MTown Riot

Summary:
September 12 2014: A protest in M-Town goes from bad to worse

M-Town Square

A packed, and crowded square full of protesters and counter protesters. It's getting ugly.


Characters

NPCs

  • Protesters
  • Hydra Terrorists

Mood Music:
[* None]


"Listen Children to a story that was written long ago. 'bout a kingdom on a mountain and the valley folk below. On the mountain was a treasure buried 'neath the rock and stone. And the valley people swore they'd have if for their very own."

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor. Go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven. You can justify it in the end. There won't be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day. On the bloody morning after… one tin soldier rides away.

It's already tense here at the rally in M-Town. It had started as a protest/rally in solidarity of those mutants that had lost their lives in the atrocities overseas. About an hour ago the Friends of Humanity counter protesters showed up and it's just… kind of gotten steadily worse from there. The police have managed to keep the two groups in their corners for now, but it's an open question how long that'll last. The FOH group is rather unusually bold and M-Town has been on edge for weeks now after the killings started overseas.

Bobby is watching from the outskirts. He doesn't dare get too far into the crowd where he won't be able to see, much less do anything if trouble breaks out. He's not wearing his X-Men uniform because he's not here in an official capacity, but this is one of the largest most heavily covered rallies in well over a year. There must be twelve to fifteen thousand people all told. If a riot breaks out today… well, it'll be bad for everyone.

*

This is not good. FoH in mutant town is *never* good. She grabs Bobby's hoodie and gives him a kiss on the cheek as she starts to put it on. "I'm going to get myself in with the Friends crowd. Keep them in my bubble. If any of them get killed here, it's only going to add credence to their arguements." She pulls her hood up over her head, not wanting to be noticed by either side. A lot of mutants here in M-Town know she's a mutie now. And the FoH… she hates to admit that she used to support them. Before… well, before she realized how awful she was being.

Slouching as she walks and keeping the hood on her head and her eyes downcast, she loses herself in the crowd.

*

Cameron heard about the rallies on the news. It was big enough even to reach Metropolis, even. And the first thing she realized is that with these two groups massing there was definitely going to be a need for her. Even if all she does is act as part of a wall separating the two factions. She's not political, really, nor is she really in agreement with either side.

Makes her almost ideal for the role of crowd-divider.

With her bright orange hair going, the immediate assumption might be that she's a mutant… yet she looks entirely too 'normal' to be one aside from the hair. Hot-normal, but still.

Cameron is here to help, and she hopes that she can be a help. She gives the law enforcement officers a nod as she watches both crowds warily.

*

Near the outskirts, on the Friends of Humanity side of things, Kwabena Odame looks on. A set of brown contact lenses conceal the one, telltale sign of his mutant-hood, allowing him to blend in well with these… people. A cigarette dangles from his hand, gunmetal gray gloves on to keep his hands warm in the chill that has swept across the United States.

Quite honestly, he hates being here. He'd much rather be back at Melody's pad, making sure she didn't follow him down here to seek out a nasty relapse. So, with a frown and narrowed eyes, he looks on; watchful. Ready to act, if need be.

*

Lunair is only vaguely familiar with FoH. But she knows enough to grok that this is not a good thing. There's already plenty of people wanting her dead without throwing in mutant haters. She's heard about the goings on. She actually wanted to pick up a gift for a friend, and not really go to the rally. But somehow, her path takes her through here. She watches quietly, dressed as frilly as ever. She favors Elegant Lolita type looks, it seems. A few might be weirded out by the rufflemonster among them. She has some ice cream with her, looking thoughtful.

*

Bobby himself is getting fairly well known and thus far between Camaron's rather obvious orange haired block and the implied threat of ice walls everywhere, the two groups have still been prevented from mixing it up. And oh, there are clearly some troublemakers in the FOH group who want to. As Nancy gets closer she can hear the mutters, particularly from the 'front liners' about 'mutie' this and 'freak' that. So far, no one seems to have made the ex-goth girl. So far.

