From X-Men: rEvolution

cn: violence

Dramatis Personae

Heather, Kate, Sam


"It sounds like a strange night."


<VT> Across the Rift - Steven G. Rogers Detention Center - Vermont

It's been flurrying all night, and by the small hours the heavily forested mountainsides look soft and strange under a snow-lit sky that threatens worse weather yet before dawn comes. This remote facility is just outside of the whimsically named and, in some ways, quintessentially Vermont town of Cozy Corner. Its razor wire perimeter is patrolled by Sentinels while a small fleet of Stark drones circle high overhead, neither much deterred by the precipitation. The building itself -- there's only one -- is a typical cookie-cutter DHS mutant detention center, boxy concrete and rebar shot through with power suppression grids and more conventional if still formidable electronic security. The offices and labs are empty, and more Sentinels make their leisurely circuits through the sterile hallways. Four MRA agents are ensconced, two by two, in heavily fortified guard posts, one near the entrance to the facility and the other at the sole access point to the small cellblock in back, whiling away their uneventful shift with mobile games, for the most part.

In the dark and overcast sky, there's not a lot of visibility to give away the winged figure circling still higher than the drones. Sam is dressed dark and warm, the only color on him the red and white patterning and star emblazoned on his wings. He doesn't circle down lower until the signal in his ear from K.C. once the security is on the fritz, robots out of communication with each other and no more danger of the alarms blaring a warning. He swoops lower, quiet until the first muted blasts of suppressed gunfire aimed to knock the nearest drones from the sky.

On the ground, face covered by a modified ski mask, Kate readies herself when K.C alerts them, watching the sky for the telltale signs of gunfire. Her darks are a little more obvious against the snow-covered ground than Sam’s against the sky, so she moves fast, ducking through the fence when the Sentinel passing by turn its back on her, jumps through the robot. If the interaction with her powers doesn’t short out the murderbot, Kate is ready with bullets, hand hovering over the pistol holstered on her leg.

Inside of her cell, Heather is the picture of misery, her hair more tangled than usual and the dark circles around her eyes all the more prominent on her gaunt features. She rises slowly- carefully- to her feet to lean up against the bars, mumbles a running dialogue to herself, a bad habit that she had developed in times where others could not hear her.

Two drones drop from the sky, though not before one of them manages an answering repulsor blast at Sam. The Sentinel shudders and collapses in the wake of Kate's passage, not wholly deactivated but clearly with some critical functions damaged, as its camera scans in vain for a target. Inside, the human guards are none the wiser to the incursion under way by land or by air. Heather's cellmate just rolls over in her bunk and groans, well used to the noise even if displeased.

Sam has been diving toward a third drone when the repulsor blast comes; his quick duck out of the line of fire leaves the blast to hit its fellow instead. He swoops through the air toward the last of the circling drones, waiting until it hovers over a Sentinel below to fire at it.

With no attack coming, Kate sticks her hand into the Sentinel, pulls out something hard and important-looking. Whatever the component is, it is quickly crushed beneath her feet. She looks up - the drone Sam is firing at, and the Sentinel beneath it, aren’t too far ahead. Kate goes into a run, leaps through that Sentinel too. “You’re taking your time,” she mutters under her breath, glancing at Captain America’s wings above her.

The damaged Sentinel goes still when Kate performs her impromptu surgery on it. High above, the drone's friendly fire knocks Sam's would-be target clean out of the sky, and his delay allows it to squeeze off one more blast before going down itself. Falling down through the snowy air, its lifeless chassis crashes spectacularly into the Sentinel beneath it just as Kate is passing , though obviously its impact is as intangible to her as she is to either robot twisted now into a smoldering heap. The only remaining Sentinel outside is on the far side of the facility, none the wiser to the fate that has befallen its fellows.

