2020-06-21: Assignations


MagnetoF_icon.jpg RashmiF_icon.jpg ConnorF_icon.jpg JulyF_icon.jpg HoseaF_icon.jpg BrianF_icon.jpg

Summary: Magneto finds Rashmi to discuss future payback operations. July, Volk, Hosea, and Scourge show up to update Rashmi about the results of other operations. Not everyone is polite.

Date: June 22, 2020

Log Title: Assignations

Rating: PG-13 (L)

The Future - The Underground - Mutant Base

Hidden in the maze of tunnels is the open area that the mutants have turned into their have, their home. Not wanting to risk electricity being detected down here, there are battery powered and gas powered lights leaving the place dark and damp. At least three mutants are always on guard down here at the entrance to the mutant camp and secret passwords and codes are needed to get into this room. Theres a large door with a large piece of wood barricading it as those down here don't take any chances.

Some time after being carried down to the makeshift Medical section, Rashmi stirs on her cot. No fresh wounds on her, nor bruises or the telltales of broken bone, but the reason for her presence is made clear; bone-deep weariness, making every line of her face an etching, building to create such a problem that the redheaded mutant was probably forced into unconsciousness, allowed to rest for as long as body and mind would allow it.

One suspects that such weariness is not improved by the face of Magneto, hovering by Rashmi's cot. But it is; he's lounged back in a chair, assembling osmotic water filters. He doesn't usually do this in the Medical area, which means he's doing it here while waiting for… something.

Something like Rashmi's awareness. He looks around as she stirs and gives her a nod of greeting. "Miss Eep. Welcome back to the land of the living. I would speak with you."

"Magneto," comes the reply, before the redhead's eyes are even open. Consciousness breeds awareness, and Rashmi's passive talents ensure that awareness extends far beyond her own person. "Good. I was hoping to talk to you, too." Not precisely spoken in terms of happiness or gratitude; years of moral and ethical dissent between herself and the Master of Magnetism tend not to breed pleasant encounters. However, in the tunnels, Rashmi has made peace with necessity, and old arguments allowed to be put on their shelf. Opening her eyes, she meets Magneto's gaze, calm, collected, and neutral. "Jono said you'd be pleased with the offer I'd make."

"Did he, now? Mr. Starsmore has always been opinionated." Magneto goes back to assembling the water filters. "You were part of the recent raid on the concentration camp. I hear that there were persons left behind. Tell me about them. In fact, tell me why they were not brought out with the others." He gives her a sideways glance. "I've seen some death tolls, so I know you worked at it. I'm wanting to know what went wrong." Because it needs fixing.

Rashmi says, "The only people left behind, Magneto," Rashmi begins, hoisting herself up by her elbows, "are the ones who died in the attempt. As for what went wrong?" A mild shrug. "We've been searching and scanning for moles, but, it would seem some have slipped through the net, because the Hunters and their troops were in far greater number than day-to-day activities would suggest. They were tipped off, and would probably have caused the complete collapse of the attempt, had the Harbingers not been on scene to support. The same ones, it would seem, who managed to get Mystique back here in time to have her wounds treated."

Magneto lifts a brow. "Harbingers? Extra-special… specials. How convenient that they were there, and not… somewhere else." Johnny-come-lately heroes have never impressed Magneto. "I was given a somewhat different impression of the operation by Starsmore, but I'll let that pass." He splits his attention between the filters and Rashmi. "Moles. Those have always been a problem. It's a pity no one has developed a spray for them."

"I've said that myself," Rashmi agrees wryly. "Now then; back to my offer. Jono's mentioned that you've been looking for release. As it happens, I just might have a use for that. Interested?"

Magneto snorts. "Release? Is that what the young folks are calling it these days?" He flicks a look at Rashmi, deadpan. "And you would find it useful? How … illuminating. Do continue, Miss Franklin. I am listening." He drops a finished water filter into the box to the left of his chair and picks up the makings for another out of the box on the right side.

Rashmi rolls her eyes, shaking her head. "And you call *me* immature… No, Magneto. I *mean,* when was the last time you indulged your… *legendary* temper?"