Shift and Lunair can see it best from where they are. It's like someone flipped a switch. Suddenly, as if at some signal, the FOH group - well, the front part of it anyway - becomes much more aggressive, their mood much fouler. The stream of shouted slurs and imprecations become viler and the taunting only draws the militants among the mutant crowd opposite them. Pretty soon the police are looking worried.

And that's when the first rock is thrown. It's actually thrown by a mutant - pity that it is - at someone who just slung a particularly vile insult, but it seems a dam breaks when it flies because in moments bottles and rocks are being exchanged back and forth.

This is starting to get out of hand.

*

Walking among the crowd, getting close to the front but making sure she is back enough that she's not too noticable from the crowd, Nancy remembers this. The anger. The hate. This used to be her life. She hated mutants so much. For herself, she realizes a lot of that hate was based in jealousy and wonders how many of these people are feeling that.

She's still a goth, the black hair, the leather and lace, the corsets and heels. She's just a much happier goth, her bad attitude having been tempered over the summer with friendship and understanding. From mutants. Mutants made her understand she was not alone, not needing to keep everyone at arms reach. Mutants showed her how they were no different then anyone else. They live, they laugh, they love, they cry. And yes, they bleed. Which is what she's hoping to prevent today. On both sides. She double-checks that her taser is in her purse, hoping no one notices the Absinthe Fairy on it and recognizes her. Dammit. Should have left the purse with Bobby.

*

Sticks and stones may break my bones… Cameron shakes her head as she looks at the chaos that's ensuing. She's not gifted with super-speed, but she is pretty durable and reasonably quick on her feet. Instead of letting the rocks miss her, which is what any *sane* person would do, she instead steps into the paths of projectiles from both sides, letting them bounce off of her. Better her than some poor person on either side that isn't built for this kind of thing.

"Stop this. Just STOP!"

Cameron doesn't have a mega voice either, but she is possessed of a decently loud voice — inherited from Mom — when she wants to. She really doesn't want to escalate this, but so help her no one is getting hurt while she's here.

*

When the switch is thrown, Kwabena leans forward just so, his eyes narrowing a bit further. Then, he simply lets out a deep, heavy sigh.

There's no rushing in where angels fear to tread. No, Kwabena is quite happy where he is. He's got a cigarette and a flask, and a birds eye view of what's unfolding ahead. The truly sad thing is… eventually, if he knows his fellow mutants, someone is gonna throw a much larger 'rock'.

In many ways, it reminds him of the Cincinnati race riots. 2001. He'd been a part of them then… he's not about to rush into another racially driven catastrophe.

*

Oh geez. Lunair might see Shift and his hood. She mostly remembers Shift being the guy who wanted some brownies from Botany club. Seemed like a pretty okay guy. Although, it's not exactly shocking that it got nastier. People have a way of working themselves into a frenzy. She's only seen riots second hand. But perhaps, she's going to avoid helping this one turn lethal. Lunair ducks into - a bathroom. Maybe a portapotty? Anything nearby with some sort of privacy, and pops out covered in armor.

Now, time to look around and … DUBSTEP. Hopefully that would help contain the crowd. Or at least, the fringes of it.

*

About forty people right in front of Nancy break into the Lunair two-step. She just missed the goth girl with that. Whew. Camerons heroics, while heroic, get her a flurry of slurs from both sides. To the Friends of Humanity she's a traitor, a mutie lover, a mongrel and other things more imaginative and less printable. To the mutants? She's a sellout, or a f-ing normal or just a plain bitch. Then an Ice Wall goes up on either side of her, hopefully helping to contain the flurry of projectiles. The cops are moving in now anyway, in riot gear but there are so damn few and the presence of the police is a calming factor for neither side. Someone needs to talk these people down before there's a riot.

Except there's another problem. Only shift is in a position to see, but several vans have just pulled up behind the mutant side of the rally and they're starting to unload some heavy looking equipment.

