9429/In the Heights

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In the Heights
Date of Scene: 03 January 2022
Location: Morningside Heights
Synopsis: A paranoid motorist causes chaos on the Henry Hudson bridge, and the X-Men, there delivering humanitarian aid to the evacuees on the Blackbird, save the day with the help of Rave. Also, Cheese Guy has a bad night.
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Monet St. Croix, Naria Shepard, Rogue, Noriko Ashida, Jubilation Lee

Jean Grey has posed:
Even many life-long New Yorkers aren't well acquainted with the northern tip of the borough, yet its geography is unique and its history is very much the history of the city itself. Those used to the wide, flat avenues downtown are surprised by the hilly terrain, which can shift from nearly sea level to the heightest point on the island (a mile south at 185th street) in the span of blocks. Broadway follows the valley between two ridges, and was originally settled by Dutch like Jan Dyckman. Later, those overlooks became critical to the Revolutionary War, and when General Washington re-entered the city, this was where he arrived. Local names reflect the history: Washington Heights, Dyckman street, Fort George Hill, and Fort Tryon Park.

Despite its name, Fort Tryon is now famous not for military monuments, but for the Cloisters, a reconstructed medieval monastery run by the MET. A famous tourist destination, it's the main (maybe only) reason most people ever visit the area... if they don't live in the wealthy high rise condos south of the park, or in the much pooer, predominantly Dominican American neighborhood east of Broadway. A stretch of Manhattan's main western motorway, the West Side Highway runs between the park and the river, though another small park (Inwood Hill) and crosses the colorfully-named Spuyten-Duyvil ('Spitting Devil,' or more colloqually 'Devil's Whirlpool') via the Henry Hudson Bridge on the way into the north Bronx, just below Riverdale. The bridge itself is a towering, impressive piece of architecture, a steel arch rising high above the water. Hikers pass beneath it on park trails, looking for nesting bald eagles (even nature is in on the American history kick...), although in the last few years they've had their walks disrupted by ongoing repairs to the bridge supports.

Today, there are no hikers. No tourists viewing medieval relics.

Instead, hundreds of motorists are deadlocked on the span, trying to flee Manhattan in the wake of a Federal evacuation order... and ahead of what might be a fiery cosmic apocalypse hurtling at them from space. Vehicles are pushed end-to-end on both of the bridge's two levels, while evacuees on foot have spilled from their own designated pedestrian walkway, many crowding alongside the vehicles. The overflow backs up for miles down the highway and below on Broadway (which feeds another bridge a bit east), a river of people parallel to the real thing. The parks themselves have become temporary homes to the displaced, something that threatens to become a humanitarian crisis as winter takes the city. The National Guard has troops on the far side, handing out food, water, and blankets, but people leaving also makes it hard for help to get -in-.

All of this leads to a humanitarian mission from an unusual source: the X-Men have offered to use their fancy jet to ferry supplies from one of the guard relief sites to the far shore, and thus the VTOL-capable Blackbird strikes a truly unique sight as it hovers over the water, before moving toward a careful landing on the field of Wien Stadium, the sports venue for Columbia University which also happens to be located in the neighborhood. It's the last of a number of such trips, delivering pallets of supplies to be handed out to needy evacuees.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
How lovely, dealing with the riff-raff. Acting as traffic cops and distributing supplies. Why don't they just help kiss puppies while they're at it? But saving lives and keeping people safe is something they are charged with. So as the Blackbired hovered, the irritated Monet would be hauling along containers with relief supplies, "How is the evacuation process proceeding?" She would have spent time memorizing the protocols and looking over at the timelines proposed from the various authorities.

Because even with hundreds of years of experience and however many hundreds of times they had done this, nothing ever went according to plan.

So while Monet puts that careful question out there, the possible calamity of evacuating huge numbers of people from a city with very limited to nonexistant personal transit and supplies iwth them probably has many issues.

And if one part of the timeline is missed, the entire choreography starts to come apart. So taking a box along, Monet is surveying the area.

Naria Shepard has posed:
There were a few things worse for someone who could move at literal light speed than the idea of being stuck in traffic. Even riding in a car could seem painfully slow at the best of times for Rave, but the bluenette speedster couldn't help but whince as her path through the city had the young woman and 'Rookie' heroine drawing by the chaos. Thanks to recent training exercises and lessons from her mentor, she'd been getting more confident in combat, using more tricks that didn't require her powers and just generally getting better about understanding threats. Something like this though?

