Kaos walks north toward the Confessional, wondering if Rift is there... and stops in the street in front of Gabe's place. Should check to see that Sam's plants are watered.
And then...the door opens. Out comes a tired looking, but otherwise alive and well Gabriel Finn. He doesn't seem to be paying attention to what's right in front of his face, trotting down the steps which lead up to his building instead. One hand runs fingers through his hair, as he draws in a deep breath. Now his work is cut out for him. No Sam at home, his security pass no longer works at Warriors headquarters, no Danny at the Dojo. Next stop...the school.
Kaos stops short. "Gabe?"
>OOC< Gabe just looked at you.
>OOC< Looking at Kaos
An obvious mutant, this man stands six feet four inches, with a powerful physique. His serpentine mutation has given him scales covering his entire body, like a snake. Silvery in color, they give him the look of a moving flow of water or metal.
He has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, and serpentine looking teeth; his eyes have a faint iridescent rainbow glow. His legs are those of a runner or martial artist, powerful and fast.
He's wearing brown cargos, a black polo shirt that shows off his physique, and a pair of black Teva sandals.
He's wearing green metal gauntlets on his forearms.
>OOC< Kaos just looked at you.
Gabe freezes on the stairs. Now there's a familiar voice, one that's been in his head every night as he's attempted sleep. Seth. Slowly, almost afraid it won't be him, Gabe looks up. "Seth?" he murmurs, before his lips part, stretching into the widest of grins. Water bursts from his feet, launching him from the stairs and carrying him the short distance to his lover. "Seth!" As he lands on the poor snake guy, he wraps his arms around him.
Kaos is, oddly enough, jumping towards Gabe at the same moment. Aww, it's freaking out the kids walking home from school.
Kaos buries his face in Gabe's neck, forked tongue tasting the man's scent, "Oh danke Gott it's been so long, are you all right? Have you heard what's been happening?"
Gabe's rapturous features are capped off with tightly closed eyes, joy etched in his skin as he holds on tight to Kaos, a chuckle rising out of his throat. But he pulls back suddenly at Seth's last words, concern tearing through his eyes, hands moving up to clasp his partner's cheeks. "No...what's wrong? Has something happened?"
Kaos nods. "You've missed it all. We need a place to talk."
Gabe frowns softly, as his hand reaches for Seth's fingers, turning to gesture towards his apartment. "Well...come in. I just dropped off my bags..." He'd been practicing his conversation with Seth and Le all the way home on the plane, but now that he's here he's too overwhelmed to get things out properly. Best they sit down and talk.
Kaos says, "Right."
He nods hello to the staring pre-teens as they pass, and sprints up the stairs, expecting Gabe will be right behind him. He stops at the entrance.
"I don't have my key with me and I'd rather not use the Doom Armor to open the door."
Gabe doesn't quite pick up on the Doom Armor comment, everything is a bit too...huge-feeling to pick up on the smaller details just yet. He smiles happily at Seth as he opens the door for him, pausing only to place a soft kiss on the snakey lips.
Gabe goes to Wilson/Finn Flat - Soho - New York City.
Gabe has left.
You go to Wilson/Finn Flat - Soho - New York City.
Wilson/Finn Flat - Soho - New York City(#5230RJMh)
This is a simple upstairs flat, a short foyer hall at the door revealing on one side, a smallish bathroom, painted lime green, spartanly appointed. On the other side, a kitchen just large enough to hold four people, painted white with bright orange trim. It has an unusually large freezer.
The flat itself comprises a living area, 30 by 20, painted bone white, with polished wood floor. Two doors lead into the private rooms of the residents.
The furnishings are comfortable: a dark blue and green patterned couch, two chairs, one dark blue, one dark green, with footrests, and a low coffee table. Track lighting and spot lamps provide illumination, as do windows and a glass door opening onto a small balcony. The starkness of the walls is broken up by four colorful impressionist paintings in simple frames, probably prints. A television/stereo/entertainment center is discreet enough to go unnoticed unless in use. Two tall bookcases are about half-filled with books.
Kaos tsks at the dead plant. "The housekeeper was supposed to water that."
He sits on the couch. "You know Sam's in a coma?"
Gabe hadn't taken the time to properly examine the apartment when he dropped off his bags, which are shoved against a wall in the corner. If he had, he might have sensed the lack of any lived-in feeling the place may otherwise have had. He spins after locking the door, wide eyes falling on Seth. "He's...what?"
Kaos says, "About a month ago, Taskmaster shot him in Central Park. I wasn't fast enough to stop him. Redwing was hurt too. There was some brain trauma, but they got the best doctors on it, and he's been awake on and off, for maybe a minute at most every week or so."
Kaos says, "It gets worse."
Kaos says, "I'm going to assume you've heard about Apocalypse gathering Horsemen and attacking the world."
Gabe quietly moves over to the couch to sit beside his main man, face ashen. Taskmaster and comas holds some bad memories for him, but Sam's condition has him much more concerned. He reaches for Seth's hand, having a feeling he'll need that support. "I heard something vaguely...I was trying to stay away from news reports while I was gone. I..." Nows not the time to explain his absence. "Go on."
Kaos holds gently, "This is going to be very hard to take, lover. There are four Horsemen. Death, Famine, Pestilence and War. Apocalypse is ... the same magnitude of insane as Eshu, but more directly malevolent. He captures mutants and persons with a lot of power, and brainwashes them or lures them or whatever, into becoming his Horsemen. His War... the man who's destroyed a hundred cities over the last six months... is Crusher Creel. Pestilence was a Russian woman I met, a telekinetic, I was about to introduce her to Laynia and Nikolai the day before she was captured.
Kaos says, "Creel's powers didn't need any enhancement. Pestilence... her power was changed to cause it to tear electrons from their shells, like radiation poisoning."
Gabe draws in a breath, concerned by Seth's words. "Sounds serious. I'm glad I came back when I did. Do we know anything about Famine and Death?"
Kaos says, "Famine... had a power to create a glowing, frictionless forcefield. It was twisted to feed him energy by eroding the nuclear strong force inside his aura. His mind was replaced."
That should ring alarm bells in Gabe's head, but for now he's still digesting the basics. He nods softly...no connections made as yet.
Kaos says, "He was taken a few weeks after you left. The reason you can't get into the base is that he knew all the weak spots and destroyed most of them, when he attacked us there. It's being repaired, slowly."
Gabe frowns at that. "How does he know our weak spots? Is he telepathic too?"
Kaos says, "No. He's one of us."
Kaos says, "Sundowner."
"Mike?" Gabe breathes, his fingers tightening around Seth's hand. "Damn it. Damn it." His eyes lose focus for a moment as he stares at the wall, taking this in, before his gaze suddenly switches back to Seth. "Is Rift okay? She hasn't...lost it, or anything?"
Kaos says, "She's all right. For now."
Gabe nods softly but won't believe that until he's had a chance to speak to her himself. "And Mike? Is there any way to get him back?"
Kaos says, "We don't know. It's worse than just that, though."
Kaos says, "Death ... Do you remember an acquaintance of mine, a mutant named Quill? He was a friend of my security man Adam? He's been changed."
Kaos says, "Brainwashed, maybe, but I think he was already hurting, and might have gone sour on humanity anyway. Apocalypse chooses his agents that way."
Gabe vaguely remembers the name being mentioned and nods. That's bad, but his mind is still with Mike, understandably. "So why did he go for Mike? Was he unhappy?"
Kaos says, "Mike? No, he had a useful power, and his mind was already broken. Worse than mine, because it never healed well."
Gabe raises a hand to stroke Seth's cheek. It may seem an odd moment to be affectionate, but its all part of his way of coping with this. "Okay...so do we have any plans? Are the Warriors dealing with this okay?"
Kaos says, "The Horsemen, especially Famine... began collecting the mutants who were strong enough to stand against them. Two of Sara's students, Ophidia and a telepath named Threshold. They also collected Rift's friend Hellhound... And the Rave. I'm acting leader right now. Le calls himself Hell's Gate and ... his personality, it's twisted. Monomaniacal on Apocalypse's insane twisted Darwinism."
A long pause remains on the air as Gabe stares back at Seth, his expression remaining unchanged. Its as though he hasn't quite heard what's been said, or the words make no logical sense to him, spoken in a tongue both alien and hideous to his ears. Finally, he softly shakes his head, eyes wide as a puppy being told off for the first time, voice barely audible. "That's not true."
Kaos says, "Remember how Bill was under Eshu?"
Gabe nods softly, his lips tight, unblinking eyes not moving from Seth's gaze, waiting for him to tell him this is an absurd joke.
Kaos says, "I can tell you, from my similar experience, it takes a tremendous act of will to fight that kind of telepathic manipulation. I had, by the grace of God, two interruptions in the coercion, and was able to fight it off long enough to stop Eshu's plans. Le ... has not had that benefit. The personality change was implanted and seems to be stuck."
Gabes voice, when it comes, is a monotone, but strained laced with horror. "Are you telling me...we've lost him? That we can't get him back?"
Kaos would be crying, by the way, except that Eshu's changes to his physiognomy won't allow it.
"No. We just need to do something to disrupt the overlay for long enough to let his true self function."
He pauses. "Gabe... he was talking to me, during one of our inconclusive battles... He taunted me that I was too weak to hold onto the ones I loved... that I just let Raziel ... and you... walk out on me. It's like he'd forgotten that you and he are also lovers.
Kaos says, "So... I think we have a lever."