Someone on the mutant side gets bold and chucks what looks like a fireball. It splashes off Nancy's null field to the consternation of both the target and the aggressor.

*

Nancy just keeps her head down and hopes she doesn't get hit by the volleys of rocks and other assorted sundries that are being aimed over at this side of the crowd. She feels her anger grow, not directed at anyone but just at the situation, but is fine with that. Her anger makes her bubble bigger and soon it's at its full size. She steps back, trying to protect as many people as she can with her aura of nothing and definitely keeping that orange haired giantess from getting caught up in her void sphere.

When the people just in front of her start to dance, Nancy backs away with a snicker. She knows whose trademark *that* is and she also knows that she's not immune to technology, even when that said technology was created with a mutant power. Sneaky, LunLun, very sneaky. Nancy approves. The incoming fireball coats her shield as it fizzles out and she hopes no one is paying attention to the math enough to realize she's the epicenter of the invisible sphere.

*

Was someone thinking about larger rocks? So is the white haired gentleman that just got out the nearest subway station. Magneto has been monitoring the situation from distance, as his presence could give the SRD an excuse to use lethal force indiscriminately. Unfortunately, it looks like they already have the excuse, so it looks like his presence will be required to fight.

Since he is still some distance from the event, he is in a privileged position to see the vans arrive. Now, the idea it could be something harmless not even crosses his mind. 'Expect the Worst' is his motto, because he has seen the worst too many times.

He send his magnetic senses to scan those vans, and check for weapons in the people around them. And he starts running, too.

*

Cameron raises her arms to support the ice walls on either side of her, then glances at the Friends before grasping the walls and attempting to lift them up slightly.

"Hey, guy with the ice, lock the walls more onto me, gonna push them away."

Okay, it's a rather silly idea, but if the strong woman can get enough of a wall to move, and can somewhat leverage it, then in theory she can 'herd' the counter protest away.

Given where her focus currently is, that's her goal, at any rate.

If that happens, she will slowly advance with the two walls, dragging them in front of her to separate the two groups.

*

Kwabena's face forms a scowl when the cops come in with riot gear. He remembers when Central Parkway was on fire, when the Cincinnati cops formed a barrier of horses and armored shields. All because the black community was angry over the wrongful shooting of a black kid.

The thought of moving out and Shift Choking the lot of them passes his mind. That is, until he sees those completely conspicuous vans pulling up. Around the same time, aforementioned 'larger rock' gets thrown, and a vile curse comes from Kwabena's mouth.

"Shit."

Moments later, the Ghanain's clothes become a pile on the ground in favor of a black column, twisting tendrils of black smoke, that are vaulting into the air from the FoH side of things. The cloud strikes an overhead walkway, and for a brief moment, a figure dressed in gunmetal gray can be seen, clinging to the walkway like an insect. The figure throws himself free in a suicidal move, but the transformation back to smoke is almost instantaneous. The cloud goes soaring across the riot below, headed directly toward those vans and their nasty looking hardware.

*

Lunair's not so much sneaky as she goes with what she gots. If she had a smoking hot body and laser eyes, she'd totally use those. But you work with the hand you're dealt, not with the hand you wish you had. Still, hooray approval! Lunair is glad she has her armor on. She watches the others, glancing around. She looks wary at the cops. But for her part, she decides to keep making people dance, especially the FoH side. She seems less fond of them. She winces at some of the words exchanged and rocks thrown. "This cannot end well." Nevertheless, the dance wubbing continues.

*

"So the people of the valley sent a message up that hill, asking for that buried treasure: Tons of gold for which they'd kill. Came the answer from the Kingdom: With our brothers we will share all the riches of the mountain, all the treasure buried there."

