|2046-06-11 Evil Lesbian Santas|
|Participants||Alistair, Rosalie, Sumit|
|Summary|| BLAME TEZ FOR THE TITLE. IT IS ENTIRELY HER FAULT.
The rest of X-Factor is scooped up.
So it's been quite the couple of days for X-Factor: first a green guy showed up and kidnapped a couple of them, then a green gal showed up and hired the rest. What's been left behind has been a skeleton crew left to man the building. But as the next shift arrives -- Alistair, Sumit, Rosalie -- they find the building abandoned. There should be people here: Talya, Eleanor, Valerie, Irene. There's no one, and the front door swings wide.
Sumit really ahsn't had enough time to poke the old X-Force guys about all this, but he's aware enough that it's serious trouble that he's packing his real pistol rather than the stinger. Having been late back from his day job he's stuffing a sandwich into his face as he turns the corner towards the offices, pausing a few paces away as he notes the door swinging. The remains of the food go into a pocket and he's moving to place his hand on the grip of the pistol as he advances slowly towards the door.
Alistair is the new guy here. New enough that the prospect of most of the organization doesn't alarm him as it probably should, but he's bizarrely unalarmable in any case. He is here already, inspecting the open door for any sign of damage or noticeable marks. The only visible weapon he has is his umbrella. As Sumit advances toward him, hand on gun, he quirks an eyebrow, and says, generously, "You can enter first."
Rosalie wanders slowly down the street, and stares at the situation, door and all, with a faint frown. The rain is a little harder than it was.
Sumit eyes Alistair for a moment, then nods once to him, then again to Rosalie as she arrives as well. "Did you see or hear anything?" is the obvious first question as he peers inside for a moment, "alright, I'll go in first. Let people know whats going on though, if you can find anyone who's active right now then give them a running commentary as we go, just in case." Drawing the pistol fully he takes a deep breath, calls "anyone about?" then steps inside.
As they move toward the door, it becomes clear that the building is not quite as abandoned as it seemed: the receptionist's desk is occupied by a pair of slender, green-booted feet that belong to what seems to be a bald, human woman dressed in green and yellow, vaguely military gear. She wears some massive earrings. A second woman with white hair, dressed in red and black with a white star burst on her chest, leans over her from behind the chair with her arms wrapped around her neck as they converse with companionable affection.
Looking up as Sumit steps forward, then bald woman drops her feet and straightens. "Finally."
"There isn't anyone, as far as I can tell," replies Alistair. It's a simple, level statement. He seems remarkably calm, and perfectly willing to enter behind Sumit. He's also perfectly willing to let the cannon fodder go first as he hangs back, assessing the situation. He remains in the shadows as Sumit steps forward, and the bald woman speaks, but he offers, perfectly amiable, "Welcome to X-Factor Solutions. May we be of assistance?" He does have a gun inside his coat, but he doesn't reach for it.
Rosalie, on the other hand, clearly does not want to go in. She does, hesitantly, slowly, and lets out a noise that sounds more than a little like a squeak at the sight of their company.
Well, if Alistair wants to do teh talking Sumit is perfectly happy to let him. He gives the two women a good look over, of the type that indicates he might be using his Eyes as a camera, then scans around the rest of the reception area to ensure there's no one else about to sneak up on them. At Rosalie's squeek though he turns back to her and mutters "keep you eyes open, and use your Eyes," there's a slight emphasis on the latter to distinguish, "keep feeding back what you see to someone you know and trust, someone who works here and can follow up if we end up in trouble."
"You can." Standing, the bald woman makes brief eye contact with each of the three of them and then closes her eyes. "This is it," she says.
"Not much, but I'm tired of waiting," the white-haired woman says. "Hold them, please?" She gestures, and the golden bands on her wrists brighten. Nothing seems to happen.
Alistair glances aside as the bald woman looks to him, looking over the room inside. He makes no overtly threatening motion, but his stance changes slightly, his weight shifting, ready to move. "I'm quite certain that desk is for employees only," he notes, voice mildly. "What do you want?"
"I can't reach anyone," Rosalie hisses back at Sumit, her dark eyes wide, her small figure tense and twitchy. The temperature in the room plummets, the surface of the desk frosting.
Sumit recognises that drop in temperatures and offers what he hopes is a friendly, and not at all stressed, smile back. "No worries then, just keep an eye on things and take snaps of anything that looks odd or that you don't remember seeing before. We can sort through it later when we have time." Because they're going to have time, and everything will be fine. Honest. His eyes are briefly drawn to the glowing wrist bands, but then he turns his attention to the ladies' faces, moving to stand by Alistair to make it clear that he's backing him up.
"I'm trying." The white-haired woman bangs her wrists on the desk once in frustration, then throws her hands up in an exasperated gesture. "Nothing works here like it should. Could you--?"
Squeezing her companion's shoulder, the bald woman steps forward. She answers Alistair directly: "You." Where technology is unreliable, there's always good, old-fashioned telepathy. She reaches out to cloud their minds and bind them as surely as a pair of cuffs. The major muscle groups freeze first, preventing them from moving their limbs.
"I'm flattered," replies Alistair, voice dry. "But you might regret that. Just ask my ex-wife." Now is probably not the time to banter, Alistair. But what else can he do? He half-moves, and freezes, caught against his will.
It's Rosalie who tries to run. She gets half a step, and falls against the wall. The air is icy cold now, so cold it hurts to breathe, and wind howls about the ceiling, swirling a sudden swirl of snow.
Well, cock. "Get out!" Sumit yells best as he can, although as he tries to turn and leg it himself he feels his legs refuse to respond. In an attempt to buy time to think of a better option he mentally wills the teep to slow down, forming a temporal bubble around her. He's unsure if he has the range for both, and certainly not the control to place it accurately if he does, so he concentrates on make sure it's solidly on her as he tries to lift him arms enough for a shot but can't.
Telepathy is really unfair. There's a long, agonizing moment where freedom seems a possibility as the telepath, trapped in Sumit's bubble, fights to reach through. They win control over their bodies again, just a little, enough to shift, to peel another step or two away. The chill bites into their bones.
Then, control of their mutations are taken from them, as well, just as they lost control over their bodies. The bubble pops, and the weather normalizes.
"Heather," says the white-haired woman, reaching for the telepath. "You have them?"
"I have them," Heather says.
Alistair cannot even banter now. He is still, quiet. Waiting, watching, taking it all.
Rosalie's blizzard peters out. She looks lost.
Sumit is well aware that he really doesn't have any real degree of control over his newly manifested power, so as soon as he sees that faint sheen around the teep he's fighting to scrabble back towards the door. The plan is to barrel himself and Rosaline out the door, but alas he can't buy them enough time and he ends up frozen once more.
There's always mental banter, Alistair, never fear: sass of the mind is the purest sass there is."I can't hold them for long. We need to get back so you can take over," Heather says. All three are given sudden insight to what it must feel like for a puppet to be marionetted across a stage as she reaches forward to direct them out. With wide eyes and unclouded thoughts, they are forced to march themselves through the city, to a rift, and into another universe.