Nova Imperialism

July 05, 2014: The X-Men visit Nova Roma and find themselves facing off against unexpected visitors.

Nova Roma

An ancient Roman society hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest, populated by the mingled descendants of ancient Romans and native Incans.



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Mood Music:

Even the Blackbird only goes so fast, so the trip from New York to Nova Roma took some time. Enough time, at least, for everyone to get a quick run-down on what to expect from Roman culture, and for those with the ability to get some Latin passed around. When they landed just outside the city itself, there was a short trek before they reached it. And once they were there, they were greeted by the First Senator, Amara's father, Lucius Antonius Aquilla. He's a large, tall, extremely stout man, but jolly and welcoming to the crew of Americans, welcoming them to his home and the city.

That night there was copious feasting, during which the Senator explained the visits they've been having from a representative of Saxxon oil, a Julio Cordova, about access to some oil reserves not far from the city. There was a vote in the morning. It went poorly for Saxxon Oil's interests.

It's later in the day when the Nova Romans find out what the consequences of that decision are. As the X-Men are enjoying a late afternoon snack in the Aquilla home, a legionnaire comes running in, breathing hard. "Senator!" he exclaims. "At the pass! Great…machines!"

Jean Grey has been saddled with chaperone duties after Scott got called away on X-Business. It never hurts to have the school doctor on a fieldtrip, especially one who also happens to be one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet. The teacher has been delighted by the immersion in the new Roman culture. She is wearing simple stola in a pale blue shade, with a sleeveless white under tunic, a darker blue palla, and sandals on her feet. She sets down the deliciousness she was tasting and rises at the panic from the legionnaire. In Amara's head, she sends, «This is your homeland, and your call, Amara. Do you want us to investigate?»

Bobby was noooot actually planning to be here. Well not until Nancy decided to drag him along. Not that he's complaining. Company's nice and this place is, to be honest, pretty darn amazing. The feasting was… well, like nothing he's ever quite seen before and the redoubtable Sentaor Aquilla makes a hell of an impression. It was something of a pity to hear that corporate interests were coming into play even here, but it had to happen eventually. Nova Roma has been on the world stage - kind of - for the last five years. Expecting otherwise would be kind of unrealistic.

That said, the cry of great machines startles Bobby into looking up from wwhat he was doing. He's wearing a dark red tunica, belted and ending a bit above the knee. The toga was a bit… much for him.

"What's going on?" He asks quietly to those who are nearby.

When Cal's offered 'native garb' to wear, he's happy to put it on. After all, he has great legs and looks good in it. He also chose the one shoulder bare style since his shoulders and arms are just as good. When the news arrive, he too looks to Amara and her father. "Would you like us to intervene, Senator? I assume their arrival does not have the approval of your people."

Nancy isn't misbehaving at all. In fact, for her, she's very subdued. She just seems to want to take in all the sights and seems very interested whenever she hears music. Yes, the instruments and the music is very keenly of interest to her. She let Amara dress her, so she's all natived up, and seems to be continuing on this reduced sugar food choice thing of hers as they sit and feast. As the legionairre comes running in, Nancy just looks on passively.

Roman culture. Got it! Lunair will do her best to pick up a few phrases and good manners. Most of her latin knowledge involves names of plants. And mercifully, Lunair will wear the offered traditional clothes. She's got some darker blue ones. It's dark blue all the way down, like she got attacked by a midnight laundry lady. She seems happy for the company, and is intensely curious. She's in awe of the stuff being offered and the goings on. If there's any sort of window seat, she's going to be pressed up against it like the derpiest puppy there ever was.

She looks as the others ask if they should investigate and murmurs to Bobby, "I guess someone's starting trouble? That's the impression I get." She's mostly been busy being wide-eyed and completely in awe. For all of the trauma, murder and violence, she's totally full of wonder. "Whoa." An actual legionaire! Way cooler than 300, yup.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

And while Doug might have given some flak to Amara over dressing up -as- a Nova Roman, he didn't have much issue with wearing the toga. He did, however, make sure to have boxers underneath in case of accidents.

