From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Ash, Flicker, Hive, Ion, Scramble, Shane


<< I've broken out of like three these places already. >> (Prometheus raid, team #2. Concurrent with cellblock one's raid.) cw: violence


<PA> Hofstadter Research Facility - Cambria County

This was a U.S. Army base and, as far as the residents of the surrounding countryside are concerned, it still is. Though its purpose has always been highly classified, it showed little obvious activity even in its heyday, and even less since its decommissioning -- until it was repurposed as a research facility for the Prometheus Project. The central building currently housing the labs and detention cells is a bunker hardened against nuclear attack, three of its four levels underground. A garage near this bunker and a recently updated barracks are the only other buildings currently in use on the base. There are no guard towers, though the two main gate checkpoints that control access to the restricted area surrounding it are always manned, and an extensive network of motion sensors and security cameras watch the perimeter as well as the facility itself.

The bunker has two large entrances, one at each end of the long structure: the front entrance most personnel use on a daily basis for entering and exiting, and a loading dock in the back, nearer to the garage. There are also four smaller emergency exits, two on each of the long, curving sides of the building. The front and back entrances have security checkpoints just inside which are guarded around the clock, while the emergency exits rely on good locks, thick doors, and extensive electronic security. The main entrance leads into a warren of offices, break rooms, and conference areas with its own bank of personnel elevators. The loading dock accesses a block of storerooms, the kitchen, the machine spaces, as well as a heavy duty cargo elevator. Each emergency exit leads directly into emergency evacuation stairways spiraling down into the depths of the facility, each door locked from without and alarmed.

The first basement level is taken up by labs, the infirmary, and storeroom for more technical equipment. Many of the labs here are psi-shielded, equipped with power suppression tech, or both. Even without the state-of-the-art medical and scientific equipment, this single storey of the facility is easily worth multiple billions of dollars. The second and third basement levels are taken up by nearly identical cellblocks, each with two guard stations -- one at either end, where they are accessible by the the personnel and cargo elevators -- and twenty detention rooms (although not all are occupied) wired with power suppression grids. Beyond meter-thick reinforced walls, emergency exit hallways circle the detention complexes, connecting to the evacuation stairways.

The detainees in the cages have, at least, some forewarning of the chaos that is about to occur. Hive's soft chorus of mindvoice has radioed ahead, given the labrats notice -- that a team of mutants is incoming, that they intend to break into the labs, get everyone out; that they've done this many times before in other labs across the country, that it's going to get chaotic, that they have a teleporter who can get them away from the worst of the pandemonium rapidly.

The team's approach, through this, has been remarkably quiet. Uneventful, for the beginning, thanks to their tech support handling the security systems and Ion zapping in to drop one team off at an evacuation stairwell door on the first of the cellblocks. Nearly the same moment they've landed he's disappearing again with his team -- off through the walls to the lower of the cellblocks, taking a detour through the walls along the way to fry both the suppression grids before he and his team materialize in the lower hallway.

And then -- an immensely thick reinforced wall. Which Ion is taking a considerable step back from. "Ash, you're up."

Ash was still stretching out the electric buzz that set his neck hairs on end and hummed in his ears. He made an exaggerated yawn to clear the last of it, then steps forward. He places his hands on the wall. His fingers run against the surface for a moment or two, then he begins to palpitate the concrete. The wall moves under his hand responsively, giving way like a trampoline surface. When he finds the right point, his hands pull back and then plunge in, fingers cutting into it like bread dough. He grunts for a moment, glances around for some free space... and with a loud series of CRACKS, yanks a two foot ribbon around the door frame. The structure crumbles into a controlled fashion into a pile of bricks to one side and the heavy reinforced door falls flat down into the detention hallway.

Beyond the destroyed emergency exit, a largely featureless hallways stretches far away to the right and only a little ways to the left before turning a corner toward the cellblock entrance and the freight elevator. There are three doors in view to the right -- one, set into the outer wall, is the other emergency stair access on this side of the facility, and the others are presumably storage closets of various sorts. The inner wall in front of them is smooth concrete, painted with CELLBLOCK 2 in meter-high letters. The outer wall behind them is covered with access panels and dire warnings to the effect that only qualified technicians may operate the power suppression relay. Meanwhile, someone somewhere in the facility has probably noticed the multiple holes in their reinforced walls -- or possibly that a non-qualified technician has operated the power suppression relay -- because klaxons start blaring from the speaker system, and red emergency lights come on all along the hallway ceiling.

