2020-06-19: Disarm

Players: James and Volk

ConnorF_icon.jpg JamesF_icon.jpg

Summary: Two years. Two Brothers. With pasts that cannot be resolved with anything but blood, and a bigger war at stake, honor and memory give two men a little clarity to their lives.

Date: 06-19-2020


Rating: R

Train Bridge outside of Salem

An old railroad track half-wrecked during the Sentinel assault of 2016, it has been rebuilt for use in transporting supplies and people through the Hunter-controlled former haven of the X-men and the Xavier Academy. At the bottom of the dry riverbed crossing, the twisted remains of the old bridge and a railcar lay, pocked with rust and age.

OOC - Once more, the title is in reference to the Smashing Pumpkins song 'Disarm'

It's been a few hours since James got word of the Concentration Camp raid. Bad day to be out of town for the Hyena. Jinx was taken right out from under his nose ad he hasn't taken well to the news. So much so that for the last hour he's been standing on the remains of a bridge; under him, a mutant hostage bound in rope and dangling precariously upside down. "Where are you…" he growls, eyes narrowed.

The answer, that momentary raising of the hairs on the back of Tooth's neck just as gravity shifts in a small localized sensation… followed by the sound of a rifle's slide being cleared. Then the sound of panting, the smell of sweat and traces of blood faint against propellant, gunpowder, and the inherent cold-tang of Volk using a portal. Then comes the growling voice, "Let… her… down." Followed by several hard and raspy coughs from the individual.

James looks at Volk, eyes harsh and filled with the type of hate people have come to expect from the Hunter, "All you had to do was ask." It's a quick motion, a dip of his knees, a flash of claws and the girl falls towards a sea of rebar and broken concrete.

It's amazing to see how smoothly a harsh decade of training make it seem, but Volk vanishes, catches, and reappears several moments later, the rifle resting against his chest and a knife in his hand. His head tilts to one side and then he narrows his eyes at the hyena, and points the blade at him, the one visible eye carrying an icy disdain to it.

James expression never shifts, his hand splayed and ready for what he feels in inevitable. He stands, taking a step forward, teeth bared as he shouts hard enough to send spittle out of his mouth, "Bring her back, Now!" The one he dropped or the one Connor stole?

Again… the answer… Volk unslings the rifle and drops it to one side with a clatter. Off comes the combat harness and the pistols, then the Weapons belt and the SMGs. Next comes the jacket revealing the black turtle-neck t-shirt, and finally the HUD-eye, and the balaklava. Glimmering in the light from the sweat once on him from before both of his long fighting blades float up from their scabbards to his hands. One word. "No."

James' tilts his head to one side, cracking his neck as his muscles tighten, "First time in 10 years I miss that weakness detection I lost. I'd love to know how much I hurt you. No matter. I'm gonna do it all over again." And the chess game begins as his eyes start glowing blue, his first teleport some 10 feet behind Connor, hoping to follow it up with a direct assault on the next round.

The faint smell of blood remains there, and instead of teleporting immediately, Volk remains in place, flipping both his blades into a backhand grip, snagging the knuckleguards with his pinkies. The blades both begin to glow with his own power as he turns slowly, looking for where the hyena has gone. Once more the growling voice comes, "Never… Again…"

James is easily found, his ears pointing backwards as he stalks a slow wide circle around his prey, ex-teammate, ex-groomsmen. No words, but his senses working overtime to find the in he needs to put his enemy down fast.

Volk seems to still be bearing some wounds, but he's not showing the pain of them, only the most subtle of gestures seem to convey that he's favoring the spot where those claws had recently found their mark. A rumble of thunder sounds overhead, and suddenly it begins to pour down softly on the pair, but as James circles, Volk moves to close the gap with slow steps, the glow on the blades accented in the reflecting rain as he then douses even that. Using just his slightly glowing eyes, and pure instinct, he starts to cross and circle, eyes always on the hyena, one blade pointed forwards in a defensive grip.

The knives need to go. Or at least the ability to use them. Lightning strikes nearby and in the bright flash the hyena's form runs forward. Leaping into the air and over Connor, he tries to rake his claws over the man's shoulders. Landing, he'll continue to extend the distance between them before retaking his attack pose.

The flash covers the movement enough that by the time he tucks and rolls, it's a bare whisper of a miss, and coming up for balance, Volk goes right after the hyena once more. Before that combat pose can be gained, he's in and flashing those blades in a combination of high-low sweeps, body in constant motion as a four-strike combo is lashed out at James, not waiting or watching to see if connects. Leaping back a couple feet, he pants a bit, and you can see the color in the part of the shirt where you'd stabbed him before has a slightly different color as the rest. One of the claw-stabs reopened.

