Snowball Fight

Summary:
January 28, 2015: Quicksilver attempts to infiltrate Xavier's during a snow war.

Xavier's Institute - New York City

Xavier's Institute grounds are located on 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Westchester
County between Graymalkin Lane itself and Breakstone Lake (30 miles outside
of NYC itself). A large portion of this is acres upon acres of woodland
forest. To the farthest eastern portion of the Institute's grounds there is a
stretch of low foothils.
Upon entering the Institute grounds immediately past the heavy gated entrance
one finds themselves on a carefully paved road that splices in two
directions, west and east.

The west leads to the School for Higher Learning where gifted youngsters are
educated and taught to use their unique talents. Here almost year around
children and teachers are housed.

To the east miles away lies Xavier's Mansion where Professor Xavier himself
and some faculty members of the school live. These "special" individuals are
those aware of Xavier's more clandestine operations, the adminstration and
training of the X-Men.
Beyond the neatly walled mansion's yard in those foothills is an obscure
landing strip that leads to a hangar complex and a subtly hidden facility. A
facility that houses underground sublevels, a danger room, Cerebro and the
training halls of one of the most advanced mutant fighting teams in the
world.

An underground monorail connects the School for Higher Learning with the
Charles Xavier's Mansion and the X-Men's Hidden Complex. Security is tight in
this region, by means of limited magical warding, advanced future tech
security systems and telepathic sweeps. Tread carefully.


Characters

NPCs

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Mood Music:
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For many very good reasons, Quicksilver has been wary of the invitation to come to Xavier's. One, the guy who invited him is a psychic. Two, there's for real some people after him and Wanda, and he has no way of knowing if said psychic is involved. Three, it really does sound too good to be true.
Still, the snowstorm freaking sucked to be out in without an actual place to stay. Stealing was fun for awhile, but having to steal and constantly move on from squatter places is starting to get old. So, he's decided to do a little investigation of this so-called school.
He pauses up the lane, past the gate. He's wearing a big poufy gray-metallic jacket (his white one got a little…burned) and a silver knit winter hat with a pompon on it. He also snatched a pair of calf height snow boots with thick rubber treads and furry lining (cozy, easy to run in AND fashionable.) He's preparing his approach. The gate should be no problem to run up and over. But then what?

While the storm was not the apocalypse the news stations and the weather men promised, it's certainly nice to finally have some snow in the tri-state area. Out in the courtyard by the wall, a few people are easily seen, starkly contrasted against the white snow. Bundled up in a longer wool coat and a very long colorful scarf, Kitty Pryde is slowly rolling a large ball of snow that very well could be the base part of a snowman. Her hands are covered in bright red knitted gloves, her long black hair is tucked up into a wool hat with flaps that cover her ears. Many of the students are inside with hot cocoa and watching her with her endeavor through the windows. There are, however, a few braving the cold outside with her.

"Now…" she huffs, warm breath exhaling into cloudy puffs of white that quickly disappear as she continues to talk. "We just need to do this two more times. Someone brought a carrot or something, right? Otherwise we're about to have a faceless snowman. Nothing scarier."

Quicksilver braces himself, rubs his hands together, then speeds off. The fence is not difficult to scale given the amount of momentum he's able to build up. Once he hits the other side, all stealth goes out the window. Not just because of any security countermeasures, but because…fresh snow is kind of a dead giveaway. There's a streak of footprints leading up to the tree that he darts up. The sudden decelleration also shakes the tree and sends a shower of snow off the branches. Uh. Whistle. Nothing suspicious here. Nope.

The snow stopped yesterday, so the sudden shower of snow is certainly met with suspicion by the computer science teacher. With a raised eyebrow, Kitty straightens, looking out of the corner of her eye and glances at the footprints and the shaking tree. Taking a break from rolling the bottom of a snowman with the rest of the children, she starts to roll up a snowball, gesturing at the others to do the same.

"Alright kids, I think there's someone in that tree that just mysteriously snowed. At the count of three we're all going to throw our snowballs up there. Okay?" While a suspicious sort, she also assumes that someone who can run up into a tree is most likely a student that has snuck out and is attempting to get back in unannounced. Compacting her snowball into a nice, dense sphere, she grins. "Ready?" Not looking back toward the tree in question, there's a mischievous glint in her eye. "One…two…THREE!" And then, immediately, she turns around and lobs a snowball in the tree - and therefor Quicksilver's direction.

