|What: Magneto is insulted and vivisects the insulter on live national television. He then declares war on humanity.|
Erik Lensherr's presence in New York always makes the news - as both an infamous terrorist and a controversial world leader, he makes people nervous, the mores o the closer they find themselves to him. Magneto had spent some time trying to smooth those rough edges, to try and put up a more diplomatic front. He had begun, however, to tire of playing nice.
Not that anyone else would've defined him as nice before. Magneto was only being nice by his own standards.
Today, he's been in negotiations with several members of the G8, quietly trying to secure the ability to begin a nuclear energy program and import Uranium for the purposes of keeping cheap energy available in Genosha. He knows how it will be read to the outside world - that he's attempting to make nuclear weapons. The United States has shown itself, in the past, to be untrustworthy of such ambitions, to say the least. With Magneto as head of state, that scrutiny will be double. The more he can lubricate the rails in advance - be it through charm, intimidation or outright bribery - the better.
Walking along the street with several low-level attaches, however, he finds himself assaulted. Mocked. He barely hears the scream of the man who pelted him with the bottle - some screed of anti-mutant bigotry, some hateful squeal from an evolutionary throwback about to be left in the dust. Another death throe of a doomed species. He should brush it off, let it go. Use it as an example.
He's tired of letting it go.
"Enough." he says simply. His helmet appears as if from nowhere, slipping into place and hiding his white hair as his elegant Armani suit is torn apart, metal slipping into place, changing and fusing into the tight-knit armor of his costume, dark blood-rust and royal purple. The attaches flee as the offender is snatched up into the air, the iron in his blood, the metal on his belt buckle, the iron particulates in the very polluted air he breathes, all making him nothing but an ant to be squashed by the Master of Magnetism.
"For a worm like you to assault me directly, I have clearly been lax. I have let you forget, human, what I am. Who I am. They call me Erik Lensherr, but my name, sir, is MAGNETO." he says and there's a scream as metal and glass from a nearby taxicab are shredded from the rooftop, affixing to the man's back and piercing his skin in agony.
"You must seek death, to assault me. Would you have me make a martyr of you, right here?"
Among the crowd who'd come to see Magneto is a man of dark skin and curious eyes. John Jones stands, his height putting him over the heads of many in his 'section' of crowd. His eyebrows knit together as he watches the bigot suddenly tortured in front of the crowd. With a tip of his hat, he begins to walk quickly towards a side street as the crowd reacts.
Charles Xavier had been keeping tabs on the diplomatic talks.. this may just be a preliminary diplomatic visit for Magneto, but it is still an official meeting between America and the man currently ruling the mutant state of Genosha, not to mention the early talks of uranium going there. Charles is interested on many levels, and was keeping tabs via Cerebro. He wishes he could say he was surprised when the man taunts Erik, though he is taken by surprise by the overly violent response.. he had really hoped Magneto would be doing less of that now that he actually had his nation, his recognition as it's leader. A passer by who was about to take a camera phone picture abruptly looks confused, and says in a tone not entirely their own, "Erik, stop this. What that man did was wrong, but you've more than made your point."
Xavier also tries to put the trapped bottle thrower to sleep so that he won't be in pain and can't dig himself in any deeper.
Kilroy is on the 73'rd floor of the UN building talking to someone on behalf of his native country, a tiny island no one has never heard about or cares about and then hears the announcement over the internal loudspeaker putting the whole place on alert. He looks at the member of the UN development board and says, "Excuse me....I'll be right back..." and rushes to the window....
Oh no. Not now. Not here.
A Rai stone smashes the window open and suddenly covered in coins in a blur of armored chain mail (not having time to make the stone variety) he begins to fly downward.
Note, he is known and knows with whom he is dealing with, though the flying is new. He has his hands open in non threatening fashion. He sets foot on the ground (unless magnetized somewhere) and will wait to approach for a few moments to see if anyone is stupid enough to just open fire or the like.
Hanging out at an apartment Logan was winding down the time. He was sitting near an open window with a ginger flavored. Blowing smoke out the window he was just waiting to turn himself into the cops. Guilty until proven innocent was how he figured it would have gone.
A cheap television played into the background for noise. Reports of Magneto had come in. Looking back at the screen his eyes narrowed. A gym bag rested in the room it had an assortment of clothes and one other thing. Pulling out the yellow and blue uniform he knew it would have outed him instantly. Sighing Logan slipped on the costume. Leaving the apartment he began to make the trek out to fight magneto. Breathing out Logan began to move quickly. Pressing the "X" icon on his chest he chimed in, "Anyone watchin' the news?" The question went out there to get people's attention if they anyone was on the X-Channel.
"Too busy being on the news to watch it," Iceman's voice comes over the X-channel almost immediately. Anyone checking online will find some reports of 'The Amazing Iceman' rescuing people from an apartment fire in NYC about 20 minutes ago. "Why? What's wrong, Wolverine?" Iceman actually manages to sound a bit serious as he asks this much.
