2010-12-17: End Game Part 2


Chloe_icon.jpg Connor_icon.jpg Hilde_icon.jpg Hooligan_icon.jpg Magneto_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg

Summary: Things go badly in Mutant Town when the Block Party gets attacked by shooters.

Log Title: END GAME - Part 2

Rating: R (LV)

Part 1
Part 3

NYC - Mutant Town Condo Association

Even though Mutant Town Condominium Association is one of the bigger and wider buildings in Mutant Town extending ten stories. The building is a square with a whole in the middle that is home to a pool, tennis court and nice grassy area for the residents. Each Apartment. This isn't a place where you go to rent a place but purchase. It's one of the nicer places in Mutant Town, as you have to be a resident to enter it's locked building. In side the lobby are a few elevators that lead up to each floor.


The place is hopping. Lots of people. Lots of visible mutants in the crowd — Look! There goes a girl with hair strobing between pink and blue! — but lots more 'normal' folks. Tourists, gawkers, rah-rah types who stand in Solidarity with their genetically-challenged brethren, and a few scowling types who are obviously Looking For The Reason For All The Fuss (tm). This area is lined with booths, some bearing food, others bearing games, or information, or entertainment. A small stage in front of the Condo Association has a list of speakers advertised, important mutants talking about important mutant issues, local politicians talking about important political issues, community leaders talking about important community issues… Hilde is on that list. And right after her set? Magneto, leader of Genosha.

And where there are crowds of people there shall be those blessed ones who sell snack food. Which is pretty much the only reason Chloe has headed out to check out the party. Sporting the fancy shoes Theo bought her before the demon realm incident, jeans and a black top she slips through the crowd. Normal looking except to those who pay enough attention to spot just how damn fast she's traveling. Especially when it means getting served first at the candy-floss machine.

Some people are standing out, some people are slumming it a bit. Connor seems to have gone for the latter as he trails along with Theo, looking around the crowd with the careful eye of someone who's trying very hard not to be exuding the 'ten foot' feeling around him and his friend. With the chill weather of New York, he seems to have opted for a slight punk look, sporting an actual Soviet Russian officer's overcoat, with some of the markings left on, and a black cotton cap to cover his ears and head. Unknown to most, his training uniform is on underneath… a precaution from the last time he was in the area… the glasses with them in his pocket in the mean time. But at least in the spirit of things, he's munching on a corn dog, and asking, "Again… why are we here, Theo?"

Hildegarde smiles out over the crowd as she continues her speech, though that smile wavers as she sees the all too familiar look of boredom and confusion on the majority of the crowd's faces. It reminds her of her students back at Xavier's. She clears her throat gently and continues on, speaking primarily on the effects of human mutation on culture and society. The woman is dressed in her usual public speaking attire, a nice green dress with brown boots. Her hair is tied back in an elaborate bun and she seems strangely underdressed considering how chilly it is. The woman concludes her speech and goes on to a short question and answer segment. It seems that most of the people in the crowd are just holding onto good spots until the next speaker comes on, Magneto. Hilde has never met Magneto. And while she does not necessarily agree with all of his methods, she is interested to hear him speak.

Magneto is behind the stage and inside the Condo Association building itself, watching the crowd on multiple overhead screens. He is in full costume, although he is carrying his helmet. His brows are pulled down into an intense frown. It may not look it, but he is already active in the area: a number of booster emitters have been attached to various buildings, and he is powering them to form a semi-permeable magnetic shield over the entire block party. No missiles are dropping on the crowds, and no flyers of any sort will be allowed in, either. A news helicopter has already run afoul of it; the damaged machine was set on a rooftop two blocks away. He is taking security here seriously.

He speaks to thin air: "Theo. I see Ms VonReginleif is finishing up. I am about to send forth the decoy Magneto. What have you discovered in the crowd of our targets?"