Gabe is overwhelmed. Both by the news Seth has for him, and by his own feelings, feelings which threaten to swallow him as he stares back at Seth, fingers gripping his hand so tightly his knuckles have turned white. Guilt would be high on that list. A thousand thoughts which begin 'If I'd been here I could have...' fill his mind, but its his face which gives way first. Tears tumble from his eyes as he leans forward to hold Seth in his arms. "You know that isn't true, don't you? You're the anchor that brought me back."
Kaos pulls Gabe closer, taking great comfort in something he's wanted to do for months now.
"I know, lover. I know you still love him too, as I do, and this isn't your fault. I was there when Famine took him, and I couldn't stop it. I lost my mind for a while... I even formed a new personality to cope with it, but it failed, Gift couldn't find the gene-pattern he needed. Eshu carefully left me without any telepathic traits strong enough to break that kind of conditioning."
... pause ...
"I'm afraid I may have sold myself in order to win him back, lovely. Did you hear that Apocalypse, and all his Horsemen, attacked Castle Doom in Latveria? That they apparently killed Doctor Doom?"
Gabe holds tightly to the other man, his guilty feelings subsiding in favour of concern over Seth's mental health. Although there's still guilt floating around there. If he'd stayed in contact, maybe Seth could have opened his feelings to him. Pulling back slightly, arms still wrapped around the man he loves, but eyes now able to meet his gaze too, he does his best to put emotions and regrets aside and deal with the situation as it stands now. "I heard someone say Doom was dead while I was in Vienna. I didn't know Apocalypse was linked."
Kaos says, "His successor, Kristoff Von Doom... Sean actually had the massive foolishness to insult him to his face one evening as a group of them were facing Famine in Central Park. Der Gott uses the fools to His purposes, though. When I tore Sean a new sphincter for getting us into a diplomatic mess, he went to the Embassy and actually apologized. Kristoff knew who he was. He asked to have me stop by, and though I was pretty much ineffectual, with Gift taking over whenever something emotional would happen, I was able to make it to the meeting. He offered me the necessary power to deal with the Horsemen, and some equipment to stop Famine's rot-field, in exchange for one thing: I had to agree to be his agent in taking vengeance on the Horsemen."
Kaos holds up his wrists, showing Gabe the high-tech bracer devices that cover his forearms. "I am of one mind, at the moment. Doom's machines put me back, but in a warrior mode. I function very well in that mode, but less well in others. At least my studies aren't going so badly."
He smiles, but with little humor, "And he did promise to return me to my normal mind once Apocalypse is defeated."
Gabe again raises a hand to stroke Seth's cheek, after looking down at the bracers for a moment. "You did what you had to do. That took more strength than I think you're giving yourself credit for. And if he tries to back out on his half of the deal...I start flooding Latveria until he agrees to co-operate." The waterboy's eyes are deadly serious. He may not have the power to back up a threat like that, but, right at this moment, he certainly has the will.
Kaos says, "Even if he doesn't, I can live with the cost. I still love you, and Le, and that's the biggest thing in my earthly life. It's a bit lonely inside my head sometimes. That's the worst of it."
Gabe smiles softly and lets his lips convey a message to Seth's mouth, kissing him gently, but no less passionately. When he finally pulls away, he remains an inch from his lover's lips. "You don't have to be lonely now. I won't leave your side. I love you too, Seth. More than anything in this world. Le too, whatever's happened." He pauses a moment, closing his eyes. "I know I let you down. All of you. You deserve an explanation."
Kaos leans back, pulling Gabe down on top of him. "It's so good seeing you again, and... yeah, it'd be nice to know what happened, but lovely, don't blame yourself."
Gabe rests his head against his lover's chest, closing his eyes for a moment to savour the long-dreamt-of sensation of being back in this spot, in these arms, with this man. "Well...you remember I went home to see my mother after she got ill? She..." Okay. The short story will do here. "She didn't make it. And with my father being there and the funeral...well, you know my family history. I didn't cope with it well," he adds softly. "I'd been feeling out of control back here with my powers and everything...I needed to get my head back in one piece. So...I just went travelling for a while. I stayed in Austria mostly, its beautiful there. And that's why I didn't contact you or read the papers. I knew if something bad happened I'd come back without stopping to think. I...the way I was...I was too dangerous to do that." He voice shakes a little. "I'm so sorry I left you alone."
Kaos wraps his arms around his man, happy in the moment, though the warrior part of his mind is also assessing the man's physical fitness, his ability to fight in the imminent battle, as he runs his hands over the waterboy's physique. Hm. Fight, and other things.
"I'm sorry about your mother. I completely understand not wanting to be around large amounts of water, and Austria is indeed beautiful. You came when you were ready and able to... and your healing had gone long enough."
He kisses the top of that beautiful head.
If Gabe were called upon to fight tonight, his opponents would be unlucky individuals indeed. Never has he been more able to manipulate his powers effectively, never has he been in better shape, never has he been more prepared for battle...and never has he felt a determination this strong now that Seth has explained the events he missed. His hand roams across Seth's body, as he turns his head to kiss his chest. "I am ready. We'll get him back." He raises one hand to finger the pendant hanging from his neck, the one Le gave them, featuring their individual colours merging into one. "This proves that."
From afar, to (Gabe, Kaos): Hell's Gate grins. And what are you two doing? Or should I send a portal over there to watch? LOL
From afar, to (Kaos, Hell's Gate): Gabe laughs and is busily angsting! ;)
From afar, to (Gabe, Kaos): Hell's Gate still wants to watch. LOL
You paged (Hell's Gate, Gabe) with 'Send it by :)'.
Ionic Portal has arrived.
Kaos says, "I ... don't remember whether the Gate wears our ring. Mine is in a safe place, since I tend to hit rather hard when I throw a punch, and I don't want to break it."
Gabe's hand rests contentedly on Seth's chest as he remains snuggled against him. Considering the thoughts in his head, this is all that's keeping him sane right now. "It doesn't matter if we wear it or not. It means more than that. Its in our hearts. Its through the link between us that we'll reach him."
Kaos grins. "You don't even want to know where I'm wearing it, do you?"
He sighs, "I've been tormenting the guy. Remember he used to have things laid out exactly right in his closet, clothes and things, so he could just portal themn in and out? Snacks and stuff? I've been leaving him love notes, presents... I left him a blue rose. His birthday was yesterday. I left him another rose, a piece of birthday cake, and a chip for the MP3 player I gave him to replace the CD player that was broken when Famine grabbed him. All of it really emotional stuff, thrash metal, seems to fit his current persona better. I've told him that I still love him even if he does listen to the wrong master."
Kaos says, "In return he keeps putting mousetraps in my bed."
Gabe pauses before offering a nod. His hand reaches up to caress Seth's cheek as he speaks. "That's...actually encouraging. If he's making regular trips to your bedroom, why not just port in while you're sleeping and kill you? Or leave a bomb in there? He must remain aware that he loves you, somewhere in his mind. Otherwise he wouldn't be holding back." This is conjecture, obviously. And overly hopeful conjecture, at that.
Kaos says, "Yeah, that was my thought. Though he did actually try to kill me in the warehouse when he attacked Overload. I, uhm... if I hadn't been changed by Doom, I would have gone catatonic, and he might not have attacked me, but I was able to get close enough to grab him, and when he tried to close his portal on me, he was inside it at the same time. He ended up escaping. Since then he's not tried to kill me directly."
Gabe closes his eyes for a moment, forcing that image out of his head as his eyebrows gently furrow. He shifts position so that he can look up at Seth, leaning to tenderly kiss his chin. "That...I don't know how I would have coped with that. You're so strong. Thank god you were here waiting for me."
Kaos laughs. Strong. He pulls the waterboy up a bit so he can be face to face, and licks his nose with that forked tongue.
"You would have stopped him, of course. You know, you are the sexiest man. I love the color of your eyes, and it feels like you were lifting weights most of the time you were gone."
Gabe smiles, a blush rising in his cheeks. Even Le can't get him to blush these days. Or at least...he couldn't back in the day. He glances down at his body and nods softly, a grin on his lips. "Well...I had to do something to keep myself occupied. And I figured, if I was going to attempt to expand my powers a little, I should be fit enough to do it." He looks back up, his lips reaching for Seth. "Glad you like."
<OOC> Ionic Portal says, "Yes I could! I did many times!"
<OOC> Kaos says, "You could?"
<OOC> Gabe grins and put that in there for the voyeur. ;)
Kaos says, "Hey, loverboy, before we descend into a feast of wet white-hot sexual release, and I'm sure you want to as much as I do... I was reading your mail while you were gone, and there was a note from the people who bought your house. You leftsome stuff in the attic. It needs retrieval or they'll sell it, I got them to hold off until the end of the month, I was going to head there."
Gabe smiles softly, offering one last kiss to give Seth a taste of the treats in store later before nodding. "Thanks, I appreciate that. Let me get changed first, and then we can head over there? These clothes have survived the plane ride and New York smog but they'll give up soon enough," he smiles. He's happy to be home, and keeping the revelations at the back of his mind until such time as he's able to deal with them. "How about I throw on my costume and fly us there?"
Kaos says, "Want to head over? I can get our newest candidate FX to come by... Hey, I can fly too, lover."
Gabe blinks and shakes his head. So much left to talk about. "We have a new teammate? And you're flying? Okay...let's talk some more on the way," he grins. Throwing on his costume, the lovers head off.
Kaos grins as Gabe jumps up. "Fly? Want to race?"
He flickers with green for a millisecond, and has wings... and feet.
>OOC< Tsunami just looked at you.