It's not a riot quite yet though it's only inches away. Minutes from midnight, as the phrase goes. The cops have called for backup, of course, and formed a thin blue line facing the mutant side, mostly because if there is a riot, the FOH protesters are pretty outnumbered and they're probably the ones that are going to catch it. Also would you turn your back on the group of people who can throw fireballs? Still, that sets the muties off even more. The 'discrimination' boils their blood. Violence is definitely in the offing unless…

Bobby piles more ice onto Cameron as he dails his phone. If she can force a gap, that'd be good. "Nan! Someone needs to talk these mutants down or there's gonna be a massacre and it's going to look like our fault!" Seeing dancers and knowing Lunair is about Bobby calls out loud as he can. "ARMORY! DANCE THE MUTANTS! WE CAN'T HAVE 'EM CHARGING!"

Of course that earns him a few dirty looks, but after the first pair of bruisers that try to shut him up end up with ice blocks for pants, no one else seems to be brave enough to do anything about it.

Magneto can indeed sense weapons on the people near the vans, as well as something heavy and metalic in each of them. The magnetic resonance paints a picture of some kind of machinery, similar to what Shift, getting closer, can actually see. Cylinders about 5 feet tall with a containment unit in the center full of some kind of viscous liquid.

*

Nancy looks up in time to see that one, an ice wall is sliding her way and that two, Lunair must be shooting more into the FoH side of the crowd. She can't back away in time, not and still keep the humans safe from things like fireballs, so she lets herself get caught up in the blast of the Dubstepper. She keeps a hand on her hood to keep it down, since she doesn't want to be seen like this.

Nancy's phone rings and she looks at the number. If it had been anyone other then Bobby, she would have ignored it. "I don't think they would listen to me. These ain't Nesters, I have no clout with these guys! 'Sides, Armory caught me in her last blast."

*

Close enough now, Magneto's feet leave the ground and he hovers forward, then he picks a few nails. A fistful of nails. Amazing what one can do with a nail and, the total control of the Earth magnetic field.

It is unlikely he is the only flying mutant around, but he draws attention nevertheless. That is bad in this world of cellphones, microcams and tweets. With a second of concentration he sends a mild electromagnetic pulse, short-circuiting all such devices in around a two hundred yards radius. (Unless they are shielded, Bobby and Nancy's phones go away too).

And then, he reveals himself. His form glows white as the metal mesh of his clothes reconfigures. A Thracian helmet forms over his head, concealing most of his face. But where that infamous armor was red and purple years ago, now it is black and grey.

"MUTANTS. BROTHERS AND SISTERS." His voice booms, amplified electronically. "DEFEND YOURSELVES. WE ARE ATTACKED. NOT BY MERE BIGOTS, BUT BY THE GENOCIDAL TERRORISTS OF HYDRA."

He opens his hand, and the nails get fired at near supersonic speed towards the men around the vans, like a swarm of angry, sharp bees. He recognizes the cylinders, he was in Syria. Those are not touched by the flying metal.

Getting shredded by shrapnel is a nastier way of dying that mere electrocution, which is why he is doing it. Fear those vindictive old men.

*

Yep, call her the Human Glacier. Cameron continues to slowly stride forward with the wall, making sure no one gets crushed, and focusing on widening the gap between the two parties. Hopefully, none of the mutants get the idea to try and take her down, or her loaned wall. In fact, hopefully some of them see what she's doing and stop being as obnoxious about her efforts. She is kind of pushing the FoHers away, after all.

And then… she starts to hit the edge of the zone and slows to a dead stop, starting to turn a bit blue as she feels a bit weaker and freaking colder. Wall stopped, she backs out of it to turn and face the mutants, feeling some warmth come back into her.

Well, Magneto definitely knows how to make an entrance. She stumbles a bit and rubs at her arms to get warm again, heading towards the mutants.

*

Shift, it would seem, has come in too low. His body briefly passes through Nancy's field, forcing him to revert to flesh and blood. His eyes go wide as he looks down to see the crowd rushing by, and the ground rushing toward him. He grits his teeth…

But there is no splat. As soon as he's beyond that field, his form is taken over by coils of black smoke again. So resumes his flight, just above the heads of the crowd below, until he comes in for a rolling landing not far from the dastardly machines.