"About three years ago. I pitched several Sentinels, including two Omegas, into orbit, trashed the Bayonne receiving dock facility, dropped a destroyer on the Hunter Hall in that same city, and ended up in Canada, causing an international incident that involved the Canadian Air Force and the recall of their ambassador from Washington for a period of two weeks." He levels a stare at Rashmi. "I'm told I set the Rebellion back five years in one day, doing that. I recall needing to eat four meals a day for a week."

"That would be a fair estimate," Rashmi concedes, shifting to sit fully upright on the cot. "And if I told you I knew how you could indulge yourself again, to the *good* of the Rebellion, your response would be…?"

"I'm still listening, Miss Franklin. Do get to the point." Magneto holds the filter in his hand up to the light.

"…About what I figured. So. You know the Hunters will be making their major assault here, sometime soon. Possibly, within a week or two." The redhead lifts a shoulder, raking a hand through her hair. "And if you didn't… well. Now you do. When they attack, though…. some of us believe they could benefit from a taste of what we've had to deal with, these last few years. What I'd *like,* is for you, Jono, and some of the most powerful among us to pop by the Salem Center headquarters. And to return once the place is a smoking crater."

Magneto puts the filter down. "A pre-emptive strike? Why, Miss Franklin! You are learning!"

"Actually, no," Rashmi corrects, raising a finger. "A pre-emptive strike would only *possibly* accomplish one objective. Which would be fine if we had the time to fiddle around with one thing before another. But, no. This is the reason I've had everyone moved down into the lower Morlock tunnels, the ones only Storm really knew about. Because all the Hunters will be *here,* Magneto. And win or lose, I want nothing left of the largest single support facility in the country for them. If they return at all, when you and yours are finished, they will be without homes, supplies, equipment, food, communications, medicine, and everything else they have in number that we have to scrape for. Every inch of ground they gain must cost them *dearly,* and the very nature of the battle must be called into question for them. But above all; what I want is for you all to make *certain* that the Hunter named James — Or Tooth, either name you might recall — is implicated as essential to the success of your strike."

Magneto leans back in the chair and considers Rashmi's expression. "Destroying the Hunter base won't do that to them," he says. "Make them feel what we feel. They have the support of the so-called government, and taking away their toys means that they'll only shove someone else aside to use theirs. Hardly the same thing. Not," he holds up a hand to forestall anything Rashmi might say, "that such an action would not hurt them, and hurt them badly. I do agree to that."

He lets his hand drop. "However. This complication regarding Tooth. Is it necessary? Does it advance our cause on some front other than the purely vengeful? If revenge is the point, I refuse. I don't have time for frivolous 'gotcha' actions."

"It would have been," Rashmi concedes, "and last week I'd have told you to your face, yes, I want him destroyed. However. I've been given a piece of the puzzle that throws his entire history in this war into question. I can't say for certain, but it *could* well be that everyone he's killed by leaving them between has been kept safe. It's a thin hope, and one I don't intend to count on, but the only possible way to verify this is to burn him completely. Give him no place left to run, and no choice but to answer for his actions. I'll admit personal involvement there… but I'm far from the only one who's lost anyone of import to him. So I want to be certain. For Mr. Wagner's sake, if absolutely nothing else."

Magneto's attention goes laser-hard. "Indeed?" His fingers tap on the water filter in his lap. "Yes, in that case, I do accept. Now. We should discuss timing and who, besides Mr. Starsmore, will be a part of this action."

Rashmi nods once. "I'm glad to hear that. The timing will be the simplest part, really. As soon as we have word of Hunter forces closing in, Volk will teleport you and your team to the Hunter camp. There, you will wreak utter havoc, and return in time for the second round of fighting. As for who else will accompany you… I have only one request; Erik stays behind. We're caching scrap metal in the upper tunnels for you and he. No sense in wasting them by waiting until the Hunters have cut off access to them."

"I will point out now that if we come back, those items will not be cut off from us. We'll have to go through them to reach the fighting." Magneto steeples his fingers. "Volk, Chamber, myself… we should have at least one more heavy demolition person. Gauss would be ideal, but I am willing to consider another choice."

