Following a Lead

Brief Title:

Nightcrawler, Rush and Mirage

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Somewhere in Quebec, Canada

X-Factor follows a lead on the Serpent Society and finds other people too

Social or Plot:


So it happened, a lead came through, perhaps Ship's surveillance and a few physical leads, but one nonetheless comes through about a newer base for the Serpent Society. Apparently they made their way to Quebec, Canada. Another supposedly abandoned building, formerly a mine that closed as recently as about a decade ago in former city of Joutel, itself mostly abandoned. A foggy winter morning sees Mirage, Rush and Nightcrawler en route to the location. With only limited information and more than likely simply abandoned, the pair is sent as a forward scout team simply to see if the building is abandoned or in recent use and then set up items for Ship to survey the area to monitor any potential future activity.

As they look ahead, Kurt ponders , "Maybe we just start in the main structure there first," the big one that did most of the refining of the raw ore from the nearby mines in the area, "And then check the smaller ones." A statement certainly open for debate, if he's flying he'll most likely drop down in the circular lawn fron area by the two trailers in an L shape.

Feeling that it was about time that a concerete lead came through on the Serpent Society, Mirage is quickly suited up and ready to go, even going so far as to 'Slide to the XF HQ from the school. She is suprised by the location though and said as much as they piled into the flying transport.

Poking at some of the controls "Doesn't this think have thermal sensors that can detect body heat at a distance?" she replies in answer

Flipping buttons and such, Kurt nods to Dani, "Good call, if they're out and about we should see something. We can aim for the windows too, who knows maybe they need some fresh air." He pulls up a screen, its the black and white one with the bright white for heat signatures like human bodies. Should they fly around a bit, they do get one, faint hit in one of the windows of the two trailers in the L-shape pattern. "Oh, even better call ..." Through the windows its hard to make out detail other than they have a heat signature that could be organice/life-form like.

Rush looks around a bit uncertainly, watching the others for a clue of what to do. In his first (and only) mission so far, Havok was been pretty good about giving him directions. Hopefully he's not expected to think for himself yet. Then he peers dutifully at the screen, trying to hide his unfamiliarity with the scans.

Watching the monitor for signs of life Mirage just nods at the kudos "I say we land this thing at a distance and sneak our way in." a glance is given to Rush "How good are you at moving quietly?"

Flying the vehicle still with one hand, Kurt favors Dani with wide open, rather sarcastic, yellow eyes. The glance alone reads 'did you really just ask how good I am at being sneaky.' Before she can slap him for being sarcastic though, he amends with a dumbfounded, "Really?" But the corner of his lips are edging up in a grin, he could really raz her about it, but they're on a mission. "I mean, we can fly back a ways just in case the picked us up and I can port us to the treeline norther of that trailer without getting caught and sneak all the way up there and peek in if you like?" He's already flying it 'out of site' of anything they may have at the location to spot their aircrat.

Move quietly. Rush blanches. "Uh...moving quietly?" That probably answers the question. Then he seems to think of something. "I might be able to go undercover...if there's some normal people around, I -might- could blend in with 'em. Get close that way." He doesn't seem too confident about the thought.

Mirage gives NC a look "I wasn't talking to you." her tone reflects the sarcastic intent on her expression. "No one around to blend into Rush." they are pretty much in an abandoned mine of some sort "I guess you will be our distraction." she indicates the layout of the buildings that show in the monitor screen "Or only sign of life was here." she points to that "You go in, Rush, not aggressive, casual, but making a bit of noise. That will allow Nightcrawler and I to come in from here," the points to the areas on each side of the group of buidings "and here to check out the other buildings and make sure there aren't any people that the thermal imaging can't detect.