Taking the chance to converse with the natives in Latin, Doug listens as they talk about Saxxon Oil, and about the oil reserves not too far. Some misgivings, then… misgivings that were bourne out by the arrival of the Legionnaire.

"Great machines…?" Doug responds to the legionnaire in his language. "Are they accompanied by men in… well, suits?" He makes a gesture as if indicating a tie and a jacket to help clarify.

Of course Illyana came along with Amara. The pair have been roomates at NYU for the past four years. She didn't, however, make the long flight down. She joined the group after they already got there. Hey, the offer was made to others, but not many were keen on the jaunt through Limbo.

Dressed in a simple peplos, Illyana's lounging over on the edge of things where she's tacitly involved in things, but isn't quite. As the news rolls in she looks over to Amara, to take her clues from her.

Amara looks up at the arrival of the legionnaire, features falling at his words. "I should have told you, Father," she says quietly. "This is…not unusual in the world outside. They will test us." She looks to the legionnaire, lips pressed to a thin line as she stands. "How many machines, and were they on the ground or in the air?"

"Two in the air, my lady, like great dragonflies," the legionnaire answers, panting from his run. "One on the ground, like a beetle made of metal. The noise, my lady. There were men as well, I don't know how they could bear to be around them."

"Two helicopters and a tank, or something like that," Amara summarizes for the others, catching her lower lip between her teeth as she looks to the group. "This is our home, and not yours. And this fight…There could be grave consequences. I cannot ask you to join us. But…" A pause. "I would be forever grateful if you would."

Jean nods solemnly to Amara. "I'm in. Anyone with us can suit up and join. This is not going to be fun, this is going to be dangerous. Do you all understand?" She looks worriedly to Bobby and Nancy. "You two especially. If you join us, you stay back and follow orders. You don't have the same training as the rest." With that she heads to her room swiftly to change into her uniform.

Bobby doesn't have to be told twice to help out. He nods to Amara, looking out toward the edge of the city. "Guess we'd better get a move on then." Classic Bobby here. He hasn't the slightest idea what he'd do to a tank. Yet. He glances over to Nancy. She's been a bit… quiet. And he's spent enough time around her by now to know that's a bit unusual. He's clearly a bit concerned but right now he's chalking it up to just being in a new place. There's something nagging at the back of his mind, though he hasn't quite figured out what yet. He puts that off too.

"I can manage that I think, Doctor Grey." He says to Jean. He'd not met her 'till the plane ride over and clearly isn't comfortable calling her anything else.

"Coming, Nancy?"

"Don't be silly, Amara." Cal tells her, switching from Latin back to English so all the visitors can understand. "It's not like there's any real danger." No matter what Jean says. A couple helicopters and a tank? Any one of them could take them alone. "But I'd suggest NOT getting changed." he says quickly to catch Jean and echoing it in a thought projection just in case she misses it. "It'll be better for Nova Roma if the oil companies believe they have their own defenders and don't need to import them. Let's take care of this as we are."

Nancy looks to Amara and then to Jean. She nods her head once, indicating that the has heard the orders and is prepared to follow them. Bobby probably noticed that her military backpack came with her on the trip. When Bobby asks if she is coming, she looks to him and nods again, following him. She pauses and looks to Cal as he requests they stay dressed as they are. "So, hot leather jumpsuits for another time then?" Okay, she's not her usual lively self, but that doesn't mean her snark is *all* gone.

Lunair looks amused by Nancy's response. But she looks to Amara and nods. "I'm in," She remarks to Amara. She seems to like it here, and strangely, Lunair is drawn to combat. She's not sure why. Is it a violent side? Is it comfortable, usual? Who knows? Nevertheless, she listens for now. And she has a good idea of how to deal with a tank, although - how well would they handle shoulder mounted anti-tank guns? She doesn't think about it too much for now.