Rashmi nods slowly eyes turning ceilingward. "Gauss *would* be an ideal choice… But I'm *almost* tempted to give you Kael. For one, as an aerokinetic he'd have plenty of room to cause havoc. For two, I'd prefer he do the bulk of his fighting on a field where his lack of foresight would be *far* less a concern than within the tunnels. Likewise, Lucas, since if we're going to metaphorically nuke the site, we may as well make it a literal thing."

"Interesting choices. Are they capable of independent action? Under the circumstances, I doubt any of us will have much in the way of spare attention to look out for those slow to keep up." Magneto is thinking more, 'Will they slow me down? And will they get the hell out of the way when I decide to go thermonuclear on the collective behinds of the entire corps of Hounds?' But he already knows that Rashmi tends to get all sniffy when he uses that sort of terminology, so.

"After a fashion," Rashmi replies, already 'getting sniffy.' "Clarity of thought narrows the list somewhat, however. I won't apologize for foisting possible trouble fighters on you, however, since that was a partial reason for those names." Nodding slowly, she turns, letting her legs fall over the side of the cot. "Julian, then; of the *proper* X-people, he's the best trained of us, and he's been looking for a good excuse to cut loose."

Soon a green goo starts dripping from a small open pipe on the ceiling, the liquid coalescing on the floor as the flow from the pipe increases until stopping agin, and the green goo grows up and reforms into Elastica. The rubber girl notices Magneto's presence, and arches one eyebrow lightly, but doesn't make any real comment, "Rashmi, sorry, but I was unable to complete the assignment. I had not enough materials." She says, shaking her head softly, being vague enough, she hopes.

"And why should it matter if the fighter is a 'proper' X-person or not? I'm not going to give them gold stars. I'm going to give the Hounds a drubbing, and they'll need to be able to stay out of the fallout." Magneto scowls at Rashmi. Really, girl. Ideals, in this day and age? Wasteful.

He does notice the drip. Not the most appetizing of creatures, Elastica, but then, she isn't the Toad, and that puts her head and shoulders above past associates. He does raise a brow at the remark over not completing her assignment. "What materials did you need? And can you still complete your task if you get them now?"

Rashmi sighs heavily, shaking her head. "Because an X-person has more single combat experience than most of the rest of the front-line fighters. You want capability for independent thought and action? The Xes are the ideal choice."

Wrinkling her nose, the redhead turns to July. "Which part of it? The bombs, or the scrap metal?"

Elastica glances at Magneto for barely a second, but shrugs, "I got enough scrap metals. They're all in the storage. But I found much more structure holes and fissures, so I was able to mine the corridors further down their length than expected. That left me with a shortage of claymores."

Magneto lifts a brow at July, then slides a look to Rashmi. More holes, so she set more mines. He's beginning to see why Rashmi was doing her sniffy act about properly trained X-People.

But not for him to comment. He stands and kicks the box of new filters over to Rashmi. "I'm sure these will come in handy." The box of makings he picks up himself. "Unless you have anything to add to the operation outline, Miss Franklin…?"

The report causes Rashmi to freeze for a moment, avoiding Magneto's amused glance. "I know there were more holes," she says slowly, gently, "but the ones I'd marked down, I'd specifically wanted them concentrated on. Those are the ones with the most structural impact. So um… Maybe you want to go back and fix it, please?" Looking to Magneto, she shakes her head. "If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know. But Magneto… Thank you. You've done a lot to keep the noncombatants safe, and I want you to know it's appreciated."

The man who can sense the shifts in the EM spectrum feels it a half-second before there's any visible effect in the air, the micro-static shift-jump in the EM radiation in the area before Volk's form resolves in the air, dropping down in a footstep before he starts walking towards Rashmi. He's bare chested save for the almost girdle-like bandage wrap over his ribs and abdomen, and another bandage on his arm. Stalking right up to Rashmi, he stops right in front of her and meets her eyes. Then his eyes lower as he whispers out, "Robyn. Dead."

Just as Connor is appearing, the tall African comes through the tunnel in a more conventional manner. He is carrying a belt of ammunition, and a box of small nails. He is about to greet the group when Connor appears suddenly. His ever present smile fades as he hears what Connor says. He hadn't even gotten to see Robyn yet. Hosea hoists the belt of ammunition onto his shoulder, and slowly walks forward to join the group, not saying anything yet.