Kurt stops himself from chuckling at Dani's plan, realizing not simply his mistake but the purpose of having Rush make a move in general. He's pretty casual about it too, sneaky like, cupping a hand to his mouth and nearly pointing at the large fellow but then realizing he's also doing the flying. When he recovers, he lifts his hand and coughs a couple of times, "Its brilliant, absolutely brilliant. If they don't hire you to work the rig and it turns sour, just a quick note into the comsys and we'll converge on you." He moves to land the vehicle out of site to allow everyone to move to their points. Closest to Rush's point so he can walk in 'nonchalantly' and Dani and Kurt can sneak off to check the other buildings that seem unoccupied.

Rush nods in understanding. Make some noise? That he can do. "Hope I run into that one with the whips," he muses as he gets ready. "Or any of those four from the sim." Getting ready consists of twisting a bit at the waist, rolling his arms and shoulders, then finally bouncing on his toes a few times. Once Kurt lands the ship, Rush steps off, takes a moment to pull on the jacket that he brought on board for some reason (but seems lucky now), and then heads for the trailer.

Rush nods in understanding. Make some noise? That he can do. "Hope I run into that one with the whips," he muses as he gets ready. "Or any of those four from the sim." Getting ready consists of twisting a bit at the waist, rolling his arms and shoulders, then finally bouncing on his toes a few times. Once Kurt lands the ship, Rush steps off, takes a moment to pull on the jacket that he brought on board for some reason (but seems lucky now), and then heads for the trailer.

Letting Nightcrawler take the furthest point from the landing spot, since he can teleport and all, Mirage begins to move toward the building closest to her. Sneaking she is good at, especially the rural, middle of nowhere kind of sneaking. She starts by moving from tree to tree, and when the trees run out she moves in angles, never allowing herself to be in direct LOS of windows or doors. She of course will use any large mining equipment that may have been left laying about to age and rust for cover as well.

As she approaches the building she will move along the outer wall toward a window to get a look inside.

Rush walks straight for the 'main' building for the former refinery that was abandoned, doing his thing. There is no stirring of activity at his approach without him knocking to see who is home, that is no indicated of what the heat signature was. As Dani and Kurt split, the elf goes for other outlying buildings, blending with shadows and doing his own form of sneaking that doesn't really involved walking quietly but rather not walking on the forest floor at all.

For Mirage, the approach to her building is as quiet as it is for Rush, but when she nears the large refinery that is silent as a ghost town (which, literally, this location is a part of a larger ghost town). If she listens quietly though, she occasionally hears a grunt of exertion, from two or more sources, if she had to guess, coming from inside the building. The grunts echo off the metal casing over the machinery inside, speaking of how hollow it is in there. But the corregated steel walls absorb the sounds too before they go into the forest, making it only audible upon closer approach and examination of the grounds themselves.

Mirage is pretty sure that if she can here the soft noises in the building, anything she says in in a whisper, has the potential of being heard. This knowledge prevents her from making comment over the comm sys about what she is hearing just yet. Ducking under the window she will move quietly under it and go to the next one to peek in and will go around the building, moving from window/door to the next until the can get a view of who or what she is hearing. She'll occasionally peer about the area, just to make sure she isn't being snuck up on or that she has been sighted by someone they didn't detect.

Rush stops in front of the door. He raises a hand as if to knock, then stops, suddenly self-concious. He glances around to either side, then lowers his hand and tries the knob, jiggling it as if trying to open it, but careful not to turn it too hard.

The jiggly handle actually opens, if it can be locked, no one was expecting anyone. The evidence of spray paint here and there is clear testament to the fact that its truly abandoned. Its unlocked enough that Rush could take a look inside if he so decided it.

As for Dani, she is carefuly enough not to be noticed, or if someone has they haven't made it known yet. Eventually finding a ground window looking into the main area ... right next to the rigging itself is an old wrestling matt and two woman seem to be practicing the art of wrestling. One larger, the other thinner but more agile. There seems to be no attempt to really hurt each other, so no telling if the practice the 'fake' kind or the kind where they really try to hurt each other. There is just a matt with ropes and two women practicing moves, which leads to the grunting and such as they hit/bound/smash around.

