ArchivedLogs:Light It Up

From X-Men: rEvolution
Light It Up
Dramatis Personae

B, Ion, Isra, Natalie, Monsterling

2016-12-05


I'm dragon I smash /and/ fly.

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.

There's a low thrum in the distance -- distance, at first, anyway, then pulling closer. A black Rebel bike is making its way up the block, pulling up to the corner before its engine is killed. The bike is kind of nondescript -- the rider as well, at the moment, heavy black boots and scuffed old jeans, a plain leather jacket with the tinted visor of his riding helmet pulled down.

A little less nondescript owing to the horned fangy bulging-eyed bundle of goblin-faced infant currently strapped to his back with heavy leather wrap, but /oh/ well.

Up in the gray sky, the fleeting suggestion of wings cuts across the block and banks hard at the corner. The wings sweep down and kills the shadow's forward momentum, spiraling down to land neatly beside the bike. Isra is covered in smooth, hypnotically rippling gradients of gray from horns to tail-tip. Her bodysuit is the same color and pattern as her skin, and with its edges all but invisible from a distance, she looks likes nothing so much as a living statue of a gargoyle.

Another bike follows soon after the first. Quieter in its low hum, sliding smoothly into place alongside Ion. Natalie's red hair is pulled back into a low ponytail, tucked down into the collar of her brown leather jacket. She leans forward against the handlebars of her own bike, head tipping up juuust a little to -- probably watch Isra's descent. Behind her own helmet it's hard to really tell.

There are more wings dipping down after Isra. Far far smaller, much more colorful. Vivid metallic blue, emerald green, deep garnet red; a trio of odd beetle-like creatures zipping down to hover for a moment around the others before, ultimately, taking up perches. The red one on Isra's horn, the green on Natalie's helmet. The last circles Ion for a moment -- hesitates -- heeeeesitates -- finally sets down right atop Egg's lumpy head. "Smooth ride?"

Ion hops lightly off his bike, turning around to follow Isra's descent. Turning again to watch the tiny robots flit down toward them. “Shit when can I get me some fancy robot body, I want to be a goddamn -- dragon, yeah? You do me that?” He hasn't removed his helmet yet, but his cheer is bright and warm in his rich voice. “Yeah, I mean, we didn't fly, sister, but we flew.”

Egg stretches out both of their spindly arms to grab in the vague direction of the drone as it hovers around Ion, then emits a long string of pleased clicking when lands on their head. 'Smooth ride smooth ride!' they sign with unbridled enthusiasm. 'Dad bike fly we fly now!' Impatient to illustrate the point, they wriggle their fuzzy black wings free and flail about with far more energy than skill. They do not look to be in any danger of actually lifting off.

Isra folds her wings down across her shoulders so that the membranes drape down like a leathery gray cloak, one ear flicking back as the drone descends to perch on her horn. "If how you have taught your child is any indication, you should make a most excellent dragon yourself." She tilts her head back to study the building beside them. "Are we all ready, then?" Vivid, cat-green eyes flick aside to Natalie, smooth brow ridges raising just a fraction.

"I don't know if I'm as ready as Omelette, but I'm ready." Natalie slides down off her bike, lifting a hand carefully to touch gloved fingertips up against the small metal beetle. "Then again, who'd ever be as ready as you, huh? You were born ready, kid." She pulls her helmet off, setting it down on the saddle of her bike and cupping the beetle gently. Transferring it to her shoulder instead, oddly delicate as though it were a living creature. "We good?"

Slightly farther off, there are other insects -- slightly larger, though not much, small dragonflies settling on a building roof down the block. "You want to be a dragon? I can make you a dragon." There's a pause. Wait. Waiiit. Then: "{Holy fucking shit}," in somewhat taken aback Vietnamese, "do you have any idea how much these people are /making/ off of this garbage? -- Right, no, I'm good. Um. Ready, yes. Third floor. I've got eyes on -- you."

"{No we not gonna fly now, now we smash. /Then/ we fly, yeah? But party first.}" Ion drops absently into Quechua for this reassurance, low but just as enthusiastic as Egg's flailing. "And they a fantastic dragon all on their own /I'd/ have to learn from them maybe. -- If you can just bang out some new body any time we want why you ain't make yourself a girl-suit yet?" Ion is tugging his own helmet off, now, too. "Could be just as bitey?" He's holding out his hands to the others -- then grimaces and lowers them. "Shit I'm fry B, right, fuck. Do this the slow way." His grimace deepens -- if not overly surprised at B's comment. "Mutant-hunting it's a rich man's sport."

