ArchivedLogs:Extended Family

From X-Men: rEvolution
Extended Family
Dramatis Personae

Anette, B, Ion, Firelord

2017-01-13


"What kinda magic trick that? Do another!"

Location

<NYC> Business Park - Queens


This nondescript block at the very edge of Flushing developed rapidly in the DotCom boom of the 1990s and busted only a few years later. The outbreaks in recent years drastically reduced even the modest rent for this business park, and now tech startups are re-colonizing it in swaths for office and server space. Often there are only small text signs to indicate which company has rented which floors, and some buildings have virtually no personnel except for bored private security.

It might not be easy to discern that Toure labs owns the entirety of this /particular/ nondescript office building. There is nothing particularly remarkable about it, at first blush, and certainly it isn't much to look at well after quitting time on a Friday night, when this whole district has become a ghost town. The very top floor of the building is the location of interest tonight: the blueprints had shown it as a large central lab space ringed with offices. Two of the connecting stairwells have roof access, though it stands to reason that these doors would be locked. The front lobby of the building is small and brightly lit, manned by a single bored security guard at this hour.

Hummmmmmmmm. Into the ghost town descends a veritable swarm of tiny insectoid figures -- flitting down to perch around the roof, on nearby lampposts, not far from the front doors. Quiet, unobtrusive, vigilant. A bigger cicada-like bot lands with a quiet click just across the street.

A bit less unobtrusive, the low grumble of a motorcycle engine pulling up nearby. In plain black jacket (recently restitched, and messily so), plain black boots, black and silver motorcycle helmet, Ion isn't all that flashy today. A little more flashy is the bundle strapped to his back -- the horned winged gargoyle-monster slung to him is wearing a very glittery, very shiny-tassled party-hat.

Even before the bike has coasted to a stop, Egg is wriggling their wings free from their harness and flailing them at the air as if ready to take flight. 'Party party party!' they sign over and over again, their head bobbing and their ears flicking as if to music only they can hear. Their bulbous green eyes are huge and keep tracking up whenever the shiny tassels from the hat swing across their vision. 'Party here? I'm ready! Who's ready?' They add a very emphatic though uncessary question mark to the end.

Anette takes a slightly different approach, arriving from the skies and landing on the rooftop. Her hair is pulled back in a high ponytail, swaying freely behind her shoulders. She doesn't bother with a coat today the flight here keeping her warm enough and it being one less thing to worry about. Instead, she wears a black tank top, black jeans, and black leather boots. Otherwise she has nothing on her, no weapons of any kind. Other than the razor sharp talons her hands have become. Once on the roof, she gives a gentle tug on the door. Locked, as she suspected. So she makes her way towards the front of the building, perching herself on the ledge and looking down, quietly watching the others arrive and keeping tabs on them, especially Egg.

The insect bots go unnoticed despite the improbable season, their sensors taking in the surroundings. There's hardly a soul on the block other than the Brothers, and what they can see of the building's windows shows its interior to be largely abandoned, too. Through one third-storey window, a pair of private security guards can be seen in a break room, fixated on their respective smartphones and coffees. Neither Ion's arrival nor Anette's draws anyone's attention. Yet.

The bots are hard at work -- if silent, scratch-scratch-scratching away at the lab's networks to try and find B a way in to the two more secure ones.

There's a quiet hum from the cicada-bot, in answer to Egg's question. Then, more clear, a soft laugh. B's very soft voice: "/Almost/ ready, Firelord. The party will come, honest. We came prepared. Anyway, it's up you want to be." On the roof, there are a host of the tiny bots all around Anette -- though silent. Still. No real acknowledgment of her presence.

"/Up/? Shit right." Ion's bike purrs back to life -- quieter, this time, than before. A soft hum in place of its previous rumble. It takes off now vertically instead of down the street, looping back around to coast down to a stop alongside Anette. "See that, B say soon. Party /soon/, right? She setting it up for us."

