Sins of the Future #7: Black Sun

Summary:
March 07th 2016: Following the events of SotF #6, the X-Men deploy via The Blackbird to a top secret military base where they encounter more than they bargained for.

Top Secret Military Base, Pacific Ocean

A top secret US Military research facility located in the Pacific Ocean. This site is off all known records and is believed to be producing anti-metahuman weaponry.


Characters

NPCs
Juggernaut (Escaped)
The Inferno (KIA)
Gunman (KIA)
Brass Tacks (Captured by the X-Men)


Mood Music:
http://youtu.be/eTbVIfqeDq0
Death Cab for Cutie - Black Sun


It had been an hour since the X-Men had received the warning from their contact that a top secret US Military installation located in the Pacific was about to come under attack by a group of mutants.

Under the leadership of Scott Summers a team of X-Men had been gathered for immediate response, including their newest member, his younger brother; Alexander Summers who had been already nicknamed Havoc after the destruction he may have caused not long ago.

The Blackbird was presently approaching the military base, a small island fortress that wasn't marked on any maps. Explosions could already be seen in the distance and a flying mutant is in the air, sending scorching blasts of heat towards a group of A-10 Warthogs which after being hit start to plummet towards the ocean.

The base itself is several miles in diameter including an airfield, a large open testing grounds, several dozen armored buildings and likely a massive underground complex to go with it all.

Rachel announces from the co-pilots seat, "I'm detecting three mutants, plus something shielded to my abilities. Everyone else down there are just normal humans." She gestures to her Dad, "I'll fly so you can head down into the action, just make sure to talk to Dr. McCoy when we get back!"

The Rocket Red IV was also approaching the area, the Russian Embassy having received word of the attack from one of their own intelligence sources. Shame the rest of the JL:A was in RUSSIA or he may have had some backup!


Nate is mildly surprising the US Army is in talking terms with the X-Men. He got to ask about it once this situation is dealt with. By the time they get to the area, he is standing on the cabin of the Blackbird instead of seating in the passenger's area (against regulations) to see the piloting of the aircraft. "So, any clue about what is going on? Even the more diehard mutant terrorist won't pick random military bases to attack on a whim."


Gambit is seated below in one of the hatchway seats with a deck of cards being bounced between his fingers, Hindu, Dynamo to Riffle Shuffle and back again.
"Sounds ugly out there. We goin' in hot, yeah?" Rhetorical question to no one, obviously the fighting outside is quite audible even without visibility (for the Cajun at least) where he is seated there isn't viewscreens or windows.


"Alright everyone." Cyclops looks away from the scopes, checking his comm. "Check your comms. Rachel, we'll go to telepathic link if the comms go down. We're about to enter restricted airspace, so I want the visual cloak and anti-radar measures in place at all times. They'll shoot us down even though we're trying to help. Watch your six, mil types will consider us as much an enemy as the real enemy."

There is a brief moment where Cyclops spares Rachel a heavy look. "Soon as we're clear, I want you out of restricted airspace until we call for evac." With that, he leaves the cockpit to join the team gathered in the cabin.

Parachutes are taken from their mounts and tossed toward every X-Man who isn't capable of flight. "This is what we've drilled for, X-Men," he announces in a voice somehow more stern than the one he'd used on comm. To Nate, he answers, "Mutant group, unknown origin, is attacking the target US mil-base. Intel tells us there's some kind of anti-mutant weapon being developed there."

Gambit's question gets a slightly different response. "Nate, Gambit, Havok, you three are on Alpha Team. You're going in hot. Shadowcat, you're with me on Beta Team. Alpha Team's primary objective is to take out the attacking mutants, then retreat to a perimeter location to offer support. Shadowcat, you and I will infiltrate the mil-base to determine if the attackers have breached their defenses. Alpha Team will jump first." He nods to Kitty. "We'll be right behind you."

Cyclops fixes the parachute over his own shoulders and begins checking the locks and straps, piece by piece. "Primary Objective is to take out those hostiles. Secondary objective is to find out just what the hell is going on in there, but that's a heavy secondary. Everyone clear?"

Speak now, or shut up.


A streak of red a flash of white Red Rocket fly's to the soldiers plight. Rocketing along at speeds beyond the sound barrier he looks like less a man and more a comet or a meteorite as he speeds along at mach seven, his suit rattling and shaking as the waves of energy fallow behind a contrail of breadcrumbs showing from whence he came. Almost breaking mach 8 Rocket attempts to slam into the hostile mutant in the air fists stretched out in front of him.


Kitty Pryde is somewhere in the back in front of a computer, attempting to do as much research behind locked doors as she can before they touch down. She is, after all, the computer science teacher. "So, this base isn't on the records, FYI," she mentions to those who may wish to listen. All I can find on it is a Project: Centurion, but all I've got is a name. Anything else is behind a killer firewall I don't have the time to try and get through. Plus, you know, hacking while flying isn't exactly my preferred method."

That information divulged, she remains quiet as she listens to Scott's plan. It's simple enough in theory - hopefully just as simple in execution with her ability to move through walls. As she can't fly, she secures the parachute handed to her. "Aye aye, cap'n," she tells Scott with a grin. She knows this is serious, but she can't help herself.


LOG NOTE: In Scott's pose, put Iceman with Alpha Team.


Bobby is in one of the back seats. He hasn't ever flown on this thing. He hadn't even been aware the X-Men had this thing. Then again, prior to recently he'd spent all of eight weeks at the school so there's that. "Got it, Sc-Cyclops." Damn it. Spending time on X-Red means one gets used to using real names instead of code names. He considered augmenting his usual costume with a mask but… how many icy mutants are there really?

The ice nerd winces at a bit of turbulance. His left shoulder his bandaged and he's not going to be using that arm much after having been shot in M-Town last night. Fortunately he's not likely to need that arm. He just won't be fencing Inigo Montoya.