>OOC< Looking at Tsunami
Before you is a fit, athletic young man. His skin is a little pale, but not so pale he doesn't look fresh and healthy. His chestnut brown hair is soft to the touch, shaved close at the sides and back, and cut into a deliberately messy, floppy style, stray strands of hair tumbling around his head and quivering in the breeze. His features are tender, gentle, lending his face a sweet, handsome quality, offset by his striking ice blue eyes, which, if you look closely enough, can betray a sadness, a regret. His lips are pink and full, his face warming as he smiles. His body is toned, hard and lithe, not musclebound, but certainly fit.
Currently, he is suited up in his skintight costume, which coats his entire body save for his head. His neck and shoulders are splashed with a pale, watery blue, which curves into sharp points just above his biceps and at the midway point of his chest. Another band wraps across his stomach, also falling into a point. The rest of the uniform is a clear, starch white. Dusky blue metallic discs chain around his shoulders, glinting under sunlight. On his right hand, one of his fingers bears a ring, which, on closer inspection reveals a yin-yang emblem of three parts, one bright blue, one aquamarine and one green. His head is left free of a mask, his true identity on plain view, so if you've met him out of costume, you'll recognise him in his work-clothes.
When he speaks, it is with an English accent.
Tsunami pauses for a moment, mouth hanging open...before dumbly following. "Wow..." he murmurs.
Kaos says, "This too shall pass, unfortunately."
-- Cut to Long Island --
Long Island -- New York State(#90RFIJ)
The lesser cousin of New York City, Long Island is full of smaller communities which consider themselves independent of the rest of New York City. However, most are just suburbs of the larger city with their own elected officials.
Many fishing and other recreation areas can be found along Long Island as it stretches eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches are very popular here, as are a number of golf courses. A number of small colleges, as well as a couple of larger institutions, can be found in this area as well. Many New Yorkers see Long Island as a weekend vacation spot because of this, something residents resent in some ways, as they try dilligently to avoid all of the problems associated with New York City.
Queens is off to the west.
Stark Enterprises - Long Island Ecru House Blaire House West
Tsunami has arrived.
Kaos calls FX on the Commlink. "Meet me at Long Island... I have a friend I'd like to introduce you to."
Shaking his head as he soars in behind Kos, Tsunami throws the man a grin. "Okay...I admit it...you win," he breathes. Been a while since he's flown that fast. Water smacks the ground as he lands, drawing in a breath before his eyes fall on his old beachhouse. It looks good again, as if Taskmaster had never been there...
Kaos spins once, pulling the wings in, as he maglevs to the ground. "WHOO!"
He does find the area, after given directions by Kaos. It's a simple address, and a few flyovers and FX is able to circle around to find where he was called to. Besides, there was no way he was dealing with traffic at this time of day, even the trains. He angles himself, and starts his decent, testing out his new mode of flight.
From below, anyone looking up would swear they saw an angel made of light. They'd be close, but there's also flesh and blood involved. Taking his force field, FX uses his mutant ability to sculpt the light making it up, turning it into something different. Over the costume, the glowing armor is Ancient Roman in motif: Belted one-piece cuirass over the chest, scale mail high-skirt protecting his legs, and a open-faced helmet with animated feathers running from the forehead down. On tope of that, there's the angel's wings being projected from the back of the cuirass, a full 10' span, fully spread. Granted, they don't work as ordinary wings do, but it's more for show.
As he lowers himself closer to the ground, he sees a pair of figures, one he recognizes, even from this distance. Flying snake people are hard to miss. He cups his hands around his mouth, shouting "Kaos!"
The wind off the sea is streaming mare's tail clouds across the sky, drawing the dark after it. The tide is high and the swells are crawling up the beach, foamy fingers clutching at the strip of dry sand between the last grass and the first kelp. The heavy salt smell of the water folds cold wings around each person on the shore, leaching heat through however many layers of clothing they might have. The Irish have a name for this wind: it's a lazy one, because it goes through you rather than around.
There's weather coming in behind the mare's tails, clouds piling on the horizon, blue-gray and heavy with rain. Far off, gray lightens as lightning flickers deep within the concealing clouds; a dozen moments later, thunder rolls off the sea and up over the sand to crash like waves against the trees standing above the high tide mark. You can feel the sound in your bones, deep and rumbling, the voice of nature calling out a challenge.
It is answered. Another boom crashes from the landward side of the beach and blows out to sea to meet the lightning out where water and air are one.
<OOC> Hell's Gate passes this round.
No-one feels the challenge of nature more than Tsunami. He's a little more in touch with his elemental roots than he was the last time he stepped onto this beach, and he turns his head, a gentle frown casting a shadow across his eyes as he looks out across the powerful ocean waves. The scene of his greatest failure...it almost feels as though the water is taunting him. Prove me wrong, it says. His gaze drops downwards, when he is distracted (thankfully) by the approach of...an angel? "Seth..." he murmurs. "Who is that?" Color this waterboy impressed.
Kaos is admiring FX's flashy entrance when he hears that thunder. "FX, this is Tsunami. Tsunami, this is FX. Gentlemen, that crashboom ... that didn't sound like a breaker wave to me. That sounded like someone ripping space open and dropping something out."
>OOC< FX just looked at you.
And closer the young mutant in light-sculpted armor comes, wings flapping realistically as he touches dow, planting himsefl into the sand with a little lurch. Landing needs to be worked on, yes. He removes the helmet, cradling it under one arm, revealing a dark-haired young man with a blue eyemask. Le's old eyemask, when he used to wear one back in the day. "Nice to meet you,' he says, revealing a Brooklyn accent in normal speech. An angel from Brooklyn? Hey, Married with Children lasted ten seasons. That officially made Anything Possible, now.
He looks over to the ocean as he hears both the noise and Kaos' explination. "Never a dull moment around you, is there," he comments, albeit good-naturedly. Still, he wonders, and watches the skies.
It has been a long time since Famine walked a beach--since he walked this beach. It isn't quite where he intended to come out. Coney Island and its hordes of visitors was his real target, but... but. He looks to the Rider standing with him because he knows the man Hell's Gate was had connections to this place. It interests him to see what, if any, reaction he will have to returning.
As he turns, he sights in on several figures further up the strand, winged lizard, waterboy, Roman angel. Blond brows draw down behind the skull-faced mask. Is this coincidence? Is it conspiracy? A glance at Hell's Gate. Or is it fate?
A glance up at the sky, where the ship of Apocalypse sails its silent sea. It might be a test. "It would seem that despite my failure to make landing where I planned, we have appropriate targets. Rider, you will lead this attack. Considering the foes..." a glance at the three on the sand, "it is your right."
And with that, the man in the black leather steps around. "Of course, sir. It would be my pleasure. I owe the naga much for the... annoyances he has been causing me." The Gate grins as his portals lift him above the surface of the water and the sand. From his distance, however, he hasn't quite made out Tsunami. Or maybe it's just that his mind isn't registering the young man. The others are the only ones that matter to him. "FX is easy enough to take out. It won't take much at all." A darkling grin spreads across his face.
<OOC> Kaos says, "Is it my pose next or Todd's?"
<OOC> Famine says, "Kaos, Tsunami, Todd, Famine, Hell's Gate."
A greeting nod is offered to the new arrival, but Tsunami's usually amiable politeness is swept aside at the words of Kaos. Unfamiliar with Apocalypse's technology, the waterboy immediately assumes trouble lies down a different path. "Tesseract?" he murmurs to Kaos, his frown deepening, before he looks back to the beachhouse. "If thee's going to be trouble, I'd better get the new residents out," he says. "I'll scout while I'm at it." Tendrils of water snake across his body as liquid strikes the ground and carries him aloft, travelling towards and around the beachhouse he once called home.
Kaos blinks... or rather, the eyepiece snaps down in front of his right eye as the Doom Armor, reacting to the positive identification of the sonic boom with its record of the Apocalypse teleportal, engages the cybernetic link to its wearer's brain.
Kaos answers, voice clipped, a bit mechanical sounding, "Good to go, Tsu. Target aquired. Famine. Target acquired. Hell's Gate. Watch out, FX, he likes to play rough."
At least the lightboy's shields should be hard for Gate to get past... especially if he holds them skintight.
>OOC< Famine just looked at you.
>OOC< Looking at Kaos
An obvious mutant, this man stands six feet four inches, with a powerful physique. His serpentine mutation has given him scales covering his entire body, like a snake. Silvery in color, they give him the look of a moving flow of water or metal.
He has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, and serpentine looking teeth; his eyes have a faint iridescent rainbow glow. His legs are those of a runner or martial artist, powerful and fast.
Armor of Doom
He wears a peculiar kind of armor: a carapace of green metal protecting his chest permits his wings easy motion, if he has them; a similar green helm with a single 'heads-up' screen over one eye, green half-gauntlets on either wrist, and a 'racing stripe' down his back and legs, ending in the gauntlets and the green boots on his feet. Who knows what Doom technology is contained in that armor.
Silver wings like a cross between an angel and a dragon emerge from his back, with elongated scales rather than feathers.
On his forearms, green metal gauntlets look a bit out of place.
>OOC< Kaos just looked at you.
"On it," is FX's answer. The armor, this time, was more for playing with his own abilities. But FX, once he hears Kaos' assessment of the situation, changes things rapidly. He puts the helmet back on, and keeps the cuirass, but he changes the leggings on the light armor. Gone is the kilt-skirt of faux-scale mail, replaced by full-cover greaves, tight against his legs. He's not planning to run, since he has some ariel movement ability.
Speaking of, he ditches the wings, letting them dissolve into motes of winking light. Too much of a target, and they're not necessary anyway. He starts to hover a few feet off the ground. "Just them," he asks. "I'll keep in mind the potential for them to bring company." Snake-like woman? This time he's ready.