The Hooligan looks down on the rukus on the street below the condos from a nearby rooftop, even in a crowd of mutants the armor-clad vigilante would stand out so he's keeping to the outskirts of the proceedings for now. Ever since the first attack on the Mason concert he's been skulking around mutant town hoping to get the drop on the shooters when they returned, and after learning of this event and the plan behind it he knew he'd get a shot at them. He's scouted this area a dozen times in the last few weeks, looking for likely sniper spots and entry points for armed raids as he puts his military training to good use. He's added a few new toys to his usual arsenal and checks them carefully. One taser with 6 reloads, a hand-held stun gun at full charge, and a .357 Magnum revolver with rubber bullets. He turns and bounds from the rooftop to leap across the alley to the next one, time to start his first sweep. He can feel the magnetic pulse from the emitters as it practically thrums through the metal plates in his armor though he has no idea what's causing it. The feeling has him on edge and reinforces the fact that this is going to be a long night.

Theo is not far from the stage. "Because, this is a great event. You're not ashamed of being a mutant, right?" he asks. His own communication back is telepathically transmitted through the system rather than verbally. So far it's hard to tell. There's so much electronics going on it's hard to pinpoint much. I'm trying to visually examine the suspicious ones and figure out what kind of weapons they have.

Little does Connor know, Theo is happy to have Connor and his martial expertise. The technopath is still a novice, but he likewise has his training uniform on underneath. He walks decisively through the crowd, looking for hidden weapons. "I think something's going to go wrong, though. You ever get one of those feelings?" he asks Connor to make certain he is on guard. "Where'd Chloe go? I saw her a second ago."

As Hilde winds up her set, the crowd's anticipation intensifies, almost leaning forward, pressing her off the stage. Yes, yes… mutation and culture. Godhood. Yay. Where's the real meat? Where's Magneto?

Before she can leave, though, light bends overhead and suddenly the Master of Magnetism is there, cloak spread wide, floating down toward the stage. A chant rises as he falls. "Magneto… Magneto! … MAGNETO!" He'll raise a hand to acknowledge the chant, not saying a word in response, until he lands on the stage. One step, two, and he speaks to Hilde. "Ms VonReginleif. A pleasure. I have read your books, and I find your scholarship most interesting." And yes, the crowd can hear that. One suspects that Hilde's books will enjoy a sudden spike in popularity.

Elsewhere, however, other things have spiked. There are certain cell phone channels in the crowd, some of which Theo has been monitoring, but others which he hasn't managed to get to yet, which all send variants of, "He's HERE!" as soon as Magneto appears. Some are voice, others are text, or photos, or video. Not surprising, really… but why would that ordinary throw-away phone have encryption on it, or that other throw-away have a different encryption? Especially when neither is SHIELD?

Where is Chloe? A good question. She's loaded up on sugar and climbing up the side barrier near the edge of the crowd, hoping for a better look. Why she needs a better look at people who work at her school is anyone’s guess. Twenty dollars worth of candy-floss will cloud anyone’s judgment. Never trust a speedster to stay where you want them….

The older X-student gives a sigh, and then a smirk, "Last I saw she practically mugged a stand for all their candy-floss and pixie sticks… and then took off saying something about pink and blue." Shrugging to himself, Connor almost immediately goes stiff as the big show emerges, in his usual fashion to put any professional wrestler to shame. Eyes begin to flick around as they ten foot 'bubble' of hostile awareness goes out a bit farther, and he puts a hand on Theo's shoulder, "Well… there's your answer to things going down. That man can't go out for a latte without someone calling in a grudge."

Hildegarde is just finishing up her question and answer session when Magneto makes his dramatic entrance. She glances up with a bit of surprise as the man descends onto the stage and takes a bit of a step back as he lands, touching a hand to her chest with surprise. Her eyebrows raise a little as she hears his praise and she tips her head slightly. "Thank you very much for the encouragement." She turns to the crowd and raises a hand toward Magneto, "Ladies and gentlemen, the reason I'm sure many of you struggled through my speech, may I present Magneto. If anyone has further questions for me I will be doing a book signing in an hour by the cocoa kiosk." She nods again to Magneto and walks toward the edge of the stage, her footfalls sounding much heavier than the woman appears.

