Logs:Of Raids and Realizations (Or, The Children’s Crusade)

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Of Raids and Realizations (Or, The Children’s Crusade)

cn: child endangerment, implied death of a child, uncanny mutant gaslighting,

Dramatis Personae

Sera, Spencer, Gaétan, Sriyani, Nanami, Echo, Remi, Avi, Lael, Naomi, Asva, Beau, Kelawini, Kavalam, Brendan, Nahida, Elie, Nevaeh, Scott, Shane, Roscoe, Harm

may third and fourth, 2023

"... how many of you were there."


xavier’s school for gifted youngsters / lassiter prometheus facility

wednesday, may third. 8:41 pm. xavier's school.

Wave after wave of fear ripple through the constant warmth of Sera's affection, and her hunched posture makes her look even smaller than she is, but she gamely keeps her expression calm, at least. "At any rate, we've no idea at all where he's gone. I pray this is just some kind of prank, and if you're in on it I won't tell, I promise." She swallows, her vulnerability abruptly stark. "Or even if he's run away, if he's done with us, like my Gae back home. {That's his choice, but I -- I just need to know he's safe. You understand, don't you?}"

"{Oh yeah, definitely!}" Spence had been pretty worried himself, but as Sera's distress grows he steels himself, straightening to his full height, which is all the more impressive beside her. "He didn't say anything about a prank or running away, which doesn't mean he didn't, but. I dunno, it just doesn't seem like him, going about it like that." He's trying, in his earnest loyalty, to not sound too critical, but Sera can feel his censure. "Look, how about I just go ask him? If he wants to come back I'll bring him, if not that's his choice but I mean it's not cool making his family worry like that. I'll be right back!" There was a question in there, theoretically, and he'd meant it in the moment, but he doesn't give Sera time to answer it before he disappears --


wednesday, may third. 8:42 pm. elie's office

-- and reappears beside Gaétan. "Hey!" His relief -- presumably, at seeing his friend unharmed -- is almost palpable even without relevant powers. "Dude, where've you been?" He ducks his head slightly, blushing as his eyes track aside to Elie. "Sorry, ma'am -- I didn't mean to interrupt." What is he interrupting? Evidently he isn't too concerned about that. "Just, nobody could get hold of him --" To Gaétan again, hopeful but uncertain, "Did your phone die or something? I mean, mine did, or I'd show you the video that killed it, but that's a whole other story we were worried about you!"

"I saw the video. I don't know what the big deal is, it's not like they notice when I'm there." Gaétan seems unbothered -- and here, somehow, in the warm confines of this office, Gae clearly Just Fine, things suddenly don't seem so worrying at all. Gaétan is gesturing invitingly, like this is all very normal -- and isn't it, food on the table and a proper spread of tea, extremely Regular Tessier Times, probably the phlebotomy kit beside Gae's teacup is all perfectly in order as well. "-- did you want to stay, we were just about to eat. You've met my mom, right?"


wednesday may third, 10:30 through 11:30 pm, xavier's school

The door is opening with a bit of a bang this time, interrupting the rooftop's quiet peace. There's no cape, no mask, currently not even shoes, just jeans paired with a flannel pajama shirt. "-- How fast can you get your people together?" There's no preamble, Sriyani's eyes just wide and tone intense. "Your friends are in trouble we need to get them. Spence and, um, the human one?" There's a distinct crease in their brow, a tinge of fear in their face that has never been there on the previous meetings -- it does not, though, stop the resolute set of their chin, the determination in their voice. "We're getting ready I'll be back soon -- right here? If you come... you come I understand if you can't but we're going." Their hand lingers on the doorway for a moment before they add: "It's the labs."

Nanami has been sitting, legs dangling over the edge of the roof, head tipped back to look up at the stars, a can of Pepsi in one hand. She twists around at the sound of Sriyani's voice, already halfway to her feet by the time she recognizes the teleporter. "Oh I get news out real wikiwiki --" She's perked up at how fast, clearly eager and ready for more adventure -- but then that's fading, a slow frown, a slow doubt starting to creep into her expression. ".. Gae?" The frown has taken deeper root by now, eyes fixing steadily on Sriyani's face in the slice of light cutting out from the attic. She doesn't speak until the door has banged closed again -- the noise coming in tandem with her soda can dropping from her hand to clatter to the roof, roll to the edge, fall to the ground below. For a long moment she is frozen in place -- maybe staring at the closed door, maybe not really seeing at all. The moment shatters all at once, and then she's racing back inside.