July just rolls her eyes at the order, and then she speaks, "I am aware. I didn't fill *every* hole and fissure I found. Only the ones further down the tunnels that would cause the most damage to the tunnels, making them collapse fully, to bury alive any team in the tunnels, rather than just the ones at the head of their teams." she shakes her head softly. "I *can* go back and redistribute them, I just think that taking out an entire team is better than just preventing their entrance."

Magneto listens as July speaks, and smirks more at Rashmi — especially at the face Rashmi makes back. It's the little things that make life enjoyable…

And then that unmistakeable wrongness happens in the electromagnetic spectrum, where it twists back on itself and folds to spit out… "Volk." He looks the young man up and down. Looks healthy enough. One of these days, he should put his head together with Volk and see if they can't rip a hole in space wide enough to drop a Hound base through. Wouldn't that be a kick?

Then the boy speaks. Robyn dead? Sad, that.

Rashmi freezes as Volk arrives, eyebrows drawing together as her mind catches up to the growled news. She opens her mouth to reply to July, closes it, takes a deep breath, and shakes her head, dropping her eyes. "How," she asks of Volk, "where was he found."

Looking back and forth, his teeth grind for a moment, and then his voice comes a bit louder, the lack of use of speech over the years for him leaving it with a growling backrumble, "Shot… in the *COUGH COUGH* base… by… Dingo. He… he lived… *COUGH* long… enough to… name his killer…" Several hard breaths going in and out before his hands clench, and in an attempt to contain his anger, his jaws clench and for a moment everyone else save one might feel disorientation and a sudden sense of wrongness and disconnection from the ground.

July turns around to look at Volk as he shows up, "Dead…" she says, frowning and clenching her hands in anger at that for a moment, but then she closes her eyes and mutters something under her breath. Prayer? Promise? It can be either or none, but when she is done she looks a bit more relaxed, even though still angry. "Another one…" she mutters, frowning.

Hosea feels the disorientation, but stands still nonetheless. "Shot?" he echoes. "Dat is terrible," he says, feeling the pain of the event. The belt slides back down his shoulder and into his hand, and he places it on the ground. The nails likewise are cast to one side. "Where did dis happen?" he asks. "Is Dingo still close?"

Magneto feels the disorientation and his own powers flare, damping the effect for himself. "Boy! Control yourself! It is displays like *that* which bring the Hunters down on mutants, and if you give way here, there is no reason to expect you will not give way somewhere far more deadly!" —Says the man known for dropping tanks and cop cars into large bodies of water just for spite.

Rashmi staggers forward, arms pushing out to brace against Connor, as though suddenly he had become the ground. "Volk. Sit down. Calm yourself…. please. Dingo will answer for this… But Magneto's right." She pauses, blinking, as though to verify that she had indeed just said that. Shaking her head, she goes on. "July. Get Erik. Robyn needs a decent coffin, too. He may have let go of his life during most of this war, but he came back to himself before he died. We will honor that, because it's what he deserves."

It takes a moment to calm himself, but the rightness of the universe reasserts itself as he lets a deep breath go. Shoulders slumping, Volk looks at Magneto for a long moment, "Give in? I… have… *COUGH* four.. long years… of giving in… to get off my chest. And… for four years.. I've been… holding back… now… they're going to find out… *COUGH* WHY… I stopped being Connor… he's a MUCH more creative bastard than… Volk… ever was…"

July nods to Rashmi, "Right away. I'll let him know." She says, as she walks to another wall-mounted pipe with a crack on it, and she flows into it liquidly, disappearing in it as she goes to look for Erik.

Magneto lifts a brow at Volk. "I have just been speaking with Miss Franklin, Volk, about an operation against the Hounds. You, I, and Jonothon Starsmore, at minimum, against the main Hound base, with the objective of, to put it in Miss Franklin's words, 'leave it a crater'. I do suggest you save your strength — and your creativity — for that." He smiles as he says that. It isn't a nice smile.

"It is important dat you stay calm," Hosea echoes the others' concern. "His sacrifice will not be in vain. Dere will be justice, do not feah." The former counselor, and now death camp pastor always did seem a bit too optimistic. However, he's alive still, and keeps the same stance that he always has.