Shift appears from within that cloud, smokey tendrils solidifying until the man can be seen rolling across the ground. He comes to a skidding halt, gloved fingers leaving trails in the ground, and looks up at the machines with speculative, once again silver eyes. It only takes a few seconds to piece together some probable explanations, and when he does, Shift's eyes go wide with anger and fear.

"You sons of bitches." He comes to his full height and begins waking toward the vans, taking stock of the people unloading them. Counting them. Sizing them up. All the while, the exposed parts of his black skin begin to glisten and harden as he shifts his body into it's obsidian, super-solid state.

Fortunately, those villains aren't dispatched by his hand. Shift isn't sure how much more blood his soul can take. Eyes still wide, he turns to take in Magneto, and… well… he reaches behind his back and pulls the mask up to cover his face.

"What do we do about dat shit?" he gestures toward the cylinders. He knows one trick; smash. Somehow, that doesn't look like a very good idea.

*

Lunair is happy no one goes splat. She's trying to avoid friendly fire, but on hearing Bobby's urging, she turns her dub steppin' towards the mutant side. She remains unaware of the cylinders, until - what's going on? People seem worried about something beyond mere riot happenings. Suddenly, Magneto gets all BEEES and then makes his announcement. A look of horror crosses her face. Hydra, huh? They just don't quit. But genocidal? Was something aimed at mutants…?

Would they work with these friends people who really don't seem all that friendly at all? Although, Lunair's cell phone is totally nuked, joining the swarm, it seems. D'oh. At least she's sensible enough to get spares and keep running crowd control, even if whatever Magneto is looking at is worrisome.

*

About a half dozen unremarkable men with very remarkable guns get messily eviscerated by a storm of flying metal but there are others and they act quickly, firing into the air, causing the mutant crowd to panic and stampede, forward (Toward the FOH) adding to the confusion. And then the gunplay aims up at Magneto himself. No ordinary bullets these, blue arcs of vibrant energy lance skyward as near twenty men try to cover the work crews setting up the virus dispersal devices. Hydra is unaware that the area has been dosed in inoculation but all the same contaminating it could prove just as disasterous if not nearly as quickly. The spread of this virus would probably be swift and shortly thereafter, horrifically lethal as folks returned to mutant communities with no built up immunity to this stuff.

Bobby takes skyward on his ramp and crashes into the nearest FoH idiot as he makes a beeline for as close to Nancy as he can get. Anyone who gets in his way (a couple do, since he's obviously a mutant) get billyclubbed. It's not pretty. He tries to grab Nan's wrist and haul her out. "Time to go Nan. It just started getting real and I'm worried that we may have someone to shut down in a minute."

Fortunately Bobby is leading Nancy away from Cameron so her powers? They'll be back in no time.

Lunair now has a very good view of Shift, virus bombs… and some guys with nasty guns.

*

In the middle of telling Bobby that she doesn't think she has what it takes to calm these people down, her phone dies. And then… Hey! She knows him! That's Eric, that friend of the Prof! And he's making things worse. Okay, true, it's HYDRA, but still!

Nancy decides the humans are gonna have to save themselves, the little buggers, and starts trying to make her way to the other side, still dancing as she walks. Which isn't doubly hard since a wall of ice is in her way. She starts trying to make her way around the wall, wishing she could fly or something. That would have made this so much easier.

Suddenly, Nancy's snowy white knight shows up. She takes his hand, still dancing as her hood falls off. If only they made an epipen for dubstep. She pulls her power in tight again and hands Bobby the hoodie as she takes it off, if he uses it to tow her behind him, he stays out of her field and is still powered. Ha!

Magneto was expecting return fire, but not really from advanced energy weapons. The number of the terrorists is also alarming; apparently he missed half of them in his quick scan. He should have been here earlier!