'I'm ready!' Egg agrees fervently. 'I'm dragon I smash /and/ fly.' Their bulbous head bobs as they strain upright in their leather harness. Their clicking grows louder again as they survey their surroundings, long pointed ears swiveling to and fro. 'What we smash now what?'

"I can imagine they are making quite a lot." The low growl that runs beneath Isra's words belies the cool, dry tone of her speech. "The government is quite ready to throw any amount of money into defense in general, and we are the hottest new domestic terrorists." She grins and gives Ion's shoulder a conciliatory squeeze when he catches himself, then heads for a fire exit set into the side of the building. "Can you open this, B? Or at least disable the alarm? It'd be a lot subtler than flying up and smashing through a window, though young Dragonlord might approve more of the latter."

"Ah --" There's a stutter, hitch, pause in B's voice where it comes small but clear through the bots. "Make myself a -- but I -- don't -- I'm already --" Another pause. Longer. Much longer. "I can't unlock the doors, but I've disabled the alarms. I'm sure there'll be plenty for Egg to smash inside."

Natalie has followed after -- lightly swung herself up onto the fire escape. Hop-skip -- not quite jump. She is examining the doors, examining the windows. A small smile tugs at the corners of her mouth as she listens to the others' exchange -- maaaybe a small wince accompanying it, though she holds her silence. Instead retrieves a slim black pouch from her backpack, bending her attention to a window. There's a quiet scraping, clicking of tools, rasp of metal on glass, before she pulls the window slightly open. Wiggles her way inside. Not long afterward, a door just below it swings open. 'Lo siento,' she mouths to Ion, "For the slow way."

Inside, the bland gray corridor is lit with eye-stabbing brightness and suffused with a low, barely perceptible drone of computers. It smells strongly of industrial carpet cleaning chemicals and is lined with doors displaying only the most generic labels: 203A, 203B, 204A, 204B, and so on. The stairwell is somewhat darker than the hall: a bare, echoing, concrete affair. Even from there, however, the entire building feels like a buzzing hive of electronic activity to Ion's senses.

The doors in the emergency stairwell were designed to be easily opened from within, but remain locked from the stairwell itself. The door to the third floor, however, has been wedged open just a crack with a small plastic doorstop. Keen noses will detect a whiff of cheap cigarette smoke, and the observant might make out a faint glow on the roof access landing up above, as of another propped-open door.

"You kidding, you got mad skills, that's sure-the-hell faster than I ever done it hand-on." Ion straightens, peering past Natalie once the door opens. "{We smashing asshole who want to come hunt us down,}" he explains softly to Egg. "{This where they keep the shit that help them do it.} B probably tell you better who they are." He shivers as he steps inside, eyes slightly wider -- though his pupils in them are far more tightly constricted. His gaze skitters up the stairwell, down the hall, back up the stairwell; he points upward toward the open door with a questioning lift of eyebrows.

'Assholes, bad! Smash them all.' Egg's small but long-fingered hands flutter about passionately with this exclamation. Then, more calmly, 'We hunt /them/?' The deliberation of this question, along with the dilation of their pupils as they enter the dark stairwell, give them a somewhat ominous aspect.

"Quite nicely done, Sister," Isra tells Natalie as she ducks inside, "{thank you.}" She looks up in the direction that Ion indicates, both ears rotating in that direction, nose twitching, tail lashing slow and hypnotic. "At least one guard on a smoke break, I think." With a single leap and only one downward stroke of wings, she propels herself the third storey landing and listens at the door kept slightly ajar.

From the beetle perched on Egg's head, the volume of B's voice is very quiet. "They're working on a project to collect information on people's genomes -- information about what makes up our bodies -- so that they can track mutant families. And sell the information to people who want to hunt us." If B is at all concerned with this explanation being out of Egg's reach, she doesn't particularly modulate her explanation. "It's very dangerous because lots of people want to use that information to experiment and find new ways to hurt us."

Isra's red beetle flits down off her horn, quiet as it lands on the edge of the doorway. No more talking from her, but a moment later when the beetle moves again, glowing words project themselves onto the back of Isra's hand: TWO GUARDS OUTSIDE. ~5MINS.

Natalie's head only tips in acknowledgment. Her head tilts to one side, quietly listening to the pervasive electronic hum filling the space. She's slower to follow after Isra. /Walking/ halfway up the stairs -- quick but soft-treaded. 'How many guards? You can handle? I stay with Ion --' She's pointing to the propped third-floor door. 'Computers to smash.'