Still in the Condo Association, the real Magneto studies the screens full of crowd shots. Does anyone seem to be moving in a purposeful way? Do small groups seem to be moving? Perhaps multiple persons or groups, converging on specific points? The stage barely counts, because that's the center of focus anyway. "Do be careful, Mr. Fegenbush. I would not like to lose you."

He does note Connor's presence near Theo: excellent. He can trust young Mr. Blake to watch out for Theo in ways Theo can't manage for himself. He'll turn his attention outward: Chloe. Check. And some armored person skulking on a roof…? A wider sweep. Does he have other people with him?

Maxwell gives little attention to the speeches going on street side, he moves from roof to roof and scans the alleyways between the buildings watching for anyone trying to crash the party. There's enough mutants down there that anyone in the crowd causing trouble will have their hands full, he's looking for those trying to do things at a distance. He grumbles to himself as he goes. "Come on, poke your heads out so I can pound them back down. I'm in the mood for a little hate-monger whack-a-mole tonight."

"Stay alert," the technopath tells Connor. Theo looks up. "Oh jeez," he becomes distracted for a moment, "We gotta get her down from there, like, right now!" he tells Connor. Without touching his phone, he activates Chloe's phone on speaker, "Chloe! Get down, hurry, it's not safe, we've got bad guys watching you, they're gonna cause trouble!"

Theo doesn't know for certain where they all are, but Chloe's superspeed does tend to give her away, and he knows they will be gunning for mutants. He focuses again just in time to catch the throwaway phone. "There," he says to Connor with a nod. He follows by turning off both phones to stop the communication, and looks back at Connor. Seeing the change in the eyes, he starts looking for people who are watching Connor. "Connor, you might want to put on your shades."

There are movements in the crowd, little swirls as certain people move a little too emphatically in the direction of the stage. A couple are obviously fan-geeks; but not all. None are loaded up on magnetic metals, though — someone did their homework.

Up above, Maxwell will surprise a group of four men in mesh armor. "Who…?!" says one, but one of his buddies is faster: he just lifts an arm and fires. It's a flamethrower, Maxwell. You've caught a hot one.

Chloe has her own 'admirers'. Three of them, in fact, who turn toward her, not Magneto. One of them raises what looks like a camera: it squirts a nano-fluid at her, a million little tracker 'bots in a drop of water. The other two just shoot at her. The slugs will seek the 'bots…

On the stage, the false Magneto turns to the crowd, eyes glittering within his helmet. "Friends, fellow mutants… and those here who hate us all, for being something other than their approved species. I am here to see you, and to be seen, and to put our enemies on notice: tonight, your Game ends. Tonight, you throw your last throw, and you will fail! Because I DO see you, and you are DONE!"

Theo? You're watching one suspicious person watch Magneto. His jaw drops. "How did he know…?!" He raises his phone. "Guys! He KNOWS!"

The trouble with fighting speedsters who have just received cellphone warnings? By the time you've got your weapon ready they're already busy putting themselves somewhere else. Chloe throws herself forward, rolling under the spray of tracker fluid and then springing to her feet with the ease of practice (aside from the part where people are shooting at her that is). "You'reinforaworldofpain,!" she yells flinging her candy-floss and then zig-zag charging in at fluid-shooting man.

Taking a half-step as he dons his red-spectrum sunglasses, Connor vanishes from Theo's side, only to reappear next to the man holding up the cell-phone warn his buddies. In flawless Russian-accented English, the young man says, "Privet Tovarisch." Taking a cue from the Colossus handbook of X-men behavior, "I am being here to be stoppink you. Please to be obliging." And with that an elbow goes hard into the scout's solarplex, followed by a sharp upward jab with the same elbow. As the down-up motion goes through, meant to stun and daze him, then Connor spins and does a flat-palm blow right on the sternum, pumping a grav-bolt into the man at the same time. A faint blue-glow and a thrust back sends him into some garbage cans and safely unconscious under a compressed chest. In the space of the three seconds it took for that to happen, he's standing next to Theo again, "What have you gotten me into?"