This was something else.

The streak of blue neon light annoucing her travel comes to an end as she weaves her way -up- the side of the arena and comes to settle near the field, watching wide-eyed as the rather high-tech jet comes to a landing with the delivery of the supplies. Evacuation just left her feeling helpless. She could be across the world in seconds, but there was no way she could carry that many people out. She simply wasn't any stronger than any other girl her size would be.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had been in Brooklyn (? I don't remember) when the sirens went off and the evac had started initially. She'd flown right back too Westchester to check in, only to load up on the Blackbird and start to head back aboard it. Still in her green and gold... with a leather trench coat on that starts brown around the torso and fades in to black down around the calves, with a rose burned in to the back of it, and new bullet holes up the left sleeve, the Belle floats off the SR-77 with her hair flowing around her face.

"This is nuts. Even for us." She mutters, while putting her green bandana up over her head, and tying it off behind her head.

She floats a few feet off the ground now, following the lead of the others. "I dunno what all I can do, beyond pickin' cars up and flyin'em off t'safety if the bridge clogs up bad...."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"So...why is the world ending this time?" Noriko asks casually as she just straight up pushes a stack of pallets out of some obvious teenage desire to see if she can do it.  It's not working out well.  The top shifts under her not so watchful eye and the bottom just stays where it is.  Seeing this, she adjusts and puts her shoulder down low, and puuuuush.  Then suddenly she shoots out the other side against her two pallets like she's holding onto a tablecloth someone ripped out from underneath.

The speedster careens into her own pallet for a few feet...just a few.  Sure.  No one saw that.  Noriko's up on her feet and turns away before ducking behind her smaller stack and pushing it again with her shoulder...slower this time.  It's a good way to hide how much one's face ate ground too!

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "You okay?" Jubilation asks, calling down to Noriko. At least, it seems like Jubilation. A teenage-looking Asian girl is sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce style on top of a crate labeled 'GOVERNMENT CHEESE' in black, stenciled letters. Her face is difficult to make out, as her long, black hair has been brushed down to cover her features, but it's unmistakably her. No one else would possibly wear that little clothing on a night as cold as this one: a tight, pink tank top, black spandex workout shorts, and white Keds.


    A burly-looking man, clad in as much flannel as one person is allowed to legally own, wanders over to the crate, hell-bent on getting more than his fair share. Times of crisis bring out the crazies. And the burly.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Alright. Let's get this last load out and distributed. Then I'm going to double check in with the NYPD to ask if they need any emergency evac- we can't hope to make a dent in all these people, but we'll take any injured or sick for our return trip."

As she strides off the jet's runway, several of the pallets follow her down, dragged along mentally. She has an easy job for Rogue, though:

"Rogue, M, take as much as you can carry on up to the park. They've got people camped in the fields behind the Cloisters," which were a little too small to land the jet there safely, especially given all the people, "and we've got thermal blankets along with the food and water." Turning to Nori as she... makes a good attempt, we'll say, Jean grins: "Space rock, this time. Maybe you can hand stuff out one-by-one?"

Throughout the effort, Jean has relied on her signature psychic coordination once people move beyond the jet, a particular advantage in this particular situation. Given the tens of thousands of people crammed into the small area, celluar bandwidth is overloaded and radio is an unreliable jumble. So telepathy is a nice cheat.

And it's handy, because technically, physical sounds can't really 'drown out' that voice. Not that the sudden cacophony of honking horns on the bridge doesn't seem like they're -trying-.

That noise has been constant in the background, until now, but suddenly there's an urgency to it, just as the man has come over to badger Jubilee. When it rains, it pours. <<Anyone have eyes on the bridge? What's->>

A moment later, there's some kind of crash sound, not obvious down at the stadium but possibly obvious to the flyers, who will have a distant line of sight down to the narrow bridge where a large truck has decided it is big enough to just... push its way forward? Unfortunately, in a sense, it's not wrong. The speed of the impact is basically nothing, but slowly, surely, it's pushing a pair of sedans out of its path... and into other vehicles, or the railings of the bridge, as it muscles its way forward.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
The two speedsters and the rather disorienting cry of 'cheese girl' have Monet giving a flat glare at them for disrupting her faint sense of focus from this as she was mentally preparing timetables and comparing traffic patterns in her head to those that had been in the documentation.

