessica's vision to a black tunnel of dread and imminent danger. As the flames part before Jean Grey's powers, magic in every sense of the word even to someone who supposedly read the top secret dossier about her; Spider Woman looks wildly about her for the target of the danger barreling toward them. She leaps before she understands why, propelled by wild instinct - death walks over her web and Jess will rob it of its prey - straight into Clarice's side. The two of them roll over the well-tended grass like pro footballers.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "What the-" Clarice starts after Jessica barrels into her. Her concentration on the portal threatens to waver - but it holds strong, water still pouring out onto the building, as she snatches up one of her javelins from her sheath.
    Thankfully, the shot of laser fire going through the position where she'd just been standing registers a moment before her can bring that javelin down on Jessica. "Oh. Th-thanks!" she calls, scrambling to her feet.
    She shoots a cautious glance back in the direction from which the laser seemed to have come, before summoning a second portal to cover her back.
    "Jean! //Where// are they in the house?" she calls out for a second time, listening desperately for the sounds of cries from the house. Were they already unconscious from the smoke?

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
"You have guns. With everything else, Soulsword." Illyana doesn't feel obligated to rock the blade back and forth, for walking around pleasant little town tucked against the Hudson River Valley waving a sword tends to attract unwanted attention. Instead, she throws an invisible protective spell around her with a few quick words under her breath. Nothing like additional armour for people who might find it necessary to attack first and ask questions later. By the time she emerges from the portal, the swirling ribbons of mana have already locked into place, fed by Limbo into its sorcerer-queen.

She takes a breath and then awakens the comms, the only functional way to throw her voice to Jean at that distance. "They can be brought back if you can get them to me." Gone, the abbreviated linguistic tells, since her English is the equal of a professor's. That professor's. Too late for her to react to the awful shot, but that matters is that a bolt was aimed at one of Xaviers own. The response is brief, an aside to Rogue: "That way, in the treeline. I am behind you, da? Or you shoot and I can scatter fire in their direction." A few energy pulses into a portal that scatters the bolts in a fanned direction stands a sure chance to strike something, after all, if the southern belle doesn't feel like dropping in to flatten trouble.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue's makeshift bandana of military green whips in the wind along with the rest of her hair. she has her eyes scanning the ground as she listens to the team comms and tries to focus on the problems at hand. When she's fired at its only her natural instinct to roll in mid air. They'd shot her once back at the school and she'd dodged several more blasts, it lets her get a timing down for the weapon fire... When she comes out of the doge, Rogue sweeps the big Shi'ar rifles around to aim them. <"Sounds like a deal t'me, Pretty Lady."> Rogue says to her Russian team mate as she starts to unleash weapons fire back at the direction she'd been shot at from.

Jean Grey has posed:
In the air, Rogue has a superior view of the angle of the shot, although anyone can make a general guess as the darkness is briefly split by that lance of blueish energy: the house sits adjacent to a wooded area (one of the nice things about living in such an idyllic place), and there's a hill that would make a good vantage point. Which presumably is where Rogue starts blasting away, right?

Easy enough to flush out, right?

Meanwhile, Jean is forging on. "I think I can get a- wait I, I lost them. Someone's-" Those who are used to fighting with the X-Men are likewise use to constant mental updates, relayed via Jean in lieu of traditional radio communication. Even the others with her, strangers though they are, may have gotten used to the psychic energy radiating off of her, her worry for her family and anger at the people doing this to them. But suddenly, that all goes silent. Psychically dead. Well, that would just be back to 'normal' for most folks, but the rapid shift is obvious.

Inside, Jean gives an angry scream, and flashes of light are visible against the windows and other entrances.

Outside, as portals start dropping off the Titans all across the area around the house... the Shi'ar apparently react with equal measure. Suddenly, there are a line of glimmery energy signatures, which quickly materialze into a loose line of armored, winged figures (though not the tell-tale crested helmets of Shi'ar trooper armor), with a familiar robed one in their center. Familiar to Michael at least, and perhaps to a few of the Titans who'd been out in space: Davan Shakari. And standing next to him is... a young human male, with dark hair. "You lot really are persistent. All this, for her, hmm?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Bodycam function turned on in order to document all the UpFuckery the Shi'Ar are engaged in, the Cheshire Cat is the last to come through to make sure there are no stragglers left behind.

"We've got endangered civilians in the building," he says over the comms as he steps out into the field, invisible. "And we've got weapons discharge. Kian, /tenar'h/, locate them and make the dik'heads /regret/ the moment they touched those triggers. Gar, love, help Kian make it stick, and don't get shot. Kaida: Our priority is to get Jean's family out, safe and sound, and to stop these assholes from stopping us. If you can do so safely, your speed to your advantage and and run through to see if you can locate people in the house. I'm going in after you, but I'm slower than you. Titans, give them hell, and help our friends."

