The List
Rplog-icon Who: Remy LeBeau, Charlie Cluster 7, Shen Kuei, Lunair Weir, Xavin De'zeanspawn, Kilroy Capital Conneticut, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Tessa
Hellfire Knights, Unfriendly Judge, Friendly Bartender, Kearstin (a woman of dubious wholesomeness), Providence
Where: The Metropolis Hellfire Club
When: 2014.04.27
Tone: Gritty, Social
What: A group of thieves attempt to steal The List, a book containing the names of every member of the Hellfire Club since its inception.


Place: Hellfire Club

Time: Sometime on a Saturday Evening.

"Thank you, Mr... Parieur."

As one of the doormen at the entrance of the Hellfire Club's semi-historic hall accept his forged credentials, a mutant thief remembers a lesson that he learned a long time ago in a place not all that different from this one: A smile will open doors for you, but a smile and a roll of hundreds will open them further. However, the bouncer who accepted Gambit's bribe can't be completely blamed for thinking that the red-eyed Cajun had legitimate reason to be at tonight's gala. After all, he showed up in a white tuxedo.

Like any good thief who wants to milk the James Bond angle for all it's worth, he immediately heads through the crowd to the closest bar and and rests a gloved hand on the polished surface.

"Vodka and cranberry. With a swizzle stick. Thank you, Chere."

It wouldn't be a caper if he wasn't wearing (or in this case holding) something pink...

The famous Hellfire Club. A famous den of the hedonistic, amoral and deviant among the world elite. Someone forgot to offer Fantomex membership, he would be perfect for the place! Except he isn't wealthy enough (but he is working on that) and he doesn't have a legal identity... but those are small details.

It is obvious he belongs there, so it is only fair he is there, right? Also, because Gambit told him security would be top-notch, he went and picked the hardest way to infiltrate the building. Climbing the fence, deceiving weight sensors, avoiding cameras and guards, picking the locks and all that cool thieving stuff. Security was top-notch, it took him almost 15 minutes to get through it. Now he is cheating, using his mutant powers to be a ghost, invisible to technology and human minds. And some sabotage here and there might be useful later.

Nothing too elaborate, because there is a party upstairs. And he is missing it, mon dieu!

Ah, the Hellfire Club. Of all the people brought here by Gambit, he was both the easiest to access, but more difficult to get on board. Normally, after all, he is willing to ask the defending party if they would pay more for him not to get involved; and he's certain that the rich individuals in question could triple the best Gambit could make. Ultimately, it's the promise of a thrill that gets him to cash in. And enough of a take to the establish he's the #1 pick, of course.

Presently he's scaled to the second story of the mansion's exterior, having woven his way along the outskirts with practiced ease. Of course, playing charades with Lunair to tell her when to move, when not to, and to where is a bit dicey. Yet she should manage to get to the blindspot beneath the windows, or in the worse case, act as a good distraction.

Pulling out a small black gun-like device with a canister in it, he then carefully surrounds the glass panel. Such interferes with any devices that set off an alarm from circuits sent through the glass. In a whirl of diamond-tipped cutter and suction cup, he's made an entrance large enough for himself to squeeze through. Lunair should fit, too; her lack of curves will come in handy here.

A slender rope descends. If she doesn't have the athletic ability to scale it and haul herself in, then he's going to flat up leave her out there. Honestly, he knows she's way out of her league here, and is enough of a gentleman to insure she at least gets inside the walls and into the hallway proper. "You are good at making a distraction, am I correct...? Come with me. Just in case something goes wrong."

He'd then proceed to head down the hallway, in the direction of the main meeting hall; the upstairs balconies overlooking it, at least.

Lunair is technically pretty wealthy. She just has unfortunately poor social skills. Very unfortunate. Lunair seems uneasy. And she totally has curves! Just not awesome comic book heroine ones. Poor Lunair. It does do a number on her self esteem. And maybe the fact that kitties have big egos and are adorably frightening that she's pretty okay with him saying he's a #1 pick or whatever. Not being number 1 makes her less of a target.

She seems uneasy, somehow. As she peers after him and follow along. Lunair does have the athletic ability to scale it up. She is a mercenary, after all. "Yeah, that's no problem. I can distract people." She's in quiet awe of all these thieves. And somehow, she makes her way along after him. She's no master thief though, and her lack of a huge reputation does help her. Act like one belongs. She nods at him, either way and will follow along. So sneaky. Like a raccoon in a trash can. Also, speaking of distractions, she does quietly plan NOT to use the Twerker. Ever since Spider-Man... "And thank you." She's polite.

"Forgive me for being forward, Your Honor, but I really don't think that you should leave here without tasting this," Xavin says to a woman seated amongst her fellow tri-state Supreme Court justices. There is a dark bottle with a fading, embossed label proclaiming its French origins and well-aged vintage in the Skrull's hands, and as she leans forward to let the judge examine the offering a little more closely, the faux-sommelier offers her a knowing smile. "You owe it to yourself--I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I let you leave here without experiencing it. This particular vineyard only ever managed to produce a few harvests worth of wines before the Nazis..."