High up in the air, Sam's expression, thankfully, cannot be seen, though he stalls in place for only half a beat as Kate dives under the drone he's just dropped right on the Sentinel. He hesitates only long enough to see that Kate has not, in fact, been crushed in the wreckage of the robots he just smashed before barrel-diving toward the remaining standing robot. One hard wing comes up to shield him as he crashes -- not just the robot but the guard station beyond, the Sentinel rammed ahead of him through its windows with one strong repulsor blast and pistols already trained on the guards when he lands. "Yo. Got a friend rolling through, she's gonna need to make a withdrawal."

Kate rolls forward on the snowy ground, turns back with to look with a pleased expression that sours into mild disappointment at the wreckage. Oh well. She turns and keeps running, catching up with Sam right outside the guard station only a moment later, pistol now in hand. “Cells open, please,” Kate says, mock sweetness in her voice. “And suppressors off.” Glances at Sam, then back to the guards. Raises her pistol too, extraneous as it is.

The guards' game of Among Us is rudely interrupted by sudden addition of Sentinel and Captain America to their cramped station, the bulletproof glass bowing inward before coming out of its frame altogether and falling into their laps. Only one of them even manages to reach for his sidearm, but freezes before he's lifted it to aim at either of the intruders.

The other one, calmer, has one hand under the desk in front of him where he's just triggered a switch of some kind. "Can't do that from here," he says stiffly, though he glances reflexively at a control panel set into the wall beside him.

The suppressed report of the pistol, still muted, is nevertheless clearly audible in this enclosed space; there's no delay at all when Sam pulls the trigger, firing at the guard's hand the moment he starts to reach for his sidearm. Behind his goggles his expression is placid, guns still trained on the guards. "Sorry, what were you lying? Don't think she want to be repeating herself."

Kate, meanwhile, Is looking at the other guard and his hidden hand with furrowed brows and clear distaste. She follows his glance to the control panel, aims her pistol at Mr. Hidden Switches’ head. One foot kicks forward at, then into, the wall of the guard post. “He’s the nice one. What did you just pull, buddy?”

The guard Sam shoots cries out and clutches his arm, doubling over in pain. The other blanches and puts his hands up hastily, his calm all fled. "Captain America doesn't shoot people!" he blurts, turning his gaze frantically on Kate, whose reply is clearly no reassurance. He flinches when her foot goes into the wall. "I didn't pull anything, I swear!"

Something tightens in Sam's jaw. "Don't matter what he pulled, their comms are locked down." One of the hard metal wings slams out, thwacking at the guard who pulled the switch to slam his head hard into the table in front of him. "Good way not to get shot? Don't be a fascist." He beckons, just slightly, with the barrel of his gun, toward the control panel on the wall, nodding to the guard he shot. "Open the cells. Not gonna ask again."

Heather's mumbling ceases, and she tries to lean the side of her head to try and angle her ear towards the outside. "It sounds like a strange night," she says in a louder whisper, but whether that is to her cellmate or herself, it is hard to tell. "What kind of strange?"

The wounded guard, weeping profusely now, reaches his uninjured arm and enters a passcode. A faint click sounds in the door beside him, and in every cell door in the block behind them. An instant later, the suppression grid goes down, as well. Heather's cellmate sits bolt upright. "We're free," the telekinetic whispers. Then rises, and rips the door off of its hinges with her mind. "We're free!" she cries.

Out in the hallway of the cellblock, a patrolling Sentinel correctly identifies the source of the threat and skitters rapidly to the guard station, gun barrels already extended to target Sam and Kate, firing the moment it climbs into view behind the two guards.

Sam pivots as the Sentinel comes into view, wings folding up behind him into a hardened shield; the bullets ricochet harmlessly off their surface. "You good --" Even as he says this he's turning, only partially unfolding one wing so that he can fire back at the Sentinel. "I can cover these if you want let your folks know we got 'em a ride -- though," he muses, "got a feeling one or two of 'em might be happy enough to squash these spiders their own selves."

