EVENT: Stand Up And Be Heard
Event-icon Who: Dazzler, Scarlet Witch, Trauma
Where: Central Park, New York City
When: September 20
Emitter: Rogue
Tone: Gritty
What: All hell breaks loose at a pro-mutant rally. One tries to help, another tries to add fuel to the fire and a third just wants to get the hell out of there.

Central Park has been a venue for many events over the years since its restoration in the 60s with concerts, plays and festivals being a good portion of what has taken place on the lawns to go along with peaceful picnics and walks along the walkways that circle the large lake. But today the main lawn is occupied by something entirely different, decidedly less peaceful and calm in nature.

With the anti-mutant groups starting to make their presence known it's been tense for those who those very same groups hate, the mutants who are different from them as well as the people who stand up for them. It is those who are seeking for equal rights and peace for mutants who are here today, rallied against the violence and hate, who are assembled to speak out and be heard. Unfortunately what is supposed to be calm and civil is starting to grow to be anything but. Several of the anti-mutant groups unfortunately caught wind of the rally and have put in their own appearance, looking to stir the proverbial pot with a very big stick. The police are present as well, placed between the two opposing groups, barricades put up to try and deter violence but things are quickly escalating. In short? The shit is about to hit the fan.

If she knew better, she probably wouldn't even BE here. But this is a cause very, very close to Alison Blaire's heart and she couldn't stay away. Her reps all declined any official contact to /speak/ or even appear at this rally for a myriad of excuses. So, 'The Dazzler' isn't here.

Just Alison Blaire, all but incognito as anything but a fashionable New York model-type; blue leather bolero jacket, scoop-neck white tee underneath that shows off a bit of belly, low-rise jeans tucked into black motorcycle boots. And shades, can't forget the shades. She's stayed with the pro-mutant side, of course, but is still more of a spectator than a participant. This much tension is bad news; and it certainly isn't the sort of thing a song would fix.

The appearance of the anti-mutant crowd really isn't much of a surprise to Wanda Maximoff. After all, whenever someone stands up for their rights, bullies and bigots always show up to terrorize the minorities. So, Wanda has been in Central Park, watching the growing tensions from a park bench. She's dressed in casual clothes, of a scarlet hue, of course, and she looks like just another civilian observer. But behind her sunglasses, Wanda is staring at the anti-mutant group with rage in her eyes.

In truth, Terry's not entirely sure why he decided to come out. He's not the type of person who enjoys going out into large crowds, but at the same time he's under the belief that he may very well /be/ a mutant - it's not a farfetched idea with the type of things he does, after all - so it could be an important place to be. To get more information about just what's going on here. However, he's done some work to conceal his identity. Wearing a bulky sweater and slacks, and with his face mostly covered by a mixture of ballcap and scarf, he's doing his best to remain calm among the pro-mutant crowd. Calm... and as out-of-sight as he can.

The police officers truly have their hands full. Those who are mounted are upon the backs of horses trained not to panic but there's something in the air that has them a bit spooked, their ears laid back and the whites of their eyes starting to show, the equines stomping at the grass while their riders try to calm them. Those on foot are geared up as if expecting a riot, dressed in full body armor, helmets and with ballistic shields strapped to their arms. And while they are here with the task of keeping the peace those they are here to keep an eye on will not have anything to do with it.

What starts the downward spiral is a piece of rotten food thrown at one of the mutants, a teenaged girl who has tendrils of bone that twine its way up along her bare arms and neck the unfortunate target. She does nothing to protect herself and then doesn't move once hit, too shocked when the rotted fruit splatters her face and upper body. But even though she can not defend herself or make the one who hit her pay for his actions there are many who are willing to stand up for her and they surge forward. The cops try to use their shields to block them but they're overwhelmed and get knocked over as do the barricades that separate the two opposing groups and a brawl breaks out. Those who are at the far ends of the groups also start to attack, throwing rocks and whatever else they can find in an effort to hurt those who might hurt them.

Escalation - that's great; as soon as things start surging forward, Alison moves her elbows to try and keep enough space around herself. Trampling bad. "Hey!" she shouts, trying to be heard over the din, "Stop it, don't you see this is what they wanted! Don't let them provoke you!"

Typical humans; they make the first move towards violence. In some ways, Wanda is relieved, since she now has the excuse to start evening the odds in the favor of her fellow mutants. Standing up from the bench, Wanda starts to stride towards the conflict. With brief moments of focus, she unleashes bolts of pure chaos energy at the humans. letting the whims of chance determine the fate of the bigots.

Anger, rage. Terry can't sense that through his abilities, but it's evident just from the actions that are being taken, the slurs that are being yelled, the looks on people's faces. His initial intent is simple: Flight. He wants to get out of there as quickly as possible, so his efforts are to try and force his way through the crowd as past as possible... however, it's not a quick process in the slightest.

Alison doesn't really have much of an effect on those seeking to get into the fray but a few do listen to her and stop and instead try to get away. Wanda's own efforts are a bit more successful, however; a few of those hex bolts do hit true, causing one of their targets to trip over her own feet, the crowd not even bothering to quit moving to help her stand up. She gets trampled and is going to need medical attention. Another subject gets hit by several stones and a bottle which shatters on his head, causing a nice scalp laceration that bleeds but won't be fatal. The bad luck ripples throughout the crowd, causing what looks like bad aim to happen while others get hurt for apparently no reason at all. And one especially unlucky schmuck breaks an ankle after stepping into a gopher hole. The mutants take this as a sign of opportunity and start to really cause a ruckus. One guy bulks up, not quite as big as some can get, but he's very strong now and able to literally pick up people and throw them around as if they were ragdolls. Another with the ability to control earth starts using her power to pelt the humans with rocks and clods of dirt. This continues, a show of brute force versus mutant powers.