Ion doesn't follow. Lingers at the propped door, peering out of it with squinted eyes into the bright-lit hallway. Simple: "{We hunt them.}"

Beyond the third-storey door, Ion can see only one open door in the target hallway, but no sound other than the constant hum and occasional beeps of server equipment. Out on the roof, two men are conversing ("How 'bout those Eagles, then?" "Eh, who knows, they might pull it together.").

Egg's ears go through several cycles of flicking and twitching as B explains, their bulging eyes rolled up toward the beetle drone, little though they can see it, perched atop their head between the their round, velvety horn buds. It's not particularly clear how much of the information they understand, but at the last sentence a tiny, soft growl rises in their chest. 'That's bad bad bad, don't want. We go hunt them /first/.'

Isra gives the red drone a quick nod. To Natalie she signs, 'Just two. I'll take care of them and join you after.' With that, she creeps up to the top landing, dropping her center of gravity far lower than any human could, wings slightly mantled for balance. Her ears twitch and adjust to help her gain a better notion of this fight's geography. Then she pulls the door open and pounces, wings snapping out to give the leap extra distance and also to scoop the two guards in toward each other.

The little red beetle flits off Isra's horn, latching onto a wall high up above the others. Quiet, now. Watching Isra. The others still cling fast to Natalie and Egg as they head in.

"You've got your eyes on Isra?" Natalie's quiet question sounds already sure of the answer, regardless. She pulls the door a little further open, slipping inside past Ion. Quick, here, too, and quiet, as she hastens down the hallway toward its end. Her lips compress when she looks at the doors. Frowns at their electronic locks. Tosses a glance back to Ion -- "{This one's on you.}"

"We gonna light this place the fuck up." Ion says this like a warm and eager promise. He doesn't take long to join Natalie at the door; he flashes her a BRIGHT grin, fingers flexing briefly. Small blue-white sparks dance between his fingertips before he holds his hand close to the door's keycard reader. The energy that crackles from him to the panel -- the panel to him -- him to the panel -- hums, dims the lights in the hallway briefly.

'Light it up light it up!' Egg repeats, green eyes bright though mostly squinted shut against the light in the corridor. 'Like Christmas! So many lights!'

The electronic lock on the server room door sparks and smokes, some of the plastic melting off from the side. The door does not come open on its own, but the handle turns easily when tried. Inside, the room is pristine and filled with racks upon racks of computer equipment. The drone of electricty here is pervasive, and the sheer mass of circuitry and speed of computing processes is nearly overwhelming for Ion to behold.

The two private security guards on the roof, surprised in the middle of their smoke break and sportsball talk, do not put up much of a fight. One of them barely manages to turn around, and gets knocked down by the sweep of Isra's wing. The other one stumbles but keeps his feet and draws his handgun, though his hands are shaking so badly that he cannot immediately bring it to bear.

Isra lands in a crouch and whips her tail around, striking the upright guard at the backs of his ankles. One of her wings also snaps back out at his armpit, so that if she misses she will still likely hit his arm, or at the very least his side. Her other wing curls around the one who had fallen first, claws digging in, and hurls him /at/ his companion, head first.

Both of Isra's blows connect, though her wing does not quite catch the man in his armpit. It does knock his gun arm aside, and when he falls he drops the weapon (it hits the concrete with a heavy clack and skids away). Right about then, he collides with the other guard and both go down into one limp heap on the rooftop, their cigarettes burning out on the cold concrete.

"I'm watching. Kind of enjoying the show." B's reassurance is quick -- and a little amused. "I think she's got this. You all -- give me a sec." Her drones are still talking -- though silently, now. One of the larger dragonflies hums in from outside, settling itself on a server as she prods at their network, steadily probing B a way in. "It's too bad," a little wistfully, "we can't keep some of these computers."

"What why not? When you done with them I bring them. Out with us." Ion offers this earnestly, fingers sparking lightly as he trails them over the nearest machine. "As many computer as you want."

Natalie chuckles at this. She's meandering through the room -- gawping a little at the vast racks of servers. Disappearing down one row. "Somehow I don't know if getting them out of here /your/ way would -- really be what she's looking for. Though it'd be effective smashing-wise. How long you need before the wreckage, B?" And after a small pause: "How long do we /have/?"

Egg peers around them intently, though with their eyes squinted so tight their inspection mostly takes the form of clicking and listening. They snuffle curiously at the sparks trailing from Ion's fingers. 'Light it up?' they press, uncertain but hopeful.