He darts across the field, ducking from Rabbit Hole to Rabbit Hole to shorten the distance, invisible. And then, Shakari and company drops in, and the Cheshire Cat narrows his eyes.

"Okay. I spotted the Major asshole and the assholettes. Guys, same as before. I'll help tangle with these assholes."

Standing invisible, the Cheshire cat crouches and puts his hands into the ground, staying low in his invisibility, and focuses.

And summons a glowing anvil above the dark-haired human, letting it drop. ~Let's see what reflexes are like~ he thinks.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
     What the hell, even? As the fire begins to die down directly under the constant onslaught of water from Clarice's portal, the woman redirects its location - closing the first portal and open a second cascade of water over a different hot-spot. Please, don't let it be too later. Innocents shouldn't be in the way of this nonsense...
    But at the sound of Jean's cries from inside, she runs towards the house - blinking away and reappearing on the porch a moment later.
    "Jean!" she calls, searching for a way into the inferno and wincing from the heat.
    She opens a second, smaller portal from the Hudson to thoroughly douse herself in the fetid water from the polluted river. And somewhere in the house - faint amongst the smell of all the smoke - comes the smell of roasted fish.
    Oops. Oh well.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Up on Asteroid M, Donna remains watching the action intently over the T-com broadcast. "Kian," she sends back to the team on the ground. "These aliens are avian-descended, but don't let that distract you. They are not like your people, they have already attacked a peace conference and are threatening to destroy hundreds of thousands of people to get what they want. See if you can do something about disabling some guns to give Gar a free reign on their troops. Terry, the guy in the robe? He's their ambassador. If you can capture him, that would be a good thing. Don't take too many risks though okay?"

Michael Erickson has posed:
    Michael/Cal'hatar is about to say something to Jessica when she launches away, saving Clarice from a shower of laser fire. He mutters some invective to himself in his home language and wills himself to kneel, groaning as he does so, and brings the muzzle of the heavy rifle in his arms to bear against the soldiers emerging from teleportation tunnels. Tries to maximize the penetration power of the rifle as he linee up a snap course, decades of experience informing his aim. Squeezes the trigger.

    A bolt of crackling blue light lances forth, a bolt of electrons hurtling forth like Zeus's own thunderbolts in miniature. Death by deep tissue penetration and electrocution coming if he hits.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"I don't know what is going on at all but you got it, Terry." Kaida gives a tiny thumbs up that literaly no one can see and races into the house. Mouse noses and ears are the main way they discern the world and Kaida is no different. Once inside, she's sniffing actively and her satelite dish ears are swivelling and turning. She glances in various directions as she takes in the information before suddenly racing off in the direction of peoples.

"I can't carry people, Terry but I can find 'em! There's definitely people in here." She starts moving quickly through the place, avoiding the fire and slipping about to try to find the family living here.

Kian has posed:
    Kian is already ahead of Donna: he radios back, "If they are attackin' people, they are not my wing-siblin's."
    He reaches out with his powers to see what energies and forces are in play -- electromagnetic, strong force, weak force.  It really doesn't matter, though.  Whatever it is, he reaches out with his /rhy'thar/, his meta, to dampen it, shut it down, make it fail to hurt his friends and his friends' friends.
    More on instinct than anything else, he calls out in his own language (should anyone have any ability to translate it): <<Wing-siblings!  What are you doing?  You must not attack!>>  Even his fellow Titans probably won't understand it, but he feels obliged to try to talk them down.
    Such an optimist.

Gar Logan has posed:
With the situation what it is, in spite of not knowing all the details about who's who, who's doing what, and so on, it isn't that difficult to tell who the bad guys are in this case. Someone shooting at anyone near the house counts as being on the other side.

The green hawk flies higher, pinpointing the hill in question. With sharper eyesight, he's able to pick out the location any shots are coming from, but he's still hidden effectively enough. "You see him, Kian?" But the Akiar appears to be doing something he was suggested not to do.

Circling around, because who really expects to need to look up, Beast Boy seeks to use the trees to his benefit as well and get closer, landing softly to creep nearer as a squirrel.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"Sorry, sorry, I didn't have time to warn you," Jessica responds distractedly to the young woman with the amazing powers she had just tackled. She gets to her feet in time to feel a breath of displaced air as black armored Shi'ar portal into existence behind her.

