Previous Next

Steal from the Rich

Posted on Fri Sep 8th, 2023 @ 8:19 by Claire Cavendish & Robert Closeley & Phoebe Hunter & Jonathan Monroe & Cameron Johnston & Kaylee Ashton BSc & Otis Jackson & Rebecca McMillen & Sarah Bright & Heather Redding & Jhanvi Dhar & Fiona Creagan

Chapter: All Hallow's Eve
Location: Avalon Institute, Exterior
Timeline: 00:30 November 1st, 1992
4153 words - 8.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Claire reappeared into the meadow with the final three members of her faculty in tow. Immediately as she hit the grass and knew everyone had made it over safely her knees buckled and she landed hand in the cold grass. "Stop them!" She pointed at the massive group of mutants making their way over to the bridge of the institute. The group she had brought over moments before were already on their way to stop what could only be described as an army from storming the institute.

William had suited up as soon as the call had gone out to stop them and he had tumbled into the nearest person. He glanced down as the person should have caused some type of pain but nothing happened causing the armoured man to shove them back.

Biology. Biology was a wonderful thing. A few minutes earlier Otis had been so exhausted the thought of taking another step filled him with physical and mental pain. But right now, his body was flooding him with adrenaline, to the point he had forgotten all of his aches and pains and all that was on his mind was the school and the danger it was currently under. He had one job to do and he would do it until his dying breath, no child would die tonight!

It took a little longer for Jonathan to react than the others. He was still fumbling around mentally to reestablish control. But Claire's urging and the sights around them brought a sharper focus on the 'now' back to proceedings. Lighting up his hands again, he gave Otis a quick nod and started to close the gap. He had some emotion to unravel, and these invaders offered an opportunity to cut loose.

Though it wasn't as bad as the first time she'd dropped him somewhere unexpected, Cameron had taken a moment to recover from the extreme disorientation of long-distance teleportation and the jarring effect of switching landscapes in the blink of an eye. Several steps had become a vague stagger, a half-circle turned in search of whatever it was the headmistress was yelling about. A persistent ringing in his ears crowded out any attempt to focus, his arms twitching with the involuntary spasms that always plagued him after excessive energy consumption. Without intention, his lack of direction gave him a front-row seat to the sudden appearance of Phoebe and her pair of companions and though the speedster understood that he had just arrived in similar fashion, that didn't stop him from blinking in rapidly-fluctuating confusion and momentarily forgetting the urgency in Claire's tone as bemusement took over. "You too, huh?"

"You have no idea," Phoebe muttered as she took in the scene. "We have to stop them. They want to go to the military base," Phoebe said quickly remembering her vision and the scrunched up drawing in her pocket.

"Don't think I'm ever going to get used to that." Rebecca commented, then joined in trying to catch her bearings. Wait, Military Base?! What had she gotten herself into? To Cameron, Rebecca gave a nod, no time for idle chit chat at the moment though. She stood, dusting off her Halloween costume and then regretted her choice of costume for the third time this evening. "Give us the quick and dirty?" she asked. Then looked forward and answered her own question. "Oh..." she felt a lump in her throat. That was a LOT of people running their way, and none of them looked happy.

Phoebe started to fight through the crowd she needed to get to the front to work out better what was going on and to get a better weapon than what she had. She hated the fact she was fighting in a flimsy white dress that had seen better days but she would make do.

Rebecca followed suit, but where Phoebe had to push and fight to get past people, Rebecca just vanished downward and scampered between feet and shoes, following to the front and returning to a scale more befitting a human being. "So, unless you can get me a pair of binoculars and some high ground to do some recon, I'm actually not very good in a fight. Piss poor shot too." she declared. "Unless there's a bunch of rats about I can convince to swarm over the other guys."

“Get out of here and get inside the castle or something then.” Phoebe ordered.

Just when Sarah had thought that it was the end for her, staring down a pissed off mob charging straight at her, other members of the faculty began to arrive. "Oh thank god." She said as some of the Knights, or the 'varsity team' as she liked to call them joined her and prepared to defend the institute. She realized she'd been holding up her rock, body readying itself to throw it even though her mind hadn't yet gotten around to considering a target. That was probably the best she would've been able to do. She'd been trying to use her powers, covertly, but so far she'd had no success. She could hear the screaming mob, feel the vibrations of them charging toward her, and almost touch their palpable rage. But when she reaching out with her powers, they just... not there. She should've been feeling their elevated heartbeats. their exerted gasps for breath as they ran, the gurgling of stomachs... all of those things should've been producing a mad cacophony that her powers could sense, reach out for, and tap into. But there was nothing there. Maybe this time instead of a few giant flying robots it was a horde of smaller Human shaped ones? This was so not good. The librarian considered saying something to the others, but why would they even believe her? As far as she knew, everyone there thought she was just an ordinary person...