Stooping down, Isra divests the fallen guards of weapons, radios, and cell phones. She ducks back inside, kicking aside the cinder block that had propped the door open. "I expect they won't be able to get back inside," she tells B's drone quietly, "and if they do I shall make them regret their dedication." Trotting down the stairs, she rejoins the others in the server room. "I've seen no one else."

Visible only to B, the network's security protocols has sent out an alert to its systems administrators, informing them that unscheduled operations have occurred. Almost immediately, someone makes an attempt to shut B out remotely, though her physical access to the server makes this difficult. It's impossible to say whether the person on the other end will summon more physical security, and how soon.

"Unsure." There's a tone of distraction to B's voice, now. "They've noticed I'm here. No telling how they'll react. Best to -- be on alert. I'm watching their cameras, anyway." With a very faint air of satisfaction: "At the least, /they/ aren't seeing us on /those/."

"I'm sure they'll welcome you. Cheerfully." Natalie's voice comes from within the rows of servers. Chipper. She stretches up onto her toes briefly, red head poking over top of a computer to peer out at Isra: "If I say this is going so well, does that jinx our good luck?"

"{Real soon,}" Ion promises. The sparks are jittering out from his fingers, still. Skittering across the casing of the computer. Skittering across the wall. He shoots a bright smile to Isra when she arrives. "Psh. Ain't good luck, these sisters just got this locked the fuck down."

"/Hah/." B's voice is very dry.

'Sisters,' Egg repeats, bouncing up and down in place, following Ion's sparks with restless eyes. 'Sisters-brothers-siblings, all light it up. Then we win?'

"I cannot say that I either understand or believe in luck. Or jinxes." Isra says quietly as she comes to Ion's side, heedless of his arcing. "We'll need to do a lot more to win. But it's a start."

Try as the sysadmin might, they do not succeed in ejecting B from the network. A phone from the room with the open door down the hall begins ringing. Then, a moment later, the sound of police sirens starts up in the middle distance, dopplering nearer.

It's only now that Natalie emerges from the server racks, zipping her jacket up snug. "I think they noticed." She's tugging a hood up from beneath her jacket over her head, wandering toward the door. "Pretty sure Isra and I can hold things off for you."

"There's a whole lot of fight left, but winning this one, it ain't nothing." Ion jostles lightly at Egg on his back. "{Anyway then we get to bring the fireworks! That's a win in /itself/, yeah?}" The sound of the sirens only puts a bigger grin on his face. "B, just say the word."

No word from B, though. At least not until those sirens have wailed closer and closer still. At length, though: "All yours."

Ion's smile widens further, gleaming in the light of the energy crackling around him. "You all maybe stand back, huh?" The energy that has been skittering in small sparks from his fingertips snaps brighter, harsher, as he takes a few steps forward. Arcs surge outward, bold and crackling, from him to the nearest of the servers -- and then the next and the next and the next, the air crepitating furiously as the chain grows.

Egg clicks with obvious glee as Ion begins the fireworks. Their eyes squeeze shut against the blazing electrical discharge, but their wings flail happily at the air, heedless of stray arcs. 'Light it up, light it up!' they sign again and again.

"Certainly," says Isra, following Natalie out but heading up in the stairwell instead of down. She scoops up the cinder block they had used to prop open the door, then leaps from the roof, gliding toward the approaching police. She swoops down and hurls the block directly at the windshield of the leading cruiser.

The server room fills with the scent of ozone and burning circuitry. Smoke from the fried machinery give an unreal, dreamlike quality to the flashes of electricity that continue sparking across the room.

Outside, two police cruisers are approaching at high speed, lights blazing and sirens wailing. The cinder block crashes through the windshield of the first one, which swerves and spins out, clipping a light post at the corner and spinning around to crash into a bus shelter. The other one slows, but continues toward the front of the server farm building.

Natalie heads down where Isra heads up, taking the stairs two at a time to the fire escape exit that they had originally entered at. She peers downward from the exit, tracking the second car on its approach though not quite emerging yet.

The lightning continues to bolt, jumping from machine to machine in a wild and brilliant chain. Stray flashes of it swirl and dance around Ion's limbs -- skittering up against Egg in their flailing too, no doubt. It tenses Ion's muscles, gives his smile a certain rigidity, though the storm he stands in the middle of only grows.