During all this the cops are trying to keep this from turning into a blood bath but they are outnumbered and over-powered. It doesn't take long before they are tugged into the mob where a couple police members are stripped of their protective clothing and are begun to be beaten. All this is going to make Terry's exit impossible unless he can fly or somehow powerhouse his way out of the crowd. The knots of bodies are too thick to merely push his way out of.

No, no, no, a thousand times no - While Ali happily helps point out ways to get out and away to the few that listen... it's entirely too few. And then all hell goes and breaks loose. "This is /so/ not cool," she grouses, unsure of what to say or where to go...

Until the beating of policemen starts. "OH, COME ON!" She'll start working her way through the crowd as quickly as she can - in the chaos there's PLENTY of sound to work with; a shield here to protect someone from getting a rock in the face, which blends into a quick pop of light to stun the guy as he picks up another rock in return, another few pops of light, a few quick, mild zapping lasers to /move the sea of people/ as she works her way towards the cops with as little damage as she can cause en-route.

While others are looking at containing the riot or escaping, Wanda is treating this as the first conflict in a war that has been threatening to break wide open for years. She moves towards the mutant's side, continuing her barrage of hex bolts at the mutant-haters. "Keep going!" she shouts to her fellow mutants. "Show them you're not afraid to stand up for yourselves! Show them you have had *enough* of their oppression!"

Escaping doesn't appear to be a possibility at the moment, and that much has become very obvious by the wall of beings that is between Terry and the way out -- what he has managed to do is get a bit further from the front lines, which while isn't a permanent solution should keep him away from the heat of the battle itself... and frankly, he can live with that. Wanda's message brings a brief smile to his face. "She's right, you have nothing to be afraid of! We're in control, here!" ...his objective isn't to inspire soldiers as much as it is to keep /that/ emotion in check, but right now he doesn't much care if it has a dual purpose. He just knows he wants to get out of this without incident on his part.

Bodies collide, lending a cinematic feel to the fight, it almost like a scene out of 300. If anything, the numbers of humans versus the mutants is why although there is a second where it might seem like this is all scripted, the moves planned and practiced. The movie-like quality is as over as soon as it occurs and what beauty might be found in the fluidity of the motions is ruined.

While the brawling continues Alison is able to help the police, getting enough of the assailants' attention off of him so he can get helped up by a buddy and get the medical attention he needs. Terrance also helps by providing a little voice of reason that causes another knot of mutants to peel off and leave the scene after seeing the err of their ways. The rest are spurred on by Wanda's words, however, and they continue their fight, the battle with the humans who have hurt and oppressed them for so long risen up against. Between them and Wanda's use of her powers, it's safe to see that the bigoted humans are getting fairly well monkey stomped.

"That's ENOUGH!" Alison shouts - This is almost JUST like some really lousy club conditions she's been in; and now, just like then, she uses a great big flashing swirly cascade of lights to get attention.

"What's the MATTER with you?!" Alison asks, arms outstretched, at /the Mutants she was previously protesting with./ "Do you guys not understand NEGATIVE PRESS AT ALL?"

Alison's protests are heard by Wanda, but the scarlet-clad mutant doesn't pay any head to calls for reason. However, with all the hex bolts she's been firing off, Wanda is starting to slow down considerably now that the anger and adrenaline are starting to wear off. Slowly, she starts backing away from the fringe of the conflict, heading towards the cover of trees. Wanda fires off another hex bolt at the human side, stumbling as the drain takes it's toll on her. Time to retreat to continue the fight another day.

It seems the crowd is thinning a bit, between defeats and retreats, so Terry decides to try and push his way through once again -- the tide is quickly moving in his favor, so while moving back out of the fight might not have been the best escape route -- since everyone else is trying to move forward, he's going to try and go forward and to the /side./ Hopeful that he can find his way out in that direction.

It takes awhile longer but soon the tension ebbs enough for all involved parties to get their wits about them, the fact that there are wailing sirens and all that entails putting a swift end to the explosive situation. While the crowds disperse the damage can be seen; no deaths have occurred but many injured lay upon the ruined grass which has been rutted and torn up only to be left in clods.

Wanda and Terry are able to make the egress happen, left unmolested, and Alison is paid enough mind now that the brawl ends swiftly, more so than if it might have if she didn't get involved. Sadly the damage has been done. And yes, this will probably set the mutant equality movement back some.

Alison mutters incoherently to herself while she comes down from giving a quick lesson on exactly /why/ beating on humans at a rally in front of cops and the world is a bad idea, and once she's composed -- prrrooobably going to have to talk to reporters and/or police officers now. Before she would have taken off and let someone else handle it... but not today.

Of course, Wanda knows the humans will blame the mutants for this; even though it was the humans that started the violence. But, a point was made here today. A stand was made. And mutant-kind showed their strength and unwillingness to live under the yoke of oppression. Despite how tired she is, the fatigue setting into her bones, Wanda smiles. While others might see this as a pr disaster for mutant equality, Wanda considers this show of strength to be a jolt that mutant-kind needs. Why settle for equality when mutants are the ones who should be in charge because of their inherent superiority?

Unlike Alison, Terry will make his hasty exit before reporters and police can apprehend him for questioning - he came in disguising his identity, and is intent on leaving in the same way. At the same time, he wasn't there to influence the politics of the day either way. He came out to learn about what he was... and in the end? Didn't really succeed in that mission, but /did/ see that he's not the only one who changes into big, creepy things... so he'll call that a victory for today.

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