Joining the group at the front of the school, Otis waved his arms and willed one of his force fields into existence. In the back of his mind, his thoughts turned to their short adventure in London. He could smell the burning building and feel the heat of the blue flames all over again. He knew he didn't have time to question his own abilities, his team needed him to protect them. Where the hell has this army come from? His delight that his powers were back under his control didn't last long as the army waded through his field like it was made of butter and they were hot knives, ready to carve. "What the hell?" He said. "I think I'm glitching again." His tone was panicked, if his force fields were useless, then so was he.

Watching the angry mob charge towards them, Kaylee was trying to come up with a plan of her own. True she could create a wall of ice, but it would block everyone from seeing their enemy, and thus would be more of a hindrance than anything. Seeing Otis put up a forcefield, Kaylee gave a small sigh of relief before taking a quick breath in as the mob seemed to run right through without slowing down, “who are these guys?” She asked before forming a ball of ice infront of her and throwing it towards the mob. Yet, just like with Otis’ shield, the ice ball didn’t seem to have an effect at all.

"This is unreal." Rebecca commented, as power after power was thrown at the mob, who seemed to all but ignore it. She looked over the situation, then turned to Kaylee. "Can you freeze the floor? Make it slick?" she offered, trying to find ways to incapacitate the crowd.

“I can certainly try” Kaylee replied as she took a step forward.

deep breath in, focus, then release it. Like you did with your hand a while ago the voice in her head advised.

Taking as deep a breath in as she could manage, Kaylee clenched her fists and blew, sending a stream of cold air out ahead of her. Using up what was left of the power boost she’d Received, the bridge, the river and a good 50m on the other side of the bridge became covered in ice. Ontop of which lay a thin layer of cold mist.

After exhaling all of her breath, Kaylee fell to one knee and started breathing heavily between the occasional cough.

It did not work at all as the army just walked past like it was not there. “For goodness sake listen they aren’t real.” Phoebe said making her voice heard over the growing louder noise so at least the people close enough heard as she stepped over to one of the bad guys and allowed it to slice through her arm but nothing happened other than her wince at the effect that the pain should have caused. “Rebecca go with Otis use your abilities to get up high for a moment and see if you can see a woman with a staff and then Rebecca you come back and tell her where.” Phoebe demanded now in leader and oracle mode as she thought about what Claire had said in Wales.

"On it." Rebecca responded, then made her way over to Otis. Her tail stuck out straight behind her as she ran as more of a counterweight, something that allowed her to maneuver with ease over to her fellow faculty member. "Dunno if you heard, I get to be on overwatch. Think you can make me something to get a watch on? Doesn't have to be big or flashy, just has to get me up above the mob." the blonde started, oddly enough taking this moment of all moments to kick off her shoes and pop off her socks.

Those were paws. Rat paws. She gave the clawed digits a scrunch to pop a joint or two with a dull pop. To think she has to hide them... even here. She looked around for other options to get up high, just on the off chance that Otis' capacity to create didn't extend as far as her imagination of it did.

"Here's hoping," Otis replied, the confidence in his powers and capabilities had gone a bit. However, he had performed a similar feat when fighting the sentinels at the train station, so he knew this was in his wheelhouse, he just needed to fight extra hard tonight to keep things under his control. He created a small disc-sized shield around 3 feet off the ground and another one slightly to the left about 3 feet higher than that. "Stepping stones," he explained. "We can go as high as you like, just don't fall."

"Brilliant." She complimented, stepping up to the first one. "If I fall it's my own bloody fault. Up we go." and with that, Rebecca all but scampered up the stepping stones as they were created. Higher, higher, higher. Rebecca didn't have a problem with heights. She had a good grip on the, whatever this projection was made of, and she was quick. The longer Otis had to split his attention, the more of a strain it would be for him. Her murine paws held fast with each step, and her thin tail ensured her balance was perfect. The only catch is, she'd be easy to spot.

Well, normally. As she ascended up, she shrank down. Three feet was daunting, but it was just at the edge of what she could jump comfortably. Watching such a diminutive person make sure a fantastic leap would have been a spectacle, if there was time to appreciate it. Hop, scamper scamper, hop, scamper scamper. Once she was high up enough, she scanned the scene before her, beneath her. Oh she loved views like this. Woman with a staff... woman with a staff... woman with a staff!! There!

As the pair went off Phoebe turned to the others. “We need to bide them time and not let on that we know this is fake.” She explained. “When they get back, Dash. Me and you are going on the hunt if you have the strength to take me along?”