The surviving cruiser pulls up in front of the building, disgorging two officers. Both draw their sidearms immediately, though neither has yet seen Natalie. They approach the front door, guns and flashlights sweeping in nervous arcs. More sirens are already audible in the distance, coming from multiple directions.

Isra circles above the second cruiser as it comes to a stop, then, looping out farther, stoops toward them the two police officers, a silent gray streak in the murky night, aiming for the one in the rear.

The trailing cop either heard /something/ whooshing through the night air or just happened to half-turn around as Isra swoops down toward him. He does not see enough of her soon enough to really understand what is about to befall him, but he does cry out in dismay and alarm, firing his gun wildly into the air, before crumbling at Isra's impact, spinning away to tumble down the stairs from the front door of the building. His partner manages something that sounds like "Hey!" as he raises his gun and takes aim at the gargoyle, her speed now much diminished by the collision.

It's now that Natalie appears -- with no hesitation, really, diving out the window to flip straight over the fire escape's railing. Towards the ground, tucking into a roll towards the leading cop. One leg is sweeping out towards his -- though she's regaining her feet nearly as quick as she's approaching him, boot slamming up toward his shooting hand.

Though the bullet comes nowhere near Isra, she still looses a fierce growl in the wake of the gunshot's loud crack. Seeing Natalie has the other cop well in hand, she goes after the one she has knocked down, bounding after him with claws extended. Ion's appearance on the fire escape probably saves the man's life, as Isra is satisfied to merely rip the gun from his hand and toss him aside before leaping into the air again. She circles up until she reaches Ion's altitude, looking down at Natalie's fight, ready to drop in on it if her sister looks like she's having the least trouble. Within the cloud of smoke and sparks and crackling humming energy, there is probably still an Ion. The lighting is still flaring, at least for a moment longer before the storm surge whooshes out. Ion reappears on the fire escape, now. Kind of singey around his edges, manic grin still in place. Kind of jittery. "Ey, hermanas, vamanos."

Though the bullet comes nowhere near Isra, she still looses a fierce growl in the wake of the gunshot's loud crack. Seeing Natalie has the other cop well in hand, she goes after the one she has knocked down, bounding after him with claws extended. Ion's appearance on the fire escape probably saves the man's life, as Isra is satisfied to merely rip the gun from his hand and toss him aside before leaping into the air again. She circles up until she reaches Ion's altitude, looking down at Natalie's fight, ready to drop in on it if her sister looks like she's having the least trouble.

The cop that Natalie attacks had been turning toward Isra, and is in no way prepared to cope with a second opponent. The leg sweep catches him in the ankle, and he stumbles back against a railing on the stairs. Her kick connects solidly with his hand, and the gun drops from his loosened grip. He immediately reaches for the baton on his belt while hastily retreating from her.

The other cop, dazed from his fall, screams as Isra descends on him, more intent on throwing up his arms against those wicked talons than actually fighting back now. She disarms him easily, and when she throws him he offers virtually no resistance save for his not inconsiderable bulk.

Natalie is pursuing -- just as hastily, a rapid spin-kick towards the man's hand as he reaches for his weapon, foot following through in a deep thrust toward the cop's hip. "Guess that's my call." Her pursuit just as readily turns into a retreat; she pushes straight /off/ the police officer on her last kick, other foot moving to land on the rail of the stairs. Push off there to jump up, catch the fire escape's ladder, swing herself up.

"{Like a fucking poem.}" Ion is practically cheering this arrival. "You fucking see that?" This is down to the cops, bright and excited. Though just as soon after he's holding his hands out to his sisters.

Natalie's opponent emits a muffled 'oof' as her foot connects with his hip. His hand never gets anywhere near his baton, either, and when she kicks off of him he tumbles backward over the railing and rolls down the stairs to fetch up against his already unmoving partner.

'I see it I see it!' Egg is alternating between this enthusiastic exclamation and fluttering their hands in silent applause. 'Fight fight fight fight fight!'

Isra aligns on the fire escape beside Ion and clasps his hand firmly. "Very good, then. Shall we?"

Natalie's shift of feet, small dip of knees would make a fine curtsy, were she wearing a skirt. In boots and jeans, it will have to be left to the imagination. She takes Ion's hand, drawing in a breath.

There's a crackling all along the fire escape. A blink, a hard jolt through all the others. The three figures vanish off the landing. There's another blip -- another blip -- the bikes down the street vanish, too, leaving the wrecked police car, the downed cops, the smoke still pouring out of the upper level of the building, behind for the oncoming sirens still to find.