Hildegarde pauses after she leaves the stage, standing off to the side as she listens to Magneto speak. Her expression changes from one of interest to one of concern as she hears the man speak, glancing out to the audience as he seems to speak to some unknown enemy. She notices the odd movement of the men in the crowd and calls out as she sees them target Chloe. Hildegarde goes into immediate action, bending down and leaping 15 feet into the air. She kicks against the side of the Condo building and goes sailing over the crowd to the lamppost Chloie was at a few moments before, landing with an immense sound and causing a small crater in the cement below her. "No one shoots at MY students!"

Magneto crosses his arms. Part of his attention is tracking Maxwell and the men on the roof; aha. Maxwell is being attacked. That's a vote in his favor, although he might just be another part of the Game, run afoul of other players. He'll wait and see what happens. In the meanwhile, he's studying what is happening to the crowd. He just saw a flash near Theo, out of the corner of his eye; he turns only fast enough to see Connor reappear beside his teammate. Frown and flick the fingers: instant replay. Oh, interesting. He'll send a note out to flunkies in the crowd to gather that person up, and he looks for others. So far, he's missed Chloe's dance with her attackers. Hilde's abrupt departure from the stage rectifies that, and he warns the flunkies to head in that direction to collect soon-to-be-bodies.

Hooligan grins behind his mask and hits the ground rolling as the flamethrower goes off and leaves a scorched streak on the rooftop where he was standing. He spins as he rises to his feet and releases an object the size of a soda can that lands at the feet of the group and with a dull *Hump* spews out a thick cloud of burning vapors. A tear gas canister. "Evening boys, hope your medical insurance is paid up!"

Theo isn't the biggest, or the strongest. He did, however, prepare for a fight. He's brought two of the billiards balls from the rec room, and he's brought a pocket knife. The billiards balls come from his coat pockets. "Nothing you wouldn't come and take part in if you had known," he answers Connor, making a dash for the shooter closest to him. He shoves his way through the crowd, and the two billiards balls swing out from either side, aiming to smash either side of the shooter's head while he still is watching Chloe. "You don't EVER shoot at her!" he rages.

Off in the distance, in the direction of the Genoshan Embassy, there's a boom as something explodes. The crowd startles, moving first away from the sound, then toward, like a wave. Anyone trying to move through it, like Theo, is going to get caught in the wave, put off tempo because of it.

Not that the tempo bothers the bad guys. They were prepared for trouble. The nano-shooter goes down under Chloe — he's not a superspeedster! The shots from the other two go wild, because they're targeting on the nano-fluid. Some of which sprinkled over several tourists who were standing under the barrier Chloe climbed; KABOOM. Tourist bits all over.

( Theo's target turns, because he heard the boy running. He'll shift to put a shoulder into Theo's chest, between and inside Theo's arms. The billiard balls might hit, but only glancing; he'll survive. The third shooter continues after Chloe, firing again even as she makes contact with his buddy. Sorry, buddy.

On the roof, Maxwell has his hands full. "Gas!" one man cries, even as the grenade explodes. Flamethrower guy sprays the area with fire, either to try to hit Maxwell, or just to keep him busy. The other three, because of the gas cloud, can't be seen, although Maxwell can hear them spreading out. They're trying to box him in, of course. )

On the stage, the Magneto 'bot continues to wax pompous. "People of Mutant Town! Know you that you are pawns in a game, a game played by humans, one where points and money are traded for your lives! People of New York! Know you that those among you who count mutants among your friends and family, you, too, have been marked by these gamesmen for death, to pad their pride and their bank accounts! I say unto you, YOU ARE NOT TOYS! I say unto you, THESE MEN WILL MEET THEIR MATCHES, and you shall be their reckoning!"

Maxwell grins and backs away quickly as the fool with the flamethrower hoses down the area. Problem with a flamethrower however is that even in the gas cloud it shows a distant point of origin. Drawing the tazer from his belt he fires the pronged darts into the cloud at that point. "Say goodnight gracey.."

