|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
The evening is just beginning and thankfully the day is cooling down from the heated mess it was earlier. Over in the Bronx, people are out and about. Specifically in the Hub. A few new shops are opening today, offering free samples and such. Stores like an ice cream palor and a tanning salon offering a free coupon for the first few customers. The Hub seems like a pretty good place for some celebrating students to spend an evening before curfew...
While reluctant to be here, and not because of the company, Jonothon did none the less accompanies his fello students. Mainly so that someone can drive that isn't Alex. Sure Alex could be a good driver, but the Brit keeps remembering that texting. Oy. It has also meant that he's silent most of the time. Uncomfortable due to his powers, silent because of his lack of verbal speech, the teen just drives down and parks. Lingers with the others, black clad and perhaps sullen seeming. Even if he doesn't mean to be. Can't eat. Can't drink. What's to do here?
Alex was miffed, only for a bit though. If Jono is going, it means more people will go and he is all about hanging out with the students now....somewhere *else*. Hes finally off from being grounded and looking to have some sort of fun, the normal teenager lets hang out talk and just exist sort of fun. No fiery buildings or crazy life-threatening situations would be nice!
He is settled in the back seat, assured that someone feminine has come along and he would graciously give up the front seat to them. They park though and he gets out, dressed for teenage success! "So. Plenty to do...sort of. Food and drinks and theres a bookstore down the way I heard about, lot of out of print stuff in the used stuff." Alex is...talking about bookstores?
Go to the city with a bunch of the gang from the mansion? Sounded fun to Lily. So, she went along. Sitting next to Jono, and quietly determined to see he has a good time, one way or the other. She blinks and glances back at Alex. "Books? You mentioned a bookstore? I guess the California surfer dude thing really is just an act." She teases.
Curfew? What's that? Some students may be along merely because someone asked. That, and it's a /mall/, darnit. Shopping! That it may also include free ice cream is just a total bonus. But at least she didn't arrive in a limo or something. She's trying to be 'low key'. Even so, she has changed into casual attire rather than her school uniform, since wearing that would draw questions she's not supposed to answer. The tall raven-haired girl is keeping Jonothon company despite his pouty sullenness, as they head towards the mall. "There seems to be a line forming at the ice cream store. The signs say it's free to the first customers." Yes. Those signs. Which no one else can see yet. Darn her.
All in all it seems like a nice and normal day. People don't give the kids so much as a second look, far too concerned with their own days to care about a bunch of kids even if two seem weird. There's a pair of bikini models at the tanning salon handing out the free spray-on tan coupons that give little flirty winks and waves to Alex and Jono. All part of trying to lure people in to spend money. And while all seems normal at first...this is shattered.
A table is thrown through the window of a pizzaria, followed shortly by a man. Angelia's Pizza, rather outspoken recently in their refusal to even allow mutants in their building, is the specific shop. People run screaming from within said pizza place as the man that was thrown starts to slowly get up. "Mutie freak!" he curses towards the broken window. A reply comes in the form of a rather...unappealing looking man in a garish green and yellow costume launching himself out and sending the poor pizza-maker flying into a parked car. "Who're ya callin' a freak, pizza man?" the costumed mutant calls in a vaguely british accent. Uh oh...we've got trouble.
Before anyone else can react - and long before there is any sign of trouble - Andrea winces. Having no idea what started any of this - she doesn't know a thing about any prior anti-mutant policies - all Andrea can do is turn, grabbing hold of Jonothon's hand and pointing, just before the window shatters. She didn't really expect that to unfold quite that way. She was going to explain what she saw, but at this point that seems rather moot. Nevertheless, her action is likely to have directed the group's attention towards the mess before it actualy happened, making it unlikely anything was missed.
Lily's reaction to the ruckus (she doesn't know about policies either) is pretty much instinctive ... she jerks back, away from the mayhem. And when she hears the epiteth, she cringes, ducking her head down even further, and doing everything in her power to either disappear entirely or blend into the middle of their little group. "M ... maybe this wasn't such a good idea." She says, very quietly.