Rocket Red IV slams into the flying fiery mutant who calls out to him with a maniacal laugh, "You dare try and tangle with THE INFERNO? Hahahah!" The Inferno grapples Rocket Red IV, his eyes burning red with flame as he does so, "Comrade, don't look behind you."

A team of F-18 fighter jets flies at a minimum flight ceiling, weapons locked on to Rocket Red IV and The Inferno; a dozen missiles fired at least and all of them heat-seeking. Over the hacked communication lines, the X-Men hear the flight leader of the F-18s announcing, "Alright people, this is what we trained for, taking down metahuman threats. Break off and come around for another pass!"

Rachel guides The Blackbird into a good position for the X-Men to deploy from, right over the base and straight into the action; as Scott instructed she activates the stealth systems, "Roger that. I'll be in radio contact out of sight, out of mind until the evac call is given!"

Down below in the base you could see a mutant with guns for arms engaging a large group of soldiers, mowing them down with reckless abandon. A group of tanks and Humvees was engaging another mutant with bronze skin near the airfield.

The fourth presence, the one Rachel could not detect remained unseen except for a series of explosions erupting near one of the bunkers.

"You guys are clear to jump! Good luck!" Rachel's voice is heard over the headsets as the bay door of The Blackbird opens.


"We have a newcomer," announces Nate a second before jumping off the Blackbird. He is a good position to see Rocket Red (barely a blur, moving way faster than a bullet) impacting the fiery mutant with… holy crap, almost anyone would have been turned into fine dust by the impact. Inferno even manages to make a classic villain declaration, including the maniac laugh!

« I'll get that Inferno guy - if he took the armored guy in the face without flinching those fighters are doomed » His left eye glows with power as he surrounds himself with telekinetic energy and charges the flaming man, trying to punch him away from Rocket Red.

Likely he is going to get hit by one or three of the missiles, but seriously? Air-to-air weaponry can't hurt him now. Even those tank main guns would only hurt a little through his TK shield.


"And we're off!"
Before leaping free of the Blackbird Gambit places one earbud in and thumbs his playlist on, it'll filter quietly while chatter by means of telepathic and comms goes on. The hatch open he is leaping and the parachute he'd strapped on deploys - once he is close enough to the ground he will clip it free land, close enough hopefully he doesn't shatter anything.
While the parachute is removed he'll also pepper the area around the gun-limbed individual with his trademark kinetic-charged cards. That should get him some attention.


Alex had been a Paratrooper long before ever joining the X-Men. The parachute is quickly fastened to his back, the straps tightened in front with certain familiarity as he makes his way to the exit. Grinning, the younger Summers brother mutters, "Haven't done this in a while.."

Havok leans out the door-frame of the Blackbird while holding on to the side, eyes scanning the drop-point in an attempt to spot any hidden adversaries. Taking a deep breath, Havok waits for clearance than lunges out the side like a professional! With very little training under his belt in way of powers, Havok looks onto the battlefield with a sense of uneasiness. At least last time he did this he had an M-16 with a grenade launcher!

"Here goes nothing…"

Havok's gauntlets begin to glow bright as they harness his solar energy. Within a few seconds of charging his gauntlets, Havok is sending powerful, uncontrolled blasts of plasma towards the designated enemies.


"Havok's done active duty with the Rangers," Cyclops offers to the Alpha Team as the Blackbird moves into position, its rear ramp descending. "Given the theatre for this op? I'm putting him on Alpha Lead." A visored stare is shot toward his younger brother's way. "Gambit, however, has seniority. If he trumps a call, you listen." Beat. "Don't screw it up."

Scott spares no remorse in situations like these. There can be no mistakes. In spite of this, Kitty's quip actually manages to pull a grin to the left edge of his scowl.

A ferocious wind fills the belly of the Blackbird once the ramp is open. Scott comes up alongside of Kitty, reaching up to touch the tactical controls on the side of his visor, which allows him to zoom in on the facility below. "Tell you what, kiddo. You pick an entry point, and we'll parachute right through the roof." The other side of his mouth curls up into a rueful grin. "I'll distract them away from our entry point."

Everyone will hear the F-18 flight leader's words. Scott doesn't need to tell them to be careful. Once the Blackbird is in position, he raises his voice to a shout. "Alpha Team, Go! Go! Go! Go!!!"

For the moment, Scott remains back with Kitty. They won't jump until the others have fully deployed!

A missile goes whizzing past the ramp, close enough that Scott and Kitty can feel the heat from its thruster. Scott… doesn't even flinch.


Alex had been a Paratrooper long before ever joining the X-Men. The parachute is quickly fastened to his back, the straps tightened in front with certain familiarity as he makes his way to the exit. Grinning, the younger Summers brother mutters, "Haven't done this in a while.."

Havok leans out over the frame of the ramp while holding on to the side, eyes scanning the drop-point in an attempt to spot any hidden adversaries. Scott's commentary receives a pointed look from Havok, but he ends up nodding, "Roger that." Nodding to Gambit, Alex takes a deep breath while waiting for final clearance, then lunges off the ramp like a professional! With very little training under his belt in way of powers, Havok looks onto the battlefield with a sense of uneasiness. At least last time he did this he had an M-16 with a grenade launcher!

"Here goes nothing…"

Havok's gauntlets begin to glow bright as they harness his solar energy. Within a few seconds of charging his gauntlets, Havok is sending powerful, uncontrolled blasts of plasma towards the designated enemies.


"I had no intention of it," Rocket calls out in a completely robotic and inhuman voice much less suited for English then it is for its native Russian, before sending a single fist backed by those same rockets that had gotten him to mach ten in the first place. Trying to knock him right into the missises, and by extent the man coming towards them, he also just wants to get the man off of him before his suit can begin to melt.


Rachel transmits, "Hey, wasn't Lunair coming with us? I haven't seen her yet."