Cool water patters her neck as she then turns to face the newest on the scene. An anvil pops out of thin air directly over the only human among the Shi'ar. Another one like Michael/Cal'hatar? floats through her head as she unslings the gun that /her/ Shi'ar had given to her back at the school and sprays the lot of them with a weapon of their own making. A red beam of energy marches across three of their chests.

Jean Grey has posed:
The fact that Michael takes advantage of the transporter lag pays off. It's one good shot, with an equally high-powered weapon, put right into the helmet of one of the armored figures. It... does not die of deep tissue damage.

It's head explodes in sparks.

OK, so make that robot figures, not armored ones.


Inside, fortunately for Clarice, the fires do seem mostly to be diminishing, whether from all the water she's dumped on them or from Jean's efforts, or some combination. When she reaches the interior, she finds Jean squaring off with another alien woman, this one with red hair and a... somewhat dubious choice in white bodysuit. She's also pouring blasts of crackling orange-yellow energy at Jean, which Jean seems to be doing her best to absorb/control. "Haha. You know they failed me out of the Subguardian program. You know why? Because I was TOO strong, because I didn't want to hold back. What do you think they'll say, when I kill a host? Maybe I'll be the next Praetor."

OK, she's a bit of a loon maybe. Kaida sees this too, from a mouse-like view. At least in this foyer/living room part of the house, no family members are present.


The glowing anvil falls-

-and the young man looks up--

And the anvil 'pops' back out of existence.

"Good," murmurs Shakari, briefly laying a hand on his shoulder. "Now... you know what you need to do, yes?"

Jessica lays in fire against the raptorzoids, or whatever you want to call them, although after Michael's opening shot the others react faster, leaping away, twisting with great agility and taking to low-ground flight on their metallic wings. She manages to graze one of them, but without the dead-hit in the visor that her partner pulled off, it holds up. They are Shi'ar... whatever, fighting again Shi'ar weapons. Collectively, three of them come for her and Michael, slashing with their wings.


Over on the hill, various methodologies will eventually spot the shooter: he is a compact, rather short fellow actually, in black battle armor. Again, no Shi'ar head-crest. He has a very, very big gun, which he probably is pointing toward Rogue as she makes the most obvious approaching target.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
A snapped gesture gives Illyana a window through space, a slanting pinpoint placed at a glancing angle to orient with. She halts altogether for a few seconds, acquiring her bearings through the shadows gathered under trees and accounting for a landmark or two. Then comes the black-lipped smirk as the flames erupt around her and swallow the woman whole, sending her back into reality slightly behind Rogue. A girl has to cheat if she isn't prepared to try leg-and-flight day to keep up with the bombshell belle.

<Rogue, on three. Aim slightly down.> Her suggestion is proffered as she folds space on itself again, aligning a distance that focuses on a rather short masculine figure holding a grossly oversized gun. Her angle won't make it dead obvious of a portal, nor the second behind him, or the third being readied for when the X-Man takes her shots. Hell, if Rogue intends to fly through at full speed to collide with the guy, she has her window.

Don't mind the horde of cheering demons shaking rattles, bells, and sistrums. Don't mind the Demon Queen prepared to bring that nightmarish soul-relic to bear through Deathstroke's ribs, supposing he is so focused on Rogue.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had been fiddling with the Rifles some before leaving the X-Base and she'd found a high rate of speed setting. It over-heated the rifles after a while of continuous firing, but it seemed appropriate in this moment.

<"Like shootin' bottles off the fence back home."> Rogue replies to her team mate in the Demon Queen. She angles her shots as directed and begins to unload that rapid fire mode as she flies at the top of her speed through the portals, past all the demons seemingly enjoying this like its a sporting event, and right on out toward the Shi'Ar soldier with the BFG. Rogue's intentions are clear.

And Charles probably won't like it, but she's banking on he'll let one or two of these pass just this time!

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Magician. Someone who can dispel chaos magic constructs, to boot. Magical awareness, potentially some omniscience. What's more: Vorpal is now likely his target.

"I'm likely compromised. Magic User on the field," he broadcasts to the Titans. If Raven were here, things would be different... but all they have is him, and he still doesn't know everything he can do.

