|Marvel: Age of Heroes|
There were no classes today as it was a Saturday and even less people around tonight. But there does seem to be some activity at Harlem High School. One of the doors away from the street has been smashed open and there's noise coming from inside. Several men and women, all wearing different masks (painter's masks, ski masks, etc), are inside armed with tools, bats, paint, crowbars and more. Walls are have been spraypainted with anti-mutant slurrs and the administrative office has been broken into. "Hey! I found out where the freak's locker is!" one of the younger men yells from the office. "Let's tear it up!" another calls, lifting a crowbar. Seems like there's some trouble that'll need breaking up...
While this isn't the worst crime ever committed against mutants it is still something that has to be put to an end, that being why the Institute was notified. Not wanting to cause things to escalate too much, Jean has decided not to call the entire team but rather asked Logan to join her, a little extra man power that'll hopefully convince the vandals to cease without provoking a fight. Arriving at the school, Jean leads the way in, in costume of course, trying to get a feel for where everyone is via her telepathy so they won't be caught unaware... hopefully.
Logan follows Jean in, also in costume he looks to her, his voice barely a whisper. "We should split up, make sure we don't miss any of 'em." He doesn't need telepathy to make sure he's not being snuck up on, his senses helping him pick out their scents and even the sounds of the footfalls and heart beats. "This shouldn't take too long." With that Logan's moving quickly yet almost too silently down the corridor. It's probably a good thing for the vandals that Logan knows they don't want to provoke violence.
The various thugs, about 20 in total are in what could be considered the main hall for the most part They're spread among it, some breaking into lockers, others in classrooms. Things are being smashed, spray painted, anything that looks valuable being stolen. They remain unaware of the X-Men.
Two against twenty. Hardly favorable odds, there, but Jean's hoping between herself and Logan that they'll be able to quell this without having things become violent. Not daring to use her powers, she calls out once she finds the largest knot of people, her voice lifted to a shout so she can at least maybe sound authorative even if she's not exactly sure she feels it. Damnable self-doubt. "Cease what you're doing and vacate the grounds," she orders, her expression stern, Jean frowning while a deep crease lines her brow for how much she scowls.
Jen is not typically the sort of girl to be at school on a Saturday. In fact, she's not that sort of girl at all. What she is is just passing by. The sounds of things being smashed and broken in the school makes her smack her hand against the plastic shield of her hood. "For god's sake," she mutters. "It's not even a school day and they're harassing me. Jameson -better- come through." She quietly sneaks onto the grounds. Last thing she wants is to have the blame for this tossed at her feet, too.
Logan arrives in the hall with a strangely sinister grin as he approaches the group from one of the other halls, having taken the time to circle around. He's produced a cigar from somewhere on his cotume, a single claw present as he trims the cigar for smoking. He leans against the nearest wall looking for all the world as though he's perfectly at ease. "I'd listen to her. She asks nicely. I don't."
A few of the thugs turn to look at Jean when she speaks, a couple making some rude gestures about her to one another. They all laugh at her orders. "Yeah right," one speaks up. Logan's appearance and claw get them on edge before one lifts the bat he's got and yells. "They're freaks too! Take 'em out!" and with that, they're rushing the two X-men.
Jen arrives at the school's doorway in time to see a bunch of punk kids charging Marvel Girl and Wolverine. Let's think about this a moment. Marvel Girl. And Wolverine. Charging either one of these two alone is a dumb move. Charging both of them? Jen would facepalm again, except she doesn't want to smudge her faceplate any further than it's already smudged.
Not having many options, Jean uses her telepathy, trying to calm the people down but she's thrown off her game, leaving it a toss up as to whether she'll be successful or not when it comes to calming everyone down. 'Please stop,' she projects into their heads while bracing herself, her eyes wide. Looks like Logan will be able to have some fun after all if she's not able to get this under control herself. 'There is no need to do this. Please leave...' Logan makes a note of the rude gestures, say what you want about him he's got manners after his own fashion at least.
He straightens up and as the thugs make to attack him he begins to move with a surprising grace for someone so musclar, his moves for now all evasive and counters, nothing that will do permenant damage, though some of the thugs his moves put down won't be making rude gestures again for a while, he seems not to care about their weapons, catching blows from the bats on the forearms with little sign of concern, an adamantium skeleton comes in handy at times like this after all.
While Marvel Girl's telepathy manages to send a handful of the thugs...those around for peer pressure or some other small reason...for the exits, the majority of those there are fanatics. Filled with far too much hatred of mutants to be so easily chased off. While many focus Wolverine, a few are still going for Jean. One swings a bat at the woman the moment she's close enough. Thankfully none of these guys seem to know what they're doing in a fight.
Jen sees no reason to get in the middle of this. She can't help but notice that one of the damaged lockers is her own -- typical. Her irritation knows no bounds. "Kick 'im in the nards," she mutters to herself. And then, still speaking quietly, "Wolfman's got nards?!"
"Logan..." Jean starts to say, wanting to warn him off from doing anymore harm but she finds herself about to become assaulted, causing her to act defensively. Targeting the once closest to her, Jean attempts to use a psionic blast, wanting to give the person a good headache that might prove enough of a distraction to get them to stop, or so she hopes, the attack then targeted at another.