Well, okay. Lunair's starting to feel a little inadequate here. Like, seriously. Freaking cosmic powers, eye lasers (or ass lasers, depending on who you ask. Lunair totally googled it once), freaking SOLAR PLASMA (wtf cosmos), and the list goes on. Actually, it's enough to give someone whose power is finding lost change and remotes a serious complex. It is kinda cool, though. And never let it be said she wasn't committed to her character. The Amazon box in the corner of the blackbird's interior shuffles out after Scott. She's just THAT SNEAKY. And it is kinda cool to see everyone doing their thing (does Gambit buy stocks in playing cards…?).

Fortunately, she's figured out rocket boots by this point, so Lunair's combat tactic goes from Falling Overweight Dropbear to something kind of menacing. A hovering box. With an armored mutant inside. How does she do it? No one knows. But there's a large, slender cylinder laser gun out the bottom of the box, too. Time to help the rocket guy! Wait, whoa, falling. Oh shit falling. She takes a moment to catch on to it. It's like chucking a goat off a cliff (golden eagles do that). So graceful. So majesti— FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuu- *zap*


The wind whips Kitty's hair to and fro in its ponytail. A steadying hand is placed on the side of the Blackbird as the others jump out. As the rocket explodes close enough to feel the heat, the younger mutant reflexively reaches to grab onto Scott, turning her face from the explosion. It's not nerves or fear, though: the wind whirls past and through for a moment instead of buffeting. In a few moments it's clear that there is no danger to them and she solidifies.

Eyes refocusing into the distance of the facility, she picks a spot, remembering what blueprints she could pull up from the computer. "There," she points toward a section of the roof that should put them in an advantageous position inside as well as somewhat sheltered from the rest of the fighting to keep their movements stealthy. "That's the spot I'd pick. Ready on your say so." And then, she smirks, "So, do people actually yell out Geronimo in these situations? Because I kinda want to, but I feel like that's not very professional."


Bobby heads right out of the end of the Blackbird. It's the free fall that always gets him. He's had enough practice ramping around that the height doesn't get to him anymore (though it used to) but the sensation of falling? That's just… kind of scary, no two ways about it. He doesn't know how soldiers do this with just cloth to keep them in the air.

Five thousand feet. Four thousand, three, two… at five hundred feet the ice-nerd begins to ramp. The fall has him really booking it and he has to make a wide turn and head back toward the base from near the shore. He ices off the visible fires as he scans the area with thermal vision, looking for threats. "Iceman, in the fight. Call out if you need the cool guy."

He'd help Rocket and worry about those jets but others seem to have them handled at present.


The squadron of F-18s bank hard away from the trio of Nate, Rocket Red IV & the villainous The Inferno, the leader announcing to his squadron, "Two more hostiles. We're clear to test Neutralizer Warheads next pass, disengage safety locks."

The Inferno glares at Nate who has just arrived, Nate might notice when he punched the man he felt an intense heat like hitting fire, "X-Men? You idiots are always fighting your own brothers. That's ok though, it's time to HEAT THINGS UP!"

Nate's telekinesis manages to negate any damage from the missiles he may have suffered even as they further detonate into wolfpack rounds, battering against his shielding. The Inferno and Rocket Red are caught in the blast radius of several of the remaining warheads, the wolfpack rounds adding injury to insult, but Rocket Red is shielded by The Inferno who he positioned right into the blasts. Nobody could survive that!

The gun-armed man is yelling out to the soldiers, "Yeah baby, you like this?" A rapid fire staccato of machine guns and grenades fire from his arms, taking out at least a dozen soldiers. One of the survivors yelling, "Who the hell is this guy? He was never in the briefings!"

The man with the gun for arms puffs on his cigar before shooting the wounded soldier, announcing, "You wussies have never heard of me? Must be because the GUNMAN doesn't leave any survivors."

The Gunman is given momentary pause as Gambit flings a series of kinetic cards around him, sending shrapnel flying towards him from the blasted apart ground. He smiled just a little as a worthy foe approached and began firing everything he had towards the Cajun X-Man known as Gambit.

The bronze skinned mutant takes a blast directly from Havoc which he reflects into a near-by Humvee destroying it, he pumps his fists in the air, yelling out with great enthusiasm, "Awwwwww yeah! Wassup dawgs? Time ta' pay dat' Brass Tax!" Evidently that was also his code name. It seemed that Bobby had no shortage of targets with the fires put out.

The area that Kitty had chosen couldn't have been more perfect, it was also the target of the rampaging red blur that seemed to be knocking Abrams Main Battle Tanks out of its way like they were cardboard boxes. A building gives the blur no pause, it smashes straight into it and emerges on the other side.

The blur heading towards the building Kitty had chosen, was apparently a large man armored in crimson. As he crashes through a group of soldiers trying to hold him off, he yells loudly, "I'M THE JUGGERNAUGHT, BITCH!"


Despite the explosion, Nate can still feel Inferno's mental signature, hot and bright. The mutant is still alive and probably kicking, so he circles around and opens and telepathic channel to him « then "brother", enlighten me, what the hell are you doing here? Give me a good reason not so melt you brains »

The barrage of wolfpack rounds is more confusing than painful, but certainly convinces Nate the army has not a clue the X-Men are here to help. The hell… they are even shooting at the armored Russian, which must be some kind of superhero too. If he was military they wouldn't be shooting him.


"Feet don't fail me now…" Gambit murmurs under his breath and the bo-staff snaps out. He is in motion, running, leaping dodging, ducking and evading behind HUMMVs, Warthogs, building, debris, you name it, it's become a temporary bunker while Ragin' Cajun evades in a very frantic yet highly acrobatic display.
Thwip thwip thwip. Card after card gets launched amidst the Speedball-like tactical manueverings of Remy.
"So this guy, he got a lot of firepower… may need some help to get in close. I'll just keep running distraction until someone is freed up." Not that given time the X-Men isn't sure he can't wrangle something up, maybe, playing the odds may be in order soon. Which, not always a bad thing.