Somewhere on the premises, the sommelier who was actually hired for the evening is bound and unconscious in a trunk; by the time she comes to, Xavin should hopefully be gone. The alien has been prepping tonight since getting her assignment, which mostly meant poring over wine enthusiast forums and cycling through flashcards; given that most of the guests thus far have treated her like a glorified waitress, she's beginning to wonder if the time spent studying could have perhaps been put to some more constructive use.

"I am having," the judge finally interjects after several seconds of tolerantly looking at her watch, her fellow justices, and the ceiling while waiting for Xavin to stop talking to her, "a conversation; do you understand that? I am speaking to these people, here, who I am sitting with, some of whom I haven't had the occasion to catch up with in months, if not years; what I am not here to do is be blathered at by some--" She pauses just long enough to give Xavin - whose smile has already melted into something more appropriate for someone who's being chastised - an appraising, head to toe look, then concludes, "person with no regard for my time or intelligence. Now: I am thirsty; I will drink your wine. You will pour enough for all of us, and then you will find someone else to bother; are we understood?"

Without waiting for a response, the judge turns from Xavin to resume chatting with her table, leaving the alien to circle around, filling glasses and doing her best to avoid eye contact. As soon as she's done, she gives the group a small bow, murmurs, "Thank you, ma'am; sorry, ma'am," which draws rebuking looks from that judge and amused ones from the others. As soon as Xavin leaves, snickering begins to break out amongst them.

Once she's a few steps away from the justices, Xavin's expression flattens and she glances at her bottle before tucking it under an arm. She then hooks towards someone with a tray full of drinks and briskly says, "That table back there wants something different; could you cover for me while I go down to the cellar? Thanks!" on her way to doing just that.

Five places only, five places Yankee Conneticut told Kilroy were too dangerous to go to, to approach or even consider acting on. Number three was the Hellfire Club. And yet here he is...the things we do...

He is dressed immaculately, not a waiter, not a guest of someone else here. Nothing else will do. He would trust no identity he could purchase here, so he steps even more into the limelight. Owner of Sheer Accounting, the boogeyman of the business world; the forensic accountant who could get those no one else could get...not even know for sure if he was owner of that, merely speculated. In truth, he was merely known for sure for two things...the son of Abner Conneticut, one of the most enigmatic billionaires on Earth, in the 'top ten that are mostly unknown'...and as personal economic adviser to the Imperator of Genosha. Losing law enforcement contracts that would otherwise sooner cut off their right arm than distance themselves from him might be bad enough; but being here won't do much good in that department. This is precisely the radar he has been taught from birth to avoid. He doesn't know something is going down...only that Lunair is here. And...that is enough. So he is here as a son of Abner would be, in a custom fit tuxedo of priceless fashion, form fitted, polished, pristine and immaculate. He has his eyes open, and ears to here. He honestly tries not to look too much at the people here...yet. If his grandfather warned him, thats all he needs to know for now.

He orders a lemon water and sips, observing.

Sebastian Shaw: billionaire philanthropist, humanitarian, political commentator, and one of the most well connected men in the world. That's what pretty much everyone knows about him. And the Hellfire Club, just a fancy name for what is really just an exclusive home for rich people.

In reality, Sebastian Shaw is the head of a organization that near literally controls the world through it's members wealth, connections, influences and mutant abilities. They were the Inner Circle, a secret so deep that even SHIELD didn't know they existed.

Tonight's gala was to raise money for the Hellfire Club's pet charity of the month: Something to do with either preventing or causing the extinction of large felines. Shaw couldn't be bothered to remember. He was doing it as a favor to one of the members who was trying to get in the pants of another member.

He was dressed in the regalia of the Club, the baroque aesthetic that had been one of the big draws of the club. All the waiters were dressed similarly, though less ornate. The waitresses were all dressed in baroque styled "French maid" outfits. The dancers however were dressed in corsets and thongs, even the male ones.

Shaw himself mingled among club members. Knew them all by name, shook hands with everyone. That could lead to a problem, he obviously knew EVER member who was here, someone who didn't actually belong would have some really fast talking to do.

He smiled as he walked over to Emma and says, "When I get married I'm going to put you in charge of these things. I'm getting too old for all this glad handing."

He gives a little look around and his eyes catch two immediate anomalies: A man at the bar he doesn't know and a man coming in he's never seen before.

He then broadcasts to both Emma and Tessa telepathically |"I suspect we will have a little extra entertainment tonight, ladies. Lets not disappoint, but don't act until they are too drawn in to escape."| It appears my little red birdie was not wrong.

Elsewhere around the club, unknown to those in attendance, the Hellfire Knights watch has been doubled. And a special little tech had been installed in their armor for tonight, just in case. It was a telepathic scrambler that would protect their minds from being controlled, read or mislead.