James dodges one, teleports backwards by inches for the next 2, gets hit by the fourth. It's a slice across the chest, one that slips pretty deep into the armor he's wearing. Taking a few quick steps back, he waits for the pain to set in—then frowns. "Sorry." He unbuttons his hunters outfit and shrugs off the shirt. Next the armor comes off, a deep gash across the front. "Forgot." He retakes his fighting stance, and gets ready for round 2, rain lightly pelting his fur.

Volk's head tilts and he shrugs, almost like it's a casual thing to have forgotten body armor. Giving James the same courtesy he was given as his things were removed, it's not until the hyena is back in his full fighting stance before he charges once more. Once more there's no powers involved, he goes into a flurry of blows, trying to slip blows in, trying to use knee or elbow redirect any incoming swipes. He's too close in this dance to evade easily though, and seems committed to the attack.

James lets the first one connect, an easily blocked swipe allowed for the one the man-made creation deflected. This round it's about defense; his point to get in close and tight. Another blade over his arm, one near his side as he tries to wrap an arm under Connors, a fist going into punch the man where the discoloration is forming.

Volk's body arches in pain as the wound is struck, and there's an unforgiving crack of a rib in the bargain. An animal cry rips from him as he fights the pain long enough to swing his head back up, attempting to headbutt the hyena right on his rather sensitive nose!

James snaps his head back a hard, a roar emitting from his lips as his nose takes the full force of the blow. There's an explosion in the back of his eyes as his senses explode, feet scrambling. He punches blindly, the other hand shoving Connor by the chest to give the creature some distance. He wipes a fist across his face and checks it for blood, eyes unhappy at the discovery.

The punch is deflected with an elbow, but the shove is given full purchase and Volk slides back several feet and ends up on his backside, but as James is checking himself, he pushes back up once more. Reaching down, he touches the wound for a moment, and then frowns some, the pain etched in his face. Lacking the feral's healing factor, face ashen, he readies his grip once more and starts to slowly approach James once more. His eyes are blazing, but still he continues to not use his powers. In the wan moonlight for the first time, the hyena can see the tattoo on his neck. 2018.

James slides to the side, left shoulder facing the man as he shakes off the remaining shock of Connor's strike. A sensing gaze takes longer than it should, and reports back less than he'd like, "I can go on like this all night. Can you?" He doesn't wait for the reply, a flat run towards Connor ends with him attempting a ditching slide, claws aimed at his leg.

With a sidestep and a spin, the claw catching along the meat of his thigh and cutting open the BDU pants, four more fresh but shallow cuts on Volk's body to add to the myriad of injuries he's been hiding and tending to. The slash shows the remains of a bandage from a recently healed, still-red cut. But as he spins, the man attempts to bring the blade down hard on the back of James' neck, aiming right for the spinal column, below the point where the implants are. As he swings once more, a feral cry bursts out from him.

James' world explodes in a shower of white snow as the hit connects. Body falling lax, he's numb from the tips of his ears to the balls of his feet before he stops moving. He collapses. Twitching as if he was in the middle of a grand mal seizure, the hyena is helpless to do little more than lay there. Then it happens: Blackness then light. He was out. But for seconds? Minutes? He's not sure. But he's alive, a sudden gasp of air the only qualifier he needs to know that. "Fuck…" THe tingling sensation fades as the healing factor does its work, the first sensation he feels one warm wet life that's seeping in to his fur from an open wound.

The bloody knife is on the ground to one side, and against the support of the bridge, Volk is sitting, panting and ashen, holding his bloody side to stop the wounds from getting worse. Despite the haze of pain in his eyes, he tries to hold the other knife in a firm but slightly trembling grip. The raspy voice comes, between coughs as water washes the blood down and away, the stain having spread to one leg of his pants, "I… forgive you. I… w-want…t-to… to ha… te… you…" More coughs from him, but no blood comes up, "I c-can't… anymore. I… h-hate… the world… that's… done this… to ussssss… the w-world that… A-*COUGH COUGH* Ahab… Made. S-so… e-either… one… of us… d-dies here… o-or…" And he pushes himself up off the ground, wincing and gasping as he resumes his fighting stance with his good side forwards, "We… f-fin…d… a n-new… war."

James rolls onto his back with a pained expression and a sound that matches, "Freakin' blood loss Connor. You're not right in the head. You're talking crazy talk." He grits his teeth and sits up, claws scrambling for purchase as he fights to remain sitting, "Holy hell, you're a mess." He stands, hunched a little as he steps towards the other man, "You need a lift?" The hyena's leg gives out, a laugh following after he realizes he's on the ground again, "You're not gonna die on me are you? That'd just be the topping on the cake, you asshole."