Nanami's voice, breathless and urgent, fades in the kitchen as Echo steadies herself against the counter, panting herself. She inhales, forcefully shoves her glasses back into position. "You'll come, right? We gotta, I know, it's the labs --" Her fingertips go white on the stainless steel, gaze breaking from Remi's as her heels begin to bounce. She swallows, eyes fixating on every faded scratch and ding in the metal like she can see every violent clatter and slice that made them. "It's just -- my thing, it's, I don't know if I'm any good in a fight --"

Remi is already throwing his mixing bowl in the sink and turning off the oven. He moves to stand closer to Echo. "Of course we're going. Are you kidding?" he says, reaching up to put a hand on her shoulder with a stern, confident gaze. "Between the two of us, they literally won't know what hit them Echo. You can mimic anything perfectly, they'll have no idea what's happening before they get a bomb to the face."


Avi is rushing into the room -- this is no surprise, Avi Turned Up To Eleven is just a regular Wednesday evening. There's something drawn more taut than his usual excitement here, though, bleeding through not just in his tumblerush thoughts << I should drink I should drink how MUCH can I chug how much ice will I NEED ... probably this place won't be underwater, be convenient though >> << ... hmm I did not finish my math maybe when we get back >> << will we get back >> << we'll get back we great >> << OH dog needs WALK >> << no time >> << can Naomi just walk erryone out >> << Doors just, bam, we back >> << in time for walk ?? >> << ohsnap what you BRING for this? >> << snacks probably >> << sugarboy be on the first aid I bet >> << wish Pa was here >> << nah he'd whup me >> but, also, in the rapid urgency with which he is throwing off his lounge-before-bed clothes and ransacking his drawers in some stress << nah won't hold up -- running shit no -- hiking pants have to do, man, this embarrasing for an army brat shoulda ended up like them wannabe soldier kids -- >> as he yanks on sturdy cargo pants, hiking boots, a canvas jacket over an athletic tee. Considers, shoves a bugout knife into his pocket. Looks down at where Chonk has lumbered over to settle back down on his boot, looking up at him with big adoring pouchy eyes and tongue lolling out onto the floor. "... Lael I know it real last minute but you mind walking this oaf? Maybe feed him in the morning I don't know -- it's a big favor but it's kinda a emergency."

Lael is at his desk actively doing homework when his roommate enters, and doggedly continues doing so with a gradually deepening frown until he overhears Naomi's name in the rush of Avi's thoughts. He sits bolt upright, but does not actually put down his composition notebook just yet. "Hell no, I ain't dogsitting while you take my sister God knows where. This one of your 'M-Kids' shenanigans?" He doesn't actually wait for a reply, but closes his laptop firmly, pulls a large black plastic bin from under his bed, and flips it open to show Avi a veritable smorgasbord of knives, machetes, and not one but two bows. "Compound bow and that there buck knife's mine," he says matter-of-factly, assembling a sturdy outfit heavy in camo from his dresser. "Everything else is fair game."


"Sugar, we are not all gonna die," Naomi says firmly, packing yet another bottle of painkillers into the kit when Harm hands them to her. "We gonna be back well before class, I reckon, I can make ‘em put down their guns, them labs ain't had near enough time t' hurt them much so we ain't gonna need all o' -- got half a drugstore in here damn." That doesn't stop her from hefting it onto her back, reaching out a hand out for Harm's and squeezing gently. "This just gonna be another not-date adventure, they don't come for us 'less we can handle it. You're amazing, and I love --" The flush here is dark and immediate but Naomi only stutters a fraction, her fingers slotting between theirs as she keeps going, " -- I love you, and we gonna be--"