Chloe slams her shoulder into squirtyguy, then spins around him to put the poor guy between her and the others. By the time he's registered the first hit the blonde speedster is already ducking down to strike the back of each knee. Turning him into a better shield at the same time as she makes herself a smaller target. "Stupidschoolnotgivingusbulletproofvests!" Pre-emptively she kicks her no-pain mode on. Just incase…

"Theo…" Connor says in a fashion of one who's long-suffering, "You're…" But then the sounds of bullets cause him to stop all pretense entirely. Once more his eyes flick around to the situation at hand, looking to where Chloe is, where Theo has gone, and the overall scenario going down. The third unattended shooter is targeted and he vanishes to reappear behind him through the crowd. There's no quips from him, and it would be a careful eye that sees what happens next. Fists flash out as he strikes with fists right to the male's kidneys. From there, he proceeds to take the man apart in a series of timed strikes, flashing over his ribs, stomach, and the back of his neck until the man with the gun is a crumpled heap. The weapon isn't touched though… just kicked off to one side and out of view. The jacket comes off, and flutters down, the young man flashing his colors for the world.

Hildegarde seems a bit confused for a moment. She turns her head to look in the direction that the explosion came from. She is distracted again as a few tourists near her are horribly killed. The woman's face is grim as she turns back to the shooters. "How could you!?" And then she swings a punch at one of them that would knock out an elephant. Out of the corner of her eye she catches Theo in a fight with another gunman. Abandoning her current targets she picks up the nearest thing she can find, a small pickup truck, and charges at the man Theo is currently grappling with.

Off over the music area, another helicopter commits hara-kiri against Magneto's protective overhead shield. He glances briefly that way and frowns: humans aren't usually stupid enough to try that twice. He'll shove the pieces off to another rooftop outside the shield zone and return his attention inward. Chloe is involved… she has Theo and Connor to help, and vice versa. Hilde is there, as well, so he has nothing to worry about. He looks in on Maxwell: interesting. Gas, flamethrower, and ceramic-based slug throwers, at least two. He'll continue to watch.

On the edge of his attention, by the Genoshan Embassy, there are armored warriors. He recognizes Rashmi, among others, in the area around; they're being dealt with. Off by the music, more Gamesmen: Bruce and company are well involved, but not in serious need just now. —Is this it? Is this as bad as it gets?

Really. He should know better.

Theo is knocked backward by the man impacting him, the shoulder striking him in the face. He doesn't let it stop him, though. With the incoming crowd, Theo knows that the crowd will overrun them both in moments. So he swings his left fist down, still clutching his billiards ball. He's aiming for the knee. If he can knock the man to the ground, the rushing crowd will do all the damage he needs to do. Hit or miss, he starts to move with the crowd so that he isn't swept underneath the force of people. Particularly after he sees Hilde incoming.

Beneath the stage, a relay clicks shut, and a fountain of fire erupts. The people closest to the stage are engulfed, and those past the first rank shriek as hot shrapnel spears outward. The Magneto 'bot is immolated, cloak and concealing flesh burned away to reveal the robot within. "Mutants!" it cries, tumbling end over end through the air, up and up until it crashes into the underside of the magnetic shield over the area. It sticks there as its owner commences emergency repairs on it. "See what a policy of live and let live does! It tells our oppressors where we live! It tells them where they can come to kill us!"

All three gunmen around Chloe go down; they can't handle her, Hilde, and Connor. Theo gets one hit on his guy with a billiards ball, but since he's already going down, thanks to Hilde, it's gilding the lily. Then the stage blows up, which distracts everyone. Not many people are looking toward the booths, where one by one, armored warriors are appearing, from out of coolers, from crates, even from sewer entrances. They're carrying a variety of weapons, and there are a LOT of them. They will open fire on any obvious mutant in the crowd. Off in the distance, there are multiple explosions. Looks like the whole party is being attacked.
On the roof, automatic weapons fire opens up on Maxwell's position. A taser provides THEM with a shooting target, too, as much as the flamethrower provided him with one. The flamethrower is hit and he howls — but he doesn't go down. He was wearing armor, Maxwell: you're buggering up his comm unit, but not him.