HMMWVs /we *


It's always a funny feeling, being phased. Scott shudders a bit when the wind passes through him, but it's over quickly enough. When Kitty picks the spot, Scott zooms in on it with his visor controls, then engages the finger-tip triggers in his gloves. "On my mark."

A rapping of fingertips against palm is all it takes; the sophisticated finger triggers send a staccato spray of optic blasts from the visor, soaring down into the theater. Each one impacts a relatively harmless spot on the base's superstructure, the intent of which is to draw any soldiers away from Kitty's chosen entry point. From below, it will simply appear as if the blasts came from some invisible point in the sky.

Scott grabs hold of Kitty's hand tightly, readying himself for the jump.

"Go!"

Soon as they're airborne, Scott gets on the comm. "Move out, Rachel!"

They've practiced this before, in the Danger Room. Scott opens his arms wide, using pressure on Kitty's hand to help direct her on where to turn. While they rotate and line themselves up to the entry point, he continues listening to the radio chatter. "Hear that? Neutralizer Warheads. Everyone stay frosty!"

Bobby… don't you dare.

As they fall, Scott surveys Alpha Team's progress below and frowns. "Rachel, get on those mil-bands and tell the army we are here to help! You copy??"


Lunair is totes free! Heck yeah! She's no ragin' Cajun, though. Seeing the firepower being slung about, her box disappears. It just disappears. She's getting a bit better at this matter creation business. Actually, Lunair looks less than amused by the Gunman. Happily, gravity helps bring her in close enough to be a bother and help Gambit.

There's a thoughtful look, before she shifts her weapon to a rocket launcher and blasts one off after Gunman (really?). "Yeah. Well. Your mom doesn't leave surv—" Pause. "Wait, this is why I got banned from combat dialogue. Nevermind." She grumbles to herself. She really needs to work on that. Either bring GOOD yo mama snaps or go home! Right? Right. She's armored up now, and looks like she crawled out of the future. She's not sure who the Juggernaught is or why he calls people bitches. It's kind of mean, actually. But unfortunately for Gunman, Lunair never rocket launchers and leaves. She'll try a second, too.


Well.. obviously that didn't work! The moment Havok lands, he's released the parachute from his torso and can be seen diving for cover as the Hummer is incinerated by the deflected plasma blast. "Hm…" Glancing about the field with a keen eye for strategic advancement, Havok growls.

It was very difficult for the Veteran to watch his fellow soldiers mowed down by a mutant with guns on his hand. Speaking into his com, Havok grunts out, "Iceman, this is Havok, copy. I want you to focus all your ice-power on that.. Brass Tax.. my plasma did nothing.. maybe you can scratch him…"

Meanwhile, Havok leaps out of his hiding spot, arms and torso radiating energy around him in a circular manner. That gunman that had been having such a field day mowing down soldiers? Havok had a bone to pick with him. "Hey! Over here!!" Remember all that energy that he had been charging? It's released at Gunamn in a sickening crackle of plasma that illuminates the entire area for a split second.


And away they go. Kitty holds onto Scott's just as tightly and then the two of them are out of the back of the Blackbird. "Geronimo!" she squeaks, unable to help herself. While she's not afraid of heights or jumping from them, she is afraid of being blown of the sky as she falls from a plane. Luckily, they should all be looking somewhere else as they descend.

With Scott guiding them toward the spot she picked out, Kitty is instead concentrating on their point of entry. Her goal is for them to move through the roof and into the building without accidentally getting them both trapped in a floor or have them keep going until they're underground. As they near the ground, Scott will feel that strange sensation of being insubstantial. "Alright, deep breath!" Kitty says over the air whipping by them as they reach the building. Better to have lungs filled with air just in case. As their feet touch the roof, the pair move right through it, passing by insulation and wiring, the momentum of falling pushing them through the barrier until they are through the other side.

Kitty takes a breath and suddenly they are both solid again just in time for them to touch down with a thud onto the floor inside.


Rocket holds his hands out in front of himself armor reconfiguring slightly to incorporate the debris of the missises that have just detonated bulking up his armor from the attacks. This whole situation getting more and more chaotic by the minute as he brings up a bit of Rocky and Bullwinkle to keep his head in the game. He's doing his best to intercept the various radio chatter and at the moment it seems that things are about to turn a bit messy fast.


"Roger." Bobby grins. "I'm always Frosty Scott. But no corn cob pipes, thanks."

Iceman would rather not get into a physical brawl with Brass Tax. Or anyone. Fighting with one hand behind your back is all good for Erol Flynn but this ain't that kind of movie. Plus his shoulder is killing him. His ramp curves around to bring the mutant into view. Rather than ice him off directly, though, Bobby starts to build ice walls around him. Let him waste power breaking through them. He can make more. Better act fast though because otherwise Mister Drake will trap him in his own personal snow globe and then he'll have nothing to do but sing Frozen Songs and generally let it go.

And that's kind of a fate worse than death.

"Hey Dude! Chill out!" Yeah he went there. Maybe this Brassy guy will focus on him and not squishy soldiers and US military gear.

"Havok you've got cover. I've got eyes on Juggernaut, so don't get too distracted."


The Inferno was there, at the core of the blast absorbing the energy into himself. He had dealt with psychics before but since Nate was actually trying to talk he thought back to him, «This place is a testing grounds for anti-mutant weapons. Project Centurion will be the end of us all. A weapon designed to kill all of us when unleashed. Help me, instead of fighting me. We only wish for the same thing.» He was surprisingly rational for a man who had just seemed like a maniac, maybe it was part of his 'villain persona'; it was part showmanship after all.

Nate senses it and Rocket Red detects it, the military flight of F-18s was approaching from above new and at rapid velocity, the daring flight leader not about to let his first real engagement be blown, "This is Black Angel one to command. Authorization codes are locked in. Warheads are hot. Weapons free. Fox one away, fox two away!"

