Logs:Mutant Enemy Number One

From X-Men: rEvolution
Mutant Enemy Number One
Dramatis Personae

Ash, Dusk, Ion, Isra

2020-06-07


"Let's go, ugly-dog."

Location

<BOM> Forest Clearing - Ascension Island


This roughly oval glade was initially formed by the felling of a venerable tree in a windstorm, but has subsequently been manually kept clear for the use of the Brotherhood. The old tree's trunk has been sectioned off into a number of split log benches lining the edge of the clearing, where mosses and wildflowers grow soft underfoot in spring and summer and leaves crinkle crisp and sear in fall and winter. The center of the clearing, where the sky is visible through the low canopy of coastal scrub oaks, is more oft than no bare earth, for ease of building fires for night-time get-togethers. Unlike most other such spaces, this one is not perennially littered with bottles, cans, and cigarette butts, but is meticulously groomed to look both natural and pleasant.

Somewhere on the island, maybe, it's peaceful. Birds twittering in the trees. The tide rolling up onto the rocky shore. A rustle of wind through the canopy.

Somewhere.

There's a wet tearing of flesh, a harsh scraping of talons on metal. Not for the first time, a spidery robot is lying in pieces, strewn and occasionally half-buried where the earth has been churned-up and mixed with blood into a coppery-wet mud.

Despite the tattering of one huge wing, the fresh long gash torn ragged and open across his arm, Dusk looks well pleased with his handiwork. No mind that the robot is already twitching, wriggling, pieces of itself tugging back out of the earth to start scrabbling back together.

"Now we just see if this takes, yeah?" as he retreats to one side of the clearing, settling back onto a log, he's tapping at his phone. A small beetle-like robot nearby shifts its hovering, flitting over near Ash instead. The gleaming bright colorful metallic swirl that has painted itself on its face is darting along with the bot, spreading itself in vivid holographic makeup onto Ash's skin instead. Tag.

"OH." Ash is fidgeting a little on the side lines, his face still a little pale from watching Dusk attack the other machine. "Oh... Oh, right. My turn. Um. Sure." He steps closer to the repairing mess of circuitry and limbs, eyeing it seriously as his hands reach out to gently stroke the hefty discus strapped to his thigh. "How much of it has to be ... back together before it can move?"

The stone discus slips itself out of its cradle and continues to rest against the palm of his open right hand. He fidgets as he shifts back onto his left leg, left hand grasping a second disc in his rough fingers.

"{Guess we're going to find out.}" Ion is draped over one of the log benches already, sprawled on his back with one knee crooked and a beer in hand. "{These assholes are pretty fucking mobile, though. I've seen 'em fucking shit up with three legs, two legs, I wouldn't be surprised if that damn head just butts you outta spite.}" He's rolled slightly more onto his side, propping himself up on an elbow as the bot starts pulling itself more together. "{That makeup it's a good look on you, boy, like. Futuristic. Techno mud slinger.}"

Isra clearly has not tusseled with the Sentinel just yet. She has been perched nearly motionless on one of the log benches, though she stalks over to Dusk now that he's exited the fray--less solicitous than perfunctory, her expression neutral all the while. She wears a slinky black sundress over skin the light, young green of leaf buds not yet unfurled, with subtle variations in shade and drifts of fine golden spots that highlight rather than diminish the inhuman angles of her face and body. The horns that spiral back from her temples and the heavy talons that tip all thirty of her digits are bright, luxuriant gold, and the vast leathery membranes of her wings are the rich, velvety purple of irises in full bloom, complete with veining and variegation that evoke the real flowers, right down to flashes of startling yellow near the joints of her phalanges.

"I shouldn't be surprised by much of anything," she adds calmly, her ears pricking forward with interest as Ash wades in, discus at the ready. "Our sister is brilliant and more competent even than she would I think at this moment entirely like--at least with respect to these machines."