The Institute deals with mutants 24/7 so a super fast one isn't going to confuse its security. They just slowed down the high speed cameras and compared them to the biometrics readings. The Professor's warned them they might - hopefully - get a visitor at some point and Quicksilver's image matches the one in the computers. So instead of sounding an alarm, they just contact the faculty. As Kitty throws a snowball, Cal comes out the front door, looks around and heads for the tree since the footprints kind of give things away. In front of him, the snow parts to the sides since he's just wearing sneakers.

Wait, what? Snowballs? Oh crap. Quicksilver darts down out of the tree. Time slows for him, to the point where the snowballs appear suspended in midair. One by one, he turns them back around and redirects their momentum back towards the children and to Kitty.
He's so amused by what is about to happen, he misses a rather big one out of the corner of his eye. He slows down at just the wrong moment, and the snowball smacks him in the side of the head. Still, 90 percent of the projectiles got turned back towards his assailants. A one-man snowball fight army!
Still, that one that hit him was big and wet and is currently melting down the back of his shirt. He stands there, shoulders hunched, mouth open, cringing as ice cold water snakes down his back. "Uh…hi?"

Kitty pulls her arm away from Henry and nods at the other kids she recruited to build a snowman. "Save some hot chocolate for me, guys!" She waves, though, one hand still holds the snowball she moulded. As the children give a wary glance toward the trio, but obediently head toward the Mansion, she smiles at them reassuringly.

"Quicksilver." Kitty rolls the word about and studies the silver haired and pale skinned kid in front of her. "Suits you. I take it you're a mutant that runs pretty fast, hm? You look a bit old for schooling." Her eyes drift toward Cal to try and figure out why exactly Quicksilver is here. Does he know about the X-Men? Is that what's happening here? "If you know the Professor, I'm pretty sure you could've wrangled a tour, you know."

"I didn't think you'd hurt anyone." Cal tells the new arrival as the kids start making their way inside. "But you might ask things they don't need to know yet at their age. So since they're not here, you can ask anything you want and we'll try to answer. But the basic rundown is that all mutants are welcome here and we offer schooling up to the associates degree level. The two year college is separate from the Institute but still on the grounds."

"I wanted to make sure this place was legit. Like, it's actually a school and if you knew I was coming maybe you have everyone acting the part for my benefit. Smiling even though they're being held prisonor and wearing their Sunday best." Quicksilver isn't actually speaking that fast, but it's clear that he has the entire thought in his head before he ever opens his mouth. He keeps his hands in the air while he says all that, then slowly lowers them when he realizes no one is going to zap him or something.
He clears his throat. "Yeah, I'm really really fast and I'm sorry about the snow but I couldn't resist. Also I want to see if you can help my sister and I'm tired of crashing in hovels. Campfires in the city sounds like something that would be fun but bums sort of smell and so does burning garbage in oil drums. Plus I'm dying for a salad." Grin. Brow quirk. That all makes perfect sense, right?

Ah, so a recruit of that nature. Kitty has been at Xavier's long enough to know the type: skittish, outcast, mistrusting. Her eyes follow the children until they are actually inside. A man with such superhuman speed could easily overtake them before she could even take a step and while she may not be able to do anything about it, she tries to be vigilant. As soon as the kids are inside, though, her attention returns to Quicksilver.

With a snort, she rolls her eyes. "Please, do you know any teenagers? They wouldn't do what we told them to do if we promised them a trip to Disney World." At that, she smirks and watches Quicksilver. "It's fine. We did start the fight, after all. I thought you are a student trying to sneak in." She's not exactly one for chastising those trying to remain under the radar. She knows the feeling all too well. "If we can help, we will. The Professor wouldn't leave anyone out to dry. And, if it's a salad you're after, well, that we can certainly oblige you with. Care to come inside and see our romaine?"

"It would be difficult to recreate all this on demand even if we had set up an appointment." Cal notes, turning to glance over the grounds. "You'd have noticed the holes in the walls where the bars would be anchored. Not that iron bars a prison make for mutants." He turns back to smile at Quicksilver. "Anyway, you're welcome appointment or no. Would you like to wander around or go inside where it's warm?"

Skittish. Mistrustful. Super-fast. Mischievous. That's Quicksilver. Sure you want to let him inside? He shoves his hands deep into his pockets and looks between Cal and Kitty. He doesn't look like he wants to say yes. He looks like he wants to disappear in a silver streak. But still, he nods to Kitty's lettuce question and Cal's mention of warmth. "Also…someone said hot chocolate?"

