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Astonish Them: An X-Men RPG
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Scott Summers [userpic]

Striding through the mansion, I couldn't help but shake my head. Logan had offered up a couple of suggestions as to who might be behind Shiro Yoshida's sudden pronouncement that depowered mutants could be restored, and neither one of them made me feel any better. Sebastian Shaw, the last time the X-Men had seen him, had been thrown out of his own Hellfire Club and was either still in custody or was more concerned with restoring himself to power. Apocalypse, on the other hand, was dead.

Of course, those very same reasons served just as well as reasons to consider them as likely suspects. The question, then, was which-- unless, that was, the culprit was someone entirely new.

I was getting another one of those headaches.

The Institute was awake and buzzing, and between the garage and the office I shared with Emma, I had to deflect and evade more than a dozen students' questions about what they'd seen on the news. And frankly, I would have preferred dodging guided missiles, which didn't come at you with looks of hope or horror, and wanted to destroy you rather than coming to you for comfort.

"No one's going anywhere," I told them. "The X-Men are going to look into this. Shiro's a friend, and we're going to ask him what's going on, that's all."

Only a few dozen of the students who'd lost their powers had gone home to their families. Many of those still here only remained because, despite what had happened to them, were still being turned away. They were the ones I knew would be most desperate after hearing the news-- and the biggest reason we needed to get this settled now.

Once safely in the office, I shut my eyes and sent out a call.

{Emma. Let's talk. Logan and I are in the office.}

((Open to Emma and Logan))

Current Mood: stressedstressed
Emma Frost [userpic]

"Damn it," I muttered to myself before passing Hank quickly without another moment's thought. Whatever the hell he was working on could wait. Cerebra needed to be repaired if we were going to attempt to locate the Professor, or even the remaining mutants left on the planet.

Then again, through our psychic link, Scott had told me what he'd heard on the radio about Shiro.

Shaking my head, I heard the loud clicks of my heels and stopped for a moment. It was loud. Far too loud. The emptiness of the mansion suddenly hit me at that moment and I pulled my white blazer closer around my body as if that would somehow protect me from the chill of the echoing hall. Pushing past that, I walked to Kitty's room, not knowing or caring if she was with Piotr at the moment.

I knocked once, out of courtesy, then opened the door and sighed.

We had never been on the best of terms, and here I was asking her for another bloody favor.

"Cerebra needs to be repaired as soon as possible," I explained to her. "Hank can't do it and... well, there was just an announcement on the radio that Shiro made some form of proclamation. Something along the lines of having the ability to return a mutant's powers to them."

I wasn't sure if she cared or not, but I pressed on.

"His were fully restored somehow."

Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Sebastian Shaw [userpic]

Half-past nine in the morning was not a time of the day I particularly relished seeing, but having done more than a little time as the hands-on CEO of Shaw Enterprises, I had more than a little experience with rousing myself out of a bed I'd fallen into only a few hours prior. There were opportunities to be had for the 'early bird', and not much but scraps for the late.

I glanced over my shoulder, out the open double doors that led onto the balcony, with its excellent view of the Eternal City. Rome was not my favorite city in the world, but I did enjoy it, and if Madelyne and I had been here alone for a-- well, perhaps not a 'romantic' vacation, but certainly an indulgently entertaining one-- I'd have been looking at the city from the hotel's Villa del Cupola suite, the massive marble-floored ultimate in Roman ostentatiousness, rather than the relatively humble Presidential Suite. But we were here on business, on the first public mission of the grand plan, and we were not alone besides.

Turning back toward the TV, and the CNN broadcast I'd been monitoring. The image behind the newscaster was running a loop of a few minutes earlier, when our companion had made his spectacular and-- no pun intended-- inflammatory appearance among the disgruntled former mutant protestors. Speculation in the immediate aftermath of Sunfire's announcements was running rampant.

I sipped at the strong, dark Italian coffee and smiled to myself. The 'resurrected' and 'restored' Shiro Yoshida would soon be returning to the hotel, and preparations would begin for the next phase.

At the moment, though, I could hear the approaching footsteps, heels clicking on the polished marble tile floor. My Black Queen was up and about. I gave her a nod over my shoulder and gestured at the television report, which was now examining an enhanced zoom-in of Sunfire's new, more spectacular appearance.

"Our business partner made quite the impression on people this morning," I quipped. "Just the right touch of righteous anger, I'd say."

((Open to Maddie and Shiro))

Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

I was in my room again, head on the pillow but feet on the floor, body half-cocked at an angle that was anything but soothing. The thing was, I didn't want to be soothed, or to sleep. And I guess I wanted the awkwardness too. Because in a blink I could phase through the floor, and be downstairs and ready to face -- whatever. Wasn't everything that vague these days?