Many of the residents (and guests) of the Xavier Institute seem to come and go with an alarming rate of frequency. However, the mysterious thief who is known only as 'Gambit' to his 'friends' at the Institute seems to be gone far more often than he is present.
And such is the case now. Neither is he anywhere near the mansion's compound, nor is he monitoring his comms. Instead, the sketchy mutant is all the way in The City. But rather than drinking the day away in one of the dive bars that he enjoys so much, or gambling in an underground poker tournament, he is simply drinking coffee in an upscale cafe.
He's ditched the trench coat (and the armor) for a plain black suit. The loose tie, the unfastened top button, the stubble and the unkempt hair make him look more 'heroin chic' than 'businessman.'
"Oui, mon amor. La piscine est dans la bibliotheque..." He croons rather than speaks as he chats up a gullible-looking blonde sitting across from him. She doesn't seem to notice or mind that his sentence is both gramatically incorrect and nonsensical at once. He manages to fake it well enough to sound semi-French.
But why break from old habits and lurk at a table outside of a cafe? It might seem an odd choice, if it weren't for the cafe's location: He's less than a hundred feet from Magneto's procession. And the reason he isn't paying attention enough attention to the blonde to cobble together a coherent sentence?
He's too busy keeping overwatch of the developing 'situation.'
"Merde, il est tres mal. Mon chapeau est avec mon soeur."
For Josie, this was supposed to be an afternoon of shopping with some friends after classes, having come into the city to visit the few old friends she had from before she moved out to the Xavier Academy. Whether by coincidence or by fate, Josie and those friends were walking through across the street from where the trouble started up. So, now, she's in the crowd too, eyes wide, her friends running but staying behind. She was just reaching for her own hidden comm when Logan and Bobby's voices come through, and she whispers into her comm, "I'm there... I don't have a clue what to do by myself, but I'm there."
Magneto narrows his eyes as he realizes the target of his wrath is slipping into unconsciousness, a numbed and blissed state prodded from afar by a powerful telepathic mind. He might have been suspicious regardless, but the tone of voice he hears from the sudden passerby leaves little doubt in his mind. Magneto wraps a sphere of force around himself, for where Charles' mind goes, the X-Men generally follow. Tiresome. Would they never grow tired of playing lapdog to a master who does nothing but kick them again and again?
He turns his head to address Xavier's puppet, "You've been a professor for too long, Charles. It's made you pedantic. I am no need of lecturing, from you or anyone else. I have never been a follower of the 'turn the other cheek' philosophy - and I have no interest in following in the footsteps of its proponent. Aren't you tired, Charles? Tired of the scorn of these petty men and their narrow minds? What will it take, I wonder?"
"Perhaps if I keep stripping away their masks of civility, someday I will get you to see."
He hasn't yet taken much note of the incoming array of heroes and meddlers, focused, as he too often is, on his old rival and colleague, although he does have his forcefield up in expectancy of their arrival.
With all eyes on Magneto, John Jones finds it easy to flow into his 'Martian Manhunter' form. He flies up and over, soon hovering over the crowd not far from Magneto. "I urge you not to abandon your humanity!" he speaks in a deep voice that carries easily over the crowd. "You stand before the world, their eyes are on you." Hearing Magneto's conversation with what most people might think of as nothing. However, such a powerful mind was unlikely not to notice a second powerful psychic. He replies to those words, out loud as he hovers near by. "Nothing worth having has ever been easy." say J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
Charles jumps to another passer by, half to not impose on any one person too long, and half so other onlookers won't wonder too much. "Your actions tell me there's still plenty for us to talk about." he says gently. "And you must know that responding to small minded behavior with force only sinks you to their level. Your point is made, now let it be, before any more harm is done to the cause we both champion, in one way or another." His own communicator is on next to him where his physical body sits, and he pauses to say to the X-men listening, "He's stopped his attack for now-- don't engage unless he makes us.." their first priority of course is to protect people, but if fate is kind and Magneto stands down.. though apparently not only the X-men have taken note. He notices J'onn as swiftly as he himself is noticed, and wonders politely in his mind, |"Are you here to help?"|
Kilroy remembers a few nights in Bastion by the fire when Eric would talk about his vision for Genosha...it was inspiring, and one of the reasons he stayed as long as he did. But there were many many many many anecdotes about Charles. One might think the man obsessed....but Kilroy doesn't know about that...hasn't heard the professor speaking through the other fellow.
But he does remember his last few weeks in Genosha, and knows his place in the scope of things. That is to say not very high. But he has his own way of dealing with the situation...it's fairly simple really....he waves his hand...and suddenly there is a flip board made of quarters...Quarters? Really? To stop the great Magneto?
But they aren't assaulting the forcefield...no instead it shows the gross total sum of the Sovereign Wealth fund he set up for the nation before he left, an aggregate index of corporations owned by the island....a rather precise number down to the decimal, complete with the N for the base "Neato" currency even though the official name was something different...and then he simply magically tied it to the lowering stocks of said wealth fund as the market adjust to this extremely unfortunate live event. He showed, in lovely numbers, exactly how much his 'wrath' was costing him where it hurts him most. He's not draining it. He's just holding up a mirror, and its a lot, as the number just counts down...and keeps falling.