Harm's eyes are very wide -- have been wide since Nanami brought word of their missing schoolmates. Their hands are more or less steady, though, where they're tucking extra gauze rolls into the smaller first aid kit with the more dire supplies they want easily accessed. "I know, and -- and they won't be expecting us." They still sound frightened, but they're smiling now, trying not to squeeze Naomi's hand too hard. "I don't know if this one counts as a date, either, but we'd better figure that out if it's going to be become a thing." Something in their expression shifts, and their breath catches. For a moment it looks like they're going to interrupt, but then they surge forward and cup Naomi's cheek, thumb brushing over smooth scales as -- well, it's still interrupting -- their lips press together.


Asva hangs at the back, eyes flicking between the anxious huddle (gaggle?) of students and the door that’s about to lead them into Who-Knows-What. His mouth moves of its own accord at this point, the mix of excitement and nerves showing themselves in a twiddled thumb and a heel-toe rock, “-I guess I can’t get shot, so that’s reassuring if they use actual real guns, but I haven’t really used my Ghost in any kind of combat scenario before and I can’t lie I’m hyped to see how it plays out-” It’s only at this point that he realises Beau, the unfortunate recipient of his babbling, hasn’t spoken for a beat. “Hey, are you ready for this?” He’s genuine, concerned, perhaps projecting.

Beau is standing next to Asva, towering over the other students. Instead of his usually straight posture the teen is hunched, a backpack full of snacks and first aid supplies slung over his shoulder and a baseball bat held at the midpoint, the wood creaking as he fidgets with it, before giving way entirely and being crushed to splinters in his grip. This seems to bring him back to the moment and he blinks down at the other teen, “Oh yeah, I’m always ready.” he lies, “Least we have a way back this time.”


wednesday, may third. 11:37 pm. lassiter.

Things are already going great. A moment ago, on the quiet safety of the Xavier's rooftop and now -- is anyone still reassuring each other Prometheus won't know what hit them? The door Sriyani brought them through has disappeared, along with dark office-looking hallway they'd come out into -- along with the entire building it was in, actually, leaving the children momentarily bright and visible on the bare grounds, high fortified fences in the distance enclosing Nothing At All in the center. When the buildings reappear the children aren't inside -- where they were supposed to be, right? Where their friends are? Maybe they'll have to knock on the front door, try again! But now there are klaxon alarms blaring, blinding-bright floodlights trained on the squad of hopeful superheroes as from many corners, a number of guards start to answer the call of those alarms.

Faster than their human counterparts, though, a veritable swarm of gleaming Sentinels are glinting -- down from the roof. Across the grounds. Humming straight down out of the air. Closing in fast on the children and filling the air with such a very welcoming thrum.

There's been no time to get stock of whatever just happened -- not even time, really, for the drone of the oncoming Sentinels to catch up with ears, with vibrating nerves, but even before the oncoming swarm has had time to fully register it is flooding them with soundfeelwarning and without stopping to think about what the fuck about how about danger they've grabbed for each other – and the how is easy once they see the Sentinels properly, bright interconnected streams drawn up now into the uneven swell of their power, their complex alien telemetry lighting up the wave from within, but the Sentinels are still Sentinels and even as they are cascading out (and out and out) the horde of them is starting to learn, to adjust, to compensate for this intrusion -- oh, there's the danger -- and with a clumsy inability to weave through this intricate mesh the only thing they can do is push harder, waves piling higher with each device this uncontrolled frankenstein of a network has engulfed and when it breaks it breaks hard – floodlights and Sentinels and all the electronics far and wide around the two Māhoes crumpled in a heap together amidst the crash whump-smash of falling robots.

A short distance from the ongoing Robopocalypse, one of the Company X mercs has in disappointingly stereotypical Evil Mook fashion been lifting his hands towards the sisters with eyes glowing red -- and then stumbling forward with a yelp, knee buckling slightly in. Before his partner has time to ask What Just Happened there are robots falling from the sky, and neither of them pay any mind to the hefty chunk of rock that thunks to the ground behind them.


wednesday, may third. 11:42 pm. lassiter grounds.