I was supposed to be the link. Isn't that what this whole thing started out being? I had done both, lived both in a way. From mutant to college student, and then to some strange blend of both. I taught. I was educated. And I was still learning lessons I didn't want to.

And I guess I didn't want to phase either. Maybe the feet on the floor meant I would rather prolong the knowing. That the extra steps down the hall, and the stairs to the front door to see who was gone this time? Maybe I wanted to pretend I hadn't heart the sound as long as possible.

But the truth was my room was too close to the door for that.

I could hear, and feel, everytime it slammed closed. And I also knew that it wasn't because anyone was actually coming in. These days, people only left.

And I was worried about who would be next. Just like I could fianlly admit, as our number grew smaller and smaller, and more students left? Now I could finally admit just how much I had loved being back here, and what that had meant.

But what did that mean for today?

My feet kept scraping the floor, and I waited for the door to slam again.

Because it would.

Remy LeBeau [userpic]

Wasn't no way to back out now, Remy, I tol' myself. The door'd been knocked on, and I could hear the shuffle of feet comin' to answer it. It'd already been a couple'a weeks since M-Day, an' we'd all had our hands more'n full with the tent city that'd sprung up on our front yard, them shiny new Sentinels standin' over us like big metal vultures, and still keepin' the school open an' runnin'. Even I couldn't get out of doin' my mentor thing, and right now, it did appear to be needed, and bad.

Finally, though, I'd carved out some time this mornin' to go say hello and actually spend a few grown-up and alone minutes with Rogue. Not that I was expectin' anything romantic or all, but I was definitely lookin' forward to talkin' to someone about things other than homework and why 'Mr. Summers' is such a hard-ass and what a boy should do about 'funny feelings' around so many young ladies in skintight outfits.

Oui, especially that last one.

Rogue cracked open the door and turned a sleepy green eye at me. I waved.

"Jus' lil' ol' me," I said, smilin'.

The door opened further, revealin' my gal looking very sleep-rumpled and sexy as all hell in an oversized shirt I was pretty sure she'd lifted from my closet. My smile dipped a little. It was almost ten, I hadn't thought I'd be wakin' her up.

"Late night, chere?"

((Open to Rogue))

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Scott Summers [userpic]

There was a time when I had a lot more sleepless nights. Back in the days of there only being a half-dozen X-Men, when I wasn't much more than a kid, the pressures of being field leader would keep me up a lot. Even though the others were my very close friends-- my best friends, in fact-- I was even less inclined to be expressive about worries and doubts than now. Sometimes, I'd hole up in the library to read, or catch up on the most mundane homework I had assigned, anything to get my mind off of the bigger things.

I should've stayed in bedCollapse )

I switched it off, looking at Logan.

"Great. As if it couldn't get any worse."

((Open to Logan))

Current Location: Xavier Institute, garage
Current Mood: pessimisticpessimistic
Madelyne Pryor [userpic]

I suppose I was lucky to have Sebastian approach me when he had to ask me to return to the hellfire Club. Of course, I had wished he had done more begging. Perhaps more sex... then again, withholding sex from the man usually got me what I wanted.

And I wanted to be the Black Queen.

Wish granted.

Things were going exceedingly well in terms of the membership and our new plan, until he informed me of our "benefactor." A goblyn curled up near my leg as I had sat in a chair, watching him shift uneasily. There was more he wasn't telling me, that much was certain, and so I'd threatened to unleash all of my goblyns upon him unless he finally gave in and told me what the hell this was all about.

Wish granted.

The former X-Man, Shiro Yoshida -- codename, "Sunfire" -- was now our to use as we saw fit. Knowing the man was of considerable "honor", I highly doubted any torture techniques would have worked on him, until I met him. And I saw...

His legs. Or rather, his wonderfully perfect fake legs.

We had a brief conversation, he and I, and I learned that he had even lost his powers. Poor, poor dear. Apparently, the loss of his powers was something he could not understand yet attributed it to the X-Man named "Rogue". We knew otherwise.

The world had shifted, and homo superior was a struggling race to survive. Sebastian and I, working within the Hellfire Club, were determined to change that. To restore the former glory mutants once had. Sunfire demonstrated a wonderful ability of plasma, one that he apparently had not had mere days ago. Sebastian explained this was part of a deal with our benefactor.

Sunfire would be our tool. We could show him to the X-Men and other former mutants of the world over and offer our services. Any mutant who had lost their powers recently could have them fully restored by us... for a price.

It was perfect. It was something that even the noble Scott Summers could not deny. It was too tempting for anyone to resist, and soon all the mutants would come to the Hellfire Club seeking aid.

And we would grant their wishes.

The older man had taken his nephew to the still-ruined city. Everything seemed to be too quiet, as if the entire place had not only died, but every last mote of life had been extinguished. It was frightening, but that was not a reaction that would be tolerated.