Moving closer to the battlefield Logan responded, "Mags is out in New York. Turn on the television," his voice was firm. Eventually he made it out into the field. Anyone that was in danger he moved them to safety. As much as the man known as 'Wolverine' wanted to stab Magneto going against a man that controlled metal was bad. An opening needed to present itself before Logan was going to get stabby. Hopefully Xavier would have opened up a mental link so people could have strategized an attack.
"Not somewhere I can see a TV, Wolvy," Iceman replies, a lot more serious at that news. "Just tell me where and I'll be on my way," he says. Of course over the com, the sounds of one of his ice slides could be heard as he kicks into gear and starts sliding faster. Thankfully he wasn't too far from the trouble, he just needed to be pointed at it.
On the table between Gambit and the random stranger, three half-folded cards lay facedown, a bit haphazardly. The Three Card Monte is such an obvious scam that it takes a certain amount of panache to even attempt to do it in public. So, of course, Gambit considers it a personal specialty.
But as the situation begins to escalate, it becomes clear that not only was Gambit correct in assuming that his unique skillset might be required, but that he'll probably be called upon to make good on his deal with Magneto soon. He does not, however, look happy about the predicament that this puts him in. But, like the obedient soldier he wishes he wasn't, he puts up his mental static and gets to work.
With a sigh, he flips one of the cards over. It is, of course, the Queen of Hearts. "Desole', p'tite, but I'm gonna hafta finish this conversation some other time...."
As he walks away from the cafe and blends into the crowd, Gambit pockets a Queen of Hearts upon which a phone number has hastily been scrawled.
But then he quickly takes it back out of his pocket. "What's this? @ameliagocraycray? This isn't a phone number, it's some kind of internet foolishness!" He charges the card up with his trademark pink energy and deposits in a nearby garbage bin, continuing on his way. A couple seconds later, a muffled 'Boom!' can be heard from inside the can.
Josie nods as Xavier gives his instruction not to do anything yet, turning to try to help usher people off. Not that too many people are likely paying attention to the teenager. With her uniform hidden under her clothes, she really doesn't have the look of a professional. She pauses to hit her comm again and says to Bobby, "Right near the UN building. If you're close you can't miss it."
Magneto laughs. He actually laughs, a hearty laugh, as he lowers his head and closes his eyes. Charles remains ever the same - the optimist, the 'stop poking the rabid dog, it's your fault if it bites you' mentality. Appeaser. He remembers the type, but never likes to put Charles in that camp. He has too much lingering affection for the man and, he must admit, it has been a failing. Magneto can be critical of himself - even self-effacing. Yes. His kindness had cost him. The Martian he pays no mind - anyone who uses 'humanity' as a measure of good behavior doesn't understand humans in the least.
And then there's Kilroy. Magneto recognizes the Economy's work the moment the quarters begin to gather and, as the stock plummets, so does his stomach. Ah. Odd, really, that a man who could control finances so completely could both overestimate and underestimate the effect. "Do your worst, Kilroy. I have lost ambitions before. I and mine will be well - you only punish the humans of Hammer Bay, the villages who depend on factory work, those who scrub for their daily bread. If you would starve them, do so at your leisure. But, to use a phrase that has been used against me on occasion - I do not negotiate with terrorists."
He reaches out and flexes a hand, grasping the quarters and compressing them into a tight-hard ball then driving them to smash into the display of the stock market.
Wolverine's approach he can feel, adamantium having its own particular resonance, the hyperdensity of the metal like a song in his head and he'd long since learned Logan's melody. Here came the X-Men, just like clockwork. If he didn't pull back now, he knew it would change things. He'd been so careful, building up his credibility, making Genosha into a respectable country. He'd gotten a foothold in the UN, even negotiated with the Justice League. He'd helped to save the Earth and fought alongside its heroes.
And what had he gained? A bottle in the head. A cheap epithet. The never-ending, bottomless chasm of the human heart showing its dark center once again. They would not learn. Perhaps they could not. They were backwards things, after all, throwbacks. They felt the creeping hand of extinction on their necks.
Perhaps it was time to start choking. Magneto flexes his fingers and a lash of metal wraps around his attackers through and begins to squeeze...
J'onn replies, |"I am here to help, yes."| Thankfully in the affirmative. He gazes at the injured man with glowing eyes, Martian Vision shifting into the X-Ray Spectrum to give the poor, now unconscious human a quick look. "There have been times before in this country's recent history where the man who is different has had to stand up in the face of bigotry with an answer of nobility. You are making a choice!" J " J'onn shouts, getting ready for the worse.