As Jean would instruct, M would bow her head in affirmation, then going to move to pick up things and take them along. Glancing at Noriko, "Theological dispute that couldn't be settled in the normal way of having two deities try and punch one another out, so they decided to invade Manhattan instead." M was attempting to do one of those quip things. It probably wasn't coming off as that.
    She's focusing on spreading out her own telepathy and about to say something right in the direction to the burly man going for the food and disrupting the tranquility of the line and HER TIMETABLES when she would spin over.

"Jubilation!" She would call out at seeing the girl. On standby and glancing at the truck. "I can't stop that. Rogue, can you?" She'ready to to in to be backup on that to remove vehicles or to be on standby if she's needed to hel restrain a wild vampire girl.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Totally!"  A thumb rises up from behind Noriko's pallets.  It's way too cheery a tone for the girl.  She leans back against her pallets and visibly tries to straighten out her hair.  She's got some bad scrapes she can't hide but they already look an hour old when she pops back up to wave.  "But then you have to wait on other people," Noriko comments on the strategy of handing out things one-by-one.  It doesn't matter how loud the jet is, Nori's always talked in the face of it, as if talking out loud helps her tether her thoughts to a lower velocity, pacing herself.

"Lame-"  Noriko's head snaps to the man calling her girlfriend 'DA CHEESE GIRL.'  "Hey man-" she's suddenly between him and the crate, but it doesn't matter, because everything begins to shift as all the cars stack against each other.  "Time to get out of here."

Naria Shepard has posed:
Rave saw it, of course she did. Someone as bright and blue (although slightly less neon) as her was definately going to catch her eye. Add to it that sudden burst of speed and immediate face-plant? Yeah, she was giggling to herself.

Less an immunity to cold and more a necessity of her powers Rave herself was in similar workout shorts to Jubilation Lee, but her upper body was wrapped in a hoodie jacket to try and preserve a little body heat as she made her way through the city. Shouting about cheese had her turning her gaze to the crate and the big and burly 'Cheese Enthusiast', but the sudden panic and shouting about something being wrong? Well, it had Rave frowning and that streak of light flashing away till she could reach the rooftop of the stadium to peer into the distance.

"What in the...?" she begins only to frown as she spots the motion and the sounds of protesting metal on metal reaches her ears. Time for a closer look.

For a human being to run across water would require them to be able to keep about 30 meters per second pace...Rave was a hell of a lot faster than that. The same glowing comet of light surges down the side of the stadium and races towards the bridge. Initial thoughts of yanking the driver quickly passing since that wouldn't stop a runaway truck, the neon-bluenette attempting to reach the chaos in her world of slowed time gives a little hiss. Now she had to work out where the hell she was going to start...

Rogue has posed:
"I'm on it." Rogue says from the palletes. She's already slipping the straps and 'Rogue Harness' on that will let her lift up a large number of them. Once she's strapped in, she does just that. The pallets detach and raises up in to the sky chasing after the Belle.

Over the team Link, Rogue says ("This is another reason why Space sucks, yo. Why do I gotta keep tellin' ya'll, we need to completely boycott space. We need one'a those shield things like in Rogue One. Movie is so good...")

The palettes and the Belle float off in the sky, headed toward the fancy old building. She sees where she's supposed to take them and begins the downward arch when things change on the horizon. Her right hand goes up to lift her aviators off her green eyes, as its dark outside anyway...

("Some asswipe is gettin' frisky on the bridge. Tensions are risin' on that sucka, so it seems...") She says on her way down to drop the goods off...

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    ("You just like that movie because it has your name in the title! Empire is the good one!") Jubilee fires back, bringing her fingers up to her earpiece. But then, distraction! "What?" Jubilee shouts the response back in Monet's direction -- loud and uncouth as all hell. Jubes scrambles to turn down her earpiece's volume in the wake of the sudden burst of feedback her shouting caused. Blink. Blink.

    With a strange devotion to his task, Cheese Man leans to the side, dodging Noriko's attempt to calm some sense into him. Must. Get. To. That. Cheese.

    Jubilee rolls her eyes a little and then leans forward, slinking down onto her belly and leaning forward off the side of that particularly smelly crate. She reaches out and uses her index finger to give the guy a come-hither gesture. He steps forward with a big smile and then.... BONK. Jubilation opens her fist and releases the clump of hair she grabbed. The man slides down the side of the crate and onto the ground, out cold.