She beams at Nancy then, "And definitely no battle lingerie." Pause. "That seems like such a good way to get a wedgie." Lunair contemplates this great truth. "I am fine in this clothing, but I'm going to have to be careful." Lunair is squishy. So very squishy they could almost make an incredibly violent beanie baby out of her. Whatever is coming, she is in.

"Don't be silly, 'Mara. We'll help," Doug responds. Glancing at Calvin, Doug shakes his head. "I've been wondering - how did these people know there was oil to be found here?"

Illyana rises up to her feet and crosses her arms. She just smirks at Amara. Like she wouldn't have Amara's back. With Jean and Cal here, they've got a pretty good ability to transport the group. "Let's rock and roll."

Amara smiles swiftly as the others sign on, gratitude clear in her features. "Thank you all," she says with a deep bow of her head. "I promise, when we are finished, we will all enjoy the baths. They're even better than the school," she adds, turning back to her father. "We will investigate this, Father," she says to the older man. "Though I would gather the troops. Just in case."

"We have had some anthropologists and archaeologists here in the last few years," Lucius explains to Doug's question. "It was a small group, scientists. One of them said that this…oil had been found. We certainly weren't using it, but when I mentioned it to Amara, she sent home information on what it is, what it is used for, how it is gathered. I presented it to the Senate, and we chose not to sacrifice our land for whatever riches these men could offer."

It doesn't take long to pull everyone together, but when the jump is finished, they're just outside the tunnel that leads into the hidden valley. And as the legionnaire reported, there is a tank and two helicopters hovering nearby, attended by a group of what appear to be private security for hire. Mercenaries. Of course, for now, they look rather bored. It isn't that the group of 300 legionnaires isn't impressive. It's just that their swords and shields are less impressive when you're riding things with rockets.

Cal's words make Jean pause. "You have a point." This is going to look very Roman goddess, downright Vesta-ish. When they arrive, the woman calls on her powers and flies up above the legionaires, her phoenix form burning around her, eyes gone over white. Her robes and hair, braided back beneath laurels, move as if in an unseen wind. She is silent, a display of power, not willing to fire the first shot.

Bobby hangs back. Calvin's rather impressive demonstration a while back proved to him that he can indeed be a combat powerhouse. But he doesn't have the practice or the experience to try such tricks himself. Supporting will be the order of the day and that he can manage from a distance. Oh and keeping an eye on Amara in case things get 'hot'. There's a chance that a little ice to her fire might make a big difference in the right situation.

Still, all these things he can do from a place that's less likely to get him shot, so in the back with Nancy it is.

Nancy keeps in the back of the group, keeping calm. It keeps her field mostly to herself, since nulling out the people she is here with would likely be a bad option. She turns to Bobby and gestures with her chin. "Space please," she requests. "You're no good to anyone standing that close to me. Besides… " She pulls aside one of he draping folds of her outfit, showing off a bit of thigh and… a holster? How long has she been carrying that. "I'll be fine."

Cal nods to Illyana, giving her the go ahead to take them to the front. Once they arrive, he surveys the scene. "Amara, you're the ambassador and diplomat. Find out what they want, let them know they aren't welcome, and tell them to leave. Make it clear that advancing further will be taken as a hostile action. No one is to attack first." He repeats that in Latin and accompanies it with a short range, general broadcast telepathic announcement so all the Legionaires get it. They'll likely assume they heard it with their ears given the distraction fo the situation. "That being said, if we do need to take action, Jean? Can you ground one of those helicopters please. Amara? The tank is yours. Sink it in a ditch. Bobby? The tank's cannon? Plug it with ice. And then freeze the guns as you can. I'll port up into the other helicopter. Illyana? Use your best judgement. That'll probably involve crowd control and dealing with the mercenaries. Doug, keep a close eye on them. Let us know what they intend. Lunair, do your thing. No casualties. And Nancy… Sorry. Just don't get hurt." They really need to get her trained soon.