There was nothing for it but see what came next. Except, maybe, try to take down some of the numbers. With all but a thought, he opens a Rabbit Hole under Shakari, in the hopes of giving him a several hundred feet drop. The man in the space devil gimp suit didn't seem like he had wings, after all, and even if the fall didn't hurt him, it would at least put him temporarily out of action before the magician attacks.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Jean, I'll deal with her. Go find them," Clarice offers. This probably isn't the smart play. If she finds the family - she can evac them to medical care. But at the same time - she can understand Jean's need to set her eyes on her family, herself.
    The magenta-hued woman opens a portal between Jean and her attacker, positioning her exit portal so she fires the energy back at the woman who produced it. Would she be immune to her own powers?
    Well. There was really only one way to find out. She only knows that sending these guys off to the vaccum of space hasn't had the desired result yet. More's the pity.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Only one of the heads exploded but not from Agent Drew's gunfire. She throws a glance at Michael/Cal'hatar just as the troops turn on them.

"What? Did that tickle?" Jess taunts the Raptazoids. She points the energy weapon straight up into the charging winged menaces, aiming for their necks.

Jean Grey has posed:
From her aerial vantage and with her new toys, Rogue engages in the ancient art of 'pew pew lasers' with her upmodded Shi'ar rifles. Not that the dude's guns aren't fancy too! He may in fact get the first shots in, taking a couple accurate blasts at the flying woman, though she's proved before to be able to tank these- albeit it's not PLEASANT. But then when she returns fire, she utilizes the rather unique advantage of 'cheating' via way of 'shortcuts across space and time', aka, 'hell magic bullshit', aka Tuesday in Limbo.

Suffice to say, he's not really expecting to be shot from any direction but that one, and ends up getting shot from a lot. That said, on rapid fire, her rifles don't have the punch his BFG sniper gun does, and they don't fully penetrate his armor. But they batter him around, disorienting him, as... well, several people line up to get close and personal. Suffice it to say he's not going to be dodging all of that!

Kian has posed:
    There are two things here that are reliable Kian-triggers.
    The first is that misbehaving robots are robots that need to be shut down immediately.  As has been stated, his world operates on a robot-based economy, and faulty robots need to be shut down immediately to protect that.
    And the second is that using wings as weapons is just about /blasphemy/.
    Even so, the birdman does not react with rage or anger.  He... stops, actually.
    Over the T-Com, he reports, "The black-hair one, he iss... nnh.  I do not know.  He iss pullin' energy, not jus' the way I do.  He iss pull it from my min', from Vorpal, from... I do not know all.  It iss very broad base.  I will do what I can agains' the others.  I may not advocate hittin' him, but...."
    The sentence goes unfinished, and Kian applies himself to taking the robots down, especially those attacking with their wings.
    That's just *wrong*.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"So, I'm gonna assume the woman with the dubious fashion sense is the bad person." And with that Kaida does the one thing she knows how to do in situations like this. Run really fast. Now, one might think that'd be away from someone but no, no. Kaida is one of those crazy people that runs at danger. Of course, she's tough as a brick, tiny, and moving at right around five hundred miles per hour when she suddenly tries to shoulder tackle whoever this woman's leg is, so it's likely an unpleasant sensation.

Hit or miss, she'll try to skid to a stop and then look around, listening for the heart beats she heard in here.

"Ok, ok, now if I were a family of a red headed lady not dressed like Le Loo Dallas Multipass, where would I be?"

Michael Erickson has posed:
    It's a funny line, what Jess has said, but Michael knows the Raptors and how powerful they are - and now, three of them descend upon the two of them at once. Even if he weren't injured, and his armor was undamaged, it would be like tissue paper before the Raptors' wings and weapons systems. They're among the best of the best for a reason. So he can't just shoot them with his mighty rifle. He has to just...improvise.

    So he does.

    "Get down," he bellows painfully to Jessica, and thumbs a sequence on the side of the rifle where the security locks are supposed to be located; the rifle lets out a bright, angry squeal that rapidly ascends in pitch, and Michael takes the thing and just hurls it like a gangly chrome spear at the three of the Raptors as they descend before falling onto his back in an attempt to get as close to the ground as possible. A lightshow will be coming presently.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna's regretting not having asked for a Rabbit Hole down to the scene of the action. There are people fighting and she's not one of them. So unfair. "Kaida, suggest you keep out of sight for now and keep moving unless you get a really /good/ target of opportunity. Concentrate on the civilians. If you locate any send a pic to Vorpal for him to evacuate them, and keep going. Try behind any closed doors you can squeeze under. Check closets. Do we know how many civilians are assumed to be on the scene?"

    "Terry, you could try targeting the magic user with something that keeps their attention on the effect of your magic, not the cause. If he's draining power, get him to use that stolen power up rather than feeding him more. Maybe time for the water jet trick?"

Gar Logan has posed:
"Robin? What are you doing in that getup?" the Gar-squirrel asks the very short, armored guy with a gun the size of which someone Lilandra met in space, someone she might have remembered liking big guns. And small guns. And all guns.