Wearing his jacket in spite of the heat, Jonothon can't say he at all minds the company hanging around him. Who can argue having two pretty girls keeping you company? Certainly not he. What he isn't is surprised at Andrea. She told him her power after all. Does eye the teen, but smirks and points off that way too. Come on, people. Go get ice cream. He'll sit outside or something. Alex though gets a look. Books? Heh. Shrugs at the tall blond and nods towards the shop only Andrea sees. <<This first?>> Book stores are great. He can wander around after people fill their bellies.
Considering tanning is the last thing Jono wants to do, he merely smirks at the flirting. Doesn't have time to do much more as that man flies through a window. The teen jumps in surprise, hand to chest. He hunches over somewhat, struggling with his powers. Nope, not doing anything beyond that to start. Bursting into flame would be baaad.
"Aw crap. Can't a guy get a break..." Alex looks behind him as Lily flinchs away and the new opening of stores seems to be going to shit. "Alright...c'mon now. We have to defuse this situation." Apparently, just having mutant powers makes Alex a part of everyone's business. But...Lily and Andrea are with them. "*DON'T* leave, Lily, we don't know who is out in this crowd and I don't want you where I can't protect you." He steps off towards Lily now, his hand reaching to grab her elbow, expecting Jono to take care of Andrea. "Lets get off the main sidewalk and we can hope this thing doesn't escalate."
With the offensive pizza-owner down for the count, the man in green and yellow looks around at the shocked crowd. Since some people seem scared and others are taking pictures with camera phones, he grins and takes a bow before giving a fake lunge at some of the crowd to make them flinch. Laughing, the man looks around again, giving the group of young mutants a once over before his eyes settle on the bikini models. Smirking, the man hops over towards them and doesn't even seem to care that he's likely bumping into Jono and Andrea along the way. And man does this guy STINK. The bikini women scream and try to run but the disgusting man grab one by the wrist. "Where ya goin', hottie? Gonna spend some time with the Toad, ya are."
Andrea blanches, whether that's from the violance or the stench, and backs up a step. The last thing she'd want to do is confront a fellow mutant. But this guy is being a creep and a jerk. Not that there's much she can do about it, but she makes a horrified face nonetheless. And she doesn't seem to be trying to scuttle away like Alex so wisely - wait, how did that happen? - suggested.
Lily blinks at Alex. "Not going anywhere." She says. Not in this crowd, not now. "And no, /we/ dom't." That last is said so softly it's doubtful anyone hears it. WHY are they obligated to defuse the situation? And then again ... the guy is being a creep.
Knocked by the passing Toad, Jonothon would be grateful for that lack of smell if he knew. As it stands he's reeling for the knock and bursting into flame. << Christ. >> Exclaimed in frustration. This was the last thing he wanted. Eyes shift from brown to red and orange as he straightens. No, Lily, this wasn't such a good idea. And since he's already standing out, the teen says to Toad, << Leave them be, wanker. >> Of course he's really not sure what he can do about it.
All in the clear, nobody has noticed them...oh. Right. Being around Jonothon is like playing operation, touch the boy and he bursts into flames. "well shit, now we're definitely involved." Alex steps out and grabs Andrea's arm and pulls her back behind the two boys. Sexist? It looks like it. Tactically sound? Definitely. "It probably is for the best that you calm down and let us get you out of here." The diplomatic solution would be best..get the guy outta there, for his and everybody's elses good.
The crowd was already wary of Toad but the flaming Jono causes some screaming and some people running for it. Toad looks up at all the commotion and offers a confused expression. Jono's voice in his head causes the man to growl. "Watch who you're callin' a wanker ya little bastard," he snaps back. Alex gets a dismissive look. "How about you and your flamey mate there get lost instead?" he suggests, either not realizing or not caring that Lily and Andrea are with the boys. He's still got a grip on the terrified and struggling woman in the swimsuit too.
Tugged to 'safety' behind the flaming Jonothon and Alex, Andrea doesn't even have to turn to look and watch the events unfolding. But she does pipe up sharply, "Let her go, you creep." Because, see, right now she doesn't care that this is a 'fellow mutant'. He's being an ass, and she has had enough of that. But she holds onto Jonothon's hand nevertheless. Shes' concerned. What to do?