"Yeah, my snow throwing skills have a twenty-four hour reserve period." Kitty's dry delivery happens just as she tosses her reserved snowball at Cal. She knows with his power he'll probably just melt it off, but it's the gesture that matters. She smirks. "But, yes, we'll answer any questions you have. If you don't think us some brainwashed Sunday bested people who are only here for your benefit, Mr. Quicksilver." While her words are certainly cutting, her tone is playful. She doesn't seem to have taken offense to Quicksilver's mistrust of the place, but she is attempting to poke fun at the self importance.

"Yup, there's hot chocolate, a library, and students aplenty. Come on in, you said you'd been sleeping rough for a little while. Come in and get warm, have a nice cup of hot chocolate and some food. If we can help you and your sister, we will." That seems to be the Professor's guarantee. Especially since he's already invited the runner inside.

"This way." Cal starts heading for the mansion, letting Quicksilver follow or not as he wishes. "I'd offer a salad too but it doesn't really go with hot chocolate. You can decide which you'd prefer." He glances back at Pietro a moment. "You know, I don't think we were ever really introduced. Call my Cal. You can use your codename if you want."

Quicksilver snorts at the 'Mr.' part. "It's Maximoff if you want to go tacking Misters on to things. Pietro, but English people kinda mangle that so you can also call me Pete." Grin. He has a pretty generic American accent for the most part, but occasionally he does slip and sound like he's not from around here. "So who are you anyway? You know all my names and I don't even know one of yours." He zips up closer to her and leans in. He then zips around her, not unlike a puppy sniffing around ankles. "Are you a ghost? I saw that snow go right through you. Do I need to get my proton pack. Pow pow!" Someone's been binge-watching American culture. He reached the 80s last week.
He grins at Cal as he falls into step. It's so hard to walk at normal people speed. "You can know my name. S'not like I have any papers or anything." Cue playful grin.

"Like Piotr." Kitty pronounces the Russian pronunciation perfectly. She's fluent in Russian, after all. "Pietro," she repeats, this time with the proper accent. Languages is one thing Kitty is very good at picking up. "Though, I can call you Pete if you'd prefer." Somehow many of the people Kitty meets have some variation of the name Peter - for better or worst. "You can call my Kitty." Quicksilver may not even know her codename. She rarely uses Shadowcat, after all. Not since Japan. "I'm just a mutant like you. You run fast, I let snowballs pass through me. No big deal. I teach computer sciences."

As Quicksilver runs around her in a blur basically impossible to track until he's finished circling, she blinks a few times. Then, the smirk is back. "I wasn't asking for your papers, Pete." After all, he is the one that told her that she could call him that and not Quicksilver and not Pietro. "And if you try and put me in a proton pack, I'll end you."

"Pietro then if you prefer." Cal agrees, not mangling the pronounciation at all. "Nice to formally meet you. You wouldn't be the first person here who isn't in the country entirely legally. For all its problems, the US treats mutants a lot better than many other countries." They've even helped some escape, both subtly and more forceful when needed. "You mentioned your sister earlier and at the meeting with the Professor too. Is Wanda in trouble?"

"Hey hey. Not bad, not bad," says Quicksilver to both of them when they pronounce his name properly. "I just got sick of people calling me Peet-row, or Pie-troe or something that I just started saying Quicksilver or Pete. I mean I recognize it's not really a name you can say without getting all Slavic on it." He shrugs.
He walks along, towards the Mansion. As he does, he tries to reach out and subtly poke Kitty's shoulder. Just to check, you know. He might need to fetch a proton pack.
His head snaps around when Cal mentions his sister's name. Almost as soon as Cal says it, it rather painfully slips away. He winces and grabs his head. "Oh, that was new. Ow." He takes a deep breath. "…someone really doesn't want me and my sister together, because I can't remember her name. I found her, but then I ran away to get burgers and I puked in an alley and couldn't remember where she was or what she looked like. She was scared. And she's really really mad at me. I wondered if you guys could find her."

Kitty smiles at the compliment. She knows enough about foreign languages to speak names credibly. At the poke on her shoulder, she raises an eyebrow at Quicksilver. He meets resisting coat covered skin there. She's not in immediate danger and in no need to scare the younger man, so she doesn't phase at the testing. "What would've happened if I phased there?" she asks the runner with a raised eyebrow.