Pairs of the Company X backup are arriving in their usual teams, one human-one-mutant in their typical sure we'll hire you freaks but we'll only trust you so far partner assignments, and maybe these highly-trained mostly-ex-military mercs with all their body armor and gear should be a little more reticent about Doing Violence To Barely-Equipped Clearly-Children but are they? These two seem to give it little thought, the first starting to heft a barrage of glittering-glass shards glinting sharp and no doubt deadly as they wink and point -- and then stop, frozen in space, frozen in time, his expression frozen in stony-cold impassivity before it even has time to look startled.

His partner beside him, similarly dispassionate in this current assignment, has only just shouldered his assault rifle when the shards go still. His puzzled look is a very brief one -- but the quick blink-frown delay is all it takes for a sweep of ice creeping in from behind him to climb up those heavily booted legs, up those tac pants, solidly encase his arm and rifle in ice. Beside him ice is creeping up, slow at first and then much faster, where it climbs to encase the glass shards as well. The ice stops well short of the gunner's head, at least, the man's expression, unlike his partner's, contorting now.Irritated, more than anything, as he sputters: "You -- fucking -- kids!

Brendan and Avi aren't even dignifying him with a victory look, already jogging away as they tap a fist bump and blow it up.


wednesday, may third. 11:46 pm. lassiter grounds.

The robots may all be down but the mercs are not, yet, several pairs of Company X guards stationed at their posts as the alarms blare. Here a pair, heavy body armor and heavy weaponry, have snapped to high alert like they were eager for some excitement to break up the boredom of a night shift. They look just a little disappointed on recognition that these are a bunch of teenagers (and not, maybe, The Terrorists that they have no doubt all been well briefed on) but does that stop them from quickly drawing arms, it absolutely does not, one readying his M4 as the other starts to unfurl a long and wriggling mass of -- are those tentacles? No, not really, they're cloth, it seems, writhing and snakelike as they reach out evidently intent on grabbing at one of the assailants who's just trapped his coworker.

The M4 suddenly jolts in the guard’s grip, barrel forcefully pointed downwards by some unknown force as it drives through the earth below them, soon lodged into the ground without a hole to show for it and leaving the confused guard desperately trying to yank it out. That’s when Asva ‘appears’, wide-eyed in front of the pair as he reaches out for the ribbons of cloth aiming for his friend. He grips a few, the rest darting straight through his form when trained on him suddenly, and starts to run haphazard circles around the two guards while muttering some panicked Norwegian. Without much intention, Asva manages to phase the net of cloth -- the mutant merc controlling them still trying to ensnare the kid without much luck -- into the uniform of the armed guard, linking the two Company X mercs together in an awkward mass of net and armour.

Hopelessly entangled now in this failed trap of their own making, the Company X partners immediately try tackling Asva -- lunging in slightly different directions and pulling each other to the ground where, like participants in the world's most unnecessarily violent potato sack race, an argument-cum-brawl ensues before their wriggling and laborious path back to the trauma shears they (hopefully?) remembered to stock at their guard station.


wednesday, may third. 11:52 pm. lassiter grounds.

Beau’s face is a mask of concentration as he measures the distance between himself and the outer walls of the facility. “…you feel great…. you can do this.” he mutters softly to himself before violently jamming his fingers into one of many massive boulders situated in front of him, grabbing hold of it firmly. He takes a deep breath before lifting the rock up with seemingly little effort and starts spinning backwards and hops slightly after a few steps before letting go of the stone sending it flying like it was launched out of a trebuchet, hitting the outside wall and exploding on impact. Exhaling slowly he jogs back to the pile to lob another.

Whilst Beau is busy throwing the large rocks against the outside wall, Remi is priming them to explode by secreting a sticky syrup and attaching small blobs to the sides of the rocks. The more he primes and readies for Beau, the paler he is becoming. Beads of sweat are forming on his palid forehead as he breathily attempts to cheer on Beau. "You're....doing great big guy..." he manages to wheeze out as he slumps against one of the rocks to rest.