    Jubilation hops off the crate and leans in to plant a tiny peck on Noriko's cheek, her lips just barely poking out of the mess of hair she's using to conceal her face. "Thanks," she says cheerily. The moment is a short one, though, as Jubilee's gaze follows along to see what Noriko sees. "Welp, that sucks," she quite accurately says, watching the wave of destruction start like Pee Wee Herman's breakfast machine.

Jean Grey has posed:
As Rave pops in and out, up to the top of the stadium wall and then out over the water, just a streak to bystanders, she nonetheless fails to escape notice of a certain extra sense. And soon, there's a new voice in her head, coming gently in an attempt to minimize the shock factor, though it certainly may be a little unusual if it's not something she's done before.

<<Hi, couldn't help but notice you running around out there... I'm with the X-Men, we came on the plane. Can you get up->> Then she really starts moving, and it's obvious what the answer is. <<Great. Prioritize moving any civilians in danger, if you can. My people can handle the vehicles and any structural damage.>>

Inside the cab of the truck, when yanked open, the driver, another somewhat burly, middle-aged man (what's with them?) is responsible for the traffic maddness. But it's not the only kind going around. His expression is crazed, and he's talking to himself. "Aliens, aliens, they'ze comin' back, I know it. First they attacked the moon, and now they'ze sending that rock down- it's a ship! A space ship! I gotta get out of here, gotta get out, OUTTA MY WAY YOUSE GODDAMN-" Then he whirls as Rave appears. "ALIEN!!!" His hand reaches for the glove compartment, although the motion is molasses-slow to the speedster, hardly much threat. But his foot presses down in the motion, and he's HEAVY.

The truck surges ahead, and a sedan ping-pongs another. A railing bends, and then buckles, as part of the car tips over the edge. All around, people are screaming now, running in different directions.

<<M, Rogue, help our new friend, the cars and trucks are you.>>

Fortunately, Jubilee has her own situation well in hand, it seems like. "I'll contact the police to take him wherever they're-" She doesn't even know how that works. How do you handle prisoners during an evacuation? Oh well!

Monet St. Croix has posed:
At Jean's instruction, M is going to charge up and fly as fast as she can manage. Going with her best precision, she's going to loop herself up and over to the bridge towards the car that's partially tipped over. She's nto strong enough to bend the bridge support back into place, but she can attest the car and hold it in place. Flying up there and moving to brace herself, she goes to fly up and underneath it rahter than upwards.
    Underneath lets her have full access tot he block of the vehicle to brace it and get solid grips, and if need be lets her put more of her body exertion into it.

But it also has all those yucky motor fluids and gunk on teh bottom of the car from driving through the city in the winter evacuating going down her face and her outfit. She's particularly livid on what's being done to it. Bracing it until those in the vehicle had gotten out, whereupon she would go to hopefully lift it back up and over into place. Only the fact that it had only limited momentum going forwards and the weight was still at least primarily on the bridge was what let her maintain it.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue sets down on the grass near the people waving her in, some even recording her on their phones. She settles down on the grass on her booted feet as she speaks to some of the Emergency Services people. When word comes out that she needs to help out on the bridge though, Rogue moves to fly, only to get stopped....

"Oh, right." She says, turning around to detach the straps from the 'Rogue Harness'.

One strap is popped loose and tossed aside, another is popped loose and also tossed aside, then the Belle flies upward again, only to get yanked back once more.

"Son of a bitch...." She forgot the last strap that was behind her back when she turned.

"Let me. go!" She says, struggling with the last strap release before it too pops loose and is tossed aside!

Angry huff!

Rogue shoots off in to the sky then at added speed, the people left behind backing up as she just vanishes in a gust of wind!

At the bridge now, Rogue comes sweeping in low over the cars, looking for the trouble makers....

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Jubes...now we have to move this guy," Noriko faux complains.  "Nice one though," she can't help but add with a little smirk at how efficiently the vampire knocks the guy out, and, well, the little kiss.  "Maybe I should move him before we get squished?"