To those with the senses to perceive it, the interior of cellblock 2 (like its twin above) is built around a long, straight hallway that runs from the guard station at one entrance to the one at the other. The stations themselves are heavily reinforced, with thick steel walls and bulletproof glass and gun slits that allow the guards inside (two each, at this moment, although with the alarm more are likely to turn up) to cover the ten-meter-long corridors leading from the elevator banks and the connecting emergency exit hallways. The stations are just as heavily armored on the side facing the interior of the cellblock, even though the cells themselves are extremely well reinforced and have physical locks alongside electronic ones. There are twenty cells in each block, lining the central hallway, ten on a side. At present, cellblock 2 contains twelve detainees (which is notably one fewer than the team had been led to expect).

Hive can put together that the missing detainees are upstairs in one of the labs at the moment, for though several of them are psi shielded and inaccessible to him, he can reach the minds of two researchers in a monitoring station, plus the guards stationed outside of it, all of whom are currently in a panic as to what exactly they are going to do with subjects 1 and 35 with the facility in lockdown mode.

Scramble has bound her hair up in a tight black wrap today, and is carrying a first aid kit at her left hip and a gun at her right. She steps back from the wall to let Ash work, her posture relaxed and easy, a small smile quirking her lips briefly when the door and wall come down before them. She looks back to Ion and rolls her shoulders in a slow, languid stretch.

Shane is more tense than Scramble. Muscles taut, posture wired. He's keeping an eye on Ion. Keeping an eye on the tiny dragonfly-drone that hums near his shoulder. He creeps toward the corner but doesn't quite round it, peering down the final stretch toward the guard station.

The fact of the missing detainees -- and their presumptive whereabouts -- is relayed to Jax and Ion in a quiet mental recompartmentalization. Hive knows this. Now they know it, too.

That -- is a problem for future Ion, though. Current Ion is taking a deep breath. "Once I get them doors open, Ash, you cover the team down this hall, yeah? Get them into that cell block safe. Flicker already on the move up there -- he'll be in and out down here too." He's disappearing a moment later. Reappearing in a pop, zap, a brief but intense stormburst of electricity that surges to crackle around the guards and the station both. Rippling through the circuitry. Killing the electronic doors, which are free now, to open.

The doors slide open with Ion's tumultuous passage, and one guard goes down convulsing, only managing to squirt off a single three-shot-burst from his MP5 through the gun slit down the corridor, though with no semblance of aim. The second guard also jerks in the grip of electricity, but recovers from it with only a brief delay, whipping his submachine up to fire at the electrokinetic.

Scramble peers around the corner, ducking back when the guard fires, her mind already stretching out well beyond her accustomed limit to grope the guards. One having fallen unconscious, she digs into the the second one even as he's bringing his gun to bear, twisting in hard and plunging him down to depths of paralyzing despair.

The barrel of the tough guard's weapon droops as Scramble's power digs into his mind. But then a flood of terror seeps into him (and Ion, if he is still there) and jars him out of his depression-induced inaction. He screams and hefts his weapon again, firing wildly at the interior of the station and out through the open door.

Ion is not there. Or at least, wasn't there, in the moment after his first lightning-storm discharge, vanishing immediately after into the walls of the guard station. Reappearing just behind the tough guard to clamp a hand down on him -- only to vanish once more. When he turns up again (only a short second later) it's back by Scramble and the others again, wide eyed but unharmed and alone.

Behind the fried guard station, a blur is dropping in from the ceiling. Vanishing into a cell. Presumably, soon to leave with a detainee, though after Flicker vanishes behind the door it's for Hive alone to see.

The occupant of cell 23 has readied herself at Hive's earlier prompting, and though she looks and feels very frightened indeed does not hesitate to take Flicker's hand, her eyes squeezing shut for the journey.

Ash is dragging the mess he made pulling he door open behind him. He builds a small (mobile!) shelter for himself and others to duck behind should the need to. It's about four feet tall and three feet wide. It's not all that big, but he does need something to fight with, hurling chunks of that heavy former wall at the guard booth. He isn't quite able to close the weapon ports on his own..

"Want to make a run, pup? Tell me how fast and where and I'll send you down with your own protection." As he speaks, Ash puts together a narrower barrier for Shane.

"Thanks. I can't imagine that other guard's out for long. Just keep up with me." Shane is ducking behind Ash's newly constructed wall. Crouching low and moving quickly, he lopes down the hallway behind the safety of the moving barrier toward the guard station, to grab the gun of the first guard that Ion had dazed. A squirt of webglue from one of the sleek pink cuffs on his wrist sticks the gun fast to the ceiling.

The dazed guard has just begun to get his bearings, only to have his weapon snatched from him. Still a bit sluggish, he rights himself and pulls a small pistol from a thigh holster to level at Shane. Meanwhile, the guards at the far end of the hallway are taking a few experimental single shots at Ash's barrier. Their own technology is far too resilient, however, and the bullets do not penetrate.