Well crap. Jono flaming, idiot-boy terrorizing some poor girl ... and Lily? Was not always the shy thing she is these days. And the more time she's been at the mansion, the more she's been easing back into the way she had been. And this is pushing her over the edge into doing something, especially with Alex being ... well, less than helpful. "Jono, take it easy." Unfortunately, the stereotypical advice to take a deep breath does Jono NO good. "He's not worth getting angry over." Then, to Toad. "You're /pathetic/." She snaps at Toad, though she hasn't taken leave enough of her senses to step out from behind Alex. Angry she might be. Stupid? Not so much. "/This/ is your idea of a good time? Start a fight and frighten some poor woman half to death? /This/ is what it takes to make you feel like a real man? God, you're pathetic."
A show of force might be needed...Jono looks too alarmed by his fire to be too intimidating. "Maybe you don't get this, Toad? Toad right? I came here to have some fun. I've been locked up for a bit." Ehh..grounded, same thing? "And I'm out. And now you're ruining it. So either quit it and hop the fuck outta here." Alex's jaw clenchs lightly and his fingertips start to emit small blue circles, which grows to include his entire hand in bright blue glowing concentric circles. "Just go."
Jonothon is frightened to be sure, but it's not because of Toad. No, he's scared of possibly hurting someone because of his powers. That's the real danger here. << I'm not trying to do this. >> Said of those chiding him. Sorry, guys, but that doesn't help at all. << This is WHY I stay bloody well home! >> The mental voice is tight with tension. That said, his fingers curl around Andrea's. The only but of comfort he's got right now. People are screaming and running, there's a possible fight, but he struggles to keep things from getting worse. Now if only he could cheer on Lily. You tell him!
Toad just makes a little kiss gesture at Andrea, unphased by her. It's Lily and Alex that start to get to him. Expression going from annoyed to angry, the man in the costume just growls. "Watch your mouth, girlie. I'll be goin' where I want to be goin'," he says. Noting the light show beginning around Alex's fists, Toad shoves the bikini woman away. "Don't go too far now, lovely. Toad's gotta teach these kid's a lesson in respect," he says. Toad smiles and in a very sudden move...he opens his mouth and something whips forward, wraps tightly around one of Alex's ankles, and yanks the teen's feet out from under him. What was that? It was his tongue. Eww indeed.
Alex nods his head slowly as the woman gets released, his hands lowering. That tongue! It snags his ankle and Alex upends onto his backside before being dragged forward. Surprised? Definitely, but he shouldn't be, his name IS Toad. Surprised enough to let off that radiation he had building up towards Toad, aimed center-mass hastily.
"Biiiiiiiiiiiig mistake." Lily says. Whether she means her own speaking up, or Toad grabbing Alex is anyone's guess. She presses closer to Jono. Mouthing off she can handle. Fighting is something else again. To the bikini-clad woman, she calls. "Run!" And, having caught Jono's comment about not doing the fire thing on purpose ... "Anything we can do to help with it?" She's fairly certain Toad's about to get 'schooled' by Alex, one way or another, dangling be damned, so she settles for keeping an eye out for anyone /else/ trying to take advantage of the situation. And she ends up being right.
Startled and afraid, as a confrontation with a creep becomes an actual fight and Alex is endangered, Andrea screeches a bit as she reaches out towards Alex, trying to help secure him as he is swept away beyond her control. In broad daylight, it's unlikely anyone will notice at first that Andrea has started to lose control, as the 'dimming' of the ambient energies isn't going to be easily discerned until it ramps up to a greater degree. But Andrea knows, and her hand clamps down even more tightly around Jonothon's. Lily's was a good question, but Andrea is pretty sure the only help they could offer would be the Professor. Who is not here.
<< No. >> Said to Lily of there being anything to do. Jonothon acts only once Alex is pulled over and that bikini wearing girl flees. Andrea can tell that the young man is trembling as his eyes shift entirely to red. The psy-fire lashes around him in a highly agitated manner as Jono blasts at Toad too. Of course his control is fairly lousy. He has NO training in this at all. *PHOOM!* Talk about making people run, screaming. He all but destroys his shirts, and the bandages beneath them. The psy-fire truly spreads for this, spiraling around his shoulders in the aftermath.