Charles would interfere, would try to stop it himself, but he's not there in person, won't risk the owners of the voices he's borrowing, even as alarmed as he is by Magneto's actions. "Stop! Will you kill a man for one mistake? You have built so much with Genosha.. we've had our differences about it, but it has the potential for so much good.. don't throw all that away, don't throw away what you've accomplished with all the people who have grown to respect you, and work with you over one man's mistake. If you repeat his same mistake now, it's your country, it's our people, that will lose the most for it! You have to stop!" he cries out desperately-- if Erik doesn't stop, and in moments, Charles is all too aware of all the minds nearby, familiar to him or new, that are ready to act with force in defense of the bigoted man's life. That life, and with it the fragile peace that had finally been growing between Genosha and the world, are in the balance.
Kilroy is about to laugh, but he remembers who he is dealing with. He might be extremely cynical about his efforts but he simply shakes his head and says...wait, did he just use his first name on National Television in front of billions? Well....
That would be interesting....
He continues, "Now Imperator, you know as well as I that I've never lied to you. I didn't do anything. That was merely a live demonstration of the current value of the soveriegn wealth fund and your impact on it. You speak to me of villages? Right now, your actions have cost Genosha 4256 of those interactive virtual education centers we discussed...or it could have bought 19 of those ultra tech 3-D printer fabricators....vaccinated everyone on the island five times over....and...well you get the idea. No no imperator, if I was going to curse Genosha it would have been much more than that, but why would I undo a solid year of my life because I was trying to stop you? YOU are doing that...and while I won't bother with another live display, I can assure you that number is going up exponentially. YOU are hurting Genosha m'lord.
Logan pressed on closer, focusing a little he popped a claw then tried to cut loose a few of the restraints that were choking people. He didn't want people to die. His claws were trying to be delicate like he was doing surgery. Nothing was said to Magneto, but Logan blurted out the location.
Then his attention went back to the people as he was trying to cut loose more restaints. The people mattered more than making Magneto bleed. This earned the mutant dictator another stab though.
From the sky comes a vision in white - Storm the X-Man, wearing a white outfit, flowing white hair - and something strange strapped to a belt around her waist - two carved wooden statutes, a foot tall, that look like totems. She floats near Magneto. "Come now, Imperator..." she murmurs. "Is this really necessary? You're acting very... petty." She sighs softly. "Why don't you stop strangling the bigot and talk like civilized people, not spoiled toddlers?" she asks as she touches the totems at her waist. "You and the professor are like brothers - it always pains me to see you two fight..."
"On my way. Thanks, squirt. Try to get somewhere safe," Iceman replies over the coms to Josie. He alters his course and takes off. It's not long before he's coming up on the whole kerfuffle, in his ice form and coming over the river. He notices Storm in he air and smiles, liking their odds with her around. "I'm surprised more doesn't pain Magneto. He must go through so much Bengay," Iceman announces himself with a joke, a jab at Magneto's age. "Espcially when he's gotta hold all that ego up."
Right on schedule, the Decency Squad have shown up to poke the bear and mix their metaphors. Gambit looks pretty much crestfallen as any hope he had of this situation defusing itself goes right out the window. Mix the X-Men and Magneto together, and there's sure to be an altercation.
So far, he has managed to avoid being noticed by anyone, and it looks as if he intends to keep it that way. However, he's running out of people to blend in with, as the crowd is clearing out pretty quickly now that costumed mutants are slinging their powers around and choking people to death.
Reaching into the pocket of his blazer, he pulls out a simple black phone and rapidly taps away at the screen before holding it up to his face. "Prep the HQ for a potential package. We'll need evac plans in place."
"Huh? It's Gambit. Who else has this number?"
Josie's eyes widen again as Magneto starts to choke the man, starting to step forward but then stopping as Wolverine, Storm, and Iceman arrive. As Bobby says to get somewhere safe, she replies, "I'll be safe." Then suddenly she's a humanoid blob of water, her outer clothes dropping to the ground around her as she starts to 'flow' around behind the X-men. Out of their line of fire, as safe as she can get while still close enough to be able to help if it turns out she's able to. Magneto feels something he hasn't really felt in a long time. Something that he'd put aside when he became Imperator of Genosha. It was a luxury, a selfish thing, something he could no longer afford. He had responsibilities, after all. He was a leader, an example, a role model. He had people who depended on him. Children he wanted to make proud. A legacy, for he had faced the Reaper and looked it in the eye. He had thought Genosha was his chance.
But he can see now, that things will never change unless he changes. That all he has built has left the world to fester and rot and grow only sicker in his absence. He can see that the part of himself that he set aside is essential, for it is the part of him that had transformed the young man Erik Lensherr, Charles Xavier's friend, the idealist who wanted simply to make a future for his people, into Magneto.
Much as he placed on his helm, Magneto reaches down into his soul and dusts off his hate. He slips back into it and feels it warm him. When his eyes open again, they shine, almost with tears, but some might call it madness. He no longer cares what they would call it.
"SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!" he cries and his mastery of electromagnetism makes his voice echo, a roar that vibrates in tune with the metal of New York itself, shattering windows, setting off alarms. Wolverine can probably feel a few teeth shake loose as his skeleton quivers at the explosion of force.