Nahida's eyes have been shifting between the rocks piling up on the ground and the heavily fortified wall trembling and shuddering in front of them. Her lips press together thinly, her brows slowly pinching. Her hand pauses where it has extended -- hovering, then slowly lowering to her side. Her eyes fix on Remi as he slumps and, without a word, she shifts her aim from hefty boulders to the smaller blobs, the little candy explosives starting to double and spread beneath her outstretched hand now instead.


thursday, may fourth. midnight. elie's office.

Klaxons are sounding and red lights flashing, and the urgent knock at the door to Elie Tessier's office is followed a moment later by a chirp as its electronic lock blinks green and clicks open to admit the head and shoulders of a solidly built security guard. "Pardon me, Ma'am," he says, looking past her to the teenagers blithely sipping her tea, then back to her. "We're locking down, now it's probably nothing..." Perhaps this is meant to be reassuring, and though he's fighting to sound Cool and Professional, his Texas drawl is much more pronounced in his excitement. "But we'd best be gettin' you and these boys to the secure area, just in case."

The alarms and lights haven't done much to disrupt the chatter over late night tea in this office, Elie's unflappable calm powerfully contagious in her space. Her vivid green eyes open wider at the warning, one hand going to cover her open mouth. "Goodness -- is it those terrorists again? You must tell me what you know on the walk --" When she turns back to the boys, the full brunt of her attention bears down on Gaetan and Spencer. The alarms suddenly feel more pressing, the presence of the Company X logo on the guard's uniform fading from focus. "{Boys,}" comes sweetly and firmly, leaving little room for argument or objection if there were any inclination to do so, "{come with me.}"


thursday, may fourth. 12:01 am. lassiter.

Nevaeh has been hovering in the rear of the M(X?)-Kids' formation, unobtrusive and seemingly harmless. Her mind's eye sees past the darkness and chaos all around, steadily pulling warnings and ideas from the future and feeding them through Lael to her team. It's a bigger team than she's used to, and the visions are coming faster than she's used to, but so far that's been working out... << oh no! >> The vision that has just caught her attention shows Gaétan and Spencer being escorted to a power-suppressed security room in response to the attack. << our attack! they weren't in trouble until we came for them >>. Whether from the surge of her anxiety or some unrelated vagary of her power, the already many-faceted future before her shatters into a million terrifying shards of the raid failing, of the M-Kids and their recruits captured and locked up. Outwardly she's stopped moving and is just standing stock still with her eyes squeezed shut and her hands clapped firmly over her mouth.

Near the youngest M-Kid--but not so close as to make her a target--Lael has just spoiled another merc's shot, though it's probably not as obvious to his comrades as his voice in their minds guiding or warning them at Nevaeh's behest. His hair twists and writhes, pained by the fracturing of her vision. << Nevaeh. >> His mental voice is strained but insistently soothing when it pushes through her incipient panic attack. << Easy, chile, you can see a way out-- >> "Gah!" He lashes out too late at the merc he had been minding before his attention lapsed, but the dart buried in his arm has done its work. He staggers away from the others, his stomach heaving up its contents, his mind voice panicked and oddly faint as he calls out, << Help, I'm hit! >>


thursday, may fourth. 12:16 am. lassiter.

For a shining few minutes, the diverted paths of the guards, alerted by known voices to the presence of teenagers where there are none, seem like a validation of Remi's argument. Echo's counting irregular intervals of the accelerated thud-thud-thud in her chest so they don't come too mechanically, creeping back and forth along the wall to get more range. But no audio illusions will save her when she locks eyes with the undistracted merc who appears around the far corner of the building. Suddenly Echo is stumbling backwards, whipping her head over her shoulder, desperately willing her power to reach Naomi's distant figure. Her brief look of awe at the resounding voice is instantly replaced by horror when it's not Brendan's urgent "Look out!" but a rough "There's one over here!" that she hears; then there’s only pain from the dart in her shoulder, and vertigo as Echo trips -- cries out -- smashes against the pavement.