No news from Kurt either, he's off looking at the other small buildings.

Taking a moment to watch the two silently and rack her brain for possible ID's, Mirage moves away from the building, ducking around the corner of a nearby building, but keeping the entrance to the Blue building in sight in case the two decide to leave. "I've two wanna be WWF's practicing in the blue building. Neither look to be anyone from the Serpent Society." she whispers across the com system as she watches the building in question, "You guys find anyone?

Rush pushes the door open, not worrying about stealth. He starts to step inside, trying to listen to Mirage's news without letting it distract him. But after she mentions WWF his focus wavers and he tilts his head to the side, concentrating on the com channel rather than what's actually in front of him.

Kurt calls back in, "Nothing here, just abandoned sheds, not really enough to hold anything inside them."

When Rush disfocuses on the insides, the insides stir to life just a little. There is a muffled noise and a chair dragging on the floor, it drags until it falls over clanging its wooden frame on the linoleum, the muffled noise (a scream?) continuining. The grunts in the blue building stop then too.

Hearing the scream Mirage has to tamp down her initial reaction to go rush off in that direction. It didn't sound like one of her team, so that helps. She stays where she is for a moment realizing that if she heard it the women wrestling in the blue building must have head it too. She will wait to see if they are going to investigate the screaming and if they do follow them to the source.

Rush blinks and pans his gaze belatedly around the room. "Who's there?" He calls out, trying to make himself sound timid and uncertain - the former is harder then the latter, since he doesn't know what's going on but is reasonably (over) confident that nobody in the Serpent Society can't hurt him as long as he keeps his wits about him.

Good thing Dani waits, because the two wrestlers do go to investigate. With them outside in good light, she might be able to place them as Poundcakes and Screaming Mimi if she's up on her villain files. Regardless, they're moving to the L-shaped trailor compound at the front of the refinery area.

The muffled voice can't really answer, it might be on account of the gag in her mouth, and she certainly isn't rushing forward to meet rush either, probably because she's tied to the chair that was tipped over when he opened the door. If Rush is up on his files, he may notices that its Coachwhip. Regardless, she's not threatening in any manner.

Kurt is moving out from the shed area towards the trailers as well, he's sort of in Dani's position, not noticed by the two wrestlers, but not hiding so much either as he is moving to where everything seems to be focusing.

Knowing that they are villians and probably up to know good is enough for Mirage, and she probably wouldn't get to harsh a scolding if the shot first and asked questions later, especially if she just stunned the two. The bow comes off her back and she has it ready in hand as she follows the two girls. "Two coming your way. One is Screaming Mimi, not sure about the other." she whispers into the com system "Give me the word and I'll take them down.

Rush's eyes narrow, and it takes him a moment to remember that he's never met the real Coachwhip and she didn't lash him with those whips. He listens to Dani, then whispers back. "I think I'm looking at Coachwhip. But she looks like she's a prisoner. Hold on a sec..." He walks over to Coachwhip slowly, his hands raised in what he hopes is a non-threatening manner. When he gets close enough he slowly lowers one hand, the other one still raised, and pulls off her gag.

Pulling the gag up get's a, "Get me outta here, they're gonna kill me!." Which, noting the silence and then hearing some talking, means Poundcake and Screaming Mimi are starting to run. Kurt, not knowing what is inside but hearing about Coachwhip as a prisoner, assumes he needs to move a little faster. He starts jumping forward in a series of teleportations, he'll call into the comsys, "I don't know what they're doing, but it's probably not good, I'd say stop them now." That's in reference to Dani being at the ready.

Mirage has no problem with shooting a person in the back, at least not with a bow and psiarrow. Whether she would do that with a more lethal weapon...she tries not to put herself in those kind of positions. Skidding to a halt the bow comes up and the psiarrow is flashing through the air between one breath and the next. Aimed at Screaming Mimi, since Mirage knows what she is capable of and that none of the XF members are equipped to handle sonic anything at the moment.