The voice that continues is more measured, only audible to those actually present, but there can be no denying the rage within it. It has been years since anyone's seen Magneto like this - Charles might recognize it best, for this is the man who once seized an island in the Carribean and nearly killed every soul with a nuclear meltdown. This isn't Magneto the messiah or Magneto the Imperator or even Magneto the Man. This is Magneto the Monster.
"I am tired of your chiding and cajoling. I am tired of your threats and your scolding. I am tired of your petty appeals to a conscience that tells me that every day I sit in peace is another day mutantkind bleeds for human comfort."
He looks up at J'onn, "You say I must make a choice? When those who have pursued peace still must beg not to be shot in the street like dogs? When their murderers are left to walk free? You would have me lead mutantkind down that path? Well, damn me if you will, but I say no."
"You can call me names if you like, Storm. Starve the humans if you wish, Kilroy - Genosha will remain mine, for you cannot wrest it from my hands and if I have to build a moat of human bones around the base of Bastion, then so be it."
"The truth in what you say is that this man is nothing. A fool, a madman even. Just another piece of straw. But I assure you it's the last one. And it is not my back that will be broken."
And then he promptly warps the taxi around the man and snaps his spine like a twig, crushing him like he might crush an overripe berry in his palm. And, just the same, the juice the runs is bright and red and can never be put back again...
J'onn flinches as the tortured man's life is ended. "A shame." he says, almost emotionless as he stares now Magneto. He rushes towards the violent, and now murderer Magneto. A true bum rush as J'onn's form moves at extreme speed.
Charles can only wonder what on earth happened, sickened and shocked as he feels the man abruptly die. that one angry man, not even a threat... could really be all it takes to blind Magneto to all the good he'd actually done in recent years? Does he really think that if he kills everyone who lashes out at him that it will somehow stop confused and hurting people from doing foolish things? Can he claim he has never done just such things himself? Could any of them..? What sort of world is it he would build, if any impassioned mistake or dissent is answered with death? "And this..this is truly the legacy you would choose..?" he says quietly, and the pain in his voice is plain. "You would let this one angry man, frightened of the progress you were making... you would let him undo it all, with nothing more than a bottle.."
Charles, despite not admitting it to Erik, -is- tired.. he's tired most of all of wasting their energy fighting their own kind in the protection of life when they could better spend their energy fighting that hate from outside sources. But it's clear in the minds of all the gathered X-ers that it's their turn.
J'onn flinches as the tortured man's life is ended. "A shame." he says, almost emotionless as he stares now Magneto. "I had hoped you would choose more wisely." J'onn flits away from Magneto. "You have disappointed me greatly." J'onn says with a frown. The other Mutants- the X-Men have arrived, or so it seems some have. The Martian Manhunter's body going indistinct. He disappears into the ground below, nowhere to be seen or found moments later.
Kilroy says, "His name was Chester. His net worth was $25.00 in the bank. He owed $45,000 in credit card bills, and, I grant you, didn't appear to be much of a human being. Erik," notably dropping the Imperator's title,"Lenshire, previous net worth $450 Billion including his share of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Current going price on Intrade right now of Overt UN sanctions? 50:1 voting for likely expulsion. Criminal Seizure of Assets of all external Genoshan funds? 90 percent likely, 3/4ths of which are outside of Genosha. Likely impact on GNP per capita? 30 reduction in 30 days. Note, that's without me lifting a finger. I won't harm Genosha. Now, because you see human beings as dirt Erik, then I can at least ensure that your PERSONAL wealth everywhere that isn't Genosha is seized, destroyed, divested or hidden from you. And yes, I even know about the Gold on Asteroid M."
Kilroy isn't Magneto. He doesn't have a century of a reputation of putting the ice in people's hearts to intimidate them. But he does have his own dark side. He WANTS to summon salt in Magneto's lungs and drown him in his own blood, but somehow he thinks even that wouldn't stop Erik. So instead he hurts him where he can most. "And I will tell them Erik. Every government. Everywhere. Every cent. I won't even need to use my powers. Not Genosha's money. But your money? Oh, you can kiss that goodbye. You don't care about Mutants Erik. You think you do, but you really just care about yourself. As for seizing Genosha?" He laughs, this time he really does, mocking. He doesn't even care if it costs him his life, though as a God he's harder to kill then frail Glass Canon Kilroy of before, "You know Erik...I was in your inner circle for Months. You remember the Genosha Memorandum and what I could think up for your enemies? Imagine...just imagine Erik...what could I do INSIDE your inner circle? Have I bribed key officials? Have I set up a hidden fifth column that your angels can't detect? You thought you read my mind but really....I was loyal but I planned for other contingencies...what if...what if Erik I've corrupted your lieutenants? Why, everyone I've spoken to would be suspect. And you know you can't ignore it can you old man? You can't afford to let the lingering hatred and paranoia go unchecked, because, really? You have to be sure. What if I did find a way to let people avoid detection from your telepaths? Can you be sure they're loyal? Follow the money Erik. Why, I might have left a wonderful rabbit trail to drive you mad. Check the file cabinet in my old office. You'll find some lovely surprises.""