A forcefield forms around him, blocking the blasts from the guns, and meanwhile the swarm of nails fly in lethal zigzag patterns, cutting the Hydra soldiers to bloody ribbons, one after another. Yet not quick enough.

*

That spring in her step is back… that… feeling… yeah. Power. That thing that Mom is always on her about training. Honing. Making perfect. And those work crews… Nuh-uh. Not when she's here. She's a hero, or so they say, and she's going to do what anyone who had any sort of sense of responsiblity about this. She doesn't know a lot about HYDRA, other than brief mentions in history books. But folks working on stuff after the Master of Magnetism warned about genocide that aren't running away? No, that's not good.

She jumps up and gets a good bit of distance up before adjusting her angle downwards, attempting to sweep as many of the work crew into her arms in a literal flying tackle to pull them away from their tasks. She's okay with missing a couple… she's going for disruption, not destruction at the moment.

She seems to bounce through the hail of metal with nary a care on her flight path.

*

Magneto looks fairly occupied, but those nasty looking guns are not get trained upon him. So, Shift takes one final, deep breath of air, and pushes his solid form to it's limit.

No longer needing to breathe, at least for a time, the masked Ghanaian moves in upon those soldiers. Unremarkable they may be, the way Shift assaults them is. Human legs, arms, torsos and faces are utterly shattered under the assault of his super-solid body. He neither goes for lethal blows, nor does he pull them. What does become apparent is the mutant's efficiency, with how he times his blows, using fist, body, head and foot alike, to work his way through the soldiers one by one.

More than once, a flying nail bounces off his body, leaving gashes in the uniform of gunmetal gray. It's unclear if Shift is taking damage, but one thing is certain; a trail of blood and broken bodies will follow him until someone makes a move to stop him.

*

Those are odd guns. Her eyes widen. And they've got energy weapons. Did someone mention a virus? Lunair's not sure about this. She has a distinct medical phobia and the idea of a virus bomb just sets off all kind of unhappy signs for her. What was once funny riot control is now something far more deadly serious. They're more than enough to occupy even Magneto. She'd worry about shift, if she weren't already worried about a lot of other things. Including the people who aren't running away.

It's all a bit much. Sensory overload sucks that way. Nevertheless, Lunair will try to be disruptive as possible, keeping people dancing and making sure she's not being fired on.

*

The amount of blue energy arcing up at Magneto has gotten less, partly thanks to the swarm of nails and partly thanks to Shift methodically bashing his way through everything in his way. There's still close to a dozen shooters left and they're honing in on Mags in the air. Most of them are. One of them levels a weapon at Shift, smirks, and pulls the trigger.

Camerown has two arms full of technicians. That's a win right? Unfortunately she is also drawing energy fire now and some of it is getting really, really damn accurate.

Lunair is doing an admirable job of preventing the riot from being anything more than a really angry dance party, but there's a problem on her end too. Not all of the FoH 'protesters' seem to be armed with rocks and bottles. A group toward the back seems to be armed with guns. Rifles, in fact. Rifles that are being trained at her now that they've figured out where she is.

Bobby manages to use the tether to take to the sky again, skating over to the other trouble zone. The noise gets louder behind him. "Crap. Nan I'm going to drop you off and then go back to wall off the protest. I'll be back okay."

No sooner is he gone than Nancy can see the other Hydra soldier not shooting. He's aiming his weapon at a virus canister. And he's ten feet away.

*

The riot is just going crazy. It's hard to keep up with it all. She nods to Bobby as he tells her he's dropping her off and goes into a slide off of his ice ramp, straight for the guy aiming at the virus cannister. She lands on top of him, still dancing. Oh gods, this is humiliating.

*

Nothing warms Magneto (black&dead) heart so much as seeing some mutants fighting back against their enemies. Looks like the Hydra soldiers are going to be beaten to pulp by Shift and the engineers are getting knocked around by a tall redhead.