Rush repeats Coachwhip's claims to the rest of the team. Then he looks at her closely. "Who's gonna kill you? The rest of your team? How about..." he thinks back, "Screaming Mimi? That one of them?" Waiting for her to answer, Rush glances around to see if there's some furniture he can push Coachwhip behind so that she's somewhat protected if this trailer becomes a battle zone.

Coachwhip nods to Rush, "Her and Poundcakes, they mean to kill me," and she probably is geing honest. Even if he finds a mostly destroyed couch in the trailor that could work to hide her, the situation turns slightly. Screaming Mimi is struck solidly in the back of the head, whether it was meant to knock her out or induce a nightmare, she screams and mixes a few notes, probably not on purpose but enough to cause dizziness, a stupor, and increase some anxiety. This affects Poundcakes as well, who further reacts by stomping one of her wrestlings boots hard on the ground, enough to register on the rictor scale and shake up anyone in the vicinity. She proceeds to the trailor and rips off the back wall, but then, affected by the stupor, tries to recall what she was doing at the moment. Kurt starts to bamf around, more affected by the stupor and hullicinations probably, attacking things that aren't there.

A grimace at the scream comes to Mirage's face and she staggers into the side of the building to her left. She hates it when they don't fall down immediately, it makes it so she has to waste shots. Fighting off the effects of the scream she lets another of the arrow fly at Screaming Mimi in an effort to get her to shut up, if anything.

As the rear wall gets ripped off, Rush spins and eyes Poundcakes. Uh oh. He steps between Coachwhip and the new (and large) Serpent, then raises his fists. "You must be the WWF wannabe." He's been working on his trash talk, figuring if he's lucky it'll draw some attention away from the rest of X-Factor and to him, where it belongs. "This ain't fake fighting anymore. You take one more step and you're gonna regret it."

The second arrow does the trick to Screaming Mimi and those affected by the scream will begin to recover, including Kurt who stops fighting imaginary foes in favor of pondering why he was fighting to begin with. Then remember, he moves for the trailer again.

Inside the trailer, Poundcakes steps in, gaining enough senses to figure Rush is the bad guy (or vice versa), "Honey, I jus' might be more woman than even you can handle." She runs to leap at him, but her boots send tremors through the building, dust and debris beging to fall inside the trailer itself, it might collapse if she keeps doing the tremor trick. Rush can think about it later as she's arching his way for a tackle.

Once Mimi is down Mirage begins to run toward the trailer that Poundcakes is headed to. The tremors though are strong enough that she can feel them once she gets close enough and she staggers a few steps before falling sideways to the ground. She's surprised that all the shockwaves haven't knocked it off its supports, though it seems that could be coming soon. Picking herself up and grapping her falled bow she makes her way to where the side of the trailer was ripped off.

Rush chokes down a gulp, throwing a glance at Coachwhip to make sure she's still tied up - and in one piece. He tries to keep from stumbling as he steps forward to meet Poundcakes. Just before impact he lowers his center of gravity to try and undercut her tackle with one of his own.

Kurt bamfs forward too, meaning to go directly to a go side of the trailer, but its lurching at the moment and that probably wasn't a good idea. Indeed, much as Dani was beginning to suspect, when Poundcakes overshoots Rush and lands, the movement of the two 'heavies' seems to bring the trailor off the supports, and more of the roof begins to collapse on the two inside, mixing dust and light on the inside. 'Oof' she says as she hits the floor and then the trailor drops to the real ground. She scrabbles to regain footing, easily tossing off any portion of ceiling that lands on her.

Mirage is once more falling over as the trailer drops from beneath her feet when she is climbing up through the wide open side. At least with the trailer down it is easier to crawl into. She doesn't wait for the dust to settle and gets back to her feet, the dust in the air causing her to cough a bit as she breathes it in. Hope there isn't any asbestos lining the trailer. As she moves about to get a good line of sight on Poundcakes she bumps into the sofa that Coachwhip has been hidden under/in and spots the woman who took part in one of Mirage's razzings "Well who do we have here?" she asks, even though she has already been informed of the SS members prescence.