For the past couple of moments, Cameron had seemed more bewildered than concerned. The outward manifestation of his quicksilver mental processes was a rather vacant stare, though a very faint frown hinted at the intensity building behind his eyes. Not for the first time in his life, the background chatter had faded to a dull murmur whilst his mind fought to analyse every detail of a world rendered suddenly sluggish. It took the use of his call-sign, and the relentless self-admonishment to avoid the temptation to retreat entirely, for him to frown properly and tear his gaze away from the distant calamity of visual trickery.

His eyes settled on Phoebe. She was, out of everything else around them, somehow the easiest to focus on. Somewhere in the back of his mind, her implied question registered and he nodded, once.

As Claire saw that her team seemed capable of handling themselves she focused on a secluded spot in the Institute's courtyard where she knew she'd be safe. The first one that came to her mind was the cottage William had built for himself. She made sure to focus only on herself, not that it felt like she'd have the energy left to take anyone else with her. With a sizzle and a pop she disappeared, taking herself out of harms way.

It had taken some time for Fiona to get to the front, and now she was being blasted with ice and cold right before she encountered the shield that Otis had placed. All around her the imaginary army rushed by. She clenched her fist and drawing on the power of the staff, rammed into the shield full force.

Otis caught as the woman with striking red hair rammed into his first shield and it shattered out of existence. His confusion wasn't in her actions, that made sense to him in the middle of a battle, it was how the shield was still active after he had broken his command over it. Was his powers growing and changing, allowing him to create multiple shields without retaining a mental hold over them, or was this another symptom of whatever had been screwing him over all night, another sign that he was losing control?

Getting down was much easier than going up. Jumping down was simple. Hell, it could have been fun. The shields she had been using as stepping stones were something her and Otis could work on later as she scampered down, "I'm good Otis, don't need the steps anymore! Fantastic!" she called upward as she ran through the well-kept grass towards whom Phoebe had designated as who to report to. "Found her!" the diminutive female spoke, mostly a squeak, but one could yell when needed to be heard over the din of chaos. Pointing while calling out, Rebecca conveyed the location of the 'Woman with a Staff', currently dealing with Otis' shield.

Phoebe nodded that she understood. “Dash can you get me there?” Phoebe demanded as she pointed in the direction that she had been given. “We need to get that staff from the woman and the woman next to her will not be able to create any of theses illusion.” She added. She could see that in a potential future they got the staff from the woman and that it ended all the chaos around them to allow them to get to the real problem.

It was Jonathan that reached Phoebe's side before Cameron did. "Remember what I said before about not being too forceful?" He flicked some sweat from his brow with a sleeve. "Forget it. Let's take that witch down." His arms radiated heat sharply. "The red-head seems like she can absorb a lot...think she can handle extreme heat?"

“For sure and the closer we get. I suspect that the shall get more powerful.” Phoebe looked at Jonathan her eyes white as she did and nodded. “Can you get us both there?” Phoebe asked Cameron as she kicked one to the illusions to the floor. She was really wishing that she was wearing someone other than the white Greek goddess outfit.

Stepping up beside Jonathan, Kaylee took a deep breath in, “let’s try to not damage the castle grounds too much, I’m sure the groundskeeper wouldn’t be very happy about it” she said as she used her powers to form a rapier out of ice.

“I don’t care at this point. Spring will bring change.” William said from inside his armour as he moved past the group.

“Dash?” Phoebe asked firmly as Jonathan would be a bigger distraction allowing her to her inside the castle.

A quick jerk of his head brought Cameron back into conversational range, the struggle to maintain a cognitive speed within the same ballpark as everyone else evident on his face. Ordinarily, he would have required a jumpstart to follow through with what Phoebe was asking but the slight twitching of his fingers as he extended his hand to stare at them suggested that it wouldn't be necessary. He couldn't carry both of them at once but the time it took to zip them, one at a time, was close enough to instantaneous for it not to matter.

Phoebe took a deep breath as they were sped through the grounds to where the woman was holding the staff close to the other woman. Phoebe blinked as she recognised the other woman from three years ago when her life had taken a dramatic shift. Heather ignored the new group close by as she maintained the illusions.

“Do it.” Phoebe instructed Jonathan. “You can do this. I am going inside the castle. There is someone in there I need to deal with.” She revealed darkly.

Jonathan gave her a sharp nod of the head then focused his attention on the two women who appeared to be behind the assault. He didn't enjoy doing this, but in his heart he knew that there were students at risk. His arms lit up even more brightly, as a faint smoke washed over the back of his hair.

"Time to see if you can stand the heat..." he muttered, unleashing a furious and somewhat emotional blast of searing blue flame.

Blue flames burst forth and enveloped the red-headed woman known as 'Little Joan'. The golden alloy she had turned into after touching the staff earlier that night seemed to handle the heat pretty well, but after a moment it was getting uncomfortable. The pressure that accompanied the flames was enough to put a hesitance in her step. Out in the open there was nowhere for her to hide. She only had the choice to retreat or push through. Fiona was not one to retreat. It was this character flaw that saw her start a sprint towards the source of the stream of fire.