Ah. They have noticed they are not alone. Famine nods to himself and manifests his shepherd's crook in his right hand. He starts up the beach as a casual walk, tattering cloak flirting in the breeze around him. Out over the ocean, the clouds pile higher and lighning slashes from one to the next, and thunder shoves the wind harder at the shore. Black and gold, Famine strides through it as if the weather was his own creation, come at his command.
Sidestepping into a kata, twin daggers are pulled from Hell's Gate's sides. Since when did he know how to use weaponry? Well, he never said he didn't. He just never has used any. It was part of his basic training. Held with the blades coming out from the lower side of his hands, he waits. They're ready... or so they think. He's been playing nice so far. Now... the daggers are drawn, and Gate wants blood. He ducks to the side this time, falling out of the portals and to the ground, disappearing into the shadows. He knows that Kaos can track him now, as he was doing it last time. But if he doesn't teleport too often... Daggers bury themselves between his arms, hidden from the lights by the blackness of his leather as he waits for the moment to strike.
Kaos frowns. "Gate's in combat mode."
Of COURSE he recognizes the kata movement. He engages his own combat mode - gaining about 75 pounds of muscle, and boosting his strength, and armor, to levels that would let him stand for a time against the Horseman of Death. Not quite going into the Combat Body yet... but also, committing himself to the tactics of strength and flight, relying on the armor to help him shift out one or the other if he has to do so. This could get deadly, of course. That's the part of his encounters with Hell's Gate that have made them so perversely exciting. Boring love life? Have your lover go over to the Wrong Side. That'll add spice.
It takes a few seconds for Seth's words to slice into Tsunami's mind, long enough for him to knock on the door of his former home. He stares at the door, eyes painfully wide. Mike and Le. They're here. He's facing them already. The door opens and a startled woman appears on the other side. Even with everything that's going on, the waterboy can't bring himself to look over her shoulder. Too many memories, too many scars of his time here. Instead he simply offers her a command. "Go. Now," before turning and walking away. Back towards the beach. Back towards his friend...and a man he loves. Fists clenching, water slaps bck and forth in spikes across his body. He's ready for this.
He's seen both of the approaching hostiles in action. And, in dealing with them both, FX knows his place. He lifts himself off the ground a few more feet. He's not much of a hand-to-hand combatant, and compared to the rest of the group, he's the Rank Newbie, experience-wise. He's not going to worry. He's going to do the job, and make sure the people on his side survive this. A few fist-sized spheres appear around his body, tensing as he does, watching the others square off.
As he walks, Famine's glow brightens and widens, stretching out around him in a near-invisible nimbus one hundred feet wide from edge to edge. As he moves, the beach seems to clean itself as kelp evaporates, grass shrivels to nothing, as even the garbage of plastic bottles and cigarette butts melt into nothing and blow away. Even below the level of the sand, worms and clams choke and die, then fall in on themselves as masses of gas and ash. The beach becomes clean, but it also becomes sterile, lifeless, dead.
Assessment: which of the three before him is the most dangerous? Power-wise, that would be Tsunami. Great force and flight--a difficult target. But a soft-hearted one; Famine doubts his ability to pull out all stops against either himself or Hell's Gate.
FX has a flexible power--the ability to create objects of solid light is a useful one. Famine has it in part himself; he understands that ability at a gut level. But FX is a new hero--he will look to the others for guidance.
That leaves Kaos. Another flexible, but with powerhouse to back it. And now armor...? That's new--and it means crafty is part of the mix.
A nod to himself. Kaos is the strongest here, and taking him out should reduce the effectiveness of both others. Famine shifts direction and walks straight toward the snakeman.
Ah, if Tsunami only knew how close he came to Hell's Gate. For that matter, before he could get away, a dagger lashed out at the man. Of course, Gate doesn't know who it is. Just that someone got too close. Just one quick thrust before the man disappears into the air, then he fades back to the wall and ducks away. Perhaps Tsunami saw him. It's not like he's a ninja or anything. He's just good at staying in the shadows. And FX? Well, He'll be in trouble soon enough. If he can find the Gate.
Kaos scowls, as he pours magnetic energy into his gauntlets. OK. Didn't have time to give Tsunami the Famine-Jammer. Therefore, must prevent him from getting close enough to use it on the man. His power is too useful and well trained for Famine not to want to take him out. FX should still have his; Arcane and Rift have theirs, and the fourth was in Iron Fist's hands for emergencies... fortunately the armor itself also works.
He launches towards Famine, "Atari, amigo. You won't be killing anyone here today."
You paged Famine with 'That's an airborne launch, gliding towards you at about 20 MPH a few inches above the ground.'.
Famine pages: I figured it for some sort of flying kick or tackle.
FX pages: The range on the jammers? And what to they do, prevent me from being affected?
Tsunami is grounded before the battle has even begun. As he launches into the air, something slices into his leg, something he didn't even see. The cut is deep and painful enough to be noticed however, blood trickling fast from the wound, blending with the water coating his body, a shroud of crimson swiftly overtaking his form. It looks much worse than it is, however. The real reason the waterboy has fallen to the ground? Famine. Whilst not within range of the Horseman, Tsunami is, however, affected by the pain the ocean feels from his presence. A side effect of exploring his powers more deeply...its harder to shut out the water's distress. He frowns, dragging himself back up, ignoring the pain in his leg, the strain in his mind, and launches back into the air again. Soaring across the roof of the beachhouse, leaving a trail of water and blood behind him, he finally sets his sights on Famine. Le is nowhere to be seen, and maybe that's good for now. Seeing Kaos make his move, he remains airborne, ready to back him up, and glancing to FX in the meantime, checking on his status.
You paged (Famine, FX) with 'The jammers give you a personal protection, extending at most a foot from your body. Mine goes a little further, because it uses my own energy-absorbing power as a carrier. Under combat conditions your jammer lasts an hour at most. Mine is powered by my own energy, again.'.
It's the mark of a hero that's learning quickly: Paranoia. When going out in costume lately, FX has carried the jammer with him. One off-the-cuff meeting with Famine and Evil Friends who try to kill FX was enough to convince the man of its necessity. And he has it with him now. A flip of a switch, and the device purrs into life. Protection. Limited time, but it might be enough. He looks back to Tsunami, explaining quickly. "I have protection from his death field. Keep an eye out for Gate and any others?" Yep. Not an order, but a question as he starts to drop. He's not sure he's doing the right thing, but he's speeding for Famine's back. He refocuses his power, creating what looks like a baseball bat surrounded by a nimbus of flame, which moves really well. It's fake, but it seems FX does remember some of Kaos' explinations.
Unusual. Most people--even heroes--retreat before Famine, in consideration of their own comfort. Still, there have been enough that have tried charging the Horseman that Kaos' tactic is not unexpected. Famine sways to one side, his body graceful as a dancer's--or a world-class figure skater's--and the shepherd's crook comes around in a fast strike at the snakeman's head. He knows he's aiming at a helmet, but the point isn't beating Kaos to death; the point is to ring his chimes and slow him down. The famine field should take care of the rest.
Too bad Famine doesn't know about famine field dampers.
The good thing about Gate's daggers... easily replenished. Especially if he reaches for more through aportal. One is lifted from his hiding place. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the best aim. Once more, it's aimed at the water-person. Why? Because this is the new element. He's still unknowing of who the man is, in all honesty. But when he throws it, for some reason, he falters worse than normal in his aim (sans portals) and knocks it into a sign right nearby him. Oops. What in the world made him do that.
Kaos is on the attack, yeah. The sidestep and swipe are expected - and in fact, it's practically what he did last time, but for some reason Famine's forgotten it - as soon as he sees the commit to move, Kaos is rolling, pivoting in the air, allowing the weapon to swish violently through the place his head would have been, and lashing out a three-ton kick at the back of that shepherd's crook, intending to impart some considerable momentum to the weapon. In case that isn't enough, one wing slashes sideways in a normal-strength buffet, a mere 150 pound slam, at the Starvation Man's shin. All this with extreme grace and timing, not completely machine-like... but also, more coordinated than Kaos usually is.
And, if he's figured the assault right, Famine won't have a backup attack ready.
Tsunami's head snaps around as metal strikes metal beneath and behind him. The sound of the dagger striking the sign caught his attention immediately. Le. Its a benefit to him that he's come back to New York today, he still holds that inner peace within him, the peace he struggled so hard to achieve while he was in Vienna. That's allowing him to keep his head, to maintain his alertness. Any other day, and tears would be clouding his vision by now. He peers down for a moment at the area the dagger should have come from...nothing but shadows. Fine. It may be his lover down there, but he'll have to show himself before he can be dealt with. Why not flood him out? His body shifting in the air, a splayed hand is raised, and a wave picks up, gushing from the concrete at the end of the beachhouse, ripping along the wall, slicing through the shadows with enough force to knock down a tree. No way the Rave he knows could fail to be stunned by that...but then, this isn't the Rave he knows anymore, is it?
Grace? Sure, FX has the balance for it. But he's never really considered self-defense. It's never come up in his life, except once. And those memories the young man buries for the time being. Focus, Gi, focus!
Granted, a flying FX isn't all that fast, but it's faster than running, and the jammer field is protecting him from the turned Mutant's destructive aura. This is the enemy FX can see, and this is one he's prepped for. He brings the light-bat up, the solid light constructs seeming to not be affected within the Famine field. Especially when he can put their force behind it. Around seven to ten tons, with what he has working now. A little towards the lower end, since he's not a killer.