Another dozen warheads, these ones a sleek silver metal streak towards the group of combatants in the air. The fire that was surrounding The Inferno reaches out in a protective barrier shielding Rocket Red IV & Nate Grey from the blast. Silvery particles of a strange substance exploding into the fiery barrier.

Nate suddenly feels a great sense of pain from The Inferno, the heat surrounding him begin to dissipate the man he was started to burn away into a barbequed corpse, calling out, "Don't let them do this to anyone else!" The blackened corpse fell towards the ocean, Nate could tell he was dead. The villain had saved the pair. If those F-18s hit anyone else, they would likely lose their powers to and it might prove fatal.

The Blackbird is high above the battlefield, Rachel just shaking her head at her Dad's instructions, "Acknowledged." Using the communications suite she transmits to the base, "United States Military Base, do you copy? We are here to assist you."

The Gunman doesn't stand a chance given the firepower arrayed against him, while the Ragin' Cajun Gambit distracts him from the others; he takes several hits from kinetic cards which distract him.

He yells after Gambit, "You punk ass pretty boy, get over here and let me knock you on your—-" He doesn't get to finish his words as a rocket from Lunair slams into him, sending him down to his knees.

The destructive energy stored within Havok slams into Gunman, destroying his guns for arms and leaving much of his body exposed; which seems to be nothing more than one gigantic ammunition dump that defies the laws of storage.

The second rocket from Lunair strikes Gunman and where the would-be Mutant villain was a massive explosion erupts, leaving nothing but a crater in his wake; the Gunman like The Inferno was no more.

Brass Tax cracked his neck and pointed at Iceman, "Yo Jack Frost! I'm chill as fuuuuck." The man picked up the broken door of a Humvee and tossed it towards Iceman, "Catch biatch!" The speed it had been flung at was excessive, more than enough to hurt Bobby, Brass Tax had some major strength.

Kitty and Scott phase inside of a building that seems to be the upper floor of a manufacturing facility, it goes down for at least a dozen stories and they can see massive humanoid robots being assembled. Each of them have the words: CENTURION on their chest.


Nate is pretty confident that anti-mutant weapons are not going to work on him, none has done much so far, as he is an omega class and pretty much unmanageable by human technology. So he wasn't worried about the fighters 'neutralizing wearheads'. Poor Inferno didn't know, and it seems he couldn't cope with is. "NO WAIT!" Too late.

« RACHEL! » Oops, too loud. « Rachel, send to the others. Something called Project Centurion here, a weapon to kill mutants. In fact, they just killed one. Tell Cyke and Shadowcat since they are inside » Meanwhile, he has some fighters to deal with. He can't allow them to fire whatever killed Inferno to the X-Men in the ground.

Glowing like a star, he heads up, poking into the heads of the pilots a 'catch me if you can' suggestion. If any of the fighters is close enough, he rips its wings off telekinetically.


While he might not quite be magneto, Rocket has gotten very good at the whole tearing apart technology thing. Though instead of just tearing apart the missiles he's also ripping the jets in twain with his powers, the one closest to him suddenly finding itself going from full speed to nothing as it's ripped into teeny tiny pieces. The bits of jet flinging at him, and growing his suit of armor larger it's weapons and tech merging in with his suit. For the first time in years Rocket has lost his cool, and he wasn't going to wait for the OK from the Kremlin to engage.


"Whoah! Loon, petit, no… " Gambit's surprised shout trails off at the overkill. His continuous momentum slowed to a halt now and he stands there in just his form-fitted body armor. He didn't even have time in there for a pithy reply to the Gunman before the man ended up a crispy pile of dust.
Over the comms (telepathic Nate / Ray channel or otherwise), "One down over this way. Whats next move?"
Remy is moving again, towards Brass Tax and those engaged with him, another deck of cards being opened while enroute. He isn't one to dwell and definitely not about to stand around lecturing Lunair during a battle. These things sometimes happen unfortunately and especially in their line of work but yes, this is a conversation for later no doubt.


Poor Inferno. Lunair'd have to thank him by proxy. "Oh. Oops." Tooooooootally didn't bank on a Havok grade plasma blast. "Sorry. My fault." Behind her black visor, Lunair has a look on her face like she just got caught raiding the cookie jar and NOT blowing up Gunman. "… he probably woulda shot himself in the face sneezing or doing something unmentionable and personal at some point anyway." Always… looking … on the bright side? Unfortunately, anti-mutant weapons probably WILL work on Lunair. She really missed the omega class/super soldier/abs of FREEDOM AND GLORY/big chests of buoyance gravy train, alas. Though, it might be a LITTLE worrying she's more worried about upsetting people than blowing up a guy.

At least she knows now for the future! Right? Right. Shame, though. She is ALSO a violent gun nut. Ahem. Okay, at least the rocket launchers go away. There's no need for it with plasma blasts and buddies around. Fortunately, there's always the gravity gun to take the door Brass Tacks was using and swing at his back/backside with it. Knocking them down is okay, right? Right.


….. damnit, Bobby. You went there.

Scott draws a deep breath and fights the urge to close his eyes. He doesn't quite have an invincible mental fortitude, and though he knows and trusts Kitty's judgement, it's still altogether unsettling to just not do anything about hitting a roof. Then, he's watching as the innards of military superstructure pass right before him, when suddenly, they're solid again.

Scott skids to his feet, taking a moment or two to look around and gauge his surroundings before letting go of Kitty's hand. He promptly gets on the comm. "Beta team inside. Cyclops, requesting sit-rep, copy?" Gambit provides at least a partial picture of what's going on out there. "Copy that. Continue as planned." Keep liquidating the hostile mutant threat, then withdraw. That's the plan, right? Too bad Scott doesn't yet really know what's going on.

Releasing the comm, he takes a deep breath and approaches the edge of a catwalk, where he and Kitty can see down into the facility. "Good work back there," he starts to offer, though the final syllable is more or less cut off by a surprised gasp.