By the time she had gotten to it she felt the metal that was now her skin starting to shift. What would've surely resulted in third degree burns in her normal state was now causing the ancient alloy to reach its melting point. That was until she threw a fist through the flames and connected with whatever, or whomever, was spewing the blue flames forward.

Having almost gotten close enough to grab the staff himself, Jonathan hadn't expected the form-shifting mutant to react quite so strongly. A fist connected with his cheek, knocking him clean over and redirecting his flaming assault high up into the sky.

"Sad little firebug." Little Joan turned to face the one with the icicle in her hands. "Bring it on, Frosty." She held up her fists as she stepped closer to the woman.

Seeing Jonathan knocked out so easily, Kaylee felt a twinge in her chest coupled with a sudden urge to run over to him. She was about to move when the woman addressed her as ‘frosty’. This caught the attention of Kaylee’s other half.

Frosty? Did she just call me a snowman? the voice said, feeling rather aggravated

“You should watch who you call a snowman” Kaylee said to the golden woman infront of her, pointing her ice rapier towards her, “you may not like the result” just then, Kaylee lunged forward attempting to empale her.

There was a split second where Fiona considered simply allowing the icicle to stab her, just to find out what would happen. A morbid fascination with the limits of her abilities in this form. She could still feel her skin crackle with the energies of the leyline they had pierced earlier that night. At the last moment she thought better of it and smacked the arm away while sidestepping the sharp end of the icicle. "Now now." She stepped into the woman that lunged towards her and dug her elbow right in her sternum. Her already significant physical strength amplified by the metal exterior.

With an audible crack, Kaylee felt her sternum fracture at the point of contact with Fiona’s elbow. This left her winded and struggling to take in anything more than a shallow breath. Immediately dropping her ice rapier, Kaylee stumbled backwards before collapsing to her knees.

After taking a few small breaths, Kaylee looked up at this woman and tried to speak, “why?” Was all she managed to get out.

Sarah wanted to run and hide. In a way, she was already hiding, having stepped back to make room for her mutant colleagues who all seemed much better trained for this sort of thing. But she still felt too close to what was way more serious than the rough mosh pits she'd foolishly dared to brave on occasions during her youth. As if to remind her of that, she was suddenly knocked back, hard. She couldn't have said how she got hit, but there she was, sitting on the ground, with the wind knocked out of her like she'd been sucker punched in the gut. She'd only been hit that hard one other time in her life. The circumstances were different, but Sarah's reaction was essentially the same.

Not the lady with the glowy staff... Sarah's inner voice of reason tried to caution her, but the voice did little good. It was either the woman with the glowy staff, or the woman who now looked made of metal. She was terrifying, and Sarah doubted there was anything her powers to could do to... that. Glowy staff lady it was.

Needing a target to which she could funnel and redirect her pain, confusion and borderline rage, Sarah was surprised to actually find one. Unlike the others, glowy staff lady was apparently real. Sarah could feel that woman's body pulsing with whatever was coming from that staff. Untrained as she was, the librarian didn't know that her best odds were still in going for the stomach. But in this scenario, that didn't seem like the right place to strike. With everything she was feeling, Sarah couldn't help but go straight for the heart, the hardest working muscle in the body, and probably the most difficult for her to faze. Sarah tried to funnel everything ugly she was feeling... pain, fear, panic, and especially weakness, and shoved all of it right into that woman's heart.

Heather bent over in pain as one of the people finally got the right person and did something to her that created pain in her chest. She let out a scream and dropped the staff, feeling the drain of abilities as several of her creations disappeared and others shifted into the same image over and over again a grotesque figure. It had pallid, withered skin clinging to skeletal limbs, twisted and contorted. Hollow, bloodshot eyes gleam with malevolence, framed by stringy, matted hair. Jagged, elongated fingers reach out, dripping with an eerie, viscous substance. A nightmare's embodiment, haunting and vile to protect its creator.

With a leap Robert bound over the Castle walls and landed next to Heather, now doubling over from the pain. "JOAN!" He bellowed towards Fiona and as the people around him assaulted him with powers of their own he felt his grip on them slipping. "We got what we came for, time to head out!" He pulled Heather close to him and waited for Little Joan to join them by their side. He had foreseen there was only a small window of opportunity for them to get out of this unscathed.

"We should do it again sometime" Little Joan winked at the onlookers, picked up the staff Heather had dropped, and grabbed Robert's hand. In a blinding blue flash they disappeared from where they stood and then the green meadows, scorched and frozen, were silent.

Leaving the Avalon faculty battered and bruised on a dark cold Halloween night.


Previous Next

RSS Feed