Egg's already wide eyes go wider and brighter at B's suggestion. 'FLYING!' they sign, their mouth opening to reveal sharp fangs as they emit a series of rapid clicks. Their wings fan at the air even harder than before, as if to aid the bike in its ascent. 'Party soon! Thank you B thank you, great sister B make the party happen. Hi bird-sister you ready for party?' Their babling, though silent, is rapid and sloppy with excitement.

Anette ignores the bots hovering about her as she watches Ion and Egg join her up on the roof. She watches Egg sign and though she doesn't really understand what is said, she can guess at the general gist of it. "Hey Dragon," she says, hopping down off her ledge and glancing towards Ion, her grin briefly faltering at the mention of B. "Well, let's get this party started then."

"Or you can listen to the one of us who knows what we're doing," B's mild voice comes from a different bot this time; a gleaming iridescent scarab beetle. Still very soft, "instead of letting Anette get you killed. Like I said, soon enough. Maybe it'd help your patience if I put on some calming music while you wait?"

The bots do not, in fact, play calming music, though undoubtedly they're more than capable of doing so even while still diligently working their way into the lab's neworks. One small ladybug does hum over to swish through the tassles on Egg's hat. Woosh-woosh. Wooshhhhhhh.

Finally, B speaks again: "OK. The door has an electronic lock, but Ion, you should be able to handle that, now? There are two security guards on the top floor. Two more on the third, two on the first. They've got cameras on -- which you could take out, but that'll draw attention real quick. Those are the only guards I see right now -- but the power draw on your floor..." A brief silence. "I'm pretty sure there'll be bots up there, too. If they wake up I'll work on taking them; I've commandeered Osbots and Sentinels before. But be ready for them if I can't. It's not always quick and they're /always/ upgrading them." Another pause. "You won't have any cameras till the sixth floor landing. One flight down. Ready, now."

'/Great/ sister,' Ion answers brightly. He yanks off the motorcycle helmet, trading it for a balaclava before sliding -- preeeetty stiffly -- down off his bike. Grabbing a pair of duffel bags from the sidecar that would be Eggs, if Egg were not currently strapped to him, he heads toward the door. Hand over the electronic lock -- zapping it is a matter of an instant. Mapping out the rest of the building's electronic landscape is a longer task, before he tries the door again. "One landing down, eh?"

Egg's enormous eyes follow the ladybug and the disturbance they leave in the tassels, a keen predatory stillness settling over them. Then, just as suddenly, 'Party party party /now!/' They flails about wildly, peering over Ion's shoulder once he gets the door open. They emit long string of soft clicks, their pupils expanding rapidly as they adapt to the darkness of the stairwell. 'No music no dancing no lights? Party where party?'

"Sure, as long as you don't mind B running off the moment it gets tough," Anette says in response to B's comment. Still, she listens once B begins giving the details, nodding along gently. "Got it." She watches Ion with concern as he appears to have some trouble getting off his bike but she says nothing, patiently waiting for him to make electrical mincement of the lock. When the door opens, she follows behind Ion, attentive and listening for any surprises.

There are no surprises just yet. From the top of the stairs, keen eyes can make out the red LED next to the camera on the sixth storey landing. Ion's senses can discern a lot more: that camera and dozens more like it scattered throughout the floor below; hibernating computer workstations and somewhat more active servers; a series of unfamiliar electrical grids with low draw out in the cavernous central lab; a series of /familiar/ electrical grids--hardened, roughly humanoid, humming with power though dormant--clustered in a room next to the security guard station.

"We're bringing the party downstairs. -- And you talk a lot of trash, but all those wounds Ion's wearing talk way louder. There's only one of us here who's /ever/ abandoned their team on a mission, and it's sure not me or Ion. Remember that." Myriad tiny bugs are creeping in along the floors, skittering down over the railings to drop along the underneath of the stairs and make their way down to the sixth floor. "The guards are still in their security room. I think the bots'll be right beside them."

Ion pushes out a slow breath. "Hold these, hermanita, they can't travel my way if I gotta zip. Get 'em to the lab in one-piece, eh?" The duffel bags are passed off to Anette. There's Kind Of A Strain to his voice, though expression hidden behind the mask it's hard to tell if it's physical or /mental/ pain. There's a brief crackle -- a brief zap. One fried security camera before, still a bit stiffly, he trots down the stairs to the landing. "No worries lights is coming. Dancing, too? You want to dance? B do you /got/ music?"