Kate goes immaterial, her hand reaching out instinctively for Sam - stops short as the bullets ricochet of the wings. She grins, gun dropping back into her leg holster. “Be right back.”

She takes off into a run, through the guard, through the guard post, through one of the Sentinel’s tinny legs, into the cellblock. “Should have brought a bullhorn,” Kate mutters, before ducking into the first cell she sees - door ripped off its hinges. Smiles brightly at Heather and her roommate. “Hello, this is a rescue. Would either of you like a ride outta here?”

When the door bursts off the hinges, Heather stumbles forward and for only a moment continues to move languidly. Then, time slows down for her again. She squeaks thanks and greeting to Kate, though it is hard to understand the words themselves. She glances out quickly, then mimes a gesture towards herself and then makes a hammer motion with her fist, as if swinging a weapon.

One of Sam's bullets pings something solid in the Sentinel and another destroys a leg actuator, making it stumble such that its next shot goes wide and hits one of the guards cowering in their destroyed security post. It has plenty of other legs, though and quickly stabilizes itself to fire at Sam again. At the far end of the cellblock hallway the other patrolling Sentinel has spotted Kate and is now firing steadily down the hallway, making the few inmates who had started to leave their cells hastily duck back in.

Sam ducks once more. Not quite fast enough this time, a ragged slash torn in one sleeve before his wing folds up to shield him. He stays half-crouched behind a half-ruined wall of the guard post; when he reaches one arm out it isn't his pistol that fires but the thick bracer on his wrist, repulsor blast aimed at the central sensors in the body of the nearer Sentinel.

Kate’s eyebrow shoots up, trying to understand the high pitched whir of sound from Heather. The miming she does understand - she offers Heather her gun. “Don’t have a baseball bat, sorry.” The gunfire catches her attention. “There’s a bus just north of here. Go.” She ducks back into the hall, bullets passing through her harmlessly as she barrels at the Sentinel, leaping through and taking an assortment of its insides with her.

Heather shrugs a bit disappointedly that she is not being given a bludgeon, but takes the gun anyways. She gestures towards her cellmate to follow and then zips off to the entrance of the cellblock, to peer out and see what they need to get past.

The Sentinel at the guard post clambers up onto the console and partly over the guard it had just shot in an effort to get a clear shot at Sam again. This positions it perfectly to take the repulsor blast squarely in the sensor package. It does not stagger this time, but does not fire either, only rotates around to train its secondary sensors on Sam.

The other Sentinel switches to repulsor blasts when bullets do not seem to affect Kate, and was just in the process of extending yet another weapon barrel from its armored torso when she reaches it and then passes through it. It shudders and stumble-steps, its locomotion clearly affected by whatever Kate ripped out in passing. But even in its drunken stagger it is still dangerous, firing at both Heather (with bullets) and Kate (with suppressor darts) now.

"Things don't stay down," Sam is grumbling. One wing unfolds to start beating at the Sentinel -- incidentally flinging one of its (conveniently bludgeon-sized!) broken legs towards Heather when she zips nearer the front of the cell block.

Kate scowls. “Stay down, goddamnit.” She tosses the mess of metal and wires to the side and sinks through the floor, narrowly missing the first of the suppressor darts. Underneath the Sentinel, a hand reaches up, grabs hold of a leg, and pulls the whole thing halfway into the floor before letting it go solid again.

When the Sentinel turns its guns on her, Heather starts to move out of the path of its bullets, returning fire with Kate's gun, but then like a miracle, she sees a conveniently bludgeon-sized leg flying through the air her way. The gun is tucked into her waistband before she catches the leg, and her lips part in an eager grin. And then, it is a flurried blur of the leg being swung at the machine, each hit already unnaturally powerful even if it were not for the sheer number of strikes. When a vulnerable point on the sentinel is bared, she finally rams the leg through, steps back, and raises both her middle fingers towards it in a final salute.