Logan has a perfectly good case of self-defense, and more importantly Wolverine's got a bad enough reputation that this isn't going to hurt it any. He continues in his mostly passive method, his forehead catching one of the bats and watching it break against his much harder skull, he returns the favour by sending out a open palmed strike to try and knock the man out without doing any real damage, his foot snaps out to the side of him with similar intent.
The thugs prove little more than cannonfodder for Wolverine. They go down with the strikes and stay down for the most part. Others get back up for another try. Jean gets similar luck, the most of thugs left stumbling with headaches around her. One keeps coming though, throwing a punch at the red head. None seem to have noticed Jen.
Just as well, really. Jen's methods of self defense involve: 1) screaming like a girl, 2) running like a scared child, or 3) taking off her gloves and flash-frying people. She hasn't done the third, and generally she'd prefer not to. So it's just as well that the X-Men are distracting these people -- these very much not fond of Jen people.
Having to dodge a punch has Jean in a decidedly less-than-stellar mood and she decides that it's time to put an end to this once and for all. "Enough," she intones angrily while calling upon her telekenesis, using it to lift the rest of those seeking a fight off of their feet, leaving them hovering in place. "We will not tolerate such abuse or criminal behavior. Logan, what do you think we should do with them?" She knows Logan. His answer will probably involve gutting or some other form of bloodshed but maybe hearing him say such will remove the last of the piss and vinegar from them.
Shrugging Logan finally gets around to lighting his cigar... He offers Jean a faint grin. "I was gonna let 'em off with a few broken bones... But I figure it never hurts to take a limb or two... People always remember how they an arm after all." He shrugs a shoulder, most would be very hard pressed to convince themselves he didn't mean it. "Of course eyes are always good... Taking out someone's eye's a messy business though, they tend to burst."
There's a mixed reaction from the thugs. While several start yelling to be let go and begging not to be maimed, others just continue to hurl insults and slurs at the mutant heroes as they flail in the air.
Jen finally speaks up, now that the danger's over. "Personally," she says, "I think we ought to call the cops and let the news spread that a bunch of idiots broke into a school to vandalize the place, and a couple of mutants stopped them. That's just me, though."
Jean looks over her shoulder at th girl, Jen watched carefully for a second before she nods, agreeing with her. "Could you call the police, please?" The thugs are left in mid-air, their shouts and insults ignored, Jean not trusting them enough to let them go. "Sorry, Logan. I know I shouldn't goad you into behaving worse than you do normally," she apologizes, her expression genuinely rueful.
Logan looks at Jean. "Oh, I hadn't even got to the nasty stuff Red." He looks at the gathered vandals. "I can't think of many things too bad for people who'd scare some kid with more than her share of troubles." He still sounds as if he means every word. "So yeah, getting 'em safely locked away might just be in their best interest." He looks at Jean his expression shifting a little. "And I think I've been the model of good behaviour, I ain't hurt any of 'em in any way that won't heal."
Jen nods, backing off so she can fumble around within her suit without endangering anybody. In the process her glove comes off -- but the amount of radiation she produces in the few moments it takes her to find her cell phone and place the call is negligible. "Hello, I'm calling from Harlem High. A number of people in ski masks have broken into the school and vandalized the place." She answers questions as appropriate.
The group of TK-held criminals is taken outside while the call is made, those injured or somehow milling around left for Logan to gather and pack outside. Jean's careful to make sure there are no stragglers about or citizens passing by before the vandals are set down, still frozen into immobility by that unseen force. "Now, how about you explain what you were doing," she asks, the suggestion that being honest with their answer would be the best course of action put into their head at the same time she speaks.
Logan's done, he's quite content now to stay out of the way, once again lounging in that vaguely threatening, yet extremely relaxed fashion as he listens to the vandals answer the questions asked of them. "Wrecking this filthy, mutie-loving school," one of the thugs spits, glaring at Jean. The police meanwhile will be there soon enough according to the 911 dispatcher on the phone.
"Oh, that's brilliant," says Jen. She's pulled her glove back on. "Dude, news flash: you're a moron. Everybody hates me here. You know why I can go here? Because it's -illegal- for them to -keep me out!-" She makes an L with her index finger and thumb, presses it to the yellow rubberized fabric over her faceplate. "Maybe think a little next time -- or better yet, think a little while you're spending the next twenty years behind bars, because hey! This is a friggin' HATE CRIME!"
Reaching up, Jean rubs a hand over her forehead, looking faintly pained. "I see." Sighing, she looks over to Jen and then over to Logan, her expression sad. "I guess somethings will never change," she says to him eventually. "But I guess it's the police's burden to deal with now."
Nodding Logan frowns a little. "'Fraid it's not going to change any time soon, still we did the job today... Do the same again tomorrow... That's all we can ever do." He still doesn't move from his position leaning against the wall. The thugs don't have much more new to say. Just continued threats and insults hurled at the three mutants.
Jen throws her hands up. "Right. You guys don't need me here. I'm gonna be outside where the air's better. Even through a hazmat suit their stink is horrible." She turns and stalks out to wait for the police.