Of course it's not Robin, but by the time he looks behind him, or whether he does or not, the squirrel has become a rhino. "Hi there. Wanna see how far you can fly?" Putting his head down, he charges forward and lifts his head at just the right moment, not to impale the sniper on one of those horns, but to punt him off into the distance, out in the open. Free shot!

Jean Grey has posed:
In the living room, Jean takes Clarice's offer, focusing a moment to bolster her own defenses, and then thrusting back with a larger telekinetic wave that briefly interrupts the energy pouring from Hypernova (aka Leeloo Dallas Multipass). The spray of energy kind of 'breaks' and sprays everywhere, showing off just how destructive it is, disintegrating a large table and chunk of the wall that leads through into the kitchen.

Jean breaks and- well, goes right up through the ceiling.

The less nice redhead turns and fires a blast on Clarice, which has the doubly-predicted outcome of turning back toward her, and also not seemingly causing her any harm. She smirks, in fact. "Ooh, tick-" She does NOT see Kaida coming, and goes over.


Out front, Terry doubles down, attempting another magical assault, but the result is exactly the same. There's a shimmer, maybe, a line indicating the shape of where the portal would open, but the young man just tilts his head, and it never does. "Find her," he tells his apparent disciple. Or slave?

The young man's eyes begin to glow orange, and he fires a crackling blast directly from them, right back at the Cheshire Cat. He doesn't seem to care much for the outcome, however, as he then begins to hover higher, toward the second floor of the building.

Moreover, as they try more essoteric solutions, the attack from the raptors grows more intense. Jessica keeps trying to fire, but as they close toward melee, the ability to use the rifle gets awkward. The robots, androids, whatever they are... they're fast, and while she makes a glancing hit against one, another comes by and catches her across the back with its bladed feathers.

Another comes right at Michael, who sets his weapon to detonate. It takes a precious second, however, to bypass the safety, and in that time, his foe reaches him, the talons of its gauntlet raking through his armor in the predicted fashion, drawing blood.

The rifle still goes off, but it does so in very close proximity.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice would have liked that to work - especially as she sees the amount of damage the woman's power can do. 'Don't be a hero, Clarice' rings in her head for a second time. Shit. //Shit//. But if these people get their hands on Jean's power... //Shit//.
    "Did that tickle as well?" she shoots back - the line, as dubiously cool as it already was, is further hindered by a coughing fit from all the smoke in the room. Still, a corner of her brain concentrates on continuing to dump water on the fire, but even as she's doing that, she uses the woman's distraction as she's thrown off-ballance by that tiny blur of motion to hurl a javelin at her, intenting to blink 'Leeloo' away - and into the hottest part of the remaining fire.
    Maybe she doesn't like fire? Only one way to find out, right?

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Illyana steps forth from her portal behind Rogue's preferred target, emerging in full blackened armour with the Soulsword clasped in a double-handed grip for a strike. She needs no preamble to strike at the short man from behind with a weapon composed not simply of energy, but the greater portion of a soul once so pure it needed to be shattered five ways to bring the Elder Gods in to end everything in creation. She'll bury the Soulsword straight into him and through as need be, giving Gar and Rogue the means to disarm or finish him off.

Spells and mundane, reinforced armour off no real protection against the relic, though normally flesh wouldn't be entirely affected either. Save that she pulls the guard back, so that while the attack has no killing edges to the blade, it certainly intends to inflict an overload of agony that will with luck drop the man unconscious. Pain is something that a Hell-Lord can deliver with awful precision, and she's not too proud to use it to bring him down. Jean and Stephen can each yell at her later. The nice Jean. The mean Jean can die in a fire. Hellfire, maybe.

Jessica Drew has posed:
The black-winged things close with frightening strength and speed, the wind in their sharp wings a screech to Jessica's super hearing. Only her reflexes save her from death. A piece of black tactical uniform soaked with blood plops to the ground as the wing slices through bulletproof armor and the rifle sling across her back.

Michael/Cal'hatar's words register as the gun primed to be a bomb arcs into the air.

What a place to die!

Jessica's eyes widen as she yells, "Are you..." The words are lost in the maelstrom of energy that explodes directly over their heads amid the Raptors.

The world turns white, then black.