At the reaction from Quicksilver from Cal's words, the teacher puts a hand on the youth. "Hey, are you alright?" She's already taken note of Wanda's name, but has yet to see two siblings not know each other and have such violent reactions to each other's name. "So, you know you have a sister, but not who she is, where she is or what she does? What happened?"

At Pietro's reaction, Cal stops and turns to look at him, frowning. "Well, fuck. That's not good. From the sound of it, someone's been tampering with your mind. Do you mind if I take a look?" He's nowhere near as good as Jean or the Professor but she's so strong, even half her strength means he's pretty damn good. And he's had lots of experience. "Do you have any idea who might be behind it?"

Quicksilver blinks rapidly and shakes his head. The pain is quickly receding, but it's best not to say her name again, it seems. It's like Rumplestiltskin. "There's people after us. That's why we ran away. It's why we came here. It's also why you guys look too good to be true. Those people told us they'd take care of us, too." He hesitates before saying more, but apparently he's decided to trust them, at least for the moment. "I got jumped when I stepped off the boat. When I woke up, my sister was gone and I couldn't remember her face or her name." Smart, really. Otherwise the speedster would have eventually located his sister. "She's not…she's…" he exhales. "…vulnerable. She needs someone to look out for her." Seeing as they're close to the door, he waits until they're just inside to answer Cal's query. "Someone who wants to figure out what I do, or what she does. Though it doesn't really make much sense that they'd just keep us apart." He rubs his forehead. "You can look if you want. I think it might be magic something-something though."

At the idea of a sister that needs looking after, Kitty has already assigned Wanda to the younger range of teenager. Otherwise she would be able to look after herself. "And you don't remember anything about the people who jumped you? Or where you woke up? They've gotta've known about you to jump you where you were and take your memory and they had to have known a place to plcae you at the end of it." This is not exactly the most friendly and happy assessment of his situation, but it's what springs to mind for Kitty. "And if they knew what who you were and what to expect, they took your sister and not you for a reason."

That's a lot of things at once and Kitty takes a pause before asking, "So do you like the milk hot chocolate or the powdered kind where you pour boiling water over a packet?"

"Magic." Cal repeats with a frown. "That could be a problem. Psychic we could handle." Only once Pietro gives permission does he does start looking for signs of telepathic tampering. Lightly at first but then deeper. A pained expression crosses his face as he lets out a grunt but doesn't say anything for a couple minutes while they discuss cocoa.

Quicksilver shakes his head at Kitty. "They don't have her. She's on her own. She's…" he breathes in. "Special. Her mind is not grounded in reality all of the time." There's no air quotes around 'special,' either. He means it in the fondest and most sincere way. He unzips his puffy jacket as they get further into the warmth of the mansion. His mood has gone from more hyperactive to solemn and worried as the conversation turns to serious things. "It's also occured to me that this is a different group. Together we might be a bigger target. Maybe someone's keeping us apart to protect us?" Which seems to be an odd strategy, but stranger things.
Pietro's mind is firing at a million miles a second. His brain is an overclocked computer, and thoughts flit through his conscious mind like hyperactive butterflies. His memories surrounding Wanda are glowing, but just as many are dark and full of fear. The memories obscure her face and her name, but everything else is clear. Any attempt to pull back that blur around her is met with a pinging migraine and a swell of nausea.
"Oh, the real kind," he says to Kitty. "But not marshmallows. I hate those."

"Magic is something. I'm sure we can figure out a solution." She is, after all, the computer science teacher. There's a solution for everything. As Cal and Pietro move their way into the mansion and the kitchen, she goes to make sure there's heated milk for a proper hot chocolate. "Or, maybe people are trying to keep you apart because you're complete together. There's a lot of different reasons for anything."

Being involved with computers, she knows a thing or two about information being fired at too fast of a rate to handle. "I promise, no marshmallows. But, we'll look for your sister. Anyone who messes with your memory isn't a good guy. You remember things for a reason."

"Can magic augment telepathy?" Cal asks after a moment. It's rhetorical. "I've never seen anything like that before. Jean or the Professor will need to take a look; it's beyond me. But it's definitely not just psychic. It was having an effect on me as well while I was in there. I should go talk to them in case there's something else as well. Kitty can show you to a room when you're ready, Pietro."



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