Noriko heaves the man up over her back...kind of.  She remains slumped over.  Strong she may be, but she's still a stick in comparison to this man and his surface area is cheese enhanced.  "Where?!"  So used to keeping herself in sync with those slower than her, Noriko actually takes the time to say this, albeit quickly, when she probably should just be shooting off without a word.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Fiiiine," Jubilation agrees, rolling her eyes at Noriko's suggestion that they move the guy instead of just letting him get trampled or run over. Her moral compass has been sliding in a not-so-normal direction these past few months, to say the least. But, then, when Noriko starts to maneuver the guy onto her back, Jubilation reaches out with both arms.

    "Nori..." Jubilation begins, her voice almost taking on a nagging kind of sound. "One of us is faster than those cars," she reminds, as if it had to be said. She tilts her head in the direction of the destruction on the bridge. "Go. I'll handle this load." She gives the unconscious Cheese Enthusiast a kick from her sneaker.

Naria Shepard has posed:
People talking in her head? That was a new one, she'd heard of telepaths of course and she'd have to wonder later just how deep this one had pried, but right now her thoughts were on the people...and she'd dealt with enough of the other 'Supers' in the league with her mentor to know the value of someone offering direction and intelligence. Her outloud answer of "On it!" might not be necessary, but well...she didn't know how the mind-fu works. Of course, already being in the cabin of the truck and with the assumed gun coming at her, the 'living laser beam' did have a more immediate problem to deal with. Canary hadn't exactly taught her how to throw someone twice her size around in a truck cab after all!

Instead? She moves at speed, her hand coming down to reach past the driver's and turn the keys to 'off' before yanking them free. It wouldn't -stop- the vehicle dead, but it would stop that accelerator from adding to the danger.

Lifting her hand to mime blowing a kiss at the man who was probably about to shoot at her, the young woman simply vanished in another rush of light, back into the chaos around her as her perception kicked the world into near stillness. She'd done her best to help with the truck, now she'd have to hope that the 'X-Men' really did know what they were doing like 'Head voice lady' said.

Leaping clear and into the mess of cars, Rave's path was easily tracked as the fading comet of neon light behind her traced each civillian she nudged, scooped or otherwise moved out of the path of the danger she could.

Jean Grey has posed:
Normally, the bridge is 3 lanes on top (with extra space on the right shoulder to handle accidents and emergency access), but the crush of people and the attempt by so many cars to get across has definitely blurred that a bit. The truck was in the center lane, but it's veered closer to the nearer side, pushing that unfortunate car out past the shoulder and then through the rail. It tips precariously, people screaming inside... but then levers back up as M comes in underneath. She can manage the weight, once she has a good grip and balance, although whether there's space to right it back on the bridge is a bit of a question as the truck pushes through the open space.


Then, suddenly, its engine goes dead, although it definitely keeps rolling, until it rear-ends another vehicle ahead of it. The speeds are pretty low still, given the prior stand-still traffic, but the multi-car pile-up effect is still a concern. Inside, the man finishes digging around in his glove compartment to indeed find a trusty .38 - the city is a dangerous place! - only to turn and find his 'alien' target gone. "THAS RIGHT! GO BACK UP TO YOUR MOTHERFUCKINSHIP!" The rare mf'er-mothership portmanteau. Eventually, he notices that his vehicle isn't moving, though, and just starts swearing and cursing all the more... before climbing out of the cab into the middle of the road, waving the pistol. If people weren't already panicking from the crash (and they are), this doesn't help things much. Still, one-by-one, the people out on their own on the highway are vanishing, carried quickly over to the far side, although many remain trapped in their vehicles.

The unconscious cheese enthusiast mumbles a string of italian-sounding words, possibly his favorite order at Di Paolo's.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
M isn't having much luck pressing the car back up to the bridge and the space is limited. And she doesn't have the time or the energy that it would take to press other things out of the way to stabilize it. So she would look up and just have to brace the car harder as the bridge would roll. <<Someone lobotomize that idiot before the night is over. If he's left a drooling mess then it can only be of benefit to the gene pool>> This sent to the other X-Men along the telepathic link. M goes to brace the vehicle for the people inside to get back out of it. Then, evaluating the space, her current mood, and stabilization of the bridge and vehicle.. Would just heft the car, yank it along, and throw it over into the bay. "Insurance will cover it." She was allowed to have a bad mood.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Jubilation snags Nori's attention immediately.  "Yeah."  The speedster looks over her shoulder toward the slow destruction.  "Thanks."  Noriko suddenly drops the lout and hops up on the cheese crate simultaneously like some kind of flea or cricket, but not before planting a faint kiss along Jubilation's cheek first.