Egg's clicking turns to a delighted purr as the security camera fizzles out. They sniff the air with an exaggerated backward tip of their head. 'Smells like party!' Then, at Ion's question, they utterly lose it. 'Dance dance dance dance!' might be what their signing, spindly fingers blurring frantically in the air.

B's bug bots go unremarked by the guards watching the camera feeds, and infiltrate the bland, fluorescent-lit hallways of the sixth floor. The security office is quite near stairway, just across from the elevators. The door is closed, and presently there's a stir within.

"Hey, the feed from camera 5 just went out," says one of the guards to the other, pointing at that block in the grid of camera feeds on the monitor before him. He's Latino, stocky-muscular, in his late 30s.

"Huh. Weird. I'll go check it out." The second guard--tall, white, brown-haired and built--rises and ambles out into the hallway toward the stairwell. He does not look either worried or in much of a rush, stretching languidly as he goes.

"Oh fuck OFF!" Anette hisses, her own voice strained but more from trying to be quiet and loud at the same time. Her teeth are gritted as she resists saying more, instead diverting her attention to Ion and giving a firm nod as she takes the bags, slinging them over her shoulder. Again, she waits for Ion to work his magic before she follows. A few steps in, she pauses, any anger from before gone, replaced with an intense focus. "Someone's coming," she whispers, twisting her head as she fine tunes her 'reception'.

'Just one guard. Coming to check on the camera.' This time there's no spoken words -- the text is printed in projected letters against the stairwell wall. 'Be here in --' Then a delay. The guard is taking his time. Finally, though, a countdown: '5 -- 4 -- 3 -- 2 --'

Ion slips down to wait by the stairwell door. There's a tension to his posture at the countdown. 'Going for a ride,' he signs to Egg, when the countdown begins. The /end/ of the countdown is -- anticlimactic. /In/ the stairwell, at least. Probably less so for the guard. The opening door is met with a clamp of Ion's hand, firm, secure -- a cracklepop of light. Guard and Ion and Egg all vanish. Poof.

Egg goes tense and silent as Ion lies in wait for the guard. Even their clicking dies away, and they grow quite still save for the minute flicking of their ears. When the trap is sprung, their wings spread wide with glee even as they dissolve into electrical discharge with their father.

In the security room, the remaining guard's eyes snap to the hallway camera feed. A bright light whites out nearly the whole screen for just a moment, and when it fades, his partner has vanished without a trace! He hits a button his phone, "Intruder on level six, probable power use, I'm going to condition two." Even while he speaks, he's typing, at another terminal, and in the room next door six Sentinels emerge from their slumber.

Anette goes quiet as the countdown begins, stepping to the side to allow Ion to spring his trap and send the guard elsewhere. Strangely, she puts quite a bit of distance between her and Ion, more than she normally does, avoiding any chance of accidental discharge. With Ion out of the way, Anette stands beside the doorway, listening for anymore signs of people or other approaching. "Sure would be nice if the hallway didn't have a camera either."

The security room door does not open, but the one next to it does. It slides open automatically, and out come the Sentinels marching two by two. Their heavy steps beat out an ominous tattoo on the carpeted hallway floor. Meanwhile, the guard is continuing his frantic preparations, trying to lock down the secured network...even as B gains access to it. But the emergency protocols have gone into effect, and the Sentinels bear down inexorably on Anette even as the guard gets on the phone, clutching his sidearm.

"There's six Sentinels just woke up." B's voice still sounds calm. "They'll be joining you soon. I wish Ion --" Hir voice cuts off into silence. Also silent, the work of her bots, infiltrating the /other/ bots' systems. When ze speaks again, it's rght as the robots are marching out into the hall. "Okay, I have their..." A slow trailing off. "... /should/ have their... why aren't..." The words that come next are in Vietnamese, indecipherable to Anette though their tone is very /distinctly/ displeased.