"Sweet Jesus."

Scott reaches up, triggering his visor to commence video and audio recording in high definition. Then, he begins unfastening some of the pouches on his bandolier, retrieving a number of very small, high powered, heavily shielded bugging devices. He hands a little more than half of then to Kitty. "Hide 'em well, Shadowcat."


Havok still had an excessive amount of energy lingering in his cells from the botched-nuclear explosion attempt on his life. Every time he expended energy, he felt a little more normal inside.

When Gunman bites the dust in the explosion, Alex wipes his hands of it all, "Good riddance.." While the others tend to Brass Tax, Havok notices a particularly fierce looking opponent on the field whose physical feats of strength staggered Alex's imagination. "He must be their leader.. I'm going to engage… cover me!" Sprinting forward, Alex raises the gauntlets towards Juggernaut, issuing a singular blast from each one in a repetitive fashion so that it's almost mimicking a machine gun. Charging himself up one more time for a super-powerful blast, Havok comes to a complete stop, planting his feet into the ground before firing an incredibly powerful blast of plasma towards Juggz.


While she's not quite used to phasing through roofs while parachuting, Kitty has a bit more practice with reorienting herself after coming through a wall. She attempts to help Scott keep his balance and regain some equilibrium as she takes another few steadying breaths, eyes already scanning the area. It's not just to make sure they are safe, but she's curious as to what is in here. A government facility that's off record? That has such a secure firewall? Since when was the government at all adept at anything like that?

At the compliment, she beams, "Thanks!" It's always good to hear that she did something well, but just as his own words are interrupted, her grin is stifled into an open mouthed stare. Numbly, she takes the bugging devices from Scott, though it takes her a few more moments before she actually moves. "Look," she points out, her voice for some reason hushed. "Stamped onto their chests: Centurion. This is why this place is off books? Because they're building these things? What do you think they do?" She glances over at her teammate in the visor. "D'you think those guys outside know more about these things and that's why they're here? If there's a computer somewhere in here, I could take a peek."

It's clear the Shadowcat wants to know more about these things, but she does not yet jump down to the factory floor to get a better look. Instead, she moves opposite of Scott to place the bugs in hidden, but advantageous places. With a sigh, she glances about. "Shoulda brought Lockheed, he'd have been able to get a few of these on the ceiling."


"Ohshit." Is all Bobby gets out. He doesn't mean for it to go out over the comms but it probably does. He jukes just enough to not take the fender of the hummer to the face, but it smashes his ice ramp and sends him spinning, tumbling a good twenty feet to the ground. There's a rather distinct crunching sound from his that isn't ice. And then pain. So much pain.

It takes a moment. Honestly it looks like he might be down and out but he struggles up to his feet, panting. Ribs… probably broken from that. Definitely tore his gunshot wound open again. "You… need to… cool off…"

Apparently not even pain and broken ribs can stop the bad puns. Ice begins to build up near Brass Tacks. It's not a wall. Just a pile of ice. Which grows, rapidly. And grows, compressing down on itself. And grows more. And compresses more. And…

Um… Bobby just created a mini-glacier. And it's moving toward Brass fast.


Nate and Rocket Red are able to make short work of the squadron of fighter jets, the pilots Nate fights are able to eject since he isn't trying to kill them but who knows what happens to the ones Rocket Red is dealing with thanks to his ferocity and lost cool, "This is Black Angel Lead. Confirming Warheads worked. Lost a wing. Bugging out." The last of the F-18s crashes down into the ocean.

Brass Tax had just seen two of his friends go down, two of his brothers in the fight for mutant rights and he was scared. He transmits into his earpiece, "Yo Lonnie, Tyler. Bros? What up? Bros?" He seems to be panicking. Then a glacier smashes into him, part of it shatters before sending him flying backwards into a wall; still standing.

The Humvee door thrown by Lunair slams into Brass Tax and his brassy metal skin reverts back to his normal dark skin as he slumps against a wall, currently pinned down, "I surrender! Just don't fuckin' kill me please! Dawgs, dey told me this would be like COD on meth on crack!" He's genuine, he just wants to get the hell out of here in one piece.

"No response from the base, I'm sorry." Rachel sounds disappointed as she transmits to Cyclops, The Blackbird still holding station high above the battlefield and ready to evacuate the others at a moment's notice.

Under ordinary circumstances Havok would not have been able to stop the Juggernaut, but he had been supercharged by members of The Sisterhood using advanced technology only a week ago. While the intent then had been seemingly to turn Alex into a bomb, that energy was now turned to benevolent use as the Juggernaut; a seemingly unstoppable man is sent crashing into the building that Scott and Kitty are in uncontrollably.

The Juggernaught stands up from beneath the pile of rubble, security alarms going off behind him before he points at Alex, "Nice One. Been awhile since I felt a hit like that." Not far from Scott and Kitty they see the walls caved in as the Juggernaut comes crashing through only to rush back out after Alex. The unstoppable man was distracted from his objective, charging towards Alex Summers, "Merry X-Mas Kiddo! From your uncle, THE JUGGERNAUT!" This was going to hurt immensely; for Alex.

While the battle had been going on, teams of black-clad Commandos had been moving into position allowing the regular base security detail to take the brunt of the hits, "This is Romeo One, in position."

Scott and Kitty have just enough time to place their listening devices before a group of Commandos approaches from a hallway, high-caliber incendiary rounds being fired from high-tech looking assault rifles towards the pair, "Shoot to kill! Orders are no witnesses."


Rachel takes a moment to reply to Nate, «They killed a mutant? No..» Nate can sense her anger now, there is nothing but hatred for the people who did it seething off of her in waves.

"Nate just let me know about an anti-mutant weapon called Project Centurion. We should stop it while we have a chance, but it's not my call." Rachel wasn't too happy with the situation but she was not the team leader, Cyclops was.