He sees Kaos trying to keep Famine off guard, and finds the beauty of their fighting. As an artist, he's learned to see beauty without and within. He already has. His arms go back as he comes in to the rear of the Horseman. If Kaos has distracted him, if Famine cannot get his weapon up in time. If Gate isn't just waiting to pick him off from out of nowhere. A lot of 'if's, and one shot as FX closes in.
And...swing heroherohero swing!
What is less expected than a dodge out of the way? Most things; it is what Famine himself just did. As Kaos makes his roll (How did he become so fast?) and the staff swishes through the air over his head (He must have been practicing with the Fist) the butt of the shepherd's crook sweeps up and under and ...
...fouls with Kaos' wing.
If Famine could swear, he would. There's something about hexapodal beings with two attacks per swing that really seems ... off ... to this Horseman. But he doesn't have time to stew over the matter. Kaos' foot is aimed for the staff and Famine doesn't like broken fingers, thankyouverymuch. He lets the staff go and it disappears, and Kaos' green-booted foot flies past Famine's ear.
But that doesn't do anything for the bat-wielding FX who is sneaking up behind the Horseman. Swing and CONNECT! with a mighty BANG! as solid light and metal meet. Famine took it in the back--not a bad thing, considering there's a normal-durability man inside the Celestial armor. Even at the low end of 7 tons, Famine goes flying across the beach, landing in a great gout of sprayed sand. Lighning crackles overhead, a comment from nature, and thunder roars all around. The Horseman does not move.
Gate doesn't have time to react as the water washes over and around him. As the torrent begins, he anchors his feet within portals so as not to be swept away. The water washes over him, and over everything around him. Unfortunately, The tree he's behind IS ripped away. But he stands firm for the moment after the assault ends, the water collected on his body freezing against his ultra-cold exterior.
He lifts a hand and brushes it through the little bit of visible hair. "Is that the best ya got?" The water didn't do anything to him except cause him to glow a bit more for a moment. Poor, Poor Tsunami. "Now, why'd ya wanna go an sign on with this bunch of deadbeats? They're gonna lose the beat in a few minutes and just be dead. I was gonna offer you a chance to live through, but... I changed my mind. Plus, Famine needs help getting back into The Master's good Graces. Say your prayers." He grins, and falls into a portal, aiming himself at Tsunami from above, another dagger drawn from his belt. Both of them are pointed down as he falls. Even if he doesn't get the stab in, he's going to try to grab Tsunami so he has a better chance.
Since donning this armor, designed to enhance his already obnoxious skills and powers to the point where he can face the Horsemen, Kaos has been called a combat monster by some, and a filthy mutant monstrosity by others. The mental alterations that forced him back to a single personality focussed that persona in such a way that he lives and breathes combat strategy and tactic, and during a combat he is incapable of feeling any emotion that might interfere with the goal of defeating the Army of Apocalypse.
Thus, it is not surprising that he doesn't actually bother returning to a traditional vertical orientation. Upside-down, he sees Famine skid across the solid sky, while over there and at some distance, he sees the Hell's Gate opening below Tsunami, while the waterboy moves too slowly as yet to stop that intrusion. Lightning calculation engages, and he aims the magnetic blast at the place where the Gate's living representation falls up toward the ground.
His snapshot is spectacular. It goes directly for the blue man. But what will it do when it hits?
You paged (Tsunami, Hell's Gate) with 'That's a tractor beam.'.
From afar, to (Tsunami, Kaos): Hell's Gate grins. Snag us both. LOL.
That...shouldn't be possible. Tsunami's jaw clenches as Hell's Gate mouths off. Its driven home to him that Apocalypse has messed with his man. He's not the Le he once knew. He's someone else now... Inside him, his heart breaks...but strengthens at the same time. Determination raging in his chest, he's prepared instinctively for Le to port above him. They've spent too many hours sparring in the CEC for that move to surprise him. He swings in the air, arms extended, striking to the side to knock the dagger-wielding hands away from his body. It won't be enough to stop Gate from grabbing him, of course, but that's fine. He needs him close. He gets his mouth as close to the Dark Rider's ear as he can manage and whispers, "Who am I, lover?" He doesn't even notice the megnetic suction disrupting the water which holds him aloft, his focus entirely on Le as he begins falling to the ground. And, out at sea, waves begin to crash harder, raise higher, than they should...
For his part, FX wasn't entirely sure that his sucker-punch was going to work. And it did. Far better than he imagined. So, why isn't he smiling? Well, for one Gate is a friend of his, and he's attacking the others. This is business. And he's not going to be a loser any more. The second...Holy Mother, Famine used to be a friend of the others, and...what did I do?
He goes back aloft, keeping his maximum range between himself and the Horseman as he creates a giant glowing hand to wrap around Famine's body, trying to lift him from the sand. Clear the mouth, find some way to make sure he's still breathing while keeping him forty feet away. He knows what happened the last time one of the Warriors (Rave) got too close to him, and FX is attempting every precaution to make sure he doesn't suffer that fate.
Stupid Horseman. There are three heroes--and your Dark Rider is engaged with only one. Of course the other two were both focused on you--and you paying attention only to the one you thought was strongest. Idiot. You don't deserve to live. Your Master would say so himself.
The famine field pulled in to a ten-foot radius when Famine went down; he didn't have the concentration to keep it extended. He knows he has to get up and teach these do-gooder fools the error of their ways, but nothing seems to be working at the moment. Famine considers: it is probably shock. If it is paralysis, there is nothing he can do about it, so waiting a moment for the shock to wear off is what he does.
And then a giant hand scoops him out of the sand and dangles him in the air. How unusual. He feels the hand probing at the skull mask and wills the thing to stay in one place--for once. Which it does--for once. With effort, he focuses his eyes and notes FX's expression, hanging there in mid-air forty feet away. Worried ... soft-hearted, like so many people. Why are there so many soft-hearted people? Altruism is illogical.
Enough maundering. Forty feet is only forty feet--Famine's range is fifty. He narrows his eyes and fixes his field--intensified--around the young hero holding him up. He doesn't bother moving, yet--let FX think he's still unconscious.
"Who are you? WEAK. That's who you are." Of course, Gate still hasn't seen the face of the man. Though the mag bubble is streaking towards them... the water beneath them has disappeared and they are falling. Can it catch them before they crash on the ground? If it's fast enough. (In other words, Kaos decides.)One arm grips about the body of the Warrior as the other raises it's knife high. "Time to die, child. The Master deems you unworthy. I've already drawn first blood."
Well... yeah, the maglev bubble spreads out when it hits the water, and engulfs the two, yanking them hard towards Kaos, who engages his own similar field and launches at the speed of thought... well, OK, only at 100 MPH... for the two. He grabs for the knife-hand. Is he in time?
The world no longer exists for Tsunami. There's just him and Le. He hasn't noticed the maglev bubble, the shift in direction and speed, the attack on Famine, the chopping tides...Iron Fist would have his behind for being careless if he were here. But the stakes are higher. He's fighting for his lover's soul. His gaze doesn't flicker to the knife, though he's well aware of it. Its time to take a chance. He smiles gently up at the Dark Rider. "I'm giving you one choice, baby," he states, as he allows the water coating, and obscuring, his features, to trickle away, leaving Hell's Gate staring into the face of Gabriel Finn. "Kiss me or kill me."
And the jammer, as far as FX knows, still works. He's keeping his distance for the moment, and encases amine's head in a solid light bubble. It's a pale enough green that he can still see through it. There are air holes in the top, because FX isn't that sick. But, any breath from Famine would condense against the solid field, fogging it up from the inside a little. The area is damp enough that it could happen, and FX would know if Famine still lives.
The new hero is on the move, and the giant hand moves with him, but still at as much distance as FX can muster. Keeping Famine ahead of him, and to his left, away from the fight between the other three. He watches this, and might be distracted...
Light around his head. Famine doesn't care what color it is: he doesn't like it. And FX does not appear discommoded by the intensification of the famine field around him: perhaps he is like a growing number of others Famine has encountered of late, and is immune to the power.
Inconvenient, but not an insurmountable difficulty. Famine tenses muscles, testing the strength of the light hand--and more importantly, how it is applied--and then he wrenches himself up and around in a bid to escape. No mist forms on the inside of the green sphere. He's wearing a full face mask, and it gets first dibs on all condensation.
And the knife thrusts. But eyes catch right as Hell's Gate thrusts. That, combined with Kaos's block end up pointing the knife right at Tsunami's bicep. "I... do know you." He pulls the dagger backwards afterwards, before he can realize that it could cause more damage. He's not quite himself, of course. "No matter. The Master declares you to be weak." But he hasn't moved his eyes away yet. Should Kaos interrupt? It may not help matters.
It's been a rather disturbing realization, to Kaos, that Rave's memories were so perturbed by his captor that he forgot Gabe was his own boyfriend as well... Something he didn't catch onto during their most recent happy conversation/assassination attempt. The winged serpent converts the sloppily applied block to a grab, holding onto the knife blade (scale armor is your friend), and grabbing for Tsunami and (incidentally) Le's other hand. The magnetic field levitating them remains in place, lowering all three to the ground, while Kaos finds his tongue frozen. He knows what to say, but it might be the wrong time to say it.
A wince crosses Tsunami's features as the knife plunges into his arm, pain scorching through it and into his chest. Blood aches from the wound, again filtering across the water in his body, giving him a disturbing crimson, blood-soaked aura. He forces the admission of pain from his features, focusing once more on Hell's Gate as best he can. "I've never been weak when I'm with you," he says, desperately trying to stop his voice from breaking under the onslaught of pain and emotion. He feels Kaos grab onto him, and lower him safely to the ground, and the man's very presence gives him the strength he needs to continue. "Why can't you remember what I mean to you, Le? Access those memories. Or are you afraid too?"