Emma Frost was one of the more popular members of the Hellfire Club so she currently had the pleasure of being talked at by a drunk /far/ too soon politician. Joy. She was dressed regally for the evening, with a white leather collar, with matching opera length gloves, a tight laced corset, with long skirt and a tall slit, and tall boots that made her even taller.

She waved off the man and received another dry martini from one of the waiters. Emma concluded that she should have brought some arm candy, she was becoming significantly bored.

However Emma quirked a brow at the news from Shaw, he always had a nose for noticing who doesn't fit in to the parties, |"Oh how naughty. Perhaps this party will actually be a bit interesting then."|

Tessa was busy being aggressively chatted to about..who knows what by a wealthy businessman. She mostly nodded and looked to be paying attention to whatever he said, but then the telepathic messaging came. Tessa was dressed in her usual HFC regal wear, as she told the businessman that she had duties to do and narrowly escaped him. |"How many? This should be interesting indeed."|

At this point, Tessa's simply walking across the floor, her eyes analyzing across the room for anomalies of sorts.

"So, what's your name, where are you from, do you have any super powers?" While enjoying his vodka and cranberry juice, Gambit is also doing his best to entertain the bartenders. The fact that they have jobs doesn't seem to deter him at all. Nor does he seem especially concerned with drawing attention to himself. The bartender he's currently chatting up begins giggling and leans across the bar, whispering something in his ear. "Oh really? No, you're right, that definitely counts as a super power. Hang on, I've got to take this, get me a refill while I'm at it, will you p'tite?" Only one drink in and already he's used most of his trademarked pet nicknames.

Stepping away from the bar, he reaches a black-gloved hand into one of the pockets of his tuxedo's pants. Pressing a button on his phone, he sends a quick message to the various members of Tonight's Team. "It's only a matter of time until I get made, my lovely acquaintances. When I get made, there'll be a ruckus. You know what to... Hey! That was fast. You must be trying to earn a tip..." It's amazing the sort of things that a thief with the right connections can get for his untraceable black market burner phones. Group messaging, earbuds, Jetpack Joyride, these things would all have been bleeding edge tech when Gambit started ripping people off. Now he can equip his entire gang with a simple trip to Target.

However, there is an obvious drawback to his current commo plan: He has to be careful what he says and who he says it around in this very public space. He shuts the phone back off rather than subject the rest of the crew to his attempts at small talk. They'll know what to do when the time is right.

Fantomex uh huhs when he stumbles on one of the psi-shielded security. It gives him a momentary pause. His misdirection is not exactly telepathic, it goes 'sideways', sneaking past mind-shields and electronic protections alike, but unable to truly ignore them. Enough of those, and he will get caught. Fortunately he has yet to meet a superhuman that has psychic shields, super-senses and an electronic brain. At least outside the World.

Texting: They have increased security here. They expected something?

Body language reading is a very useful thing, and Fantomex brain is wired in interesting ways. He peers at the main room and sees... Emma. Going towards Gambit. Maybe they are going to need a distraction right now.

A pause comes from the Cat, as he listens to the earbud. He's linked it to the phone in his pocket. Of course he understands what it means. "Seems like a distraction is going to be done on..." His head tilts to the side. Swishing a hand to press Lunair against the wall, he holds a hand to his lips. A patrol arrives, but heads in the opposite direction of the pair, seeming lost in the routine. Once he's gone, "I could tell by the weight of his footsteps nearing the corner he wasn't going to come our way. Come along."

He suddenly grasps his trenchcoat, and shrugs out of it. Whirling it about, it's folded over his arm. His dress is the same as the servants, and he stands at attention with his back to the door leading into the main balcony. "When Gambit starts making noise, you go make noise, too." he offers. "I'd hide until then, though." When he gets the text, a moment is spent glancing to it.

Texting: Loose lips sink ships. Too many people. Rumors bound to get out.

Lunair listens, too. She tilts her head. "I see," She murmurs. She goes quiet as she's pressed against the wall and nods again. She tilts her head. "I see." Okay. She follows along quietly. "Fireworks you think?" She asks him, deciding on an expert opinion. Lunair seems open to the idea. She seems uneasy. She is dressed to blend in, too. Though she more resembles one of the minor guests. Someone who is there as a polite nod and token, at most. She peers down as they get the text.

Wince. A frown. No good. Something in her heart sinks to her feet. Figuratively, mind. She simply replies with a text: noted.

"Flint here," Xavin whispers. The earbuds themselves are mostly concealed by bouncy black curls that stop a few inches above her shoulders, and the cord trails down from there into an inner pocket of her black dress coat. She's keeping one hand pressed against her ribs just so to toggle the walkie-talkie on without being too conspicuous as she weaves through the party on her way to the cellar. When she's finally through the crowd, she takes a quick look back over a shoulder to make sure she's clear, then heads downstairs.