A section of ceiling shifts and then flies, off, revealing Rush. His face is covered in dust and a bruise or two, but there's nothing but irritation in his eyes. "Where is she?" he barks, looking this way and that for Poundcakes. When he spots her he balls up his fists and begins walking that way, wading through rubble and debris from the collapsed trailer whenever it gets in his way.

Coachwhip looks up, shoe on the other foot it would seem. She's still confined to the chair, though gag out, and sucking down debris just the same. Between couches she shakes her head, "This is different, they really mean to kill me." A professional assassine not wanting to be assassinated, go figure, but most likely they never targeted Dani, at least not successfully. Though who knows, maybe Dani might be able to figure why they're after her, or why they're harassing X-factor if Coachwhip survives all this. She's pleading really.

As for Poundcakes, she couches a little herself, asking, "Why, ya miss me already sweet cheeks?" No reason to ponder which set of cheeks she means, she seems to have found a rusty old folding chair in the mess of the trailor and is swinging it as a makeshift weapon. It won't hurt Rush, but with her own enhanced strength, it might sting a little if it lands.

Giving up on the building, Kurt instead makes his way to bind and gag Screaming Mimi, least she awake and cause more trouble for Dani and Rush while they deal with Poundcakes and Coachwhip.

"How sweet." Mirage remarks her voice full of sarcasm "You still think there is nothing worse than death." she pats Coachwhip on the cheek lightly, "You'll learn better, soon enough." sure it maybe an empty threat, but CW doesn't have to know that. Having no need to toy with the SS member Mirage turns to the fight. If this keeps up, and Rush and Poundcake looking evenly matched enough that it could keep up for a long time, everything in a mile is going to be eventually flattned. A fact that won't look good on XF's resume. Once more she shoots a psiarrow, this time and the seismic enducing Poundcake. She puts as much into the blast as she can, without risking waking up her partner Mimi.

Rush flings up an arm out of reflex to try and deflect the chair. It hits hard enough to make him sway and throws off his timing for his own attack. By the time he's caught his balance again Dani is already firing her arrow, so he figures he just needs to keep Poundcakes focused on himself. "That only works on TV," he assures her. "How long you been doing this? I only just got started and even I can tell you that."

The chair comes back shaped like Rushe's arm and more perhaps when its done, "Exactly, just getting started sugar ...." That's about where it ends too, the psiarror finding its way home and her crumpling over. Good timing too because the roof is really giving on the trailer - the whole structure for that matter, is starting to collapse. From outside Kurt can see that, he shouts, not using the comssys, "Now's a good time to get out ...."

"Grab her." Mirage gestures to Poundcakes as she gives Rush the order. Mirage grabs Coachwhip and pulls her to her feet, and then half carries, half drags her nemisis out the side of the trailer at a remarkably fast pace. Obviously she doesn't want to have to be dug out from under a trailer, now or never. Hopefully Coachwhip's gratefulness at being rescued will keep her from fighting or trying to escape.

Rush hefts Poundcakes like a sack of potatoes under one arm. He glances around to get his bearings and makes his way out of the wreckage. Along the way Rush has to kick bits of roof and wall out of his way, until finally he's finally free of the ruined trailer. "Now what?" He queries. "Drop these guys off at super-jail somewhere?"

"We call in Alpha Flight, this is there jurisdication," responds Kurt to Rush's inquiry about what to do with the Grapplers. "Keep Coachwhip for questioning with the promise to turn her over after we attain what we may need. It keeps us in good standing with the Canadian government and gets us off the hook for transporting them. It doesn't look like a professional operation, so they'll probably be no one checking in on them soon." Though, he moves to secure Poundcakes the same, porting back to their vehicle to get more secure bounds.

Rush nods in understanding to Kurt, helping however he can before settling in for the ride back to New York.

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