He can't hear the words. He's not close enough to the other fight. And FX keeps his distance for now, because moving in there with a Horseman in tow is just going to make him a Grade-A liability. He watches, and wonders if this is the hour that the team's fortunes change. He's not paying much attention to the believed-unconscious-oh-God-I-hope-I-didn't-kill-him Famine...until the latter starts to move.
He's relieved for the Enemy, as a soothing balm covers his conscience for a moment. The head-bubble disappears, since apparently he still lives. And, FX tightens the hand around famine a little as the evil one starts to squirm. Now...FX didn't remember something correctly. He knows of Famine's death field, but his original power? That doesn't come into his head. So, he has a hand tightening around a person who has a force field what has zero friction to it. Which is light tightening an ordinary hand around a bar of wet soap...
To (Hell's Gate, Kaos, Tsunami), FX pages: And please, no 'Todd dropped the soap' jokes? ;)
From afar, to (Hell's Gate, Kaos, FX): Tsunami laughs. ;)
[New Warriors] Harbinger of Doom Kaos says, "Someone remind me later when training FX... No special fancy tricks."
[New Warriors] Dripping, dribbling, Tsunami grins and makes a note. ;)
[New Warriors] Harbinger of Doom Kaos says, "You want to restrain someone? Put a bubble around them. Not a hand."
Famine wasn't expecting to be launched into the air, but after the initial surprise, he twists to deal with it. Where is the ground ...? There it is. Re-orient so he'll land on his feet. His back hurts; he's not sure yet if he has broken ribs, cracked ribs, or just bruises from the baseball strike. He doesn't intend to give FX another chance at him, though.
His shepherd's crook appears in his hands as his flight tops out and he begins to fall. A glance around--there are the others, piling on Hell's Gate. He should help the Gate, but he's going to have to land, first.
"I know you, but I don't know what you're talking about." Gate states quietly as he jerks his hand away from the grip, if he can. He's not poised to attack right now though. Oddly, he looks quite like an assassin right now. "Who are you?" He asks... very quietly. Taking a moment to look over Gabe's shoulder. "Leave. Now. This one is mine. You only anger me." But does it really?
Kaos has the knife in his hand, he's not going to let go of that. He may give it back later if circumstances require it. However, for now...
"Don't you remember when you were telling me I let the ones I love get away from me? Well... they come back. And I'm not letting you get away from me either. Even if I let you go, I still love you, Le."
His armor pings angrily, demanding his attention. Enemy on the field, wake UP, Kaos, battle not OVER, let's GO, time is fleeting!
"And so does he."
With blood trickling from his leg and arm, head pounding, wreching the energy from his veins, Tsunami's attention doesn't waver from Hell's Gate. His hand reaches to the side, needing to touch Kaos somewhere, anywhere. They're parts of a whole, its right they should be together now, when everything they relied on is in doubt. "Do you remember all the time we spent here, Le? Here on this beach, when I told you about Christian. Where we made love. Or in that house, where you used to sleep when you needed a night off from the school. Where you told me you love me." A tear drops from his eye. Mingled with the rest of the water sliding across his body, it may not even be noticed. "Its me, Le. Its Gabe. I've come home. I've come home for you. Tell me you remember how much you love me." His fingers tighten on Seth's arm. "How much you love both of us. Because we love you. So very much."
Gah! Major levels of Gah as FX lets off a string of rather unheroic words. You can take the man out of Brooklyn....
And the man goes aloft, circling around as the giant hand stays coherent. He moves by his gut feelings, now. The others...they're /there,/ but...it's different. His own role in this night is clear, and FX rises to the challenge. The giant hand goes up, letting it keep the distance between him and Famine remain distance. His sideways movement beings him to a point, between the battling trio and Faming, and FX feels things click. For the effect, he allows the spectral wings to grow out from his armor. And a sword appears in his hand, wreathed in light-based flames, as does the fist betwen them.
For that moment, he feels himself become Clarity. Behind him, guarded by him, are some of those who symbolized his beginning as the person who floats here now. In front of him, the Horseman. From Revelations. The End.
The beginning. Genesis. Eden. Paradise.
And, sheathed in light, between the beginning and the end, between Eden and Damnation, stands one lone angel, with the flaming sword.
And, in the Beginning, even the angels could kill.
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Michael, who went to church and stared up at the stained glass windows of the great cathedral while the priest sang the mass. He would whisper the names of each one--Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel ... Michael.
Michael had a sword. Uriel had one too, a flaming sword that he used to guard the gate to Eden. And here he is, guarding the way to Famine's Dark Rider.
Famine lands and rolls and comes up to his feet, the shepherd's crook morphing to a long, curved katana-style sword by the time he is facing FX again. "YOU!" he shouts, aiming the point of the sword at the hovering hero. "I am Michael, who led you, and I say, stand aside! For one of my own is in need, and I will go to him, if it be through the shattered bones of your body."
Scrambled brains? Yes, Famine has those, in multiple packs of spades. Thank you, Apocalypse, for making the problem worse.
"Love? What are you talking about? YOU were with Kaos. You and I don't have a history." Gate says, but his words are quavering. His mind is battling, that much is obvious. He's totally disregarding Kaos at the moment. "Famine!" He shouts, but his eyes have yet to have turned away from Gabe's. Those touching him might notice, he's shaking.
"Why do you tell me these lies. They have to be lies. Apocalypse has told me what's true. And he told me....... he...." His forehead winces in pain. Something's wrong in there. Yep. Scrambled brains there as well, though not to the extent of Famine's. "I can't... stay here. I don't... Gabe?" The last word is a whisper. But his face firms up suddenly. "No... No I can't." Of course, the angelic speech is overheard, despite his split attention. "Release me. I am needed. I cannot be here. Where would the horsemen of Famine and Death be without their gateway to Hell?" But his words aren't as firm as they have been.
His hand releases the blade as it extends down to trace through the blood on Tsunami's arm. This is handi-work. He should be proud. Apocalypse says so. But for some reason, he's not. He jerks his body away violently and does his best to struggle away and walk on his own, if he can. After all, he can do so without hurting himself like most people could. The finger with the blood reaches up and traces it across his own forehead. "I will... I will defeat... I must prove.... Who... who am I?"
Harbinger of Doom. Yeah, that was what Kristoff said he'd be. The one who faced down the Horsemen. And he's standing here, watching helplessly as the men he loves are standing in a face-off. Hell's Gate seems to be falling, the keystone stolen from the arch, and what's left?
Emotion slips away, the combat challenge from the Horseman Famine triggering the Gift, the Poison, that has become the organizing principle in the unification of Kaos. He murmurs to Tsunami, "Save him. I have to stop Famine."
And he turns, wings spread, and a second angel, burning with violet flames, rises to stand sentinel between Tsunami and the Dark Rider whose mind is collapsing into light, and the still shadowed Horseman.
Kaos' voice rings out: "Michael? Michael is the warrior who protects the weak, the one who threw the fallen from heaven at the command of God. You ... you're serving the fallen one. God does not destroy the meek and lowly. He has given the earth over to them, he raises them up. You have done nothing but harm to them."
Tears etch the face of Tsunami as he watches first Hell's Gate, then Kaos, walk away from him. His mind feels blurred, throbbing from the ocean's agony. His gaze falls back on Le, on that back moving, staggering along the beach, edging further from his reach. And suddenly, its not him anymore.
Its Christian. Its his brother, walking into the waves, the tides rushing towards him, baring their deadly fangs...while Gabe stands and watches. When he acts, his brother dies. That happened here. This very spot. And now he feels he's losing two more men he loves. Two more walking to their doom, in their own way. He looks out to the ocean. "Help me..." he murmurs. "I need help..."
"Prove it." The ocean whispers in his mind. "Prove me wrong."
His eyelids drop, but only for a moment. Raising a hand, he pulls the ring from his finger. The ring he hasn't taken off since Le gave it to him. The ring which symbolises the bond the three of them share. He tosses it, aiming it to land in the sand in front of the Dark Rider. "Remember why you gave that to me," he says quietly, just loud enough for Le to hear as he walks after him. "Remember what it means. That's the proof. That's the proof you need to know I'm not lying." With the help of a defiant wave, bursting from the sands beneath his feet, Tsunami is transported to Le's side. "Remember. I know you can do this. Our love is stronger than this."
FX drops the word between him and Famine like the voice of Truth. His eyes narrow. What happens in Eden, that is not his concern at the moment. His back is to them now. Not out of hatred, or dismissal, or denial. It is trust. It is faith. And, small and in the back corners of the young hero's mind, it is love. Acceptance. Realization of the self.
And FX raises his sword, making the flames dance as his light-wings spread outward. White, pure, and as all-encompassing as a mother's love.
His only concern with Eden is to ensure Evil doesn't find it's way back inside. The flame-fist hovers betwen them, still, as unwavering as the sword.
"You will not, Michael," he says, his voice an eerie calm, even with the accent. "He is not of you, he is not yours, and you will not take him again."
"You have tasted the fruit of the darkest knowledge, in order to bring yourself to the equal of God, who created us all in his perfect Love. You took from the Tree, knowing it was a break of that trust."
"And you, Michael. His most trusted. You were cast out of Eden, to never return. You will not enter again."