That frees some of his attention to deal with the cylinders. He picks them one by one, using his magnetic powers and surrounding them with a forcefield to prevent last ditch efforts to open them, like trying to shot at them with blasters.

It pains him this might mean some of the Hydra terrorists are not going to get nailed, but since there is a bunch of Friends of Humankind with guns nearby, there is /much/ more bloodshed coming soon.

The cylinders first, however. He needs to put them away, maybe inside of a hermetic container of steel. Those Hydra vans begin flying, as he dissembles them to form a big metal ball around the virus canisters.

*

Cameron's first goal of disruption seems to be well underway, and she tosses her pile of gathered techs down by the ice-wall. The police were there, hopefully New York's finest can handle some technicians that were getting ready to unleash some WMD love on the Big Apple. SRD would totally jump all over that back in Metropolis, can't be that much different here, can it?

The woman then dives down at the people shooting at her. She gets hit a few times, clothing burning away a bit as it starts to head into the 'malfunction' zone, then scowls as she lines up a 3-7-10 shot of gunmen… attempting to punch the first one to send him into the next, etc.

"I JUST BOUGHT THESE!"

Okay, probably not a veteran heroine there. Newb Mistakes 101: Never wear new clothes to a potential riot.

She breaks off and looks for a new batch of targets even as she is starting to show signs of being a bit battered and burnt.

*

Its one of those moments, when everything seems to stand still even though everything is moving so fast. It happens first when Shift notices the surgical deconstruction of almost everything metal in the vicinity, and ends when he sees a weapon aimed at him.

Conventional weapons, Shift can handle. The arc of blue energy, that's something else. When it hits, he's thrown a good ten feet into the air, seemingly fried. When he strikes the earth, his body simply begins to melt, at first into something resembling glowing goo. He tries to stand, but his body is no longer solid. It's melting, into something far worse, and, it hurts like hell.

Its either succumb and die, or embrace and burn. Shift, unfortunately, has danced this game before. He looks skyward and fills the air with an unearthly scream of anguish.

The area around him is suddenly blinded when the Ghanaian bursts into a brilliant, man-shaped cloud of burning plasma. The heat alone is enough to blast away at those nearest to him, and it melts the nearest soldier's armor into his skin. Worse, Shift needs to feed now, to stay alive. Flesh, dirt, metal, it doesn't particularly matter. If he burns out too soon, it could mean something horrible. There's only one way this can go; one way this should go.

Down.

Shift barrels into the earth, burning a hole in the ground that simply keeps going, and going, and going. Soon enough, his brilliance is but a glimmer of light coming up from a hole in the street that seemingly knows no end, surrounded by the shredded infrastructure from decades of old water lines, long-since decommissioned sewer lines, and the like.

*

Really angry dance party. Isn't that some sort of punk band? Lunair's never sure. And suddenly she notices a group of FoH who don't approve of her being a mutant OR making people dance. Thankfully she has her armor on, but that's still a fair number of rifles and it's STILL going to be unpleasant. She'll turn her odd weapon towards them, remembering that Cal and some of the others tend to get upset when she straight up murders people. Lunair herself wouldn't think much of turning a 50 calibre or railgun over there. But that makes people grumpy. So for now, she tries turning dubstep on the FoH now targeting her.

*

Bobby is in the midst of creating a a very large wall of separation between derp and hate. That's the best way he knows how to describe it. It's keeping him very busy. Fortunately he is not getting shot at because Lunair is making the FoH firing squad do a Village People impersonation. They. Want. You. (In the Navy.)

The sudden shift of Shift sends the remaining thugs scrambling, giving Magento some time to secure the virus delployment devices. He doesn't have much time though because, yep, those sirens and jet engines? That's the sound of NYPD backup and SRD vertibirds. ETA, less than one minute.

Cameron… her clothing is faring poorly though not as poorly as the mook she just cold cocked.. into another mook… into another mook.