The Sentinels keep coming. The first one pushes the door open sharply, seeking the source of the last known disturbance: in this case, Ion's vanishing act. It finds Anette instead. Its right arm lifts. "You are trespassing on private property. Please stand down and wait for law enforcement to arrive." The gun barrel folds out and takes aim.

Blip! Somewhere behind the Sentinels, Ion (and Egg!) have returned. "{Shit, okay, B, how we get /in/ this lab?}" There's a quiet crackling hum in the air -- a thrumming charge, Ion's powers reaching out towards the Sentinels that are marching toward Anette. Toward their power supply, really, /pulling/ at it hungrily.

Anette tenses, her face paling as she hears the sentinels approach. Previous experiences with Sentinels have not ended well and she's a bit...nervous, around them. Though when Ion returns and begins attacking the one cornering her, she gains the confidence to dive out of its way before it gets the chance to fire at her, slipping past it and into the main hallway. Out of the confines of the stairwell, she spreads her wings, taking what air she can, attempting to fight the Sentinels with confusion instead of brute force. Her overall aim appears to have them knock into each other though when the opportunity presents itself, she's not above flying /at/ them to knock them over. "Dammit, how hard is it to hack their systems?" she growls, not-so-patiently waiting for B to gain control of them.

Power drains from the two Sentinels in the rear as Ion's powers reach out. The two in front of them turn and level their guns at Ion while he is still draining from their comrades. Anette's kick knocks the leading Sentinel off-balance--not /quite/ far enough to knock it down or into its companion, but enough to foul its aim.

The sharp funnel of wind sweeps along the street toward the building and shoots straight up its side, out onto the roof, and down into the stairwell.

Where the door had been empty just a moment ago (still closing in Anette's wake), there's now a young man with stark white hair carrying a young woman with blazing red hair. He's wearing a deeply unstylish green-and-blue tracksuit, and she's wearing a long, flowing burgundy dress, but the two share the same dusky complexion and the same intense gaze.

The young woman cocks her head and turns her hand in the air. Something seems to /shift/ in the world around them. The Sentinel Anette had kicked topples over after all, and takes the one beside it down, too.

"-- Who the --" With the guards all very much on alert anyway, the rest of the cameras on this level shut down, now. B sounds too puzzled to respond to Anette. Or maybe too busy, with the Sentinels' mixed-up systems. "I didn't call backup."

"Anette, shut the /entire/ fuck up." Ion's voice is a low rumble in answer to Anette's growl. "We got fucking work to do you want be... /fuck/." The energy he just sucked in comes shooting back out with the sudden arrival of the new pair, a fierce blaze of blue-white crackling in the air in snapping discharge. Out from Ion, out down the hall, toward the Sentinels aiming at him and beyond. "Holy /shit/," he sounds excited now, "where you turn up from what kinda magic trick that? Do another!"

Anette's too distracted by the new arrivals to respond to either B or Ion. Out of harm's way for the moment, Anette slowly lands down, tucking her wings in close, though she examines the two warily. "Who the hell are you?" she asks, talons extended at her side. She doesn't approach, remaining guarded as she keeps her eyes on them. She doesn't know if they're friend or foe and she's learned to assume the latter.

The two Sentinels Ion drains sag in their places, not quite down for the count but not able to do much more than keep upright. The two he /zaps/, however, do not seem very put out, their hardened electrical systems weathering the overcharge with only some spasming of limbs.

The white-haired man sets down the red-haired woman...and then vanishes. A blast of wind whips through the hall. The two Sentinels have moved--subtly, facing each other now instead of Ion as they fire, the staccato report of each three-shot burst loud in the enclosed space. One collapses on the spot, and the other totters, sparking from the gaping holes in its neck and chest, and slowly sags back against the wall.

The young man reappears beside his companion, leaning casually on her shoulder. "I'm Pietro Maximoff," he replies with a grin and a heavy Eastern European accent. "This is my sister Wanda."

Wanda does not smile, but she tilts her head forward. Her accent is a little softer than her brother's when she speaks. "We are the children of Erik Lehnsherr, and your siblings." She glances at the bags Anette carries. "And we still have work to do."