Getting out of the way from being crushed Logan tried moving around the carnage. His hope was for someone to swoop in at Magneto. If the master of magnetism was distracted then Logan could have gone for the ribs. The Canadian wasn't afraid to stab magneto. It was just a matter of getting undetected somehow. His eyes stayed on the mutant intently as he went for some cover. Right now he would have wished to have a few goodies from SHIELD. They had some anti-magneto effects before. One of them would have been a godsend at the moment even though it could have harmed Ororo too. Ororo Munroe just flinches, a tear streaking out of her eye, as she watches the man die. "And I thought you were at least some what civilized..." she whispers softly. She raises a hand, one of the totems at her waist glowing and rising up from her belt to float by her. She starts murmuring softly in Swahili, simultaneously manipulating the environment and using magic to create a funnel cloud around Magneto - faster than normally possible as she is trying to spin Magneto and disorient him, the skies darkening. The funnel is nowhere near landfall, as Magneto is in the worst part of it. She is simply trying to stop him from being able to focus on anything else - or to compel retreat - and the funnel would move with him. If anyone thought it was cold before, they'll be wishing for that temp as Bobby watches that man die. A wave of icy chill comes off him and he looks away a moment. He grits his teeth and fights back that dark little part of him that wants to lash out with more than just cold. "There's nothing civilized about that bucket headed ass. This act that he gives a rats ass about the people on Genosha or that there are humans there at all is getting old too," he adds. He's about to launch an attack when he notices Storm's magic act and curses under his breath. As much as he wants to go after Magneto, he knows staying back and defending Storm is probably a better idea. He he stays in the air on his slide, ready to play defense for his teammate.
Now would probably be the time for Gambit to leap to Magneto's aid if he were planning to do so. But this is not what Gambit does.
Instead, our favorite Cajun has apparently decided to play it safe and stay out of the conflict. No need to put himself in the middle of a fight needlessly, especially when the outcome of the fight isn't likely to change regardless of his involvement. So Gambit puts the glowing pink card back inside his jacket, 'switching off' the charge he had placed on it.
Staying out of sight, he heads down the street, following along with the fleeing crowd. But when he's reached a distance that he feels is safe, he bashes out the window of a parallel-parked Honda Prelude. Reaching inside, he unlocks the door and sits in the drivers seat. With his special skillset, hot wiring the car is literally a matter of seconds.
As he continues walking down the street, a glowing Honda Prelude races down the street with no driver in place, heading directly toward the assembled X-Men.
"Man... this deal gets worse and worse all the time..."
Undine (aka Josie) has no voice in her current form, nor face to show reaction to Magneto killing the man. Rippling vibrations along her watery form, however, show it somewhat. After a year of training, though, she knows enough not to disobey Iceman's orders and get involved. So she focuses on watching for any civilians who may be getting too close. Or, in the end, apparently a speeding, glowing car. She changes back to human form, now wearing her Young X-men uniform, to call out, "Incoming!" Then she's water again, her uniform changing with her, and she dives out of the way.
Magneto begins to rise into the air, projecting his power out and pinning the world to the walls, freezing and absorbing them all. This was a moment, captured in amber, for his memory. A crucible point, a crux. He would remember this day. His ears seemed to be filled with white noise. He felt somehow spent. He felt relieved. He felt...
He felt good. For the first time in ages, he felt good. From what little he can make of Kilroy's prattle - he's always tuned the man out to some degree, his power with money being outstripped only by his love of his own voice - he's being called selfish and having threats made about loyalty and bribery and all of that.
Kilroy never did understand him, of course. As if any amount of money could make someone who truly knew him, who had earned his trust, betrayed him. As if he had ever allowed Kilroy as close as he actually thought he had come. The Genoshan experiment of peaceful coexistence was at an end. He no longer had any interest in the moral high ground. His people, his species, needed someone to be the villain. Someone willing to be hated in order to do what needed to be done.
Magneto could be that man.
Still, he had not come to New York today to wage war with the X-Men. Arrogant he might be, but he understood all too well how formidable Charles' pets could be. Dealing with them would require preparation. But he had no more interest in attempting to sway them. No more equivocation.
They think he's being selfish, but he'd been selfish before. He'd allowed himself the luxury of honor. He'd tamed himself for respect and for position and for his own damned pride. He'd let himself bask in luxury. No more.
'Take it. Take it all. I have had nothing before and I rose. You arrogant little man - because you have power over money, you think money makes the world go around. But worry not - on the day I watch your eyes die out, I will remind you of what true power is."
He feels the battering of Ororo's assault and hears the ferocity of the Wolverine - metal skeleton or not, Magneto is not so foolish as to underestimate the man called Logan. So sharp are his claws, they even test the limits of his shields. Just as Storm's power over electricity would force him to contend with her to absorb the lightning that surrounded her.