That woman's running for it already, likely feeling like she needs to shower for a few days. Toad meanwhile just laughs as Alex falls. Tongue back in his mouth, he's flipping out of the way of the blasts as they head towards him. He lands on the wall of the tanning salon as those blasts tear through the front doors and damage the shop. No one even seems to notice the cameras in the area going dead. "Gonna have to do better then that, kiddies!" Toad taunts before leaping again with enhanced agility. He ends up behind Jono, shoving Lily and Andrea and sending a hard kick at the psionic's back...laughing the whole time.
Alex growls as the toad hops away from his blasts and he causes some collatorel damage. He certainly isn't paying for it. He rolls onto his front and readies to pop back up onto his feet...but Andrea is having trouble. Which triggers Alex's tactical sense! "ANDREA! Flashbang this place, light and sound and everything!" Alex drops back down onto the ground, closing his eyes tightly shut and his fingers deep into his ears.
Lily just sort of freezes in place. Fighting ... not her thing. Jono going supernova makes her flinch away, just for safety's sake. And then Toad's there, and she reacts instinctively to the attack on Jono. It's more flailing than anything like accurate attempts at hitting someone, but she balls up both fists and at least /tries/ to let Toad have it. "You pathetic little /worm/! Too scared to actually stand and fight!"
Shoved by the fast-moving, hyper-agile Toad, Andrea stumbles, apparently unable to protect Jonothon's back. Then again, she can't even defend herself, so this shouldn't surprise anyone. She frowns at Alex's words, but decides to trust her friend despite how unwise she thinks this is. Her fists clench, including the one still trying to hold onto Jonothon - no matter how unsuccessful that may be - as the shop, then the halls beyond, go utterly dark. This lasts only seconds, but as it does, the cameras lose power and short out, recording systems power down, cash registers go dark, and cellphones die. Everything is dark and utterly quiet.
Then there is a terrible explosion of light and sound. More than a few electronic bits are going to have shorts and overloads and all manner of malfunctions. And the force of a pair of military-grade flashbangs erupts ... aimed right at Toad from Andrea's hands.
Kicked, Jonothon sprawls down to the pavement, letting go of Andrea's hand. Hey, he's no combat training, and he's just used the only attack he has. Can't manage another at the moment either. Hands are scraped fairly badly, but that doesn't mean he doesn't cover his ears as he curls up on the ground just before that explosion.
Toad grunts as Lily's fists hit him, more annoyed than hurt as those goggle-like glasses of his get knocked off center. Grabbing the girl's arms at the wrists, he sneers at her. She'll notice a rather weird feeling as a slimy yellow ooze is secreted from Toad's hands onto her wrists and hands. The mutant that's been causing so much trouble then shoves
Lily right at Andrea as the light and sound explosion occurs. Poor Lily's going to end up stuck to whatever or whoever she hits thanks to that yellow ooze. And aside from smelling just horrible, it numbs the whole area it touches. Andrea's flashbang turns out to be more effective than Jono's psionic fire or Alex's plasma, Toad letting out a stream of curses that'd make a sailor blush and covering his eyes with one arm.
Alex knew it was coming...hell, he ordered it. So it goes off and he only waits fractions of a second before he is up and running towards the group of his friends...and he side-tackles Toad like he was trying to win the Heissman in one fell swoop. Its...awkward though, he stumbles from side to side on the way over before just powering into the mutant like a ton of bricks. Once atop of the crazed jackhole, his hands scramble for the guys head and the blue circles come back...low power though. Cause this guy a helluva headache.
Lily eeps and thrashes, trying to get out of Toad's grip, making a horrified face at the ooze. "Disgusting ... " She doesn't get any further, though, because Alex comes flying in ... more or less literally. She eeps again, flinging herself back and away, landing on her butt rather ignominously. It takes her a few seconds to realize the one hand's gone numb, thanks to the ruckus. Once she does, she sort of stares at it for a second, then. "Alex! Don't let him touch your skin!"
While people assault Toad, Jonothon tries to get his powers under control. The blast sure helped, but that isn't necessarily a good thing. That poor shop. Curled up on the ground, eyes closed, and hands over ears, the teen remains that way even after Andrea's blast is done. Cut out the world and focus within. Little by little Jono pulls the psy-fire in. Sadly this means he can't help his new friends. His shirts are ruined, and even as he reduces a good part of the fire, it won't entirely go away because he can't wrap it up.