At the very edge of Echo’s range, Naomi has a mutant merc on the hook: “Inject yourself with a dart. Give me your radio. How many guards are coming?” Her grip on the guard's mind is firm for now, but the glow in her eyes flickers like a failing lightbulb from the strain. Her interrogation is cut short by the sudden voice, coming from just in front of Naomi, a few feet behind the merc's head. Naomi scrambles back, her power retreating as she turns to run -- sees a mass of guards, no longer following Echo's faked chase, turns behind -- sees Echo and the guard aiming over her -- screams "Don't shoot," the hiss of her mutation kicking in just a moment too late, too far from that guard still anyway -- doesn't see the reaction of the guard behind her, who picks up the dart gun he was just compelled to use on himself and aims it between Naomi’s shoulder blades.


thursday, may fourth. 12:21 am. lassiter grounds.

Lael has been leaning on the base of a now-defunct floodlight, trying desperately not to vomit again, but he's straightening now. He rotates his arm experimentally, the offending dart gone and the puncture wound mended, and picks up his bow. Perhaps it's a greater relief that his mind is also stretching out once again, feeling for teammates and enemies alike. "Thank you kindly," he tells Harm, patting their hand where they still have a death grip on his. "You are a miracle worker. Let's get you back to Naomi and me back into the fight."

Pale and queasy but determined at his side, Harm does not release Lael's hand. "Wait, wait I don't know..." << (...what I'm even doing...) >> To the unfamiliar (telepathic) eye, "what they're doing" is a continuous cycle of frantic and seemingly unrelated efforts. "I can't remove the serum. If I stop healing, it'll just depower you again." They look reflexively toward a cry of pain -- from a merc, this time, but there are more of those now than when they looked last and they don't look likely to run out of reinforcements anytime soon. << (we're not going to make it) >> Their eyes are terrified when they look back up at Lael, and maybe they aren't just holding on for Healing Reasons anymore, but all they say aloud is, "Let's find Naomi."

One of the Company X Mercs, not far off, is just pulling out his weapon -- is this live fire? More suppression darts? Harm is not going to find out, because he is pulled to the ground, smack onto his face before he can get into better position to fire, utterly flabbergasted and then furious at how his partner's shoelaces managed to get tied up with his own.


thursday, may fourth. 12:32 am. rec room, lassiter.

Gaétan isn't quite reaching agitated, yet, but the continued flash of the lights, blaring of the klaxons, certainly aren't doing anything good for his nerves -- markedly more unsettled now than they were before Elie disappeared to investigate Exactly What was going on. He's sitting on the edge of a chair in this otherwise empty somewhat sad looking rec room, thumb picking at the edge of a crack in its aging plasticky upholstering and trying not to watch the door and the intermittent hubbub outside. "... she said they have drills for these things all the time, right? I'm sure they'll handle... whatever this is soon enough."

Spence's agitation meter is climbing much faster. He's been slouched in a chair beside Gaétan, his eyes restlessly searching the room and his thumbs tracing endless circles on the smooth blank screen of his bricked phone. "I mean, sure, but drills for what?" The next round of the alarm makes him flinch, and he finally presses his hands to his ears and starts rocking. This lasts all of three seconds before he stands up, phone toppling from his lap to the floor. "I'm sorry this is um. It's too. I'm gonna go up and take a look I'll be right back." And then he just stands there, frowning. "I can't jump." He rushes to the door and tries the handle -- it doesn't turn. He looks around again, breathing faster, eyes narrowing at the walls as though willing himself to see through them. "Oh no." His tone is flat and his eyes don't quite focus on Gaétan when they do return to his face. "Oh shit. I think this is Prometheus."


thursday, may fourth.12:47 am. lassiter.

It has been abundantly clear that they are In Over Their Heads, and much though their team is used to handling things on their own -- maybe not quite this magnitude of things. The strange warping shift that had dumped them out of the building in the first place also left them inconveniently far from the entrance -- this trio is picking their way through the chaos, now, to find one again, and hopefully backup on the other side. From one side a dart flies toward Nevaeh -- from another an actual bullet toward Sriyani -- but Brendan, tired though he is at this stage, is on the alert, the attacks meeting a sudden sluggish soup from which he can knock them to the side. Even so, the relief in his expression is evident when they actually draw near the door.