"Well. Fuck a duck," Chloe says, recovering from the unexpected kaboom in typical fastworld fashion enough to bounce her human shields head against the sidewalk. Just hard enough to knock him out. "Connor 'port us on top of the booths before they start shooting!"

Connor's head turns slowly as he pans over the crowd of people coming out to play… and a soft frown crosses his lips as he then says, "No… Theo… get on crowd control… use everything here to start routing people away from this…" Appearing next to Hilde, he continues in that strangely calm voice, "Miss Von Reigenleif… watch out for us." And with that he is next to Chloe, his own form of movement as fast as hers, saying as fast as possible, "Hit them hard. Break them up as they come at us. Don't be afraid to break things." And with that he vanishes once more, appearing before the crowd as they're spilling out, and both hands shoot out, causing two of them to rise up quickly, and then slam down hard enough that he WILL be breaking bones, but also using them to smash their brethren. He's gone silent, breathing even, heart rate even… somehow utterly calm in the chaos.

Hildegarde manages to make it over near Theo with relative ease, most of the crowd avoiding the German woman carrying a truck. She darts to her student and ducks down, sitting the car down on its side when the stage explodes and using it as a shield. "Theo! Are you hurt? Where are the others?" She glances around quickly and sees the armored men coming out of hiding, blinking briefly as Connor appears and vanishes. Hilde turns and grabs the truck again, flipping it up and over her head to move the shield to the other side to protect herself and Theo from the gunmen now. "Don't look at the stage. You don't need to see that."

Magneto swears, deep and vicious, as the bomb under the stage goes off. How did his people miss that?! … Because they are compromised, of course. One has been watching with him, helping to coordinate removal of persons from the crowd, when Magneto points them out, and when the explosion on the stage happens, he will casually pull a plastic gun out and shoot the Master of Magnetism in the back of the head.

It doesn't kill Magneto, but it does destroy his concentration. The shot is a device designed to scramble a normal person's brainwaves. Magneto goes down, and so does his protective shield (and his robot. Pity anyone directly under it). "Air drop," says the quisling into a radio, and then he gets out. If he's still here when Magneto gets up again, he's dead.

Of course, Magneto isn't supposed to get up again. There's a squad of armor heading in toward him, just to make sure of that. They're more than willing to go straight through the front wall of the Condo Association and anybody standing in front of it to do so.

Hooligan bites back a curse as he's jolted in several spots as the gunfire hits home. Thankfully the layers of steel and Kevlar in his armor hold for the moment as a few chunks are blown off of his pauldrons and a shot grazes his mask splitting the plastic and showing the metal plating underneath. He knows he's in for a fight now and it's time to stop screwing around. He charges the nearest gunman and in a single smooth motion draws the studded baseball bat from it's scabbard on his back. For a brief moment the gunman gets a surreal sight of that mask emerging from the burning fog of the tear gas right before ten pounds of steel lumber and lead slam down onto the intersection of his neck and collarbone. The jokes have stopped, now the pain begins.

"Crowd control!?" Theo answers Connor. "You're stupid, Connor." What the heck is he supposed to do about a stampeding crowd? "I'm not a little kid. Go help Magneto," he snaps at Hilde. He's not in a very good mood. He continues to move with the crowd until he can get to the side of the stage, out of immediate traffic flow. "Okay, let's see how they deal with this."

"Armored squad, look out, there's four heading in from six o'clock, break off and engage!" Comes the command over the radio to three of the men in armor. Theo watches as the men in the booths start to take up their positions. "Roof! Our boys in armor are moles, they're with the mutants! Take them out!" He hopes that the conflicting statements will at least cause a ruckus, and at best, maybe they will start attacking each other.