Nate is furious too, a couple years ago he would have hit the fighters with the full force of his telekinesis and let the pilots die. Instead, he just disables the aircraft and forces them to eject, cursing every second he loses by being this considerate. But ultimately, the pilots are just soldiers doing what they are told to do. They don't deserve to die, right?

Once the last fighter is down, he flies closer to the ground, trying to figure out what is going on. Only one of the attacking mutants is still up and fighting, right? But he just shrugged off a massive plasma burst, so he is a problem. A problem about to trample Alex, so reaches with telekinesis for his 'uncle' and pulls him out of there and into a good firing position.


With the glaciar smashing Brass Tax in to submission Remy positions himself near the fallen crook with that staff pointed at his throat until someone probably Bobby can freeze the goon in place, "Nice work." Gambit offers up. No grins or smiles at the moment, he is still shaking off serious mode because this is exactly that.
To the comms again! "Iceman downed another. I think we clear cept dat last bit o' noise…" Which is the big one, the Juggernaut. Of course it's still chaos all around. It is what is to be expected after all.


Inside the facility, the mood between Scott and Kitty would likely best be described as foreboding. What does Scott think the Centurion machines do? "Something they don't want the general public to know about," he replies cooly. He's not entirely surprised when Rachel reports that the military base has not responded. When Kitty wonders whether the would-be 'villains' actually knew more than the X-Men, Scott's lips merely press together into a thin line.

Protecting a world that hates… never an easy task. Sometimes, it's hard to determine just who, exactly, the X-Men should be protecting. Sometimes, that line is more gray than Scott would like to admit.

"Don't worry about that. I got the ceiling." Scott begins carefully picking his spots, then wings the small bugs up toward the ceiling. He's a good throw; each one of them hits the ceiling on the sticky edge.

Just then, the Juggernaut comes crashing through the wall like the ever-loving Kool-Aid Man, and then he's gone. Scott grimaces at the second report from Rachel. That word alone just made the United States Military their enemy.

His father was an Air Force pilot.

Alexander's father.

Times like these, someone needs to make a tactical decision. This is one thing Scott excels at. It's why he's the leader. When the Commando's come in and shout out to them, he reaches out and grabs Kitty's hand. "Shadowcat! Now!"

He'll follow her wherever she takes him. In the meanwhile, optic blasts start soaring in rapid fire, dangerous accuracy toward those commandos. The blasts aren't powerful enough to kill, but it's gonna leave a few scars.

"X-Men." The order goes out over the comms.

"Withdraw. Repeat. Withdraw."


Well, Gunman's explosion was kiiiiiiind of an accident. Lunair is still getting used to fighting around high powered peoples. Pause. Lunair isn't going to kill someone who surrendered. "Yeah, but… they don't respawn," She points out. Lunair also watches Havok go after Juggernaught. Man, that is a cool dude (but not as thermally cool as Bobby who has less energy and -). But there's time to contemplate the nature of mutants and power puns.

Actually, Lunair's about to do something unspeakable. Something terrible. Something awful. Something that might end up on YouTube. She flatly ignores the now surrendered Brass Tacks.

And she zaps at Juggernaught with the Twerker. Several times, actually, with weaponized R&B.

And now it's time with withdraw. Probably before she gets stomped or dies giggling.


Rocket pulls right back out the tech from the bay adding it atop everything else to his facade turning into a rather towering figure. All of the red and white from the suit now covered up by the gunmetal grey and blacks of the fighters, the jets propulsion systems used for the now utterly over sized figure to land down onto the ground. He's planning to level the whole structure at this rate before he leaves, he doesn't want anything here other then revenge.


Despite all of Alexander's training.. despite his positive attitude, and abnormally charged powers, he's simply unable to move fast enough to avoid Juggernauts stampede-strike. A last ditch effort is attempted by Havok to blast Juggernaut back before he could make contact, but it wasn't quick enough and Havok's plasma simply fizzles out around him like a firecracker hit with a stream of water. Nate's attempt to pull him Havok out of the way are met with just enough resistance from distance to enable it ineffective.

Juggernauts bulbous fist connects with Havok's entire torso, ribs cracking like sticks with a sickening crunch that reverberates the area. The blonde-haired Summers is then jettisoned high into the air, a long stream of blood escaping out of his open mouth; the impact sending him reeling a hundred meters or so..

So much for saving on Doctor's Bills..


Unaware that the questions she's asking Scott are not exactly what he wants to hear, Kitty sets all her devices. She's also on the look out for a computer, just in case. So, when the Kool-Naut-Man comes crashing through the building and bullets start to rip through the air, she's startled, but not exactly out of it.

At the command from Scott, she takes his hand in a firm grip, immediately phasing. The pair fall through the catwalk, quickly moving behind and through machinery. The Shadowcat grabs onto a bit of piping just toward the bottom, adjusting a cushion beneath them to slow them down. It's not soft, but it does the job of making sure they don't break their necks. With a wince, she tumbles through a pillar and then out the other side.

At Scott's order, she shakes her head emphatically. "We can't just go without figuring out what these things do!" she argues with Scott - not over the comms, at least. "Just…if I can find a computer, I can figure it out! I know I can." Though they're safely on the floor, she keeps the pair of them defensively phased so she can look around without worrying about the chaos going on around them. "We're already here and if this place is dangerous to us…" the more information they have on it the better.


Bobby's about done. He holds on the mini glacier until Brass Tax is trapped (he's not going for a kill, he just wants the guy to stop throwing hummers around) and then slumps. He's fairly sure, now, that one of his broken rips punctured a lung becuase he's got a hell of a time breathing. "Moving." He says into the comms.

The ice ramps starts up again, though Bobby's moving slower than usual as he heads to the extraction point. "Might want to… get a… move on…. before reinforcements show… or they… decide to 'sanitize'… the base." Yeah, he's going to need some time off after this.