Nodding in agreement to Calvin's system, Doug sticks close to Amara, the better to pay attention to the group, getting a read off the body language of the men about and to give her a warning in case they turned out to be, well, lying or about to pull off a move.

A stepping disk opens beneath Illyana's feet, but doesn't rise higher than her instep. The two-dimensional disk rises upwards and, as though it were solid it takes Illyana upwards so the Russian can get a better view of what's going on. She has her Soulsword resting point-down before her, hands folded over the pommel as she waits.

Tanks! She can go ALL OUT! - … then she gets the word about no casualties and nods. Lunair pauses. "I should be careful, anyway." She can't go all SUPER TECHNO without things looking weird. So for now, depending on what Nancy asks for, will either get a net gun or a Roman themed dancing gun. Er, what resembles a trumpet. Weird. But she's trying. As for herself, Lunair will follow along and take a net gun or music based weapon, the opposite of Nancy's. She might resort to something more later. For now, she's feeling things out.
Amara looks up when Jean takes to the air, pausing for a moment to appreciate the effect, before nodding to Cal. The mercenaries have paused at the appearance of an entire group of people out of nowhere, one of the men in front holding up a fist to stop the others, but they're all prepared, guns raised.

At Cal's urging, Amara steps forward, flickers of flame starting to dance around her fingers and at the ends of her hair. Each step toward the men shakes the ground, a rumble of warning. "You have had your answer," she informs the men. "We are not interested in your offer. Leave now, and this will be forgotten. Come any further, and we will stop you."

"Yeah," says the man at the front of the group, with his fist raised. "Look, you all seem like nice kids, in that totally freaky, weird, and creepy way, but we've got a job to do, and you don't exactly have anyone to go crying to, so…"

And then it all happens at once. The man opens his fist, pushing his hand forward, and the men open fire, the tank rumbling up again as the helicopters try to rise for a better angle on the fight.
That is enough to move the Phoenix into motion. Jean gestures at one of the choppers and the flame bird, the visual manifestation of her telekinesis, soars towards it with a silent scream. It shears off the main and rear rotors, crushing them like paper. The chopper drops suddenly, but is then set down somewhat gently by the same unseen force. "That was your second warning," she declares.

That… escalated quickly. Bobby moves to get a better view of the action just so he doesn't accidentally ice a friendly. Oh, and get out of Nan's null field 'cause she's absolutely right about that. The plus side about being in native dress is he really just looks like a common laborer or maybe a solider without his kit.

"Kaaaaaaay… Multitasking… right." He stretches out a hand, concentrating the on the barrel of the tanks gun. This takes a lot more precision than he's used to but fouling it with an ice cap should work nicely if he can get it. After a moment's thought he begins to cystalize small bits of ice in the air near Amara. Maybe lending her a smokey aura will up the intimidation factor a bit befure this gets well and truely out of control and even if not, the spreading steam cloud will reduce visibility. Can't shoot what you can't see. Well, you can, but it's a lot harder.

Well, opening fire counts as the first attack. No doubt about that. Shame Cal didn't think to get it all recorded. But hindsight is always twenty twenty as they say. Trusting the others to do their jobs, he shifts into metal and then BLINKs into the cockpit of the second helicopter. "You don't get paid enough for this." he tells the pilot who abruptly disappears in a flash of pinkish light. As Cal takes a seat, the pilot falls the ten feet onto the heads of his fellow mercs down below. The X-Men don't have a helicopter but like the Boy Scouts, they do believe in being prepared and he at least has trained on a simulator. While he's not entirely sure how to use the weapons, the mercenaries don't know that when the chopper turns and aims those guns at them.

Nancy made her request to Lunair. Okay, so no rocket launcher. But knowing that Lunair can create things from games and such, she asks for a lovely non-lethal item from a book she once read. The Loogie Gun from Snow Crash. She maneuvers, holding the item that looks a bit like a blunderbus to her shoulder as she takes aim at the approaching mercenaries. The proppelled item expands at first to the size of a football, the colour of ear wax. Tiny cables like spaghetti covered in the sticky, brown gooey stuff fly through the air. The snotty, fibrous drops of stuff wrap all the way around a couple of the mercenaries, causing everything they touch to stick to whatever else they touch. Their legs get caught on each other as they try to run, causing them to fall and become covered in foliage.