From the top of the crate she dashes straight off in a light blur that rapidly evaporates with her velocity.  There are going to be a lot of sick civilians from the speedster rides they're getting, at least the ones from Noriko.  The speedster carefully contains her electrical charge as she scoops up one person after another, two children on one trip.  Etc.

On the way, she spots Rave and comes to a dead stop, causing a young man in his twenties to projectile barf all over an old woman's Cadillac.  "Cool," Noriko blinks at her accidental puke cannon, and before the guy can even get his bearings, she's depositing him with the others gripping their stomachs.  She gives out an electrified wave to Jubes on the bridge like someone waving from a tourist attraction.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is right over the trouble maker's vehicle when he gets out of the driver seat with his gun and starts to wave it around. She spares a look over at where Monet is dealing with the car, seeing the passengers all getting out from inside... then looks back to the guy shouting like a crazy person.

She lands behind him. She sighs and leans forward to grab his pants, and yank them down to the ground! "Pantsed!" Rogue says as she straightens up then.

With the irate man turning around now, assumedly...

Rogue punches for his nose, intending to smash it, and knock him on his bare ass on the ground.

"And I agree with ya about aliens. But this ain't the way." She says to him then, stepping next toward his gun, should this all have worked!

Naria Shepard has posed:
Crazy guy from truck was now crazy guy with a gun pointed at traffic. Rave's high-speed movement was currently in the middle of opening a car door and fiddling with the restraints on a child seat to try and pull an infant clear when she spotted that. There was a moment where her hand lifts, pondering the morals of a little 'pew pew' to at least take the weapon down...then Rogue intervenes and Rave gives a low 'whistle'. Yeah, they can handle that.

Said 'pew' solution however does give her an idea as she lowers her hand and lets the pulse of laser energy sever the belt holding the seat in before scooping the whole thing clear and free from the danger.

Her eyes turn to the waving, spotting the other girl with the blue hair zipping around very similarly to her. Lightning, not light, but still cool. She'll have to chat with her later when they weren't dealing with chaos...or the familier post-speedster barf.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilee smiles a little as she feels the electric buzz of Noriko against her cheek. Her expressions are hard to make out from behind her hair, but there's certainly a smile in there. It fades when she realizes she has to get Cheese Dude to safety.

    "Parmigiano Reggiano..." the guy murmurs, the sound drolling against lazy, unconscious lips. Jubilee is dragging him by one of his ankles, summoning up a strength that could only be supernatural in origin for a girl her size. "Yeah, alright, buddy..." she calls back, rolling her eyes again. "...If you think there's anything like that in the crate, you're stupider than you look..."

    She apparently has no problem pulling him along the rough concrete instead of carrying him. She even begins whistling quietly, perfectly content watching that blue lightning bolt zip people away from danger, back and forth. She's far enough away that she can just enjoy it without getting bogged down in details like 'was that vomit?'

Jean Grey has posed:
The frightened couple inside has made it out of the car, having to climb into the back seat to do so, and finally scrambles clear. From inside, they couldn't even see M underneath to really know what had saved them... until she finally just heaves the empty car clear, sending it sailing into the maw of the so-called Devil's Whirlpool. In truth, the water is pretty calm these days, but perhaps some ancient spirit from the time of the Dutch settlers will enjoy the offering nonetheless.

On the bridge, the passengers - a couple with a small child - stand awestruck. The father begins to voice an annoyed 'Hey!', but a hand on his arm from the woman calms him. "She's right, honey, and I don't think any of these cars are going to-"

There's a gunshot behind them, although fortunately only into the air, as a bare-assed trucker whirls on Rogue with his piece, only to catch a gloved fist to the face. He's not a lightweight guy, and in most situations, could take a punch. But Mighty Maid is a little out of his league.

The gunshot joins the chorus: of crunching metal as the truck continues its low speed pile-up, of shouts of confusion and fear from all the people. Its not M who catches flak: <<Rogue, stop playing with him and put the breaks on that thing!>>

As for the call to lobotomize the troublemaking trucker? Always, there's a question of why Jean might not do more in situations like this. Handle the man so Rogue didn't need to. Or couldn't she, in theory, pick up a few of these cars themselves? Well, as the chaos of the crowds builds, some relieved as they're individually carried to safety by one of several blue blurs, yet others only more confused and terrified as they watch a person next to them simply -vanish-, a single impulse is felt across the psychic link, not a command or even a word or specific thought, just a feeling: of calm.