Sirens sound after a little longer and the perps are handed over to the police once they've pulled up, Jean looking very uncomfortable. After a quick report given she turns and lets them do their job, hers and Logan's work done then. Tilting her head towards Jen, remembering something she was told by Hank and Logan both, she motions for her teammate to join her while the girl is approached, Jean smiling now despite the throbbing in her head. "I am sorry you had to witness that."
Logan notices the pain Jean seems to be in and finally he pushes himself off the wall in one quick motion he's moving to stand next to Jean, he actually looks a little concerned. "You ok Red?" He offers a nod to Jen, though he's not going to do much more.
"Yeah, well, just another day in the life of the infamous Bronx mutant," replies Jen with a shrug. "God knows I'm scary as hell, what with my waddling around in a bright yellow radiation suit all day. I'm like an evil clown. People hate those."
The joke has Jean wincing a bit, it striking a chord within her. "I see. I'm... sorry. Oh. I'm Marvel Girl..." she introduces herself, not giving her real name just yet. "And I beleive you two have met?" That being Jen and Logan. "I know that things are rough. But we can help, if you'll let us." Logan's question is answered eventually. "I'm fine. Just a slight headache."
Logan continues to watch Jean, his concern still there, but he does look at Jen. "I was there last time, but I headed back to the Blackbird before the introductions started." He nods to Jen. "I'm Wolverine."
Jen allows herself the faintest of smiles in return. "I knew that," she says. "And yes, we've met, briefly, in passing." She nods. "Yeah, I knew that too. You guys aren't completely invisible or anything." She is, at least, less snarky than last week. At the moment.
"Why do you continue to go to this school," Jean asks, her concern for the girl being the motivation behind her question. "There is somewhere safe you can go, somewhere where this..." she motions to the school via the tilt of her head, "doesn't happen." She's looking back at Logan, catching one of his concerned looks, that getting her to frown. "I'm fine."
"Yeah, well," says Jen, "maybe there is, but you know, any other school I could go to in New York, it'd be the same thing. I'm publicly known as a mutant, so most of the boarding schools are going to turn me down -- even if we had the money, which we don't. Jonah Jameson's supposed to be setting up some kinda scholarship for me, but I'm betting it's got about fifty cents and his pocket lint in it so far."
Logan grins a little as he looks at Jean, his expression almost amused. "Never said you weren't." He looks at Jen. "Happens to be a school that ain't got any issues with mutants, but it'd mean leaving the City." He shrugs a shoulder. "Ain't a bad place." From Logan that's a shining compliment.
"Exactly," Jeans says with a smile. "I know that it might sound impossible but there is such a place, as Wolverine mentioned. A place with other children like you. A place where you'll be safe and with people who care." She's hoping that she's going about this the right way, not wanting to use her telepathy to try and read Jen's thoughts while speaking with her.
"I've heard," says Jen dryly. "Somebody gave me the impression I wasn't welcome there, either." And no, he didn't come out and say any such thing -- but he kept telling her to buck up and deal, and a brighter day was right around the corner. Jackass.
Logan nods a little. "Yeah... Doesn't sound like Cyclops, but some of the kids seem to think you need to be upbeat and cheerful... I wouldn't worry about it... They ain't as concerned as you think... Give 'em a couple of weeks and they'll give up on trying to cheer you up. They did me."
Shaking her head, Jean smiles sadly. "That is not the case at all. We'd be very happy to have you with us, Jen." Looking at Logan again, she sighs. "I wonder who's been giving that impression. I don't think any of the teachers would..." She's not sure all of whom Jen has met so she's at a loss, unable to figure out just who it was.
Jen shrugs. "Some guy with red shades," she says. "Said he was a teacher. Don't remember the name. Look, if there's a place for me there, anything's better than living here with people who don't want me around -- and there aren't any I know of who -do- want me around. But I need to know for real that there's a place for me or I can't even think about it." She could not handle the disappointment if it turned out to be false hope.
Logan frowns a little. "Seems that Summers ain't doing to good with the kids lately." He shrugs a shoulder as he looks at Jen. "Yeah. I'd say ignore he tells you outside of classes, he's an idiot." Logan shrugs a shoulder. "You'd be more than welcome at the school. It was made for people like us to be able to be ourselves... Trust me, if they're willing to put up with me you'll have no trouble kid."
Darting a look at Logan, Jean shakes her head. One thing she will not abide by is his talking poorly about Scott in front of the children, his history with him best left in private. "Why don't you come back with us. You can see what it's like at the school and decide for yourself. No pressure."
Jen regards the pair for a long moment, then slowly shakes her head, stepping back. "Thank you," she says. "But... not yet. Not that there's anything for me here. Just... I need some time." She doesn't entirely trust that things could go her way for once. God knows the universe has been crapping on her long enough.
If there's one thing that's going for Logan in these discussions it's that he's not one to push. He shrugs a shoulder causally. "Sure, you take your time, it's not something to rush into I can understand that." He offers a shrug to Jean, his comment on Scott doesn't bother him too much, he saw it as a way of helping get her interest in the school back, not to mention he sees it as simple truth.