Suddenly bereft of energy, Andrea does as she usually does in such situations, dropping to one knee and wrapping her arms around her midsection, exhaustion threatening to overwhelm her. But even so, she is aware of what is going on around her, as others spring to life of one form or another in the aftermath of the 'blast' of light and sound and other energies she unleashed. She would reach for Lily or Jonothon, but as far as she can tell there's little she can do for either of them at the moment.
Andea is determined she is never going shopping again without her bodyguards. This is ridiculous.
Cursing and grunting, Toad goes down with Alex atop him. He mostly shields his head from Alex's blows, vision slowly coming back. Getting a blurry idea of where Alex is, he spits...but it's not saliva. That same sticky ooze that has Lily's hands numb and sticking to anything they touch ends up globbed aaround Alex's mouth and nose. Disgust factor aside, it's numbing the skin it touches and will be making breathing an issue. Shoving the surfer boy off him, Toad scrambles to his feet. Still not seeing or thinking completely clearly, he just lashes out and spits again. This time it's a green slime...and the ground it hits starts to sizzle a bit. Spitting in Andrea and Lily's general direction from where Toad remembers them pre-tackle, any skin the slime hits will burn. It's not strong enough to melt flesh or anything like that but it will still hurt like a *****! "No more nice Toad!" the ugly mutant calls when he apparently runs out of slime.
Scott Summers and Piotr Rasputin are actually hanging out in New York City today as well. It is not by chance. Scott mentioned to Piotr he wants to see if Alex stays out of trouble for real, and he worries about the students going out by themselves. Especially with Alex, who attracts trouble, lots of it. Lo and behold, there is trouble attracted. Scott's face tenses up from his viewpoint of Toad's appearance, but he says, "Don't interfere, not yet." He appears unhappy about the situation, but has made his decision.
Soon when a fight is actually started, Scott states, "I'm changing." He leaves with his backpack and goes into and alleyway to change quickly. Not like people are sticking around (not many anyway) to stare at the mutant fighting. When Cyclops finally returns he says, "Go ahead and transform to Colossus. We are going to have to teach these children what reality is. I don't know what they are doing except trying to play with someone that could murder them." He hides his concern for Jonothan, he cannot allow it to interfere with what he has to do.
When it looks like the children are about to get seriously hurt Cyclops finally says, "It's time. Mission, subdue the mutant criminal and get the children back to the van before police arrive. We can pick up Alex's car later. X-Men, move out!" Cyclops goes moving forward, movements fast and confident as he eats up ground along the sidewalk. A hand lifts and suddenly a blast of red light fires right at Toad, and it isn't a nice short blast either. It's one with force behind it and it keeps going until Cyclops is sure Toad feels it before it halts. He is heading first toward Jonothan who is down. "Jonothan," his tone commanding. "Get up, and move with the other students two blocks south to the silver van." He expects Jonothan to just get up and start moving even though he is exhausted and his powers are unsure. He may seem to ask too much of Jonothan, but there is no compassion in his tone.
Colossus follows right behind Cyke. The twilight glints off his steel skin. He says nothing, simply moving between Toad and the students. Be watches the ugly mutants cautiously as he guards the retreat
Orders receive a quiet, << Fuck off. >> No, he's on no mood for this. Of course that doesn't stop the teen from trying to move anyway. Jonothon's as tired as Cyclops suspects, but he climbs to hands and knees and then to his feet. Eyes are once again brown, but psy-fire is wrapping around him again as he moves. The shirt's are tattered and unable to hide the hole in his chest. Okay, would someone point him to the van? His head is pounding thanks to Andrea. NOt that he blames her, but ow..
Splattered with acid-goop, Andrea cries at the pain, shaking her arms as she tries to get it off and only manages to spread its damage further. She struggles towards Lily, and starts smearing the acid-goop on the sticky goop to see if it can get her fishy friend free so that they can run away, since apparently their best effort to end this has only resulted in more pain and agony for all involved.
Then Cyclops comes roaring in. Problem being, Andrea has never seen Cyclops before. Or Colossus. They are strange mutants to her - mostly. She's not stupid, and can guess from the red lense that this might be Scott. But she's shocked, she's startled, she's in pain, and she's scared. So she just huddles away from the strangers. But if Jonothon is going to stumble away, Andrea will try to do the same, if only Lily can come along. She's not leaving anyone behind.