That's why.

At the checkpoint on the far side, a young man vomits again, yet he looks relieved to be standing there, safe. A child is freed, wailing in Rave's arms, and yet as stopped by the time she drops him off, his mother joining on a subsequent trip.

Slowly, rescue by rescue, they're bringing order to the chaos. And cheese, presumably, to the masses.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
Monet St. Croix has a much easier time with the car off her shoulders and she feels utterly disgusting - all that yucky snot droooling down her body from the engine of the car and the crud. "You're welcome." She puts on her best polite expression while the falling vehicle would be swallowed up by the depths. Hopefully to be joined in short circumstances by the idiot in the truck.

"Things can always be replaced. Your family cannot. Stay together and stay strong through all this."

The gunshot goes off, and her head would snap in the direction as she would see Rogue handling it. Ready to go up and provide backup, then go to growl along the link <<Pinch a vein in his brain. At least he won't be gibbering anything worse.>> Oh yes, the girl definitely doesn't have a nice side.

Then she's looping up to start to help to get others out of the way as Jean's broadcast of calm goes over, and she's moving to pending no more things falling to help direct traffic.

And still hopeful Rogue can 'drop' the man over the Devil's Whirlpool.. And with current events it might actually live up to it's name!

Rogue has posed:
Rogue walks over top of the pantsless man with the bloodied nose laying on his back now. She exhales and leans down to pick him up. "Lester?" She says, reading his shirt nametag. "No wonder you're all pissed off at this world." She says then as she hoists him up, then stuffs him inside his truck. The door is slammed shut then.

("I got it. I got it. Keep your pants on, Red.") She chides Jean over the team Link, chuckling to herself then whilst flying up over said truck.

"Up, up, and away..." The southern gal states while lifting the vehicle up off the bridge. "Lets take ya over t'them Blues'n'Reds over yonder. Fill them in on what you thought was a good idea..." She is talking to herself now, but still. It's Rogue, she does that.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Personally, I'm not /thrilled/ about being the one bringing you out of here, but, like, Cheese Guy -- can I call you Cheese Guy? -- Listen, Cheese Guy, I feel like we've been through a lot together," Jubilation starts narrating as she drags the poor schlub along the ground. "...I mean, you saw me up on that wooden box of cheese and you couldn't keep your hands to yourself. Look, I /get/ it... But I just don't think we're right for each other."

    "This one got a little handsey," Jubilation announces to the group staffing the check point just before letting go of the unconscious man's foot. She gives him another kick before taking her place next to Noriko as she appears at her side.

    "Is that puke?" she whispers, leaning in.

Naria Shepard has posed:
Pulling anyone immediately out of the path, in vehicles or otherwise, Rave comes to rest atop one of the cars further back, knees together and still-glowing eyes looking over the aftermath. The truck had to be stop-...oh there it goes. Neat!

Exhaling a breath, she tilts her head to the side. "Alright, that -was- pretty cool."

Jean Grey has posed:
<<Rogue has him. I don't think the lobotomy will be necessary.>>

The crowds, held back from the brink of outright panic, chaos and stampede by telepathic will, are met in turn with the sight of the soaring semi-truck. It's a Superman-esque image (if much more shapely), the massive vehicle carried by the much smaller figure beneath. It's heroic, and inspires a bit of real hope to bolster the purely artificial feelings Jean has given them.

And while lifting the truck doesn't break the traffic jam entirely, it does a lot to help. The empty space lets the vehicles, many crowded into fender-benders or pushed against the railings, ease back into their proper lanes and out of the emergency shoulder, which the speedsters have likewise helped clear of pedestrians. Ahead, as Rogue lands the vehicle and its former driver with the police (soon to be joined by Cheese Guy), they're already preparing to move a tow truck out to help clear any other damaged vehicles.

In the end, it's going to be a long night, and neither the X-Men nor their new friend can truly change that. The human scale is just too large. Yet as each soul makes their way across, a little less terrified, less injured (if slightly more puked on) than they might have been? That alone is worth something.

It could have been much worse.

Back at the Blackbird, Jean leans with a hand on one of the landing struts, and smiles. <<Good work, team. Lets regroup at the Blackbird, get these evacuees loaded, and move it out.>> Rave can feel how the last mental 'word' singles her out: <<And thanks for the assist up there.>>