"Serpent who speaks with the mouth of a man! I defy you, and all you stand for!" Famine--Michael--is shouting at Kaos, raging, the glow around his figure brightening in a one hundred foot wide circle around him. Everything living or once-living within that deadly radius turns to powder as he shouts, blowing away on the wind whipping in across the waves. "You are the seed of rot in what was pure, the breath of destruction in what was perfect! It is my place to oppose you, to oppose all of you," and here he swings the sword in a gesture that encompasses every one of you--even Hell's Gate. "As has Eden fallen, so it will rise up again, good and strong, without the worms that eat out its heart!" He leaps forward, skating on a sudden skidfield, and slashes at the burning fist with its flaming sword, too hysterical at the moment to delineate between cause and effect.
A flicker of emotion in Gate's... or whoever's... eyes. He bends down slowly to pick up the ring. He holds it up before his face. The blood on his forehead is now frozen there. It won't even get a chance to change color. The man reaches into a small portal and pulls out a ring identical to the other, only slightly smaller. He puts it on his finger as he tosses the other back to Tsunami. "It's alright. I know who I am."
As he straightens himself to his full height, a pair of blue wings erupt from his back. Portal energies are shaped perfectly for the first, and perhaps, the only time that they ever will be... perhaps. His mind may not be whole yet, but... he looks aware. "Michael... Gabriel... Uriel... Archangels in their own rights. Just like Shamiel." He turns on his heels, facing the gathering before him. He knows who he is. But still, he is unsure of what he is to do. He steps past Kaos. His own wings beat gently behind him, fanning no wind.
"Michael, leave this place. Now is not the time for their choosing." His voice is more abnormal than it usually is when he's powered. Could this be something else? Some... higher power? Nobody shall ever know. "You, as I, will know when the time is right. Depart. I shall follow soon. This shall not count as a failure to the master. The time, simply, was not right. Soon, we shall choose, Michael. But now is not that time. Not that moment." He doesn't look to Kaos, Tsunami, OR FX. This is him... and Famine. "Tomorrow, Michael. Tomorrow, the truth shall be revealed." It sounds prophetic coming from him. He's slowly stepping forward. If a skid-field is placed beneath him, he'll simply walk in mini-portals. He Is the Strong, after all.
[New Warriors] Special FX hears 'Send me an Angel' boot up on his MP3 player. Nice effect.
And all the angel of Kaos can do is stand, a barrier... a watcher, seeing Michael's mind shatter the way his own did, and he can't even shed a tear for the man, cannot yet feel the pain of sorrow or sympathy.
He watches, emotionless, neither questioning nor challenging as another angel enters the fray. The targeting computer is strangely quiet about this last one.
If those gathered are the Angels, then Tsunami is the Earth, the ocean, the stuff of life they fight for. He can feel the ocean lapping at the corners of his mind, and a simple glance proves to him how much his powers are affecting it, how dangerous his emotions have become. But this time, rather than the all-consuming panic which would normally accompany such an event...he simply closes his eyes. This once, they have each transcended themselves. Tonight, beneath the thunder, amidst the stench of death and pain, their lives have utterly changed, never to be the same. And tonight, Tsunami can control the ocean, the water of the whole world. He opens his eyes and the raging ocean, the rising tidal wave...settles. Steam rises from the tamed water, and he feels the sea smiling back at him, as his own eyes look upon the angel with blue wings as he strides further towards his destiny. He feels the primal sprits of the ocean caress his mind. "You have nothing left to prove," they murmur.
And FX goes silent, himself. For all that he is tonight, he knows there are bigger things out there. And, some subconscious part of his mind remembers this moment, since it reminds him of that. The sword still burns, the wings remain still, not even being stirred by the ill winds about. The Guardian remains.
Famine strikes the glowing fist, the sword striking deep into the construct. Parts of it fall away, dissolving into non-coherent light. But the hand doesn't fall. FX doesn't let it, and the cutting doesn't seem to have the same effect pure physical force appears to have. He watches this, feeling the storm pick up the hairs on the back of his neck, like the lightning is about to strike.
Famine gives the flaming fist a last sideways swipe and backs away. There is only so long he can stand being near fire before his control dissolves--and he has precious little to begin with.
"Go?" He snarls at the Gate, rounding on him with the sword held bared between them. "You are the Rider. Go I shall, but you must come with me. Our master will not understand tardiness, and I refuse to understand it. Leave these," a swipe with the glowing golden blade at FX, Kaos, and Tsunami, "to their maudlin blathering. If now is not the time to sweep them away, so be it; but do not suffer their presence until the time is right. You are stronger than that."
"And go, I shall, Famine. As you see, my portal is open." And with that, The portal opens. The wings on Gate's back... for now... for some strange reason... remain. "But, I have gone on my own before as well. I have been allowed my own triumphs, not that I shall claim these. My portal awaits. I shall return this way. You may, or you may take your way. Go, Famine. Apocalypse will not be pleased if you keep trying and end up losing everything yourself."
He still holds one single dagger. Keeping his eyes on Famine, he reaches down and pulls his final (4th) and bares it as well. "If you'd rather try to fight me than do as the Master bids, then so be it, Famine. I shall fight. And I shall not lose. You've already seen that you do not affect me." His eyes stay on Famine's. "Go. Now. Either my way or by your own teleportation. We shall make plans to eliminate them afterwards." All bluff and bravado, but, as being a dancer, one learns to act pretty well. Not to mention that for the past month or so, he's had his mind raped... so he's forced himself to forget things. Instead, he's dealing in his way. "Let us depart."
The confrontation seems, to Kaos, to be happening on far too many levels at once. Too Apocalyptic by far, pardon the punning observation.
The violet flames grow in intensity around him as he collects power... Emotion still drained, he waits for any attack from Famine; he isn't sure what is happening with Hell's Gate.
Tsunami knows. He saw the pain in Hell's Gate's eyes, if only for a moment. He knows what he's doing and what it means, and he wants to stop him. But he can't. More than that, he won't. Instead, he simply stares down at the ring as he slides it back onto his blood-stained finger, thumb brushing sand from its face. A tear trickles across his cheek, pausing on his jawline before falling onto the ring. Tears, blood, mixed in with the tangible expression of their love, Tsunami stares at the ring and feels so terrifiyingly, horribly alone.
For the moment, FX lowers the sword he's carrying, the tip of the blade hovering above the sand. His armor is still intact, the light-feathers on the helmet set to wafting in the breeze, even if the wings do not. Under the helmet, a sad look crosses his face. He can see Famine breaking, and it pains him. The man Famine was, he was a counted as a friend among the other three, and he questions his contrbution to this madness. He eyes Gate warily, but doesn't move a muscle, despite the twitching under the armor. The others have not made a move, so he will not. Faith. Trust. The man, no longer the boy, stands guard still.
This, he will protect. This, he will keep watch over.
He has come home.
"So. You would bring a table knife to a sword fight? Rider, Dark Rider, there are only two questions to ask about the loss you would face: how much, and how soon?" Famine says this in a chill contempt. "But since you would stack perversity on foolishness, I will grant you your wish. You may make your own way home."
With that, Apocalypse's fourth Horseman is wrapped in thunder and the coruscation of energies that shine with a light that is not light, that glow with colors outside the spectrum seen by ordinary human eyes. He shifts and is falling through, his form seeming to stretch into infinite distances. The last words he says are, "Don't be late." Then the crash of space and time resealing themselves blasts up the beach, and Famine is gone.
"I shall go home. But my home..." Hell's Gate... no... The Rave... no, not even that... Le turns towards the people who pulled him back from where he was. Back from the Darkness. Back from the hell he was living and didn't realize it. "Is here." He starts to move towards the others, but the portals beneath his feet vanish, as do the wings behind his back. "Have I missed anything, boys?" The portal beside him vanishes as well as his powers return to their normal levels.
However, he does collapse for a moment, raising his head to look at the others within a moment. "Ouch... That kinda hurt."
Kaos has a LOT of energy to get rid of. As his emotions are returned to him, like water poured into a glass... he smiles, and pulls in his wings... the violet flames coalesce together and are projected into the sky where they explode soundlessly, a blaze of energy in the stratosphere that causes a momentary aurora borealis.
Tsunami is, of course, at Le's side in moments, his tears evaporating into the atmosphere as he kneels down beside the former Dark Rider. He doesn't touch him just yet. Considering what he's been through, he may need some time before he can allow affection or love. "Are you okay?" A ridiculous question to ask, but the only thing that makes sense right now.
They did it.
With the explosion of light, and Famine's departure, FX starts to relax, but only a little, taking his steps on the beach as he approaches the group. The sword is the first thing to go, disappearing. The wings folds in on themselves before they vanish as well. The helmet is next, fading out of existence like a memory. Then, one by one, piece by piece, the armor starts to disappate, each component going away until all that's left is a young man in costume. And a familiar blue eyemask. And a comm badge. He goes to say something, but knows there are people who have priorities. He stands, quiet as the sands beneach his feet.
"I am... alive anyway. I don't know about O.K. I... I have too much to... to figure out." Le says, looking down at himself as he rises from the ground, and hugs his arms about his torso. He looks down at the sand at his feet. He doesn't look up as he speaks. "I just don't know what's me in my head right now." He doesn't move right now. Just watches the sand and the water lapping at his feet.
Kaos walks over, rather than hovering, gliding, or anything else. He puts a hand out to Tsunami, and one to Le. "Welcome back."
The water at Le's feet swirls, raising up a little, and forming into a circle. He can't do the colours, but, before Le's eyes, the water becomes a reflection of the emblem of their rings. He smiles softly at Seth, taking his fingers and raising them to his lips before reaching out his own hand for Le if he wishes to take it.
<OOC> Tsunami erks, that was me. ;)
Mary, forgive me my sins.
FX just gets out of the way as the three of them reunite. In the same day, apparently. The beach rises a little as it goes further away from the water, and the young hero moves that way, staying behind the others.