Lunair has such an odd power, and a weird, innate intelligence behiind it. Sure, she's hampered by her personality and life experience but dang. She can do that. Lunair tries not to wince at the brown gooey stuff. But she's going to do her best not to think about it too much. Jean's display is really, really cool and Amara is being super duper brave. It's all really impressive. "Wow. Shooting first. Classy." Pause. "Wait. I have no room to talk." Shrug.

So now it's fighty times. Lunair is going to use the strangely Roman themed dubstep gun (Hey, they don't really have dubstep, so it's more a general 'make people dance with Roman instruments' kind of affair. At least she's trying for authenticity without lethality.

The gesture from the man is enough, when it's clear he's intending on open fire.

Falling back, using Amara as a shield, Doug calls out, "They're firing!" perhaps unnecessarily.

And then as Amara does -her- thing, Doug checks in quickly for the people who hesitate in doing their firing. Better to eliminate the ones who -aren't- so sure about the work they're doing, and this he does to Amara.

With the machines taken care of one way or another, that leaves the X-folks with the mercs to deal with. Illyana is pretty confident that the mutants have the advantage here, but flying lead can put most of them down as easily as a normal human. When the mercs open fire, Illyana opens stepping disks as shields for the more vulnerable members of the group. Stepping disks open out to the sides of the mercs to let their own bullets come flying at them at a perpendicular angle.

Amara goes molten in the blink of an eye, and just in time. There are bullets, yes, but between the heat of her molten form and the pillar of earth she raises in front of herself and Doug, only a few hit their mark, and those don't go far. And besides, she's much too angry about it to really hurt just yet. The ground around her rumbles, only to crack and break in front of the tank, red-hot magma boiling out of the crack to weave around the treads of the tank. Try going anywhere when your treads don't move.

The pilot of Cal's helicopter is left flailing on the ground with his comrades when he lands, while the ones in Jean's helicopter seem incredibly reluctant to leave their vehicle. Sure, the lady in the sky just broke it and set it down, but…it's more protection than nothing, right?

The tank, meanwhile, isn't going anywhere. Between Amara's work on the treads and Bobby's on the gun, it's useless. And the people inside like it inside, too. Which leaves the score of mercenaries on the ground for the others. A few move awkwardly in the wake of Lunair's fire, a few more fall - non-lethally, thanks to their vests - under the power of their own fire, thanks to Illyana's disks.

Which leaves the leader, encased in snot. Terribly undignified.

"We did ask nicely," Amara points out, though her smile is lost in the glare of her molten form. "You are trespassing," she informs the men. "On the land of Nova Roma. You are not welcome here." She looks back to the others then, flashing a grin up at Illyana. "Illy, can you send these men to the dungeons, please? We're going to have some words with them. We'll decide where they go next after Doug can see if they're wanted anywhere else."

With the choppers controlled, Jean joins Illyana in putting up shields, hers of telekinetic force, between the flying ammo and the legionnaires. She goes about tying gun barrels into pretzel knots with the power of her mind, making them useless.

Bobby is not really up to the distance precision it takes to plug firearm barrels with ice from where he is. He's also not getting closer if he can help it. But he is an ice nerd, and as a ice nerd he knows one very important fact about battles: They don't take place in hailstorms. It may come as a bit of a surprise when the first golf ball sized chunk of ice pings off someone's helmet out of a clear sky, but there's a lot more where that came from as said ice nerd, who still looks like just Plebe number 47, puts his hand out and begins indiscriminately forming balls of ice above the increasingly trapped Mercs.