"I'm in position now; all I've got to do is--"

Stop at the bottom of the staircase and stare at the expanse of shelves in front of her in frustrated awe, apparently, because that's exactly what she does instead of finishing her thought.

"Might need a little extra time," she mutters as she walks towards the nearest shelf. According to the mission briefing, her target is a bottle of Wharton 1719 that doubles as a switch; hopefully, there's some discernable system to the collection, or else she might be down here for a while.

"Mr. were warned not to come here. This place is under my jurisdiction. These people are under my watch. I've shown you consequences for violating the accords one already," the smug voice of Providence sounds in his mind, "See that you don't do it again....tread carefully child. Tread carefully."

Why doesn't it surprise him? Here there is, every thing he could ever want...if he wanted it. Curiosity, admittedly draws him. It's...underwhelming...really. He knows the wealth displayed here should impress him. The security certainly does, though he only has the vaguest idea what it might be. He's...a fish out of water, not from lack of social graces but he's acutely aware of the fact that he's not he's not dressed for the part here. Jasik said nothing about this when he'd pulled the favor for the invitation. No doubt his old 'associate' thought it was hilarious. Kilroy wasn't amused. Etiquette is important to him, even here of all places. Quite frankly, circumstances being what they are, he'd normally turn around and leave. But he has a reason for being here. He is aware of those present, and his eyebrow arches as he sees Gambit not in the same costumes as the other males present. This can't be good. He sips his lemon water, and keeps to the wall, refusing all offers of drinks from waiters and waitresses.

|"Two that I see that aren't supposed to be here. But they may be just gatecrashers. We get them all the time./"| Shaw thought to his telepathic vixens.

Sebastian was now making his way to the one who just came through the door because he was more familiar to him, Kilroy.

|"Emma if you would be a darling and check on the scruffy man in the white tuxedo at the bar. Tessa keep your eyes open and passively scan for any minds that know they aren't supposed to be here"|

He muttered something silently into a communication device he was wearing around his throat, hidden beneath his ascot, "Potential infiltration. I want all of you to keep your eyes open for interlopers. Exterminate if necessary, but leave at least one alive. Also expect super-human powers. I doubt a regular thief will try to vex me so."

He approached Kilroy with a friendly smile, "Hello friend. I'm Sebastian Shaw, proprietor to this den of debauchery. I have to admit you look rather familiar to me."

He held his hand out the lad and asked, "Why is that?"

Emma looked to the man being obnoxious at the bar, and rolled her eyes. Posh but dirty looking? Sebastian Stan pulls off that look far better. Plus an all white tuxedo? That's just tacky.

And then the woman dressed all in white herself now makes her way through the crowd, shoving her drink into someone else's hand as she approaches the bar.

She leaned against the surface and smiled to the flirtatious bartender, "Vodka tonic."

Emma struck up a casual conversation with the man next to her as she reached out instead to breach Gambit's mind, and found it was like reading heavy static. Well at least this was going to be a challenge.

|"Understood."| Tessa's telepathic voice flies back, as she continues walking around the floor, her mind grasping out, looking into the minds before ignoring them if they're useless. Her grasp goes right beyond the surface thoughts, but no deeper. Rather not learn everything about everyone tonight. Her eyes still dart from person to person, taking in everything she can see on them. One of the more useless mental voices coming from the man Shaw is talking to is slightly interesting, but he's legit. A lot of people have secrets around here, after all.

|".... dealer draws seven.... hold on 19.... bid 100..."|

Intermixed with the mental static are bits of trivia, focused on so strongly that they appear to be all that Gambit is thinking about. From all telepathic evidence, he seems to be thinking about nothing other than playing blackjack in his head, despite clearly having a conversation with the bartender, messing about with his phone, and leisurely finishing off the rest of his vodka cranberry.

He had just gotten finished telling the bartender "You know, you'd make a very attractive blonde..." when a very attractive blonde does, in fact sit at the very bar at which he's been lurking/monitoring. However, Gambit seems to find this extraordinarily inconvenient. He turns to the man to his left (who in turn is sitting next to Emma), and says "Hey man, do you and your lady friend mind moving over a seat? I'm expecting company." The man seems happy to comply.

|"... all in... hope they're okay down there... 22, bust... "| Surface thoughts break through occasionally, despite Gambit's attempts to prevent them.

Fantomex watches and learns. And after a minute or two he sneaks out again. Somehow Gambit is managing to stall Emma, which is unexpected and fortunate. Now if Flint can get the list in time...

Missdirections. Oui? For now no one else is going to be able to find the way to the cellars. And if chaos is needed, there is always the surprise ninja attack. In his experience, those happen all the time, everywhere.