Nancy's victim has just… given up. It might be the fact that she tackled him pretty damn hard. Or the fact that he's about to get very, very arrested.

*

Just as the unstoppable urge to dance finally ends, Nancy looks down at the HYDRA guy she's on top of. She smirks down at him and nails him in the nuts. She takes the gun he was going to use on the virus as she gets on her feet. "Yeah yeah, when one head dies. Yadda yadda. Hail Hydra and all that rot. Wonder if they're even going to bother bailing you out of jail, you putz."

With the sirens filling the air, she starts to run towards Bobby, hoping his ice skating trick will get her the hell out of here.

*

Lunair, for her part, will probably GTFO. She has no urge to deal with the cops.

*

The canisters secured, Magneto turns his attention to the gunslingers of the Friends of Humankind. The dancing gunslingers. How… amusing. But he can also sense the aircraft of the SRD coming, too.

Now, smashing human armies is always a pleasure but he has a metal sphere full of a deadly bioweapons. Does he want to risk a stray shot hitting it? "Next time, I suppose," he mutters.

Then his eyes fall on the mutants that fought Hydra. He recognizes a couple of Xavier students. "If the SRD attacks the mutants, I will be back in a minute." He promises. Then he flies away, taking with him the metal construct.

*

Now that the threat is gone and the area is starting to become secure, Cameron shifts gears.

Despite her clothing falling apart around her, her first focus is on finding the most critically injured among the rioters, offering to heal the worst injuries. Clothing can come when clothing can come, right now there's lives to be saved.

And no, she's not 'saving' HYDRA agents with skillfully placed fingers to the nasal sockets or the like. Anyone she finds in critical or mortal need of attention will get the choice to accept healing or not. If she's refused she goes to the next. And to the next. Because that's what she does. Hopefully at some point someone will at least bring her a blanket or coveralls or something, but the injured must be cared for, even if she is about to fall asleep in the process. Caffiene could work wonders for normal people but given her physiology…

She'll keep at it until she can literally do no more due to exhaustion.

*

From deep within that hole, there comes a thunderous noise. A ball of flame shoots out of the hole, and riding it is Shift. His plasma phase has fortunately expended itself, without causing mass carnage aside from a three-foot wide, seventy-foot deep hole in the earth. When he comes out of that fireball, he's steadily changing from black smoke into human shape again, with naught but a few tendrils of white, ionized gas being absorbed into his body. He strikes zenith about fifteen feet up, then hits the ground in an inglorious heap. He's only got the strength to crane his neck upward, watching Magneto's departure with a satisfied expression upon the exposed, lower half of his face, before his head simply collapses onto the ground, exhausted.

"You!" the voice comes from a cop. "Don't move!"

Shift looks up, and beneath the mask, he rolls his eyes. "Really?" he groans. "Fucksake. Suck dis, Andy Griffith," he quips, before mustering his strength and transforming, one last time, into smoke form. The black tendrils burst off into the frantic crowd, disappearing amongst so many trampling feet.

*

"Now the valley cried with anger: Mount your horses! Draw your sword! And they killed the mountain people so they earned their just reward. Now they stood beside the treaser on the mountain dark and red. Turned the stone and looked beneath it. Peace on earth is all it said."

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor. Go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end. There won't be any trumpets blowing on the judgement day. On the bloody morning after… one tin soldier rides away."

Bobby swings low and slings Nancy the hoodie again, hauling her up onto the ramp as they make an exit, quick! Lunair gets scooped up too 'cause she's a friend. SRD and NYPD riot control are on scene less than a minute later. Thanks to Cameron, Lunair and some cold water, the riot in progress is really only in the front of the groups of people. It'll be all over the news later, confused and jumbled. Magneto and Shift on the one hand, Cameron, Lunair and Nancy on the other. Mutants saving lives and ending them. But at least they're no worse off than they started the day, and the virus is safe in it's canisters and that's it's own kind of victory.


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