"My legacy, Charles? I don't care anymore. Call me monster. Call me killer. Call me whatever you please. My good reputation won't see our people into the next generation. My respected name won't prevent genocide when another country decides to set up camps and send us off to slaughter. My wealth, Kilroy, provides no shield for the mutants who suffer from experiments, who they will try to strip of their powers. I myself already know the government works on weapons to deal with our kind - haven't they already devised weapons to assault me personally, even when I was seeking to make peace with them?"
"So, Charles, X-men, Kilroy, all of you beware - whatever kindness you have received from me in the past - you can consider your Genoshan passports revoked."
He unleashes another massive surge of power, bending the frames of the surrounding buildings, sending glass spattering down onto the screaming people below, and he rises up into the sky, taking himself out of the equation before they can attempt to pin him. But, just to make sure they stay good and distracted...
He flicks his hand back once and wrenches the foundation of a nearby twenty story building, and there's a groaning crumble as the building start to slowly lean sideways, threatening to collapse. Nothing distracted would-be saviors like saving lives. He will return to his fortress in Genosha, to plan...and wait. It was time to put aside the olive branch and pick up the sword. And, if he was going to go to war, he was going to need soldiers.
It was time to reform the Brotherhood.
It's certainly distracting-- Xavier quickly takes stock of the people inside, prepared to make the X-men aware of whoever might be falling or trapped as needed, only hoping Bobby's ice and Storm's winds will be enough to keep it up long enough to evacuate.
Kilroy says, "You claim I never knew you? Oh I know you Erik. You think all I care about is Money? Think back. It was never my powers that interested you, or even my talent at managing your economy. It was the little folder. It is my creativity you valued. Why else would you have me sit in a room with Quicksilver, your son whom I went on several missions with," and thus making him suspect..."...and you lost the one thing you can never recover Erik...my respect. I knew you didn't care when I wandered Genosha's streets lost for weeks...but you still had my respect...now it isn't my power over money that you need to fear....it's my mind."
And with that, gone like a flash he flies up to rescue as many people as possible, starting at the top floor and using Rai stones to ferry people to the ground."
Logan was running as quick as possible. "Water Girl, with me," he yelled over the com. He pointed to another building that was in danger. Undine would have had one building to work with, Logan the other. People were already rushing out of each and he yelled move before rushing into danger. Luckily Logan had picked an apartment buiding. A lot of people on the lower floors were rushing out so he pushed himself upward. A good three of four stories up saw him kicking in doors, "MOVE IT!" he yelled. Children were tossed to parents as they were rushed out. He was making sure anyone that needed to be carried out were. Time ticked by and he kept moving. Kilroy may have had the top floors, but the middle needed someone. Even as the building was falling more under threat he kept moving. No one else needed to die today. Unfortunately going room to room was a time-consuming task. Ororo Munroe glares at Magneto. "I once sworn that I would never kill again..." she whsipers softly, another tear coming out of her eyes as she continues, "But I will make an exception for Magneto if I must." She sighs as she goes into the middle floors. "come with me," she states, using, again, a combination of wind magic and her own flight to help support her. "Come with me... I'll get you to safety," she states as she opens her arms wide, taking a family and floating them down to the ground, then goes back up.
With everyone springing into action, Bobby's eyes were drawn to the glowing pink SUV. Because how often do you see glowing pink SUVs? He knows that glow though and what it means. The look on his face is priceless for a moment before he's into action too. Sliding down, Bobby thrusts his arms out and a lets loose a beam of frigid energy. Quickly, a ramp and track forms for the SUV to go along, launching it into the river rather than any innocent bystanders or heroes. He doesn't get time to celebrate though, the groaning of that massive building starting to collapse reaching his ears. "Oh hell..." he gasps, eyes wide. "Guys, its about to get colder!" he calls out, concentrating and drawing on the moisture in the air and his own power. People often underestimate Bobby but he's a powerhouse. Jaw set, Bobby unleashes his power in the form of icy supports to hold that destabilized building up.
Undine changes back into human as she sees what's happening, running faster on solid feet towards the falling buildings even before Logan calls on her. She nods to Logan, and runs into the building he points to. Going door to door as fast she can she starts calling for people to get out, hitting any fire alarms she sees on the way. "Out, out, get out of here now!"
The combined efforts of the heroes work wonders. Between Storm, Kilroy, Undine and Wolverine, people are moved quickly to safety,time allowed because the base of the building was only bent and not shattered. After all, he needed them distracted. Merely crushing and murdering them all would've been too swift and Magneto wanted to be out of US airspace relatively quickly.
In the end, only Wolverine truly pays a price, the building collapsing atop him as he uses his body to shield, not a person, but a dog, a golden retriever puppy whose barks eventually guide Undine to being able to use her water abilities to push way the debris and free him. It's that picture that eventually makes it into the paper, the rubble-drenched Wolverine, costume torn, with a puppy cradled under his arm.