A rich-looking individual with armcandy slips through the door adjacent to the Cat. He glances at the man and Lunair, but a nod of perfect etiquette causes a sneer of derision before they make their way further in, muttering something about a 'private room'. Of course, many people come here for that sort of fun. Really, he's got nothing to do but wait. If Tessa's telepathy probes past the immediate room, she'd find the Cat to be worried and anxious, thinking that being an attendant here is his big shot at life, and he'd better not blow it. Absolutely normal. But deeper inside, somewhat exasperated. This was supposed to be exciting. He taps on the phone.

Texting: I need a distraction to get to my goal. I hope you didn't pay this much for me to pretend to be a butler in a hallway?

He motions towards Lunair. "Go make some fireworks, yes. Nobody should expect that. Then toss me a weapon when I move down."

"You got it," She nods towards Shen. Lunair pauses. Something helpful. Something. A staff with an orb, that has cat ears and a tail on it. And a small gun. "It's a small tesla coil operated-" Pause. "It zaps people, so if they have armor, you should be okay. The staff generates shockwaves." She suspects the Cat will know what to do with shockwaves on demand. "If you don't want it, just leave it somewhere. It'll disappear after a bit." She states simply.

And with that, she finds a place. Recall that once, during eras long ago, firework rockets were once weapons. And then she's going to be setting a few off. Loud, bright and obnoxious.

Xavin/Flint's surface thoughts are awash with vintages, vineyards, and a dozen other bits of wine-related minutiae as she searches the cellar. Her fingers glide along the bottles, and now and again, swear words seep into her mental landscape as her frustration with the Club's exhaustive collection gets the best of her.

After a couple of minutes, though, things begin to click. The system - such as it is - starts to make enough sense that after pausing and stepping back to study a particular expanse of wine racks, she's finally able to zero in on that bottle of Wharton, hidden amongst a collection of other bottles with wildly varying vintages and origins, but similar taste profiles. Without taking a breath, she moves up and pulls on what should hopefully be the trigger separating her from the target.

"I'm in--I think," she whispers into her earpiece.

|"Gods, finally,"| intercuts the stream of wine data.

Kilroy nods and returns the handshake. It is firm but not a crusher. Kilroy is the soul of honesty in the right circumstances and those are now. "I'm Kilroy Conneticut. My father was once invited to the club and turned it down. Beyond that, I'm not sure. I tend to keep out of the papers." This is true. Kilroy only knows one of Mr. Shaw's secrets...he knows the company is part of the sentinel's program, but he only knows of his public profile. As much as he despises the sentinels, he appreciates the altruism. And he's not extending his senses here beyond tracking one person. "I was offered a provisional invitation to look about, see what I thought. I was not told about the dress code." This clearly annoys him.

The Hellfire Knights (both sets of them, the ones in the basement guarding the hidden rooms and the ones in baroque outfits guarding the party) sort of go into a bit of a flurry. The ones in front of the two secret doors have moved positions from passive guarding, to active guarding. Energy Weapons set to taze rather than kill. But switching the energy output is easy to do.

An unseen set of security, in the room where the security feeds are all sent through are now pulling an NSA, scanning the metadata of every cellphone in the club. Soon enough, they will have the numbers of the burners the thieves are using.

Many of the unarmed ones are leaving their posts, distracted by the fact that some sort of ninja is attacking on the west side of the club, near the VIP meeting area. Reports are sketchy and it seems he jumped out of the building. They are in pursuit. Well that just took care of a lot of security.

Sebastian himself smiled at Kilroy, "Yes, I sent out that invitation to you. That's why you are familiar to me."

Shaw had picked the wrong target. That wasn't helpful. However he was the host of this evening, "I do hope you enjoy everything that we have to offer. The food, the alcohol, the... other services. If you have any problems, you only need to ask for me. I aim to please."

Emma's mind reaches out to Sebastian, |"Have one of the guards check downstairs, this one is expecting telepathy."|

When the man moves and asks for Emma to join him, she waved him off like a pest Emma obviously has grown quite fond of her seat, "If you are expecting company, the VIP tables at the club are /most/ exquisite, and tend to get the best dancers. I overheard you prefer the blonde ones? I believe Kearstin is working this evening..."

Tessa's own mind is reaching to Sebastian as well. |"All I've noticed so far is the man at the bar is acting peculiar, and that the man you were talking quite strange as well. Nothing else yet, but I'm still probing."|

Tessa is continuing her walking patrol of sorts, her mental reach only in the room for now.

"Ha. Normally I wouldn't be interested in anything named 'Kearstin,' no matter what color her hair was..." Gambit slides his empty glass across the bar within reach of his new favorite bartender, leaving a couple of folded bills resting inside the glass. "... but a man would be a fool to not follow up on a recommendation from someone who obviously knows so much about... dancing." One of the corners of his mouth lifts involuntarily, as he's incapable of being a total bitch without betraying at least a portion of his bemusement.

As he stands, he straightens his black tie just a bit, and makes sure his jacket is properly adjusted. "I'd invite you to join me over there when you're free, but I get the feeling you've been retired for a spell." And off he goes, in the direction of the VIP area, but as soon as his back is turned his red eyes begin frantically scanning the room. A quick word into his earpiece: "Talk to me people, the guards are going nuts up here."