Stomping boots start to echo through the tunnels. Scourge just came out of his armory. He's in a tussle, and there's no doubt about it. The Quartermaster is adequately pissed off. The armored mutant sees just who he was wanting to talk to. "That dumbfuck hunter piece of an ass. You want to know why our stores were bombed? The Dingo ate the baby." His words are a bit incoherent but it's still together enough for people to understand. The orange eyeshield of his helmet glows right where his eyes are. "Two pomegranates. One for medical stores and one for the food reserves."

"Son of a *bitch!*" Rashmi explodes, turning away from Volk and toward Scourge. "He did *what?!*" Slapping a hand against her forehead, she lets out a rough breath. "Okay, so, let me get this straight, Scourge. Not only was Robyn, our single best source of advance information, murdered… But he also undid pretty much most of all that hard work Volk and his team did?! Motherf—" Biting off the rest of whatever she was about to say, the redhead pinches the bridge of her nose. "All right. Scourge. Tell me what we *do* have left, out of the original food stores."

Magneto turns his attention on Scourge. There are days, this being one of many, when he wonders when the language changed and how the hell any of the younger set understand each other at all. They do; witness Rashmi's reaction. For himself, none of it would have made sense without Volk's news about Dingo. A little too context dependent, for his tastes.

He does look at Rashmi and say, "The Hounds are coming. This is beautifully timed for that, don't you think?"

Volk grumbles out, "Give the man… credit. It's… what I'd do… b-but… Dingo… isn't.. privy to the plan… he… doesn't know… he's just… playing them right… to our hands…" And despite the setback, he nods in agreement to Magneto, taking a deep breath at the sour taste of the displeasure in him. Looking towards Magneto, and then Rashmi, "This… is what we do best… fight from… the inferior… position." A coughing fit taking him and causing him to turn his head to one side and keeping it from rudeness towards Rashmi.

Hosea nods to Magneto's comment. "If they know we are heah, they will be upon us within days. Maybe soonah. We must be prepared for dem. Or we must leave heah and find someplace else." The latter doesn't sound like a feasible option even to himself, but those are the only options he sees.

Scourge looks to Rashmi and hangs his head. "Food food everywhere but not a nutrient to eat. Bollocks. Armory stores have emergency rations, and what I saved to barter with the mercs." Scourge looks to the Master Of Magnetism and laughs. "He lost sight of the mission. Playing lapdog to the government. I knew he couldn't be trusted. Not ten years ago, not ever." He reaches for his belt, taking out a small flask. His usual electronic voice rings out. "Smoke 'em if you got em." He takes off his helmet and for the second time today and laughs. At this point does anonymity really matter? He takes a drink from the flask. "There IS no other place for us. All my stores are in here. Ten years of scrounging around fusion cells and high capacity battery charges. I'd like to put this in that asshole's mouth." He says as his right gauntlet retracts and a crimson energy katana forms in his hands. "He would have had my stores too, if he weren't a fucking idiot."

"Settle, Scourge," Rashmi says between clenched teeth. "Revenge later. Food and medicals now. We can recoup this, if we work quickly. ….Actually we can very *easily* recoup this," she says, eyes widening. "What you're going to do now, Scourge, is put together a raiding team. Pick whoever you think you can use, get ahold of Betsy, and tell her we *really* need to visit those spots on the map Jinx brought with her. There were intact distribution centers there, and if you hit as many as you can tonight, we'll still be ahead of the game."

Magneto frowns at Scourge, thinking. "Just exactly what did Dingo get out of this, Scourge? The man is self-interested. His politics were self-interested, his life choices… if he is going to become a Hound, that might make sense, although I wish him Ahab's adoration, if that's true." Another not-nice smile.