That and the dead body of the man Magneto murdered. Anti-Mutant hate crimes begin to spark around the country, especially in small towns. Far from being upset, Magneto is pleased. Yes, mutant lives will be lost and it is regrettable. He would save them all if he could. But he can't. And those who die will be the martyrs upon which empire is built. And humankind will become the ruins left behind...
The world changed today. A King in grey became a devil in red. And the whole world, for a moment, trembled just a bit, because something horrible had once again been loosed into the world...
In the darkness Logan instinctual curled around the dog. After the noise had stopped he whispered, "I got'ya. I got'ya," he petted the dog then pushed up with his back. Growling Logan pushed harder against the rock. It took a little bit and more screaming, but he eventually emerged from the rubble looking a little worse for wear. Holding the dog he didn't expect anyone to take his picture nor did he care. His eyes went to the animal looking for a tag before he held it close to him. "If ya ain't got an owner I think the school's gonna have a new dog..." he muttered as building parts and dust slid off his body.
Kilroy is not the kind to be in the limelight. It's POSSIBLE, however unlikely, that the cameras didn't catch Erik's casual disclosure of his name. He makes sure everyone is lose from the rubble and then flies away. After all, he has some information to anonymously disclose to the authorities.
And then he has that UN official to talk to....though realistically, he's probably gone home for the day. Kilroy returns to the scene as himself and helps by randomly adding a few extra dollars to the folks who lost everything. What the insurance won't cover....he does.
Magneto wins nothing here today.
Undine, of course, was there helping Logan to get out, water pressure pushing here and there and helping wash the dust away and make it easier for the stronger, larger mutant to clear a path. Once Logan's out, she flows back out of the debris and takes human form again.
Ororo Munroe was too busy supervising the rest of the evacuees from the building - then turns her attention to Logan once he comes out. She swoops down, lands, and gives him a big hug and kiss. "I'm glad you're alright..." she whispers. "on this most dreadful of days..."
By the time Bobby's done, that building is being supported by some huge icy structures. It's not going to fall unless something else starts hitting it. Down on the ground, Iceman slumps against a stop sign. Using that much power so quickly really takes it out of him. "Woo...okay...next time? I'm just gonna freeze his magnetic butt into an iceberg or something," he mutters. He watches Storm swoop down and chuckles before reaching up to tap his com. "As much as I hate to interrupt your kissy time, could I get a hand outta here? I'm a little wiped."
Logan kissed Ororo back with the same passion then looked at Undine, "Good job kid." Then she was handed the puppy, "Wear the uniform with pride. You honor it n' while yer at it find the owners to this thing. If ya can't we'll put out flyers," a nod was given to the young woman then to Ororo another kiss. "Help Bobby," he whispered to the weather Goddess then started to head off in a different direction from everyone tearing off parts of his uniform that hung there. Undine smiles at the praise and says, "Thank you." She takes the puppy, holding it gently as she looks up to Logan and nods again, still smiling. She turns and starts to walk over towards the crowds evacuated from the buildings, to search for the owners.
Xavier is still keeping track of the people in the area, doing what he can in his own way-- perhaps
Ororo Munroe moves over to Bobby. "Here - a trick I've learned - it might help," she whispers as now two totems float around Ororo as she holds her hands together - one hand glows white, then she puts her hands together as she gestures towards Bobby, chanting in Swahili, as frigid air begins to swirl around Bobby, like his own personal snowstorm. "Ice magic... it's not much, but it can help a little..."
Xavier is still keeping track of the people in the area, doing what he can in his own way-- perhaps he can even help Undine find the owners of the dog.. or confirm if there are none in the area. |"You all did very well."| he congratulates them.. and he means it. Without them, and other like minded heroes in the area, that building would have fallen. Even if what just happened was a heavy blow to them all, it doesn't change how proud he is of them all.
Bobby let out a little whistle at the sudden snowy cloak. "Ahhh, icy fresh," he chuckles. "I just need a hand back to the mansion is all. Twenty stories worth of ice," he nods to his construct. "Gonna need a nap. Maybe a drink," the bandana wearing calendar model mutant replies. "...and some snacks. Definitely snacks."
Now Logan was slinking off toward the seedy room he just rented a few moments before the chaos happened. Going back up the storm ladder and stairway he went back into an open window. His ginger flavored cigar, half gone, was waiting. He relit it and took a few puffs again. "One last one," he muttered.
Ororo Munroe nods as she just smiles as she just picks up Bobby in a fireman's carry and starts flying him away from the blast zone. "I'll fly you home, then I'll have to rest," she whispers. Kilroy has disconnected. And cue Bobby looking rather surprised and embarrassed at how Ororo picks him up. "Oh man..." he scrubs a hand down his face. "Okay, X-men pile on the couch sounds good," he says, making one last joke.
Ororo Munroe grins. "Nah - I'd hate for Logan to stab you repeatedly," she states as she heads towards Westchester.