In some ways, Todd knows he has seen a miracle this night. One could say it's the redemption of one who turned away from the light, or another's determination, or another's return. Or, it could be the one where one person found the courage to stand up. To be called on in a desperate hour, and not be found wanting.
A hand waves, behind the others, a mind sharpens, and before the eyes of Rave, Kaos, and Tsunami, the colors on the water reflection actually appear. Perfect pattern, perfect shade, and glowing faintly.
His gift to them, but he lets this be their time.
But, someone has to watch over them...
Lifting one hand, Le extends it first to Tsunami, gripping that one, then bringing both to Kaos. He turns to look over his shoulder, and extends his other hand to FX. "Don't leave us just yet, Gi." There's nothing sexual or even misplaced in the statement. He wears a smile on his face. The smile is true, though strained due to the things that have been happening in his life of late. He doesn't feel he should be smiling.
Not for the first time today, tears well in the eyes of Tsunami as he looks down at their emblem, given life by the colours of their new teammate. He holds both hands tightly, basking in the glory of their love even as exhaustion creeps through his bones. He doesn't question how close FX may have become to his lovers in his absence...for now.
Kaos has his face turned town, a bit. His shoulders shake slightly, but it could be the wind buffeting his wings. No tears from those scale-guarded eyes, as his hand joins the other two. And smiles.
And, despite himself again, Todd takes a step forward. He does get closer, but not close to the circle just yet. His place. Accept it. "I wasn't going anywhere," he admits, though he's speaking softly, as if the slightest bit of conversation would make this profane. "It's good to have you back," he adds to that. Nothing misplaced, either.
"Thanks guys. But... I... If I'm not around much for a bit... I've got a lot to do." Le whispers softly, and looks towards the ship's location. He still feels a pull right now. He knows he's wanted back. But... he's not going. He has other things to do. Including, but not exclusive to apologies to make. MANY apologies to make. Not only that, but he has to put his mindback together. Of course, the best person to talk to for that would probably be Bill. He's been mindraped just as bad...
Kaos says, "Love... I've been there. You need to heal. I ... still have to get Mike back. And Quill. And maybe that Russian chick. War, he can rot there."
Tsunami takes a risk of pushing further than Le is ready for, but can't stop himself leaning over and placing a gentle kiss on his cheek. "I'm glad you're safe. Stay at my place tonight if you want to. I...think I have to go. I'm...blacking out." He looks embarassed, but he pushed himself way past his limits and can feel his body's delayed shock.
Tensing when the kiss hits his cheek, Le nods. "I'm... going to stay in Tennessee tonight. When I do get tired enough to sleep. I can't remember things clearly, but I think I attacked Mona at one point. And I DO have to make sure she's safe." It's not that he didn't enjoy the kiss, but more that he's... really got a lot going on. And he's not ready.
Tsunami pauses a moment to look between his two men. He understands about Le not being ready, he knew in a way he wouldn't be. Sometimes you've just gotta kiss your boyfriend though, especially when you haven't seen him for months and he's just had his mind un-warped. He smiles softly, before the darkness edging around his eyes spurs him to break the circle and take a step back. "Seth...stay with me tonight? When Le goes home," he whispers. "I love you both." And with that, the waterboy loses consciousness.
Kaos says, "Only one thing, love? Why mousetraps?"
Kaos says, "Never mind, I'll ask some other time."
Kaos catches Tsunami. "I need to get our boy home"
"Mousetraps? What? I... don't remember anything about mousetraps." Le murmurs, as he reaches down to his headphones... wait... weren't they destroyed. He blinks. That's not his CD player... Wait... What's? He closes his eyes for a moment and breathes deeply.
Kaos grins, arms full of Gabe. "That was an early birthday present, Le. I knew you'd appreciate it, no matter who was out front."
Tsunami goes to Central Queens -- Queens.
Tsunami has left.
Dazzler comes in from The Blaire House - Long Island - New York
Dazzler has arrived.
"I... I didn't notice. I mean, I don't know what he did right now. Things are still too fresh. But in that moment, I could still teleport up there. He'll probably change that soon, though." Le sighs. He looks down at his clothing and smirks. "I never really liked black on me. But, I suppose it did look more imposing."
<OOC> Dazzler says, "So, you guys are on the beach?"
Kaos says, "You look sexy as hell, but it's not really you. It's him."
<OOC> Le says, "yeah."
<OOC> Dazzler nods.
<OOC> Kaos says, "Yeah. You might have noticed a brilliant violet flare that shot up and hit the ionosphere, then spread out above the whole city :) I had a whammy ready to throw at Famine."
Dazzler missed the big deal - she didn't hear it, or hear of it, or of anything that happened - except for the bright purple flash people on the street seemed to keep talking about on her way to the beach. As such, she arrives not really expecting many to be out - it's late at night, and she figures she could be alone with her thoughts somewhere far less absolutely silent than her house. She notices the pair, but gives them a wide enough berth for now - things seem to be pretty serious. She does wave a little, though, just to see if they happen to see her.
Le hasn't noticed. "No... it's not me." He states silently as portals appear about him and swap his clothing for his old white costume. He looks down at himself. "I don't know if this is really me anymore either, though." Oddly, the daggers remain in his hands. He places these in between his belt and the pants themselves.
Kaos says, "I don't know either, Le. Uhm... you know what I did to try to get you back."
He looks up, and Dazzler is waving to them. Hm. Tsunami is unconscious still, but FX is nearby, looking uncomfortable. Kaos waves to Dazzler with a wing, doing a 'come over' gesture, then murmurs an address and instructions to FX. The angel of light forms around the young man, and he carries Tsunami off to an address in town."
<OOC> Kaos says, "That clears up the IC presence of two people who left OOCly :)"
Dazzler straightens her belt a bit, smoothing her collar - not that it does any good with the beach breeze - as she walks closer, looking as though she's getting used to a new outfit of her own. "Hey guys..." she says as she approaches. Watching the other two guys leave, she quirks a brow, her own issues backburnered for now. "What's up?"
Kaos says, "We've just demonstrated that it is indeed possible for a strong shock and a strong will to break standard Apocalypse-issue brainwashing."
"I can't remember everything right now, Seth. I'm... I'm still having trouble sorting myself from Hell's Gate. I just... I feel so... so... I dunno.. mind-raped. Power-raped. I did things I would never do. The only thing I DO remember is the reason that I went with Famine in the first place. And... it only caused more trouble in the end." Le says, not looking up at Dazzler yet. He's... well, he's scared he may have done something to her and not remembered.
The Dryad rides her bike, as fast as her legs can pedal, to get to where she heard on the news that superhumans had been sighted.... She hits a bump, and the bike comes out from under her. She barks up, and slides to the feet of Kaos... "That's good to hear I guess. Anyone hurt?"
Kaos points to the beach, where the sedge grass has gone to dust, where there are no seagulls, no garbage, no kelp, where the water looks peculiar for a few hundred feet out.
"Yeah. Marine life here took a hit. Gabe had a few injuries, but he rinsed them and stopped the bleeding. My sense of reality has been badly sprained."
He smiles again, and strokes the Le's shoulder with one hand. "And ... one fewer Dark Rider."
Dazzler looks relieved, nodding to Le, "Good to have you back." She doesn't make any other moves for now, though, content to let things progress as they will. She takes a deep breath and looks out over the ocean.
The Dryad says "Where'd you have FX, take Tsunami? And it IS good to have you on our side again."
As if the conversation weren't changing subjects, Le continues to talk. Perhaps it's more to himself than to anyone else. To confirm facts in his OWN head. "I did it to keep the people of Kenya from having to deal with Famine. I thought, when I went with him, that I could persuade him to come back. But instead, Ma... Apocalypse... did something to me. Machinery all around... and then I couldn't quite see everything. It was like looking through a haze."
Kaos looks at Dryad. "Home, of course."
He's not going to say whose home, or where. He's more concerned with what Le's saying.
"It sounds rough, love."
No comment about his own experiences ... Eshu seems to have been more subtle, no haze involved, just incredibly convincing. Apocalypse, obviously, doesn't do a slow gentle mind-screw, not at all.
The battle over, there are a few faces now beginning to appear in windows, the life returning to the area. That part of the beach where Famine battled remains devastated, of course. And, at the beach house where Tsunami used to live, the owners have returned, and they look out, wondering if it was a bad idea to take the excellent interest rate and low down payment, after all.
Le looks to Kaos and the others as the people begin to look out. "I... I think we shouldn't stay here. I... don't really want to be around too many people until I'm... fixed. Or at least better than I am now."
Kaos says, "Also a good idea, love. Where would you like to be instead?"
Dogs start barking. Yep, definitely not a good place to be, now. Sirens in the distance.
The Dryad nods, "Right. Maybe the base?"
Kaos says, "Has Thrash got it working again? It was shut this morning."
Le murmurs, "I don't care. Just away. And... I kinda need a new badge, if the Warriors will even take me back after that."
The Dryad says "I heard him saying it was fixed earlier today."
Kaos says, "I'm pretty sure we will. But you're on medical leave until you get your bearings. OK, base it is. Anyone want a ride?"
Le shakes his head. "I think... I think I'm going to go think for a while. Spend some time re-adjusting."
Kaos says, "Just remember I'm a step away from you, love."
The Dryad picks up her bike. The crash bent a wheel. "Damn."
Kaos picks up the bike and offers an arm to the Dryad. "Want a ride, hop on. Don't worry about me dropping you, I can pick up a car at the moment."
Wings spread and pale violet light starts to surround the silver-scaled mutant.
-- end of scene --