Looking back and forth, Volk strangely seems to calm down as the anger settles and the tactical mind comes back to him. Looking to Brian, he puts up a hand to forestall him from getting any more creative ideas. Looking to Magneto, a bit of a smirk comes up, "Doesn't matter…" Then he looks back and forth between the group present, "Think… for a moment. What he… knows. He knows we… evacced the civilians… he knows… we were prepping… several runs… but…" He then nods and the wolfish smirk at Rashmi gets fangy, "Far… as he… was aware… we were never preparing… to counter-offensive…" Taking a deep breath to forestall more coughing, "Turn… this on its head. They think… we'll come… for their things… so… we do. But… we don't… come to steal. We… poke the bear. We poke it… so it chases us… back… into our den…"

"I will volunteer to help," Hosea says to Rashmi. "I will show dah people heah how to set dah traps, yes?" he suggests. "If we have many coming into dah tunnels after us, we must know what dere powers are. Normal people are easy to stop, but what about many mutants?" he asks.

Scourge grumbles as he places the flask back on his belt and puts the helmet back on. "He wanted to hit us where it counts. Either some kind of revenge scheme or something else." His voice augmented from the electronics again. The Quartermaster looks back to Rashmi. "Well, if we're going to hit those stores I could use Volk, he can grab the goods fast while we keep everyone distracted. Who else can I use…." He asks, looking up at the tunnel. "And none of you says a word of me to anyone else especially Addison. Hard enough living down here without getting probed in my mind. I didn't go through hell on earth for ten years to be distrusted now. But I'm not taking this off again." Referring to the neural inhibitor in his helmet of course. "Betsy knows good combat, and can neutralize people telepathically."

"Volk is being taken off assignment," Rashmi says, her voice brooking no argument. "He is going to go to his bed and rest for *no less than twenty-four hours.* Betsy can step between shadows, she'll be enough to transport a small raiding team. As for who you are…?" The redhead shrugs. "We have *Theo* down here, remember. I'm *pretty sure* we can deal with you having helped us out all these years, Scourge." The name, given a small amount of emphasis, as she turns to Connor. "You. Bed. *Now.* Your idea is noted, but we aren't prepared. Hosea. Find July, get the map I gave her. Use it to add your own little touches to the traps we're putting up in the upper tunnels. Magneto." Turning to face the elder mutant, she looks steadily into his eyes. "You've got your assignment. If there's anyone else you want, tell them you are collecting them on my behalf. Collect them, get to preparing, and tell Pietro it's good to have him back."

Hosea nods. "Certainly," he says, a hint of his smile returning, though it isn't as carefree as normal. "Be well mah friends," he says. "And go wit God." He turns, and after throwing the ammunition belt over his shoulder and grabbing the box of nails again, he rushes out, heading through a wall to minimize his turns.

Magneto does his raised eyebrow thing at Rashmi. He has his *assignment*? How… X-Man-ish of her. "I think I shall tell them I am collecting them on behalf of us all, Miss Eep. They deserve to know what effect we are going for and how they may accomplish it. I doubt I shall have a dearth of eager participants." He gives her a sardonic bow, all politeness and smiles, and turns to go. "Oh," he says, over his shoulder. "I've already told him that. But I will remember you to him. Thank you for inquiring after his health." Cloak swinging, he strides out.

As Magneto sweeps out, that growling voice of the young man comes up, "Just remember… MAGNUS… this… isn't carte blanche… to go human-hunting. I catch you… slinging… rhetoric… and popping the wrong skulls… we'll SEE who's got the bigger chops here. Be angry… but you stay… on mission. And she deserves… more… than Miss Eep. Rashmi's worth… ten of you down here." And from Volk's pocket comes a familiar, old, tarnished, but still intact gold star, fingering it for a long moment like he would consider throwing it.

"Hey. Once you're back. You and I. We're going to get as much high temp shit and equipping our people with it. I'm gonna go ahead and say there's a general kill order on Bruce Dumbfuck." The energy user starts to make his way out. "Theo may be down here. But I don't want ONE word out of this room. I went years behind closed doors. Just keep quiet about it, alright?" He says, heading out to get in touch with Betsy.

"Settle down, Connor," Rashmi sighs, shaking her head. "If Magneto wants to remind me of the good old days, that's his choice, and frankly I'm not worried. And it's the Hunter Headquarters you all are going after. Frankly, I wouldn't be *terribly* put out if there weren't any survivors at all. 'Smoking crater,' remember?" As Brian heads toward the door, the redhead nods in his direction. "I'll get the word out about Bruce, and clamp it down about you."

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