Alex takes that gunk stuff in the face, his hands raising up to fend off enough of it that hes breathing...but barely out of his nose. He stumbles up onto his feet again, his fingers fingers of his left hand digging deep into the gunk and ripping it off of his mouth. Alas....stuck now. "C'mon...lets go." He steps forward and wraps an ungunked arm around Lily's waist. "This'll sting a bit." And heaves backwards to get her from the gunk.
The blast of red fire makes Lily jump and twist around, worried someone /else/ unfriendly's on the scene ... at least until she identifies Scott. He definitely looks ... well ... severe, but it's still him. And that HAS to be Piotr behind him, by height alone. Nobody else is that tall. She shrieks when Alex hauls her up ... a few of her scales give way, leaving red, bleeding patches of skin. "Owwwwww. That's gonna leave a mark." She tries to keep her hands clear of everyone, so she doesn't reglue to them.
The green slime is pretty easy to get rid of with kinetic motion (ie: FLAIL!), thankfully application of some cold water and then burn cream will deal with that. And it even does a number on the yellow slime, making it weaker and even easier to get free of. Alex will also find his powers burn away at ir pretty easily if he tries it.
Toad, head buzzing and burning...internally, he's not Ghost Rider ya know... and vision and hearing still blurry and ringing, stumbles slightly towards the moving shape of a person. That is right until he's hit with an optic blast. He's thankful for the enhanced durability that's kept him going through the students' assault so far but it doesn't save him entirely as he's plasted into a cellphone kiosk. After several moments, he blindly launches himself out with a yell of anger. Sadly for him he's headed right for Colossus without even knowing it. The students have an opening to either leave like Cyclops tells them or fight some more.
Cyclops glances Jono's way but lets it go. Considering it all, he's got a free pass for one or two of those. The X-men's leader then moves to make sure he's between the fleeing students and Toad the whole time. He'll blast the evil mutant again if he has to but he wants to see what Colossus can do.
With Lily free, Andrea stumbles up to her feet weakly, and makes for Jonothon, gathering him with an arm and helping to propel him along as they run away. Whatever her reasons, she shows no real fear of his psi-fire, though she's not bathing in it by any means. She saves comments for later, though it is a good thing she does not use her eyes to see, or she'd be blinded by the tears pouring down her cheeks.
Alex looks over towards Andrea, making sure she is good to stand up. Then he eases Lily up and into his arms. He'll stay carrying her for awhile if need be. Towards the van he starts to jog, like l
Colossus sees Toad flying his way. He's got orders to capture him if possible, so he waits until Toad hits, then wraps him in a bear hug. "I suggest you not struggle."
Alex looks over towards Andrea, making sure she is good to stand up. Then he eases Lily up and into his arms. He'll stay carrying her for awhile if need be. Towards the van he starts to jog, good thing Lily hasn't been eating that many fish recently...or has she?
Lily is more or less fine, thankfully. Sore, but not to the point of being nonambulatory. Once she's on her feet, she's all too happy to make tracks with Alex and Andrea. And no, Alex, she is NOT fat.
Smacking into a big wall of metal man, Toad gets redazed. He ends up hanging there in Piotr's grasp, all the blows catching up with him. Cyclops remains close by as well. As the students reach the van they'll hear the cops finally reaching the scene. Cyclops looks over his shoulder at the sound of sirens and nods to Colossus. "Let's go."
Colossus simply nods and follows Cyclops, keeping a firm grasp on Toad. Acidic slime? No problem for someone with carbon steel skin. "Are we bringing this one?" he asks, nodding at Toad.
Cyclops leads the way back to the van, shaking his head. "No. Drop him for the police," he says, signaling towards the officers that can be seen coming in from another direction. Once he gets back to the van, Scott hops into the driver's seat and waits for Piotr to get in before starting back to the mansion.
Colossus nods and sets Toad on the ground. Nicer treatment than he deserves, but Piotr is a nice guy. The van's suspension squeals in protest as Piotr climbs in, but he waits until the doors are closed and they are driving away before transforming back to human. He looks around at the other passengers. "Is everyone alright?"