Dusk is flicking a wing sharply, shaking droplets of blood free of the hanging skin before he folds it back behind himself, evidently unbothered. "{It will not hesitate to let you know, no doubt.}" He leans forward, forehead resting up against one of Isra's long legs. "She is -- unfortunately good at what she does. But if she's right, that means they can be taught. Just don't smash its head in too much, this thing needs to remember."

"{Futuristic, Eh?}" Ash snorts softly, a hint of a smile pulling at his lips, his eyes squinting when the light falls across them. "{Seems like I need a soundtrack if I'm fully embracing the mood. You want to hum a few bars?}" He continues to skirt around the rapidly assembling enemy, waiting. "The worst part is just waiting and not smashing. I wanna smash this thing so fast..."

Ash doesn't need to wait all that long, the whirling and clicking of connections melding and shifting turns more decisive when a probe shifts out and points in his direction, firing off a taser round immediately after. The strength of the weapon crackles out of the side of the weapon's foundation, sending a nasty, sharp jolt into the earthbender that nearly causes him to black out.

He hurls the first discus at the point where the pain came from, but can only muster his own physical strength, his mutation short circuited at the moment.

"Shit, {should have told me I would be providing the entertainment, I would have brought my guitar out. Here I thought smashing the metal pigs would be entertainment enough.}" Even so, Ion sits up, taking another large gulp of his beer as he does. His singing voice is a strong one, rich and deep enough to fill the small clearing with a lively Quechua tune -- that does not hitch when the robot zaps Ash, even if he winces in some sympathy. Leans forward with hands planted on his knees and his gaze sharper, keen.

"{You are fighting a robot that can learn,}" Isra's Spanish is significantly less fluent than her brothers', her accent largely American with a good dose of Ion's Argentine color, "{that is very futuristic already, I think.}" She wraps one massive wing, the membranes soft and cool, very gently around Dusk, one taloned hand playing in his hair, though her eyes fix unblinkingly on the fight. She does not wince when the Sentinel electrocutes Ash, but a very, very low growl rises from her chest, and her tail swishes fast behind her. "Do not let it get too close," she warns, calmly.

"{Yeah,}" Dusk's torn arm flexes slowly, "{that fucker has some bite to it.}" His teeth snap together when the probe crackles out, his own growl harsh and low in his chest. "More than one kind of bite. Shit. {If I had my way I'd keep the quirky new makeup trends and lose the death robots. But then, if I had my way I'd change a lot about this future.}" His brows crease as he watches the robot, his fingers clenching as he watches Ash. "Careful," he cautions, "they get those fucking -- serum -- darts out, you'll be out of commission even longer."

It takes Ash a few moments be able to reply, his jaw still clamped shut from the shock. His whole body is a bit haywire, but his mind sharpens first. Invisible fingers grasp at the discus now on the ground and more definitively put a damper on the bot's ability to shock him again. The both of them struggle to get to their feet around the same time -- Ash choosing to stay low, digging his fingers into the ground and pulling the earth out from underneath the the metal legs.

Isra's tail slows as Ash retains the initiative. "Would it disrupt this...programming, if we helped?" She cocks her head to better include Dusk in her field of vision without taking her eyes off of the fight. "I know we are trying to convince it we are the same, singular supermutant, but what if it thought that supermutant sometimes had friends?"

"Honestly," Dusk answers, slow, "I could not tell you. The way robots learn is not -- like the way we do. It might be totally fine or all the Sentinels might decide that anyone anywhere in the vicinity of our uber-freak is a threat who needs to die. Which --" His brows furrow, his wings twitching. "Probably not the result we're looking for. I think -- given the circumstances, some people might be okay with the collateral if this thing goes wild, but --" The hitch of his shoulder is small. His eyes are still fixed on Ash. "I'd feel better keeping the scope tight for what we're trying to teach it."

Earthen hands reach out of the ground and grab the bot's limbs and spread them wide, pulling the whole metal body closer to the ground, before swallowing it into a shallow grave.