"Cover your eyes and hold your breath." Shen Kuei states over the phone. When the pole is passed towards him, the Cat blinks, before laughing. "Hah! I like it." He's never had the luxury of a truly powered weapon before. A twirl is done. Hmm. Poorly balanced, but it's still workable as a melee weapon. He shifts to wear his trenchcoat once more, both of the arms well-armored with ceramic-titanium inserts. He slips on his mirrored shades then, before pulling out three metal vials.

Lingering near the open door, once Lunair gets into position, he gives a nod. The area above the main meeting hall suddenly erupt into loud, violent fireworks, enough to likely singe the ceiling and catch fire from the hiss of sparks falling down. In a snap, Shen Kuei then hurls the three vials. They impact the area around the fireplace, immediately erupting into a cloud of dense smoke. An advanced form of tear gas; it's not recommended to get in one's eyes or be breathed, outside the obscuring properties.

And a split second later he leaps into it from the bannister, surface thoughts a complete blank. He lands upon the ground soundlessly, whirling forward to face the fireplace. Kicking the logs away to disperse the heat, he settles close before grasping the lever, intent on giving it a yank. Supposedly it will rotate him into a nice, safe passage that leads to the tome without incident!

Xavin's body fades progressively from view as the wall slides open; the cellar appears to be empty by the time the basement is actually revealed, which might raise some awkward questions as to why it has been. The Skrull will, after taking in a breath and holding it, try to slip past the first set of guards to get into the basement proper.

A floor plan of the Club's super secret basement would have been majorly convenient; she can't hold her breath forever, and while she can make parts of herself a little smaller or shorter to make moving by the guards without touching them a little bit easier, all it will take is one wrong move on her part or unexpected one on theirs to give her away.

She of course maintains radio silence, for now; as useful as it would be to report in, she can't exactly afford to do so.

Kilroy smiles at his host, feeling better about the violation of dress code. "Ah." He shrugs,"I might have a drink, but tempting as the ...other amusements may be I'm...occupied, as it were. Congratulations on the nuptials by the way." As his host moves on, he looks about. When all hell breaks lose, he's as shocked as anyone and hits the deck. But there is one and only one penny he is tracking, hoping it goes away very quickly.

"Extract my Red Bird" Sebastian mutters to himself, his Hellfire Knights react in an instant. Grabbing Lunair, five men to grab a single girl. When they do get a hold of her they yank her out of the craziness they say, "Sebastian Shaw gives you his regards, and thanks you."

From there Lunair will be sent to one of the suites in the club. The door isn't locked, she's allowed to leave when she wants. She did accidently warn Shaw about this after all.

Sebastian then opened his smoking jacket and though |"I'm going dark, my lovelies. Honestly... I'm in a mood. I want to have a fight."|

He then after Tessa and Emma could send thoughts touched a button inside his jacket's secret pocket and activated the psi-scrambler that Emma Frost gave him. He walked with purpose to the VIP room. The Inner Circle's meeting room. He went to the fireplace and opened the secret door. Four members of the Hellfire Knights where already unconscious. Sebastian was expecting that.

He looked at them and touched his throat, "Let anyone who tries to get into this area through. Tonight. The Lord Imperial is going to hunt."

He hides himself among the bookcases and books. Someone coming into the room where 'The List' is will not see him immediately.

Emma's eyes flare. She really couldn't care less about the dancer comment, she /was/ a fantastic one. People these days are no longer worthy of seeing such a thing of beauty. But the hot hobo named Gambit struck a nerve.

She slid off of her seat and hurried over to Gambit and tossed her drink into his face, getting some onto his earpiece. On top of that, Emma pushed all of her psychic might onto Gambit. "Did you just call me /old/? No one does that, not in /my/ club."

Emma is no longer casually reading his mind, but intends to break it down and rip out any information she needed.

As the gas begins to fill the room Emma turns to diamond, "Tisk tisk, someone needs a spanking."

|"Understood. Good luck."| Tessa is moving on her feet as the tear gas begins spraying out, sweeping around a server in her path to move into a room at the end of the main hall, slamming the door closed. Her mental tracts are staying on the outside for now, but it's better be in here observing than out there getting sprayed by tear gas. |"I think Emma can handle the scruffy one."| .

Who's scruffy-looking? Unfortunately, Emma can handle the 'scruffy one' all too well. He's so used to having drinks thrown in his face that he hardly seems to notice. In fact, if anything, he seems to find it funny that he provoked such an intense reaction. But about three seconds later, he's on his knees with blood trickling out of his left nostril and a stupid look on his face.

Images from his life start pouring to the surface of his mind. A miserable childhood, a misspent youth, a torrid romance, a crime so depraved that the memory of it makes his body twitch...