Connor's first two targets go down, hard, without managing to get a word of warning off. Not that it's needed; he isn't being subtle, and others have noticed the Xavier's student uniform. He's collecting a lot of attention, all of it lethal. Guns, gas, and grenades — can he avoid them all? And in a related question: what, if anything, does he do about the innocent people around him who will have to deal with those things if he leaves… or even if he stays?

Chloe has attention, too, but so far, she's outrunning it. At least one bystander takes a slug meant for her; he falls to the street, choking on blood, while his girlfriend screams for help over him. )
A couple of squad's worth of guys on the ground target Hilde, since she was so kind as to announce herself by holding a truck up like a flag. Multiple weapons in play, another case of guns, gas and grenades. Her position, and Theo's, is quickly engulfed in fire.

Leaving Hilde's protection is not the smartest thing Theo did today. He'll need to dodge bullets, hold his breath, and hope there's something between him and the nearest anti-personnel device so that he doesn't get taken out by it. And 'by the stage' isn't an improvement; there IS no stage anymore. There is a field of dead and dying people where the stage was, though…

As for his attempts to play hob with the radio: "Who is this? Identify yourself! Code word!" and "Radio silence, mutie loser!" and a few other choice epithets. These guys have been playing the Game for months — they've SEEN tactics like this, and they've worked out ways to combat it. That's the difference between being at this finale… and being dead.

And that specialty squad? The one headed for Magneto's position? They're big, they're strong, and every other squad there is working to keep the muties busy while they get from where they were to where he is.

The men on the roof are down one. His howl told them where their target is, and they rush in, firing. Their armor is designed to repel what they're using; they're not too worried about hitting each other. Meanwhile, the flamethrower guy rips out his useless radio and throws it away. He has a split second to make a decision: smart one is to leave the fight. Maxwell's next move will tell him if he needs to be smart.

"Worst plan /ever/!" Chloe yells at where Connor used to be, weaving through the gunfire as she tries to get close enough to the people storming from the booths to engage them in hand to hand combat. Where she'll have considerably more of an edge (especially compared with a firefight where all she has to rely upon are harsh language). And if people around her get shot… well she'll feel guilty when she's not fuelled up on enough adrenaline to kill a normal person.

It's elegantly cinematic in Connor's case, as all those weapons come to bear and things begin to fly. Dropping low, his left hand goes behind him like a pitcher on the mound, a blue sphere of light appears there and as the first shots loose, and he flicks the ball forwards, creating a portal to intercept everything coming at him. As the entry point spins up in a giant damage sponge, six feet of spinning gravitic power… the exit point is now right above the booths. No acceleration lost on any of those bullets or grenades, as they rain back down on the men who were shooting at him. There's no response from the young man during the shock and awe moment. Of course it's a bad plan. It's a bad situation. And as a bullet grazes through his suit jacket, it's proof enough that he cannot protect the crowd as it stands. But right now the four of them are the thin line. So he presses his attack by snagging one of the tent-booths in a grav-grab, yanking it down on it's former occupants.

"Theo you stay RIGHT here!" Hildegarde does not sound happy, but the fire, bullets, and gas are enough to distract her long enough for Theo to slip from her view. The woman cries out as she is engulfed in flames, picking up the truck once more and hurling it at her attackers with tremendous force. She manages to douse the flames on herself and frowns down at her charred and ruined dress. "Theo?" Protect Magneto? Like

Magneto needs protection. But when she glances over toward the Condos she sees a large squadron of heavily armored troops heading toward the building. Then again…Hilde leaps up again, springing off a nearby building to slam into the unit moving toward Magneto. When she strikes the ground she will leave a crater in the earth 15 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep. The shockwave from her strike will knock people down up to 20 feet away.

Nine decades, Magnus. And every one of them full of fear, of fighting, of one kind or another, and all of it because of what you are. What you were born as, and what that means to the man you become. Nine decades of spiteful people, of venal people, people hating you, who try to take what is yours because they claim that their needs are more urgent than yours, and yours matter less than the needs of a rat in the street.