"You know the place, Shiro?"

"Yes, Uncle Tomo. This is Hiroshima, where the Americans used their atomic bombs on the Empire. This is where Mother got sick."

The ground was almost warm to the touch. A moment later, Sunfire was born.


I had woken up twice before, both times seeing the world through the cloudy haze of painkillers and sedatives. There hadn't been a recognizeable world beyond the hospital bed, beyond the IV tubes and the constantly beeping monitors. One of the times, there was a moving shadow, something that might have been another person, along with a sound that might have been a voice. Both times, sleep had crashed over me after only a few seconds.

When I opened my eyes for the third time, my head was only a little heavy. If there were still drugs in my system, it was very little, although I was more exhausted than I could ever remember being.

I raised my head, trying to peer around the room. It was the nondescript white of a hospital room in any major city in the world. I flexed my hands, finding them held to the bed with leather straps, keeping the needles in my arms immobilized. For a moment, I considered simply tearing the tubes and electrodes from my body and running.

And then I looked down, to find my legs now ending halfway between my hip and where my knee once was. The memories flooded into my mind. Deathstrike. Rogue. The memories that had been erased. The treacherous dealings of the Silver Samurai. The fight. Deathstrike. Fire and pain.

Darkness curtained my sight again.

It felt like several hours before I awoke. This time, I was sure there was someone else in the room.

"Hello, Yoshida-san."

The figure stepped into the light and I recoiled, calling the heat of my power into being. I felt... nothing.

"Your powers are gone, Yoshida-san, as are your legs."

I fell back against the pillow, wondering why I was not allowed then to simply die, then.

"I can change that."

Closing my eyes, I answered only, "How?"

Sebastian Shaw [userpic]

When opportunity knocks, one must absolutely answer-- there is no other choice, unless one wants to be left behind at best, or worse, trampled underfoot.

In the minor example, every fluctuation in finance is an opportunity waiting to be seized. Untold wealth has been expended in an attempt to emulate the human instinct and intuition that allows the very best analysts and brokers to understand each minute change and react accordingly.

Mutantkind now stands in the wake of the most significant and monumental wave of change in the history of the world since the very inception of homo superior. We few, we lucky few who were judged either lucky or worthy enough to escape the upheaval unscathed have been presented with perhaps the greatest opportunity any of us will ever know. Where there were many, now there are one hundred ninety-eight.

And I fully intend to seize this opportunity to stand atop that number, exactly as I am meant to.

As if I had needed another reason to train my sights on that whelp DaCosta and his perversion of the Hellfire Club, this was the last, most important one. The Hellfire Club would become the apparatus through which I would affect my ascendancy. It had not taken long to recruit the individuals necessary for the reestablishment of my regime, this time with only a Black King and Queen as Lords Cardinal. My dark-hearted Madelyne was more than ready and willing to put her substantial abilities to my purposes, especially in light of her own.

The final piece to fall into place was the gift I'd received from our mysterious benefactor. Though I had no inkling as of yet just who it was that had given me the key to my dominance, but I was certain that once my ends had been achieved it would be nothing to destroy that weakness. In the meantime, I merely needed to wait and watch until the time was right.

The world was almost ready, and when it was it would come to me on its knees.

Current Mood: determined
Remy LeBeau [userpic]

When is a raven like a writin' desk?

Supposedly, there's no answer t' that riddle. I believe that-- spent a whole two days on tryin' t' figure it out when I was a little bit of a thing, and if you knew my attention span back then, you know that's sayin' something.

When is a mutant not a mutant?

Once upon a time, there wouldn't've been an answer to that one, either. But voila, overnight, there was an answer for all but a hundred ninety-eight of us. The answer was, "when some crazy lil' gal decides they shouldn't be".

Me, I've always been plenty at ease with bein' a mutant, and havin' these powers. They've been a help more'n a hindrance, especially in my chosen profession, and they do make for some spectacular party tricks. I got no problem with that whatever gene that switches on a body's powers, and I got no problem with other people gettin' all switched on themselves.

Nah, it's the other stuff about me I've had problems with. It's the folks who've had a hand in turnin' and twistin' my life down the kinds of roads I ain't never wanted to walk. Some I had to deal with willingly, some not so much, and too often they ended up bein' the baddest of the bad. Didn't do too much for the good of my own soul, either.

'Course, I gotta wonder 'bout Rogue. She sittin' back, wonderin' how them 198 got chosen? Is she thinkin', "why not me?" I hope not, but I still gotta wonder, knowin' her. Like most times, it's 'bout time we did some talkin', and neither one of us seems willin' to open the parlay.

Guess I'm gonna have to. Yup. Any minute now.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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