Ash pulls himself to his feet and pummels the 'head' a few more times with the discus before letting his shoulders slump as he walks away. One hand rubs at his jaw as the other tucks his weapons back into their cradles on his thighs. "I need to tag out. Wasn't as ... prepared as I thought for the first blow.

Isra gently disentangles her from Dusk and unfolds herself, stretching her wings wide. "I am ready." She waits for the beetle drone to paint her in Mutant Enemy #1 colors, then takes off, the downdraft from the powerful snap of her wings rustling the undergrowth all around. She rises to the level of the scrubby canopy before tucking her wings and dropping precipitously down on the Sentinel as it digs its way out of the shallow grave that could not hold it.

The Sentinel crumples back into the loose soil, two of its limbs uncoupling from its body from the sudden force of impact against the edge of the hole in the ground. Another limb, though, already rotated upward, twists around to grasp at one of her legs with a sharp-clawed pincer. Isra snarls as the metal slices into her skin, and reaches down to rip bodily rip the offending limb from the robot.

Ion bounces up from where he's been sitting as Ash walks away from the robot. Slaps a hand against the other man's back, offers up his beer as he steers Ash back to the log. "{No shame in that these things are monsters.}" He sounds oddly delighted with this. "{Little sister done too good a job, yeah? Almost a shame to tear 'em down.}" Almost. For all this there's still an eager glint in his eyes as he watches Isra. "{You think maybe she'd make me one? Not the murder kind. Like a --}" He snaps his fingers together. "{Guard dog. Wait, that's still murder isn't it?}"

"{Weird how different the murder feels when it's on your behalf. Friendly murder. Cuddly murder.}" Dusk's smile is wry. His wings twitch behind him, nostrils flaring as the pincer slashes at Isra's leg.

Ash isn't quite ready for the solid slap against his back, but he recovers well by aiming his weight more in Ion's direction and accepting the beer and tipping it upward immediately. He guzzles the alcohol, looking for relief, but his mood lifts more in proximity to his zap bro. "{Lil'sis'll make you anything you want, murder or otherwise. Maybe she'll find away for you to power it rather than crashing it down.}" Oh, that log looks perfect to sit on.

Isra snarls--the sound surging out of her, primal and reflexive -- as she brings the severed Sentinel limb down on the rest of it like a club. The first blow is arbitrary, landing hard but more or less harmlessly on the Sentinel's tough rounded dome. The next is aimed at the next nearest limb still attached, then again, harder. That limb does not come off entirely, but does twitch wildly, as if not quite communicating correctly.

The Sentinel as a whole rotates toward her, opening a panel on its dome. If Isra was expecting the delay of a gun barrel folding out, the near instant deployment of taser barbs catches her off-guard, sinking the electrified leads into her torso. The shock draws a roar from her, and one swipe of her left wing rips the wires from her, leaving two bloody wounds and one infuriated gargoyle. Despite still-spasming muscles, she lifts the entire robot--now it's folding out a gun barrel--and hurls it bodily into the trunk of a nearby tree.

"{Do you want to show it how to play that game, Ion?}" she asks, racing one wing against the ground to keep herself up as she stumbles back.The growl beneath her voice isn't fading.

Ion squeezes at Ash's shoulder as he sits. Grins bright and wide -- his hands clap together, and he makes a small click of his tongue against his teeth, gesturing to the beetle. "{Yo bug light me up.}" He's back on his feet near as soon as he's sat down, head rolling from one side to the other. "Let's go, ugly-dog." One of his hands stretches out towards the partially dismembered robot. The crackle of energy that arcs from the bot to his arm is not all that ostentatious, though it does sharpen the air, setting hairs on end. It sharpens his smile, too, teeth bared further, clenched harder.

There are no real theatrics. The legs stop twitching. The lights on its display shut off. A moment later, the beetle drone falls out of the sky as well. Ion rubs his thumb lightly across his fingertips. "{Should I have keep it going longer? I play to win.}"