"Ash, can you manage another wall? Down near the far guard booth. Gotta get Scramble closer, yeah?" Ion is trusting Ash to handle this. He's vanishing again. To appear in the far booth once more -- for a second -- in another brief scatter-surge of lightning that sizzles across the equipment and the guards both in the moment before he vanishes.

One of the guards in the second guard station is not only apparently unaffected by the lightning, but actually tries to electrocute Ion right back. He can't save either his partner or their equipment, however, and the doors fall open.

Even without moving ahead, Scramble is reaching for the mind in cell 21 while remaining safe behind Ash's wall. The touch of her power twists just so, careful and precise, easing the detainee's horror and trauma. And then she turns her focus -- almost casually -- on the guard who Shane just disarmed, even as he's reaching for his pistol. Now her twist is much more vicious, rendering her victim as catatonic as the person she just helped a moment ago.

Ion hisses at the electric shock -- snapping back into a sudden very physical presence just as he'd started to dematerialize again. "{For real?}" Teeth clenched, he's winding back to just take a hard slug at the man's jaw.

The other electrokinetic is, unfortunately for Ion, a competent close-quarters combatant, and deflects the punch with one raised arm (if the electricity that accompanies the blow grounds at all, it doesn't seem to affect him). But this does, at least, prevent him from bringing his weapon to bear. "This some cultural appropriation right here," he barks, lightning arcing out from his hand toward Ion again.

In Hive's perception, subject 21 has suddenly blossomed from a barely conscious blip to a mostly-conscious and active mind -- confused and frightened, but probably able to cope with a bit of chaos.

Chaos that's just about to descend on 21, in the form of a visit from Flicker. A quick introduction regardless of how much of it gets through, a quick whisk off to the next cell to do the same for their neighbor across the hall.

Shane leaves the catatonic guard where he is, dropping to all fours to bolt rapidly down the hall towards Ion. His teeth are bared -- mostly only in concentration, though, as he puts on speed. He doesn't actually bite anyone when he nears. Only whips out a hand, a sticky strand of webglue shot toward the guard's lightning-shooting hand that he flings back against the nearest wall.

The electrokinetic guard grunts with surprise and frustration when his hand gets glued to the wall, and with his other hand fires the gun at the sharkpup. His aim is sloppy to begin with, though, and the weapon is honestly a bit too heavy for one-handed use, the recoil kicks the second and third rounds wildly out of true.

Noticeable first to Hive and Matt only a split second before they actually appear, a teleporter in Company X gear arrives with another guard in tow in the access hallway behind Scramble and Ash, weapons raised and ready.

Whatever Ion was doing, he finds his power abruptly grows a mind of its own, unceremoniously discorporating him and sending him through cellblock 2's electrical system to dump him with no explanation in the hallway behind the guards who had just teleported in.

Subject 27 has evidently grown tired of waiting around, because they've just teleported themselves out into the hallway. The sound of gunfire out there, however, is much louder than it had been inside the cell. They yelp in surprise and vanish again into cell 25 -- only for a moment! Back out into the hallway they come, holding subject 25's hand (they're both crouched down this time, at least), wide-eyed and looking for a way out.

Shane snarls when one of the bullets tears through his jacket sleeve, a spatter of blood accompanying it. His claws have lengthened -- he takes a step back rather than slash at the guard, though. Growling low, and instead shooting out another sticky strand of glue towards the man's gun-hand, jerking it around to slam the guard against the wall, SPLAT him face-first against it with wrist cemented none too comfortably behind him and the other still glued over his head.

<< Hey. You good to move if we show you a path out? This hallway is dangerous but I can guide you safely if you let me know how you move. We have a team waiting outside to get everyone away from here. >> Hive greets the pair of mutants who have just liberated themselves with a touch of relief, really. A light mental touch fluttering up against their minds that lends them his sense of spatial awareness.

Ion's breath catches when he's jerked back and away, but though wide-eyed at his sudden surprise teleporting he recovers quickly enough. He flings a hand outward, an arc of electricity jumping from his arm to course into the teleporting guard and through him to the guard that was along for the ride.

Blip -- blip. Through the chaos Flicker is as hard to track as ever. Jumping into 27's cell -- wait, nope. Wrong! Fine. Redirecting --

<< 'Sup, braindude? >> is Subject 27's (forced!) casual reply to Hive. << I've broken out of like three these places already. >> So saying, they're already using Hive's mental map to blip themselves and 25 up to cellblock one's emergency exit hallway, from there out into the night and toward Joshua and the waiting team. They're still chattering at Hive (out of nervousness) as they go. << You know they got some traitor guard who can do this shit, too? And some dude who fills your brain with like. Noise. S'fucking awful. >>

The two guards surprised by Ion cry out, convulsing. One of them still squeezes out a sideways-tracking three-round burst -- as much an accident of muscles spasms as anything else -- at Ash and Scramble.

