Logs:Of Eardrums and EMPs (Or, A Small Victory)

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Of Eardrums and EMPs (Or, A Small Victory)
Dramatis Personae

Astrid, Cassy, Gaétan, Kavalam, Kelawini, Nanami


"Thank you for your cooperation."


Somewhere In Bangor

The mad scramble out of the Blockbuster seemed very quickly like it might lead into calamity -- not one but two pairs of police, one in a passing squad car, one on foot just turning a corner, in easy and plain view of the fleeing teenagers as they make their way out of the ancient video store and into even lesser traversed parts of town. For whatever reasons, though, the police paid no mind to the large group of Very Obvious Mutants, and for -- just a few minutes, it seemed like their escape was unnoticed.

Anyone with just a little genre savvy would know that things are rarely so easy.

K.C. likely gets the earliest warning -- Cassy the next -- but by now the Sentinels are well aware of their position and at the speed they move, there's little enough help for it when the first robot comes veering down out of the sky.

Then the second, then the third, then the fourth -- which seems, if a robot can be irritated, mildly irritated as it lifts a leg to -- nudge, nudge, nudge, Gaétan out of the way of where it's landed. It's that last one that addresses them first, both aloud in a smooth and neutral voice and in text, projected on a panel on its spherical central body. "Please stand aside," nudge nudge nudge, as it helps its fellows box in the group, "In accordance with the SAFE HARBOR act, these meta-human individuals are to be taken into custody. Do not attempt to resist arrest."

Gaétan is not attempting to resist anything -- admittedly, nobody is trying to arrest him -- but his eyes are wide and startled as the robot nudges at him. He doesn't get out of the way; his half-step back puts him between the spiderbot and the Māhoe sisters. "Tabernak," comes very quietly. He hugs the shopping bag he'd grabbed from their temporary hiding place a little closer to his chest.

"Oh fudge." That little extra advance warning Cassy gets thanks to her super hearing aren't enough to get away, but it does give her just enough notice to try a heroic dive behind at least some sort of cover. Hopefully Astrid's big coat is incredibly damage resistant...

Astrid is still thinking about how she needs to thank someone for the cops not noticing them when the first robot drops down. It catches her completely by surprise. “Oh crap.” She mutters mostly to herself, barely able to get the words out before three more Sentinels land. Her eyes go wide and immediately she holds her arms up in the air. She’s not entirely sure why this is her initial reaction, but it happens. Her breathing increases as her brain slowly begins to turn over into fight or flight mode, finding herself caught in the middle. She looks to see if any of the Sentinels are closer to each other. If worse comes to worse, she can maybe take a couple out and buy everyone else some time to get away.

Nanami squeaks, startled and high, stumbling when the Sentinels begin to crash down. She grabs onto Gaétan's arm as one chunky heel twists to the side. "Ohmygod ohmygod," she's muttering under her breath, eyes fixing on the Sentinel nearest them. She reaches one hand into his shopping bag -- what comes out is a can of corn chowder which gets flung (she puts some power into it) at the text display on the robot's body.

Kelawini skids to a halt and turns from the first Sentinel as it lands only to be faced with another. Quick on her feet, she pivots again, her panicked breaths coming faster with each robot that arrives until they are quite surrounded. She has no ammunition to throw, but when the motion of Nanami's (forceful!) attack draws her attention she pulls closer to her sister, standing back-to-back as if simply not being flanked by the Sentinels would save them.

"Do not attempt to resist arrest." The warning comes again, as the can of soup thunks harmlessly off of the Sentinel's display. The nearest one to Gaétan is pushing him (very roughly) aside -- one of its spindly legs telescoping outward, its structure retooling itself into something more flexible as it reaches toward the Māhoes in an attempt to encircle Nanami's wrists.

The other bots are closing in closer to the children. "Thank you for your compliance," another says, polite, to Astrid. Her compliance isn't stopping the dart that shoots out from it, sharp and fast as it pings toward her upraised hand as the bot approaches. What follows the dart is a bit of disorientation, a bit of nausea -- the leech of her powers is not immediate, following the pain, a slow-burn onset. Around the group the other Sentinels are starting to do similar, neutral and pleasant-toned as they instruct the children as to their upcoming detention.