Terror and exhaustion aside, Nevaeh is just smaller and weaker than the others, and has been pushing the limits of her endurance for fear of slowing them down. "There's so many ways this could go, and most of them are bad!" Running out of time, she cries, "Open it to Mr. Holland, he can get his team fast!" They're almost in reach of the door and the side-building attached to it when she gasps. "No, Sriyani!" She surges forward, voice high and frantic. "Stop!"

Sriyani's brows are furrowing, intent and focused as Nevaeh talks. They nod with the mention of Mr. Holland, reaching for the door -- but stopping short at the gasp.

The door opens, anyway. Sriyani stares upward at the pair of guards looming over -- well, looming over them and Nevaeh, anyway. They're backing up, placing themself squarely in between the guards and the younger girl. "-- Brendan, we --"

But their words are wholly swallowed by the deafening crack of the gunshot that blasts just over their head.


thursday, may fourth. 8:58 am. xavier’s school.

Scott is running late and he knows it -- "I'll be right there," he says to the X-Man waiting at the door. He looks almost out of place behind his actual, official desk, forehead creased over his ruby-quartz glasses as he scans through the (physical, paper) attendance sheets, trying to hold the administration together while the school's technological network revives itself. He's slower than a computer would be, though, and slowing down as he notices a number more absences than he expects to see. "Have you heard from Spence? He and half a dozen of his — friends? — missed first period."

Shane is holding his X-jacket over his shoulder, claws hooked through its collar. The slight narrowing of his black eyes still leaves them considerably larger than most people tend to find comfortable, fixed on Scott steadily. "Spence?" His gills flutter once, and then press flat. He looks from Scott to the papers on the desk, and back. "Shit, isn't keeping track of them your job? Please don't tell me you're adding kidnapping back as a fucking extracurricular around here."


thursday, may fourth. 8:58am. lassiter exam room e-38.

Even the boldest of heroes must, occasionally, admit when they need to take a step back and regroup, reassess the situation, maaaybe wait for some backup forces. Somewhere in between the squadrons of heavily armed mercs, the swarms of Sentinels, the stone-faced guards escorting him to processing which sounds straight outta some sci-fi horror nonsense -- Avi Williams has had time to reconsider his life choices. Sitting on the edge of an oddly ordinary medical exam table, frowning between the scrub-clad orderly who's been entering his vitals and the armed guard standing at the door, he is looking very much like he wishes he were curled up snug in bed with Chonk snoring away on the floor right now -- right up until he looks at a sudden motion, not at the door but the wall, wide eyed and, for just a second, leaping to his feet like he's Totally Ready right now for action. One hand is, in fact, raising halfway toward the guard already like he's thinking he'll -- what? "What the -- damn you still got your powers how you..." His mouth snaps shut. He's lowering his hand almost as soon as he lifted it and shaking his head, hard, horrified, at his friend. "Boy get out!"

Asva dashes right through the orderly and to his friend’s side before the guard at the door can clock him. “I have, no clue-“ His tone is panicked, eyes darting around the room uneasily. “We can worry about questions later, now, we run-“ He reaches for Avi’s shoulder, but as his hand makes contact and the two of them dart forward, there is no feeling of Intangibility spreading to Avi’s body. Instead, Asva collides head-first with the orderly’s chest -- the same one he had no issue phasing through mere moments ago -- and falls back into his friend and the exam table behind them, both of them now completely solid. The guard and orderly don’t hesitate to close in as Asva squeezes his eyes shut, his breathing oddly centered as he feels Avi beside him, and, a beat later, he pulls his friend into a hug.

The first hug he's had in about a month.


thursday, may fourth. 11:43 am. lassiter exam room e-35.

The orderly taking Spence's vitals doesn't seem particularly concerned with either the teenager or the guard at the door, just vaguely annoyed as he reaches for his coffee. He pulls the blood pressure cuff off and returns to the electronic chart he's filling out at the rolling desk, sighing as he scrolls all the way to the top of the form. "Name," he says, looking at Spencer expectantly. "Date of birth."