« If you raise your hands and surrender immediately, you will not be fired on. » Cal projects to the mercs. Just in case they need extra incentive, he moves the helicopter to between them and the Nova Roma forces and tilts it so they can look up the barrels of their own machine guns. « NOW! »

Nancy fires off a few more loads of that disgusting sticky thread stuff, incapacitating a few more mercs by getting them tied up in each other. Between that and Lunair's dancing gun, the field of mercenaries looks more like a Circe du Soleil disaster then an armed attack.

Alegria~ Wait. Well, the mercs Lunair blast shuffle and dance, although it's apparent some of them have no rhythm what so ever. Lunair seems reasonably content to help round up any non-dancing stragglers and figures they're getting taken to the dungeon, after all. "Somehow, I am glad I haven't upset anyone on this team."

Wincing as he considers that he'd have to be doing the interviews in Limbo, Doug sighs, giving Amara look before throwing his hands up. "Look, spare -us- both the hassles and just -talk to us- here instead of -in Hell-, which is where we're going to end up if we're going to do this the hard way!" he calls out in Latin, making gestures at Illyana. See, DEMONESS. BAD.

The disk that Illyana 'stands' on drifts down lower towards the mercenaries and stretching out a hand she starts to open portals at their feet. Unlike the one she stands on, the mercs will just fall through them as though they were holes. A brief drop through Limbo and they'll fall heavily into the Nova Roman dungeons. That one over there, those two over there… The rapid disappearance might help to soften them up.

The mercenaries who don't already have pretzel guns, aren't dancing up a storm, and aren't encased in snot are happy to drop their guns at Cal's urging. The ones with pretzel guns don't really object either. The truth is, Cal was right. They really aren't getting paid enough to take on this crew.

Amara rolls her eyes at Doug's objection, still glowing molten. "They're just going to pass through hell," she says, loudly enough for the men to hear. "It doesn't take long, it won't hurt much. Besides, you can do your research from the blackbird's connection."

As the men start to disappear, the legionnaires behind the X-Men put up a cheer, fists in the air, before rushing forward. Members not currently on fire or out of reach are in severe danger of being lifted onto celebratory shoulders!

Bobby just has time to cancel the ice storm, since, you know, people have now surrendered before…
"Ack!" Goooood thing he too is wearing modern underwear because as perviously mentioned, the tunic only goes to just above his knees.

Cal lands the helicopter a bit away then climsb out, once more back in flesh form. "You might want to consider leaving the tank and helicopter where they are as a future warning to others. If it's too unsightly though, we can bury them. You're also now the proud owner of one combat helicopter as the spoils of war. Make them pay dearly to get it back if you don't want to keep it."

Nancy gets lifted up and smiles a little. She looks down at the cheering legionaires and just lets them do with her what they will, holding out the Loogie Gun to Lunair to take back and put wherever it is she keeps these litle toys of hers.

Lunair is lifted up? Lunair is lifted up! She is happy! Happy legionnaires, yay! Lunair looks to Nancy, and smiles faintly. The gun simply disappears. They both do. She seems to dismiss them or decreate them. Odd. But handy. Sort of terrifying to anyone in the know of forensics. Of course if you KNOW Lunair, it's not exactly hard to figure out who has disappearing bullets sometimes. Either way, she is lifted and happily hanging about. "Yay! Um, wait, what's yay in latin?"

Illyana's expression is set in a stoic mask as she finishes moving the mercs out. She's high enough that the crowd can't really grab hold of her. She looks over to Amara and gives her a short nod before disappearing herself. Looks like she's leaving the rest to be carried victoriously back to the city.

Amara nods gratefully to Illyana before she disappears, and again to Cal's advice. "There isn't exactly anyone here who can fly it," she admits. "But I'm sure it will be useful for something. Thank you," she adds, smile curving as she watches the others carried off. "I shudder to think what might have happened had we not been here. I'm going to have to speak with my father about defenses before we go home." She's saved from carrying by virtue of being too hot to touch…and she's staying that way, since her tunic didn't much care for lava either. Now she misses the uniform.

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