Michael Erickson has posed:
    And that is what does it. Talons. Lightning. Concussive force. Michael's body, already pushed beyond what it should be capable of and only his Shi'ar physiology allows to carry on without dying. As he rifle goes off and its core is vented between him and the ravaging Raptors, he lets out a loud groan as he's hit by the layered fusillade of forces - as the machine get in close he rakes his own claws across its armored head, but consciousness again leaves him as it did not long ago down in the belly of the X-Mansion, and he is out again. Because he's not a superhero without that armor. He's tough, he's experienced, he's an expert fighter, but the people around him are ridiculously strong, fast, and gifted with mutations and whatever else. Compared to them, he's just a civilian - and civilians don't last long on the field.

    Perhaps he'll wake up in a few once his body manages to pull itself together. But not now. Like a chrome-plated doll, he's sprawled upon the lawn, bloodied and silent.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue takes her chance with the shooter and fires right back at him. Her rifles are soon to over heat however and are summarily tossed to the ground with a grunt. She watches the others deal with finishing him off and shakes her head lightly side to side. "God these space nerds need t'stay on their own turd." She mutters with her hands on her hips for a second before she looks up and is gone a second later, back up i nto the sky and arching her way over twoard the property, taking in the sights and sounds from above.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"Donna, I live out of sight! I mean, basically I'm not in sight no matter where I am. No one ever looks down!" Kaida calls out, not even paying attention to the fact that she just knocked that woman on her butt. She's busy searching. She races into one room, and then another, and then another. Searching for innocent people to mark and call out for transport.

"Honestly, this is really weird. I mean, even weirder than usual!" She speaks rather quickly as she zips about, "There's a like purple or violet girl in here with another one that's dressed like she's from a Fifth Element convention and then some red head all squaring off. I am pretty sure I got the bad one. Hard to tell!" She races to another room.

"HOnestly, the whole place bein' on fire is the least strange thing of all." And all these words? Spoken with the speed of a child at a theme park on a sugar rush.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"He's not a magic user, Troia. He's just a sucker. Litera-"

As he moves out of the way, the laser hits him. There is a cry of pain, and Vorpal grasps his arm. He doesn't look at it. He doesn't /want/ to look at it to see what the damage is. He can feel it, alright. It's more pain than he has ever felt before.

This man stole his magic from him. That's very, very rude.

VERY rude.

There is a loud roar that comes from where the Cheshire Cat stood just a second ago. A sound Gar might be familiar with. There is still a Cheshire cat standing there, but his appearance is not friendly and decidedly more predatory, taller and broader. His eyes shoot out purple light, and some purple crackles around his left arm, which looks blackened and wounded.

The Manxome foe looks up at the acolyte and narrows his eyes. In a second, his powerful legs have him running towards the house, leaving a trail of blood behind him. As he reaches the building his powerful legs coil and he leaps, scrabbling up the side of the building and leaping off it towards the acolyte. His undamaged arm comes around to grab the acolyte by the leg with knife-sharp claws, with his feet coming up right behind to slash and tear- no magic here, just pure savagery, aiming to tear and disembowel, should he get a hold of his prey.

Jean Grey has posed:
Hypernova's failed guard training was in the same division as a certain whip-lady Donna met earlier, and thus she is a skillful martial artist alongside her particular destructive talent. She goes down, but kips up almost immediately, looking around with fury for whoever knocked her over.

She hasn't figured it out.

She looks back from her confusion just in time to be tagged by Javelin from Clarice. And off she goes, her dream of being the second member of the guard to slay a Phoenix going with her.

Meawhile Jean (and perhaps Kaida following her) reaches the 2nd floor, and eventually the bedroom where her family is hiding.

Her mother and sister are fine. Sooty maybe, but safed from choking by the quick extinguishing of the fire. But her father isn't. "Jean! Oh god Jean, what is all this, and dad, he-" starts Sara.

"Your father-" says her mother, almost talking over her.

John Grey is on the floor. He's not the victim of a disintegration blast from a demented alien, nor of the burning house, at least not directly.

"It's his heart."


On the hill, Warshot gets a combo: he is not in fact a magical creature in any way, so indeed, agony is all the blade is going to cause him. Albeit a lot of it. And whether or not he can still stand afterward is kind of moot, as he subsequently meets a green rhino and goes flying... well, somewhere. Probably not getting up from the THUD at the end of that trip.


Kian's efforts to disrupt the raptorzoids are not immediately effective. Whatever force imbues these things is somewhat esoteric, more than just circuitry and electricity, but some power from the deep, dark void of space, some ancient source unknown to the science of younger races. Or even of the Shi'ar themselves.

But it does have aspects that are simiar. Charge. Power thresholds. Regulation. Insulation. And all of these are tested when the rifle goes off at close proximity.