If Gaétan was going to make an attempt to stay put as some kind of Barrier in front of Kelawini and Nanami, this attempt at bravery is put to a quick enough end by the hard shove of the robot. He stumbles to the ground, palms skidding against the frozen earth and his eyes fixed wide and staring at the spiders around them.

Curled up, trying to shield herself with the coat and it's overstuffed pockets, Cassy waits as the Sentinels close in on her. "Everyone might wanna get back.."

At some point, in a very serious power training session, Cassy learnt just how far away people should be to stay safe from her audio-kinesis. On a good day she can even remember some of it.

Today isn't a good day.

So all that wisdom flows clean out of her mind if/when a Sentinel jumps on her. At that point she just cuts loose with an ultrasonic scream. It's pretty unpleasant to be anywhere near. Even for Sentinels! Rattling components and wires until they break. Shattering lenses and generally breaking stuff.

Astrid let’s out a yelp as the dart makes contact with her hand. “Seriously?” She shouts, realizing the one gesture she made to signal she wasn’t resisting was in fact what got her shot. Her hands are yanked down immediately, the dart pulled free and thrown to the ground. Now she’s pissed off, taking a step forward toward the Sentinel nearest her. That’s when it hits her, whatever was in the dart. She sways forward slightly, a wave of nausea washing over her. It takes all her concentration not to throw up.

She looks behind her as the ground begins to spin and wildly waves her arm in a gesture that is meant to signal everyone to back away from her, but it’s not really in anyone’s specific direction. “I’d back up…” Her words choke to a halt as she moves even closer to the sentinel.

Nanami's next squeak is louder, eyes squeezing shut tight against the painful noise that comes from Cassy. With Gaétan on the ground and the cold metal of the Sentinel reaching for her wrist, this time as she jerks back she reaches blindly for her sister --

-- and catching her breath sharp at the rushing-flood that follows. Loud and spiraling and pulling all electronics around into a chaotic feedback loop that swirls around them, through them. Everyone's personal devices are the first things to start shorting out, but the tumult does not stop there.

Kelawini's hand closes around Nanami's. The swell of their powers together, like a rising wave, forces that first caught breath from her lungs in an exhilarating rush. The sisters' phones, those of their schoolmates, and then the intricate networked systems of the Sentinels surrounding them, all fold into the wave that buoys their consciousness with ever more feedback.

In that instant, at least, they know all that the Sentinels know, sense all that they sense, from their balletic movements to the weapons they've deployed or might yet deploy to the vast wordless conversations passing continuously between them. Kelawini pulls clumsily on the escalating roil of their powers as it starts to crest, struggling to keep it from expanding beyond their ability to manage and struggling simultaneously to rein in the Sentinels.

Cassy's ultrasonic scream rattles eardrums as well as the nearest robot, though it doesn't seem to be wholly out of commission -- its casing, anyway, hard enough that its display is cracked but its body is intact. Something has clearly gone out of sorts with it, though; it looks a little drunk, now, as it stumbles among the students. Shoots a dart into the ground. Shoots a bullet kind of at random. Chucks one sharpened knifelike end of one of its highly modular limbs vaaaguely in Cassy's direction as it topple-rolls nearer to Astrid and her bot. Several more of its legs (currently flailing, but working on reorienting themselves) are also -- extremely sharp.

Astrid's bot is still Very Perky. Bright. Energetic. "Thank you for your cooperation," it chirps as Astrid sways forward, its many legs skittering nearer. One of its forelimbs lifting to start reworking itself, coiling around Astrid's wrists in no doubt a Textbook Arrest Procedure. Around them, their classmates are backing up up up upppp -- straight into the third Sentinel, who is only too ready to start rounding them up, too.

Just beside the third, the fourth Sentinel has been trying to arrest Nanami and is only slightly daunted by her retreat. It pushes forward again -- but then hitches with a brief processing stutter, faltering in place with its limb still outstretched.

Victory! Of sorts.

Free from her attacker for a moment Cassy starts rapid scramble away from Astrid. Who did just give a 'I'm about to explode' heads up.

Her piercing scream cuts off. Although it likely takes a few moments for the ringing to stop. "We need to get away from here fast!" She stays low to the ground hoping no stray bullets will hit her.