And then he's granted a sudden reprieve by the woman's unexpected shift into diamond form. He raises a gloved hand up to his forehead, clutching at his brain as if he means to push the memories back inside. At least the stupid look is gone, if not the blood.

Shakily, he begins the process of standing back up. But even weakened and unsure of himself, he still has enough presence of mind to capitalize on an obvious opening. "I didn't mean were you were old, chere... I just meant that you're starting to look a bit like Cher."

Indeed, the four men who faced the Cat were better than expected. Perhaps if they didn't make the mistake of setting energy weapons to 'stun'. Weaving between three of the blasts, another is intercepted by his armored forearm, a great crack sending him spinning. Only to deliver a massive blast of concussive force with the staff Lunair equipped. One is knocked down, the other three staggered. That is plenty long enough. In a flash, he's past them. Each struck with a powerful knuckle, reverberating force penetrating mundane armor and striking them in a pressure point in the neck, causing instant blackout. Not dead; as if Shaw might care of such things.

When Shaw arrives in the bloodied room, the Cat is presently perched on the pedestal with the book, flipping through the pages at a rapid pace with the sound of a click between. Is he taking pictures of the contents? That appears to be the case! He pretends not to notice, however... the longer the unknown figure believes himself to be ambushing, the more information Shen Kuei can discover... but his chi is quite robust. Powered, no doubt... hopefully not one that makes him explode into blood or fire...

Xavin's a few rooms into scouting the basement when it finally happens: after doing her damndest to ignore the burning in her chest, she has to exhale and take in a fresh lungful of air.

Unfortunately, she's standing near an intersection when she accedes to her biological needs, and there happens to be a Knight approaching the same intersection from one of the perpendicular hallways just as she does so.

She certainly didn't mean to blow in the guy's ear as he passed by, but it happened, and now she has to deal with it.

Her first move is to go for a sharp blow to his throat in the hopes of dropping - and more importantly, silencing - him before he can raise an alarm, but the sound of his body hitting the ground might just do it for him anyway. Which is likely why she picks up the pace of her search for the room that the List is in without worrying about the sound of her footsteps echoing through the corridors and takes a moment to hiss, "I'm about t' be made--I'm down here, but I still ain't found it yet!" into her earpiece.

Kilroy can sense the penny move...and then stop. He doesn't know what's going on per se, but he takes no chances. Protocols or no, hundreds of pennies appear under the guards near lunair, quite invisible. After a few moments the light winks out...and she is gone.

Kilroy visibly sighs with relief and for the first time that evening picks up a drink from one of the waitresses, ignoring her wink but considering. Gambit....he can't use his powers, not for someone not of his 'house' but...could he do something else? Should he? This mission, whatever it is seems insane, but then he remembers the boat full of children. He frowns...and waits. Maybe.

"You do realize that that book is worthless right? I'd never allow the list to be so easily understandable." Sebastian Shaw says as he removes his own jacket. He reaches underneath his ascot and rips out the communication device he had. The ascot is next, it falls to the floor.

Shaw reaches into another inner pocket and presses a button. Six-inch steel walls drop on all sides except the ceiling and the floor.

"You are the Cat. I've heard of you. You should travel in smaller groups. That is you MO after all," Sebastian said as he removed his shirt. He smirked at Shen Kuei and said, only wearing a pair of pants and socks and shoes, "Welcome to Thunder Dome. Two men enter. One man leaves."

"I'm twenty-eight you miserable excuse for a man!" As he was lifting to his feet Emma stepped forward and moved to knee him in the gut. After doing so she shifted back into her normal form, she would pull through until the gas was too much. "However I am so curious, what have you been up to this evening?"

Her mind penetrated into Gambit's to discover his plans for the evening also to potentially turn him into a drooling idiot for say sixty minutes, that would be good.

The inside of Gambit's mind is basically what would have happened if Tim Burton had directed a live-action DuckTales movie. More specifically, Gambit appears to be digging frantically through a mountain of gold, his hands covered in blood all the way up to his elbows. Buried in the pile are the half-covered bodies of mutilated children, most of them hideous and deformed. But he doesn't appear to be attempting to dig them out. Rather, he seems intent on covering them up.

All around are windows to the various portions of his psyche, doors that lead to secrets, portals that lead to nowhere, and one marked 'Secret Plans' and closed with a thick-ass chain.

The jingling of the coins stops suddenly, as he realizes that he's not alone.


Back in the real world, a little bit of drool has been added to the list of 'Fluids that are Currently Leaking Out of Gambit's Face.' However, despite having his brain almost completely submerged in fantasy, he still has an infuriating smile on his face.

"Oh, of course not." Shen Kuei agrees, although he doesn't stop taking pictures. Keeping a hold of the physical copy... that's well beyond his means. But it can be worried about later. A last snap, and the book thumps shut. Leaping off the pedestal, the book is carefully replaced and dusted off, before the camera is tossed aside. "There. My contract's completed." Iron walls shift into place, which is certainly a reason for concern. It seems that Flint lady is still running around randomly trying to find the place... which is now sealed off.