The two droids furthest from the blast (those attacking Jessica) are thrown back, coursing with energy. Simultaneous to this, his meddling is able to trigger something. They stagger, look toward each other in confusion, and then each touch the crystal at the center of their chest and vanish.

The one next to Michael, however, is left in a smoking pile. So is Michael, for that matter.


Somewhat above them, Vorpal leaps toward the hovering figure with claws drawn. In truth, his foe isn't paying him attention any more, hi back turned, and he's caught, cut, savaged across the back. He bleeds.

He bleeds fire.

More correctly, he bleeds some kind of raw, primal form of energy, his whole body quickly alight in a sheath of destructive power. More than burning, it unmakes, ripping apart the bonds of adjacent matter. Terry might want to hold on, and finish the job... but he'll die. It's obvious.

And while it might seem a heroic death, he'll realize the futility in it, as those wounds themselves already seem to be healing, the same energy that's tearing him apart putting the man's flesh back together, molecule by molecule.


Inside, over her father, Jean is crying, screaming, her hands on his chest. She too glows, wrapped in light, first a very similar sort of destructive yellow-orange, but then, gradually, pure white.

Gar Logan has posed:
Whatever the timing of it, the Titan and the two X-Men are able to handle the sniper, taking that threat off the field whether for the time being or for the duration of the fight. "Nice work, girls!" the rhino exclaims, retaking his normal Beast Boy form. "You're the X-Men? I'm with the Titans. We should have a team cookout sometime. I'll bring the--oh shit."

Right about this time, he hears the roar. There was a video he witnessed from the time he was believed dead, from the time he was slowly trying to recuperate on the ocean floor as a starfish after losing part of his arm and being left for dead by his evil dupe. That very bad, ruthless version of himself drove Vorpal to the point of becoming something else, something that almost destroyed the doppelganger. It was a side he didn't ask about, because it raised too many questions he wasn't ready for the answers to.

To see this amid the rest of the chaos of the Raptors and the Shi'ar and the good guys and so on? It captures all of his focus. "Terry!" he shouts, running ahead after becoming a cheetah, primarily so he can close the distance as quickly as he can. Then, he leaps up as himself again, trying to wrap his arms around Manxsome and pry him away. "Get a hold of yourself! This isn't you!"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "What is it they say? Go die in a fire?" Clarice remarks in a cool tone - before hurrying towards the sounds of Jean's cries, another javelin already in her hands. Was there another foe? Was something wrong with Jean's family?
    As she enters the room, she hesitate's a moment - not sure about the bright light surrounding the other mutant.
    "Jean, Jean if you cool your jets I can port you all to the Med Bay on the Asteroid. Our doctor's can help. Jean..."
    Should she send the woman anyways? But if she's about to lose her cool - they can't afford to let their Med Bay explode in the depths of space. ...was that even something Jean could do?

Kian has posed:
    Kian is not messing around with robots.  Robots that would hurt sentients need only one thing: deactivation, as quickly as possible.
    As such, it's time to get less delicate.  Delicacy is for sentients, not machines, and the birdman has no problem being impolite to machines.
    As has been noticed before, at least among his teammates, it doesn't take splitting too many atoms to release a really unpleasant amount of energy.
    Especially when that happens inside the metal carapace of a robot.  Electronics care neither for the explosive force, nor the attendant EMP.
    Then, and only then, does he notice that Terry /tenar'h/ is... not himself.  Or too much himself.  Or... /c'Rhys'yw/, who knows.
    Forgetting the robots, he dives down to aid Gar.  "Terry!  /Tenar'h/!"

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"Oh no!" Kaida states as she spots the downed man and then she is in the coms very quickly and frowning. She knows a lot about losing parents to things like this and isn't at all happy.

"We have someone down! Needs medical attention! My location!" Kaida is practically yelling when she hears the sound of... roaring? She looks at Jean and the glowing and then at the others and then at Clarice before she zips to the window and looks out.

"What is going on?"

Jessica Drew has posed:
Light hurts Jessica's eyes as she tries to open them. Something has pinned her to the ground; she feels like a burning log lays across her back. Smoke and burned plastics and ozone clog her sense of smell as she slowly pieces together what happened. It takes a thousand years to turn her head looking for the suicide bomber, Michael/Cal'hatar.

In the pile of black rubble not far from her, she makes out razor-sharp wings and what looks like a human-shaped lump of coal. The form resolves into Cal'hatar's soot-streaked armor. From her vantage point, he doesn't appear to be alive.

Groaning aloud, Jess tries to push herself upright; it might split open her head. The only thing worse than her headache would be death. So she opts for the headache though it hurts like holy hell. "Cal. ha. tar," she croaks.