Rachel had been waiting for this moment, as soon as Scott gives the order she's guiding the Blackbird at breakneck speeds down towards the battlefield below. Everyone by fate or luck seems to be well positioned enough to make it to the boarding ramp which is lowering, her voice calling out over the comns, "Everyone in, I'm keeping them distracted as best as I can!"

The commandos who had just been preparing to move in on the X-Men find themselves seeing a massive explosion detonating. Rachel was using her abilities to project illusions to cover the escape but she couldn't do it forever. She hadn't forgotten about Rocket Red, a soothing telepathic voice calls out to him, «Be ready, we're not leaving you behind. Get in or I'll grab you myself when we leave.» She clearly had something in mind.

The Blackbird was waiting for everyone to get inside, hopefully with the surrendered mutant Brass Tacks.

Juggernaught shakes his fist at Alex who has been saved by Nate now and was now hovering mid-air. With Havok out of his reach he removes a strange looking crystalline dagger from his belt. Those who had seen the dagger from New York, would recognize it, "I'll be back, you can't keep the Juggernaut down for long." The hulking brute of a man disappeared; his mission failed. It was the last time he would take a tip from crazy cultist ladies.


Dang. Lunair is sad her weapon didn't work. But she'll offer - yeah, okay, she'll go make a run for poor Havok and help the guy if not carry him to the Blackbird, maybe with some help (she gets by with a little help from her friends).


Nate winces when Havok gets hit despite his attempt to get him out of Juggernaut's reach. He will carry the injured man back to the Blackbird. "Why are we pulling back? Makes no sense," he grumbles. Well, it makes sense to get Alex out of here, but something very wrong is happening here. He has to wonder if this was what Mystique was investigating a few weeks ago.


"I can give you sixty seconds." Scott's voice is grizzled by the whole affair. From another pouch he produces a different kind of tracking device; an X-Beacon, which he slaps onto Kitty's shoulder. Once it makes contact, her location appears as a glowing blue 'pip' on his visor's HUD, which promptly begins scanning the surroundings to build a three-dimensional grid map. "Go."

Releasing her hand, Cyclops adopts a place of high cover. Then, he does what he does best. Optic blasts begin bouncing off every shiny surface he can find, the angles and geometric patterns complex enough to throw off highly trained soldiers. Some of the blasts are aimed to connect; others, to distract and disorient; all of them designed to keep attention away from Kitty.

"Forty-five." The message is sent to Kitty's comm only.

Sixty seconds in combat time can be a lifetime. Truth be told… Scott's being generous.


Once on board the Blackbird, Havok lays there semi-conscious. He's breathing heavily, finding it difficult to inhale from his severely damaged rib-structure and intoxicated from his endorphins. Needless to say, Havok wasn't doing very much.. for quite a while.


From the moment his feet touch the ground weapons begin to form on the surface of Rockets new thread. Rocket launchers, Vulcan cannons anything that was attached to those vehicles reformed into new weapons. It only takes a few seconds, and he's started stomping towards the building letting loose the entire payload at once into the structure, after getting once last scan of the building, passing the information along to the Kremlin should things turn even worse.

Mix in his standard ordinance of rockets, machine guns flamethrowers, and pulse cannons, and there is one massive wall of hurt being laid into this building. It looks like something cut right out of an old giant monster movie, as he just tears through the building like paper. He doesn't want to exactly kill anyone but this is something akin to venting, anger management from the center of a massive robot.


"Sixty seconds?! I can't—" That's no time whatsoever! But, arguing about it is only going to make it even less. Kitty's face sets into a determined look and she quickly moves to the computer. First things first is opening up a terminal for a look at their security and access IPs. Not even bothering to memorize it, she saves the screen and then starts moving whatever files she can to a thumb drive. She has to stay solid for all this, so the distractions Scott is giving her are not only helpful, but necessary to make sure she doesn't end up with a bullet to the head.

The count down makes her movements all the more frantic, but she grew up with computers and she's able to pull whatever looks important in the short window given. Transfers complete, she's a little over her sixty seconds, honestly, by the time she finishes. Pulling the drive, she's careful to make sure it's hidden away and that she has it. Part of her just wants to take the full computer, but taking it off the wall would be difficult. Instead, she concentrates and then pushes her hand through the machine, pulling out some of its hardware.

Then, she's phased again, running for Scott. A hand reaches out to grab him and pull him with her through the battle and the walls and straight for the plane.


Bobby makes the ramp of the Blackbird and flops down into a seat near the medical kit. Come on, come on Scott and Kitty. Get out. Rocket's tearing the place apart like he's a man in a rubber suit and the base is a scale reproduction of Tokyo. And he can't blame the guy. At least, it seems, the Centurion project should get torn into itty, bitty pieces.

"Everyone… okay?" The words still come hard. Bobby's fumbling with a needle. He's got a collapsed lung to rinflate.


Kitty had managed to download a handful of heavily encrypted files before her and Cyclops are forced to make their escape to join the others. The moment the afformentioned pair are onboard, The Blackbird takes off with near-reckless abandon; Rachel maintaining the illusion of the explosion until the very last moment.

The mysterious Rocket Red IV is snatched up by Rachel before the boarding ramp closes to join everyone else in the belly of the Blackbird as it flies away. It wasn't just to keep him safe, but also to have him around for questioning; whoever he was.

Military communications channels near the base are going insane after the attack, the sight of the half-ruined base fading in the distance as The Blackbird headed back towards the Xavier Institute.

Rachel was happy everyone was back onboard but she couldn't help but feel highly disturbed by the thoughts and images she was siphoning from others with her telepathic abilities. Those things, they were like Sentinels but she had NEVER heard of a Centurion in any timeline or future she had been to, "I'm glad everyone made it back alive." It's all she can manage, her anger trembling beneath the surface.

The X-Men had completed their mission and escaped with valuable intelligence, Project: Centurion would continue forward.


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