To Hive's senses, the first two teams of guards from the previous shift are finally coming down the emergency stairways, one to each cellblock (two more teams are not far behind). Matt can feel them coming, too, though only by the single mutant on each team. The team headed to cellblock two is clearly audible as they come trooping down the hall toward Ion, Scramble, and Ash. An odd, screeching psionic noise precedes them, making it a bit hard to concentrate, and growing louder all the time.

Scramble whips around and sinks her power into one of the two guards who teleported in, wrenching hard before he's even stopped jerking from Ion's electrocution. Then does the same to the other, leaving them both dissociating too badly to function, at least for a while.

Blink. Blink. A little more sluggishly, a little more erratically, but Flicker is back. Blipping past the scatter of spasm-bullet-shots, the static charge in the air. Pausing only a moment, teeth on edge, before grabbing his next two rescuees.

"Got a whole new team incoming," Ion has a hand pressed to the wall as he tells Scramble and Shane this. The lights around them are fluttering; his skin is crackling juuust a little. << Matt, can you reach that -- that -- that -- >> In Ion's mind there is just a screech.

The screeching abruptly shuts off, though this doesn't stop the guard contingent that was arriving on its heels...

The four guards slam around the corner and take up firing positions, two kneeling and two shooting over their shoulders. Through Hive, Ion knows that yet another team is headed down from the other side of the facility, through the far guard station that they had neutralized earlier (one guard stickily webbed to the wall).

In the barracks, the shift that had been sleeping is mustering, though slower to get to readiness than their waking fellows.

Scramble has by now thrown herself onto the other side of Ash's barrier. She's also drawn her pistol and flipped the safety off, though she keeps the weapon trained steadily at the ceiling. She reaches out to touch subject 30's mind, easing them into calm and giving them strength. This takes more out of her than any of the others had yet, and she grits her teeth hard against the wave of fierce depersonalization that washes over her. Reaches for one of the approaching guards, now -- one of the ones in the rear -- shoving a cold spike of paranoia deep into their mind.

Shane has sped down the hallway to crouch behind the barrier with Scramble, as well. At least briefly. He rolls back out quick -- two quick if hastily aimed shots of webglue flung toward the nearest pair of shooting guards' before he ducks for cover again, his jacket torn once more but no more blood in evidence.

The hallway when Flicker returns seems -- a bit more full of whizzing projectiles than a moment before. Not that this stops him. It does register, though, across the mental network as a sharp and sudden flare of pain. His path is growing a little easier to track from the tiny flecks of blood that spatter the floor in odd and macabre breadcrumb-trail between the cells. Grabbing the healer Scramble just calmed. Darting down the hall to 24 before vanishing again.

Ion vanishes -- reappears behind the guards that have just come around the corner. He reaches for the two that are standing -- briefly disappearing with them but in nearly the same instant (a very painful brief instant of minor electrocution) returning to reappear just a short distance from where he'd been. A mild taser-charge of jolt running through his hands, still. "Shit, Scramble, you need these?" He's making small biting motions. Towards a guard's HEAD.

"Fuck yeah." There's a breath of hysterical laughter beneath Scramble's words, the jangling edge of her fraying sanity raw and obvious to Hive's senses. Even before she's finished speaking her mind is tearing into first one guard, then then other. "{See, I knew you'd make a great leader.}"

The four guards arriving via the far guard station stop briefly to try to cut their electrokinetic comrade loose from the webs, but give up shortly and advance up the cellblock hallway, firing down at Scramble and anyone else they can see who isn't one of their own.

Scramble, newly refreshed by brain chomping, reaches out to spread the sanity to subject 38. And then promptly catches a bullet in the chest, toppling over with an incoherent cry of surprise and agony. There's no blood -- the shot had found body armor, fortunately -- but she doesn't look likely to get herself up anytime soon.

Between cells 33 and 34 the trail of blood is thicker than it used to be. The jolts of pain along Hive's mental network are kind of -- more like a constant screech, now.

Ion vanishes with the two guards after Scramble has FEASTED. Returns on the far side of the hallway, a little wide-eyed as the guards fire down it. << Hive, can you warn #38? Brace them? I ain't as smooth ride as Flicker. I gotta get them out of here. Don't let that boy back down here. >> He's not really waiting on an answer. Just zipping out to pick up his team along the way and disappear. Back a moment later -- out of sight in cell 38 -- to grab the last of the detainees on the block and flit away once more in a sharp static crackle.