There's actually a snort, and a bit of a silent chuckle as he gives the hyena the finger with his good hand, even wincing once as it seems to push on the cracked rib. Staggering over, he manages to get his other knife, but then ends up in a tuck and roll fall on his back right next to the big hyena. The smile is actually genuine there, and he meets James' eyes, "You… should see… yourself." Followed up by a racking cough and a groan of obvious pain, and a tightness of his eyes as he breathes deeply in biofeedback rhythm.

James shows off his front teeth, "What? Am I getting prettier again? You're all just jealous…always were." Reaching over, he grabs the X-teammate and pulls him over enough that his larger form can support the smaller one. He lays back down on the pavement as his body tries to recover from the last blow, and more. "Hey…remember that time I snuck out and ran into Sabertooth? But he found out I was going to graduate…so I ended up at that bar? Came home drunk and bleeding. To this day I still don't know where I got those three heads of lettuce and the book on macrame." He falls silent, breathing easier again as he continues to recover, "I'm…sorry."

The laugh comes again, and so goes the wince of pain. When the apology comes, there's a wince and a tightening of his entire frame before Volk settles once more and just leans into the bigger frame, "Fuck… wet… *COUGH*… fur…" Waving at his nose with one knife-wielding hand, but despite the readiness, there's no more moves to attack from the former X-student. Instead he stabs one blade into the wood, and digs a notepad and pen out. The thing is soaked, but somehow holds the ink, -I will protect her. On my honor.- Holding it up to the hyena's only recently healed nose.

James looks at it for a moment, turning his head up and away, "You'd better. Shit's about to come down. And when it does, she better be so deep in that hole you guys have that Satan himself can't find her. Because, if she's not, I'm taking the gloves off. I 'dn lost her once—and that was my own damn fault. Happens again..I'm gonna' get unkind." He falls flat again, "Things were going to well until she came back." He eyes the man leaning against him, "And you and Robyn had to go and get stupid on me." There's a pained sigh and a hard blink, "You guys ready?"

Flipping the page, it takes several moments before Volk is able to write down, -You gave me the wheels. I just set them rolling. We want you to come. And come angry.- But then it falls from his hand, and he tears the shirt open, ripping the duct tape bandage free. His side is a horrid purple color from the punch, all four wounds seeping slowly. Despite all this, he casually reaches out, and all his things glow and float over. Digging into his coat, he drags out a tourniquet, and sits up to apply it. Done, he picks up the paid, and in a barely legible script from the weather he adds, -No, I was stupid before. I got angry, then I got stupid. Two long years of stupid.-

James watches Connor work, taking an occasional second to move a hand, a foot, a leg. Nearly back to normal. The notes are read, the hyenas response, "2 years? Been going on longer than that. Try 10…probably more but I'm feeling too generous to drag your mom into this." He reaches a claw over to grab his discarded shirt, "Need this? I hardly use it." He drops it, face taking on an expression of weariness.

Finally able to push himself to standing, Volk turns around to face James, and lowers his head as he takes the shirt gingerly, "Ahab… *COUGH* w-was… never s-supposed to attack you. T-that… was A-Ahab… from here. He's… using H-Heather. Time T-travel." Bending as the use of his voice causes the rasping and the fits of paint in his throat, "All of it… n-not s-supposed… t-to be. G-*COUGH*onna s-stop it. t-till then…" And he picks up one of his knives once more, holding it up, "L… lead… the fight. C-come after u-us. Your… life. Your… cons… se… quence. Your… honor." The last word taking it's toll. Walking to his things he begins to slowly pull on his armor jacket, whispering, "No more… twenty… eighteen…"

"Crazy talk," James shouts again. Rolling onto his stomach, he pushes himself up on the ground and then onto his feet. Picking up his armor off the ground, he pulls it back into place over his chest and back. His expression turns neutral, eyes glowing an ever so slight bit of blue, "Just uphold your part of the bargain. When this happens, I'm not your friend. You start thinking I am, just remember your ribs. It's a war. You side against theres—and mine." He gives Connor a final nod, "Just in case. I never meant it to go that far with…you know. I… wasn't there when you needed me. I wasn't fast enough. This week though? I'll be plenty fast enough."

Slowly the harness and belt go back in place, and Volk pulls the balaklava back in place, slipping the HUD-eye. Volk turns to face again, and then his own eyes begin to glow. There's no words. He just offers a nod while tucking the shirt into his pocket, and then leans down to pick up his rifle. Once all of his armor… physical and otherwise seems to be back in place, he turns to leave, holding himself high and strong once more, not giving you an ounce of weakness. Stopping at the end of the bridge, he looks over his shoulder at James with the one uncovered eye. There's pride in it, somehow. And as he vanishes, a last slip of paper floats through the air, and lands against James' chest.

"I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at." -Maya Angelou

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