She really hopes someone looks like they know where they should be going!

As the Sentinel moves to arrest Astrid, she doesn’t resist in any way, only looks up at it with a wide toothy grin. Her arm is pulled forward by the forearm turned coil wrapped around her wrist, and as it pulls her closer, her eyes begin to close.

A sudden and intense wave of euphoria washes over the teen as she slowly starts to turn intangible. This gas like state only lasts a couple seconds before suddenly blasting out in an explosion that reaches close to twenty feet out in all directions, the brunt of the blast much closer to the center. Slowly the incorporeal scattering begins to pull back together, taking several minutes before Astrid reappears, ragged, a little bloody and unconscious.

In the near distance sirens are closing in. Not quite so fast as the Sentinels had been. But way too fast to be particularly comfortable, most likely.

Nanami's eyes have gone wide, her hand clutching tighter against her sister's. It's hard to say how much of the deafening ringing in her ears -- the wail of sirens -- the cries of her classmates -- are sinking in with her kind of dazed expression. Her breath catches, her jaw clenched up hard. For a moment the whirl of digital conversation around them pulls her mouth into a small o, her focus intent on holding the robot in front of them still, trying to tell it to shut down.

It's not... a very long moment. It breaks in a heavy outward pulse that -- well, does kind of tell the robots to shut down, if only by virtue of overloading them and every other piece of electronics in their near vicinity with a circuit-frying surge. Not exactly what she was aiming for, but beggars cannot be choosers. She drops Kelawini's hand, claps her own to her ears with a nauseated expression.

Kelawini doubles over about the same time that Nanami does, and further. It's only a dizzy fraction of a second before she loses her balance and tips sideways onto the pavement in the wake of Astrid's blast, clutching her head.

Thankfully Astrid's classmates have heeded her warning.

The Sentinels have not. The booming explosion shatters them into so many shards, scattered wide across the ground.

The pair far across the group are less dramatic in their comeuppance; a wobble-hitch of motion, a halt, and they go dark.

Just in time for a trio of police cars to come wailing up, guns drawn and ready as the three pairs of officers pour out of the cars, alert and ready for -- a battle that is, evidently, not coming.

"All clear here," one of them is reporting into the radio, as the police start to holster their weapons. One wanders straight past the students, toward the still-smouldering wreckage of one of the Sentinels, "but some freak sure got to these pups. Sorry, buddy." He's crouching to look with a grimace at the charred remains.

On the ground, where he is recovering from losing the overprocessed oversalted contents of his stomach, ears still ringing and face still pale, Gaétan looks up at this new wave of -- "What the fuck?" He gets to his feet slowly, brows knitting as he stares blankly at the incoming police. Takes a few steps closer, maybe to investigate the teeth of this bow-wrapped horse? Maybe just in a daze.

Cassy has just about recovered her wits enough to notice the incoming sirens and then they arrive. "We..." She blinks when the cops immediately proceed to ignore them. "Need to run?"

She looks around. "Everyone okay?" She heads towards whichever of her fellow X-kids happens to be closest. And then realises she has no clue about first aid either. "Can you move? Is it safe for me to help anyone up?"

She blinks again and.. with the cops acting so weird she can't help but look over to their cars. Maybe they have a first aid kit visible? And if they can't see her now... Alas it is unlikely such an item would be unsecured.

Through the chaos of this encounter, Kavalam has been -- of vanishingly little concern to the other kids. Unsurprising, what with the death bots and explosions and ear piercing and impending doom, but even so, the appearance of an Unknown Party Member might be a source of some confusion to some of them. He doesn't seem much fussed with that -- though he was on nobody's radar but the Sentinels' before, now he's clear enough to his classmates as he picks himself up from the center of the kids who had been accosted on the ground.

"We should probably --" He's looking at Astrid, unconscious, on the ground, "-- do something about her." He removes his glasses, wipes them -- fidgety, nervous -- against the inside lining of his coat. Eyes darting between the other kids and the still-oblivious police. His breathing is too-fast, rapid puffs of steam in the icy winter air. It throws off the attempted-casual when he adds: "I'm Kavalam, by the way. Most of you don't know me yet. But you maybe should."