Donna Troy has posed:
"Kaida, we may not have Rabbit Holes for a while here," Donna's voice comes over the T-Com to the mouse-hero. "Looks like you're on guard duty for those civilians rather than evac for now. Don't let anyone step on your tail and if you need backup where you are, don't hesitate to call for it. There's another teleporter on the scene, leave things to them."

    "Gar?" Donna quickly switches channels. "Vorp is... oh you're on it. Good. And uh... leave the X-Folks a guest com when this is done, okay? Kian, get rid of as much of that energy as possible, give Gar some breathing room."

    Switching off broadcast to continue watching, Donna thumps her leg with a fist in frustration. She's regretting not being there now, but she's too polite to put a hole in one of the Brotherhood's walls.

Michael Erickson has posed:
    He's going to die. Not now, perhaps. But he's going to.

    Slowly, consciousness returns to him, leaking in like ice water through the rents in his broken form. He should be dead already - long ago so - but his alien physiology and his sheer will forces him back from the brink for the moment.

    "...here," he whispers hoarsely, turning his head with great effort toward where Jessica's voice comes. "Did we....get them?" Pain is an electric, animating force, the only thing he can immediately feel. Like a power main, keeping him moving like a puppet for the moment.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Gar manages to pry Manxome from the strange burny man just in time, fortunately for him. He drops, probably getting his strange, glowing blood on Gar and possibly Kian. There is a lot of blood. There is a lot of places from which he is bleeding profusely. "Back!" he snarls, pushing himself away from Kian and Gar, displaying a lot more strength than he has before.

Maxome extends his good arm, and a blade that leaves after-images of itself as it slices through reality appears, the blade from which his other self derives his name. "Suck on this."

He hurls the blade at the burny man, leaving traces of unreality in its wake. The point is no longer to stop him, but merely to deter him- let him deal with the irrational, and the Chaos Wave that comes in its wake.

There is also a flash of rainbow light, and there is no more Manxome, no more Cheshire Cat, but a red-headed human teen, with no injures to speak of.

"Move out-" he says with a voice that is raw as he runs towards the house, "We need to evacuate. And we don't have Rabbit Holes anymore." He hoped the other portalers were there.

Jean Grey has posed:
Curled over her father, Jean is lost to what's happening in the world around her. Of everything in her strange existince, mutant haters and Sentinels, monsters and gods, there's nothing she's ever feared as much as this, as the gift she never asked for hurting those closest to her. She has so much power, and yet-

We can help him. Save him. It is only flesh. Do not fight me.

"Yes," she answers, maybe only to herself, and the aura around her grows.


Outside, the figure waves his hand, and with casual ease destroys the front wall of the bedroom, the building's facade ripped to particles and scattered. "I can feel it."

"Excellent," answers Shakari. "Do it."

Clarice arrives to witness this, arrives to an open room, not an enclosed structure, to the sight of Jean curled over her father, shrouded with burning wings of light, and the strange glowing man hovering at a further remove. He looks at Clarice curiously, and she too will feel that strange warp some of the others have, a tearing at the most fundamental energies of her being, the bio-chemical and psionic stores in X-gene bearing cells.

Jean hauls herself up. "Get them AWAY!" she screams, presumably speaking to Clarice, before flinging herself out at the figure.

Do not hesitate, we will destroy them together!

"Her form is unstable. The connection is incomplete," her target answers, as he extends his hand toward her. "But sufficent."

Jean stares at him, through burning eyes. "You look f-"

And then it happens.


The event is visible for miles in the fairly open countryside of Upstate New York. It is visible from orbit. It is registered by the rings of of the Green Lanterns there, engaged with the Shi'ar fleet: << White light discharge detected. >>

To those nearby, it is simply a discharge of light, and perhaps other kinds of energy, albeit nearly blinding in an instant. It's into this mess that the chaos blade plunges, adding another accent of color to the roiling maelstrom. It swirls and churns, contradictory forces crashing against one another, with only vague shapes visible within. The talons of a great bird reach for the floating man... and vanish.


A moment later, and it is gone. As is Jean, in every trace, although the hostile figure remains, floating down toward the 'Ambassador.' "Nghh, it's hard to-"

"I know. You did well, my boy," Shakari answers him, in some sickening semblance of paternal reassurance. "It's time to take you both home." He touches his wrist, his hologram disappates, and the young man dematerializes.

The heroes remain. The house has stopped burning, although it can hardly be called much of a structure now. With Clarice's abilities, Jean's family, her father, can be taken away and treated, and the man will survive: miraculously, the doctors say.

A small victory, on a dark night.