"But you are not a stupid man. You know who I am." Shen Kuei states, carefully. "I know every person alive that is a threat to me in a mundane fight. Are you invincible? Is your body goo, and if I kick you, I'll get stuck? Do you reflect all damage? This is truly unfair. You know what I can do, but I've no idea what tricks *you* have..."

He still holds the staff to the side, slipping backwards. "Although. My contract is over. I'm able to be hired once more, you are aware? Such as to reveal the location of the database I sent those pictures. Really, this night has been a grand disappointment all around... I should have been hired to come alone."

"Joel?" one Hellfire Knight says as he nearly stumbles over the prone body of another. He crouches to shake the unconscious man's shoulder one good time, then touches his earpiece.

"We have a man down in the basement corridors! Repeat, man down--all units, fan out and bring them in!"

The sound of guards hustling through the halls in search of him reaches Xavin's ears from all sides; the acoustics make getting a sense of how many there are, or even where they are relative to her challenging enough that she doesn't even try; instead, she just takes off running, pausing only to throw random doors open and confirm that they, too, are useless to her. "I'm made," she corrects along the way. "And I still haven't found the--"

She yanks open another door, only this time, she's greated by the sight of a solid steel wall. Her eyes grow momentarily wide, and she initially takes a step back before the sound of a not-distant-enough energy weapon being discharged stops her. Narrowing her eyes, she balls both hands, tucks them in close to her chest, and begins to fade into view from the top down; as she does, the air around her begins to get warm; by the time her feet are in view again, it's actually rippling

The incoming Knights begin converging on her location just in time to see the world burst into flame around her; fire shoots down the halls for several feet, torching the men in front and repelling the ones behind them. Moreover, the wall in front of her glows red hot within seconds of being exposed to the flame; soon enough, the middle of it actually begins to warp, then bow, then finally melt, gooey bits of molten steel dripping from the edges of the rent.

Forcing her way through will take time - enough that Shaw and Shen Kuei would probably have some warning that she is coming; if she could focus all of her energies on punching through, it might be a different story, but self-preservation is still an issue.

Kilroy doesn't normally pray in the conventional sense but something along the lines of "God...that jerk can't possibly speak for you...can you just let this one little thing slip his notice?" isn't much...much at all really but a single penny appears in the middle of Gambit's stomach. With all hell breaking loose...Kilroy gets gone. He sets his wineglass down and departs.

"I am Sebastian Shaw," he says to the Cat, "I'm getting married soon, and I want.. no I don't Want. I need to know this single moment. Can I fight the Cat and win."

Then the Cat makes the better deal to Sebastian Shaw. The deal where his money can solve everything, "Five times what you were paid. But there is an additional cost. I want you to show me, where I failed. I want to improve my own security."

He reached down to his discarded and touched a button, the Iron doors were now open again. He smiled, "And I'm sure many of mine will want you. And honestly"%R He reached for his discarded coat again and said, "And I want you to tell Rembrandt LeBeau. He is the sacrifice, he is the one who has to fall for this."

Sebastian smiled and added, "And tell him, Erik Lehnsherr is an old friend. He may hate me now, but he is always that. Just like Charles."

He walked out and saw the fire, he didn't have to worry, instead he hit a phone call and Damage Control would be on the scene and they would be solving this fire issue.

The Hellfire Club would continue. Sebastian Shaw would continue. They/He did control the world after all.

"Ohh...? That can be part of the deal. A fight." But he just brushes at his shoulders. "Very well. I swear on my honor that the location is the 1205 Hallmark Street StarkCo Server Depot. It is #142. It is not connected to any external internet devices and must be manually accessed. I'll gladly accompany you until you retrieve it." His phone is held up, dropped, and crushed beneath a heel. However, Xavin just overheard that. Intentional? Certainly not. He moves to follow Shaw, as opposed to leaving the premises. Really; a sloppy job, overall. But he managed. And in the end, that's all he cares about...

As a hole forms on the other side of the wall, bits of conversation on the other side are audible. Most of it is nonsense to Xavin, but she does manage to catch a few important things: that the people inside seem to be negotiating rather than fighting, and the address of a server of some kind.

Her face is covered with sweat by the time she's done making a door for herself; the heat didn't bother her any, of course, but generating it is tiring. Not that that stops her from lobbing one last fireball down one of the hallways for good measure before darting into the by then empty room. Those curls are half aflame and fire is orbiting her hands as she takes a quick look around to make sure that she is alone; once she has, she douses the fires, reaches into another pocket on her jacket, and fishes out a metal coaster. She taps the button on one side of it while walking to the book so that she can lay her hands on it; hopefully, Cable will know what to do with it and the address. As she closes her eyes, her body fades from view again; this time, though, the book comes with her as her hands disappear.

Now it's just a matter of getting out before more Knights come.

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