Spence's death glare might have more impact if his eyes didn't track curiously aside to the chart on the screen every time the orderly adds some piece of information. He visibly bites back some sort of comment at his blood pressure reading -- quite high, which probably isn't too unexpected under the circumstances. His mouth pulls hard to one side at the perfunctory request for information. "I'm Spencer Holland," he replies, his smile widening, "and y'all are fucked."


thursday, may fourth. 11:43 am. lassiter w(rec)k room e-27.

"No worry, we get out of here," Probably Kelawini should be a bit more discreet about her escape plans, even if for the moment they amount to, "soon as I find my sister." She stops and considers Roscoe closely. "Eh, what you do? When your stuff work. Me and Nanami, we gon break the--the--" One of her hands flails angrily at the nearest wall. "--da kine. Just need someone get us where we can break um. You know how?" She seemed perfectly sincere about the question, but her attention is already forging ahead, her eyes searching the (w)rec(k) room for familiar faces as she dismisses the concern of getting around the suppression field with, "Some my guys, they plenny hard fo catch."

Roscoe is nodding along, but his eyes are trained nervously on the guard by the door, watching for any indication that this super-unauthorized discussion of escape and escaping has been overheard and is about to be broken up. His mouth is twisted in a distinctly unconvinced way, but he is keeping it shut, or at least he is until he spots someone new coming into the w(rec)k. "Hey, new guy!" he says, and waves one arm. Back to Kelawini: "Is this one of your friends? I told you they'd prob'ly be along soon."

Kavalam, still conspicuously in the street clothes he left school in and not in scrubs -- blinks with a degree of startled that seems wholly unwarranted for A New Face in a place like this. He stares at Roscoe several seconds longer than is polite -- then at Kelawini -- then, with more deeply narrowed eyes, at a guard. It's only when the guard glances back that his eyes snap back to the other kids, freshly alarmed where before he had moved solidly into the "too exhausted to have feelings" stage of shellshocked. "You can see me?" Unfortunately, when directed at Roscoe, emphasis leaning somewhat askance of where he maybe intended, this comes out sounding accusatory. He takes off his glasses, polishing them against the edge of his sweatshirt, maybe just to buy himself enough time that when he looks back to Kelawini he can manage to sound more wry than quavery: "A bit too late to remind you that we had a date, mm?"


thursday, may fourth. 5:53 pm. lassiter refectory.

The influx of newcomers stand out garishly -- too young, all clustered together, talking in voices at once too-hushed and not-hushed-enough; someone has not given these kids proper instruction, yet, on how Not to catch attention. One girl is lifting her head, now, peeling just enough away from this small school of fish to be seen when she gives the approaching boys a wave. "Chee you alive I half worry we come all this way, attack the wrong prison." Nanami is looking unharmed but unwell, more sallow than she should and not just due to the lack of her everpresent makeup. "They hurt you?"

There's something different about how Spencer carries himself here, something that makes him look tall, every inch of the admittedly scrawny 5'11"-and-change that he's been for some time now but never owned. Probably no one but Gaétan clocked the hitch in his step when he spotted Nanami -- yet another suppressed teleportation attempt -- and he closes the rest of the distance at a casual pace. To her question, a slow shake of his head. "Nah, just standard processing stuff." Though the wrinkle of his nose as he plucks at the hem of his scrubs suggests the coarse fabric is torture enough. "I don't know how y'all found him, but..." His jaw works, and he abandons the rest of that thought in favor of, "I'm sorry you got caught." He looks past Nanami to the clump of shaken youths, and his face does something complicated. "We gotta go over some stuff with everyone." He says this far more calmly than most people would reasonably expect under the circumstances. "And we're going to get out of here."

Gaétan, contrastingly, is in an uncharacteristic slouch, only a couple inches shorter than his friend but looking more than that in his current exhausted trudge. He has stopped short just behind Spencer, color draining from his face as his eyes stutter on the familiar and less-familiar faces. "Found me --" His brows are pinching at Spencer's words, and he's scanning the group at the not-really-question, his shoulders tightening further still. His own not-really-question comes out stilted with a creeping dread. "... how many of you were there."