Maxwell drops the bat and grabs the man he just slammed under the now useless arm and spins to use him as a shield against the rest of them, holding the man across the waist and by his other arm. The tear gas has faded by now, he can see them, they can see him, and they can see the pump-action shotgun now tucked under the held arm of the human shield, with a satisfying crack the weapon goes off towards the chest of the next gunman, he pumps the weapon by jerking it back with the slide trapped between his shield’s arm and body and fires a second time towards the third gunner. The rounds are non-lethal pancake rounds, designed to flatten and knock a man off his feet. Or in this case.. off the roof.

As Theo reaches the remnants of the stage, he finds that it's not a very optimal location to remain, and continues with the crowd. The boy doesn't have a lot of options, and with the failed radio communication, he only has one option left aggressively. Focusing on one of the radios nearby, he overloads it with feedback, causing a piercing shriek to echo through all of the enemy radios. It may not stop them, but it'll give away all of their positions, and it will keep them from talking to one another.

Theo covers his face to avoid the smoke pouring into the area. "This is a no win," he says to himself. "We can't win this." He contacts Chloe, Hilde, and Connor's phones with his at the same time, sending to speaker of course. "We have to get out of here," he says. "We need to get the crowd to leave, they're running around like chickens with their — *cough* — heads cut off." He starts to retreat back toward Hilde's truck, though when the shockwave hits, he's knocked to the ground like everybody else. At least it makes him a smaller target. "Ow! Hilde Make a path so that the crowd can get out of here! And I think we should go with them!"

Connor's target scream as payback is a bitch all over them. Literally. Fire from their section ceases, although the danger from them doesn't; some of them are carrying extra ammo or explosives and those charges cook off in a death-dealing popcorn minute.

This only makes him priority #1 for most of the warriors in the area, even the ones trying to kill off Chloe. They turn toward him. Looks like those portals are limited in size… lets see the mutie boy survive a crossfire. As for Chloe, one man sweeps the whole area in front of her with nausea gas. Hopefully, SOME of it will affect her. The rest will affect the mutie-loving vermin who supported this so-called 'party', so it's all good. Every one dead is another point in the Game. )

The strike on the rearmost armored guy by Hilde mashes him flat — and dead — in the middle of her crater. Two more are knocked down by the shockwave, and they turn to deal with her. They're specialists, designed to go after Magneto — they're not sure what they can do against a mini-Hulk. But they have their orders and their goal: kill Magneto. Going through Hilde is part of that, so…. One leans over the other and targets her with a giant 'cannon'. PLOOMF! Some sort of large shell is fired in her direction. If she doesn't move, it will hit her. If she does, it will hit the crowd behind her….

Up on the roof, Maxwell's shield is yelling in pain. A broken collarbone is incapacitating. The first man hit with a pancake round gets knocked flat on his back. The second gets spun around and knocked into the housing for the roof stairs. No one gets knocked off the roof, but the flamethrower man can read the writing on the wall… and hear the fight down by the stage. His squad is having this much trouble, with just one man? They aren't getting any points here. Damn it. "Code Hoarfrost!" he yells, and he heads for the back of the roof. Time to bug out.

All over the crowd, warriors suddenly yell or scream or pull their radios away from their ears. Free shot on all of them, for about three seconds, thanks to Theo. Meanwhile, Magneto's robot crashes to the ground, still spouting slogans. "The evil men do cannot last against the determination of we who will oppose them! You must stand your ground! You must fight! Or you will be hunted like rats, and given all the mercy vermin might expect of their exterminators. But you are not vermin! YOU ARE MUTANTKIND, AND YOU ARE THE FUTURE!"

The gas does indeed get Chloe for the brief moment she's in it and it stops her pulling any fancy tricks against the man she's charging. Choking back on vomit she slams straight into him at well over a hundred miles an hour and the two of them go down in a tumble which is going to hurt him a lot more than it hurts her. Especially when she recovers enough to throw up on the mangled jerk! Ladylike she isn't.

Connor snap-closes the portal as soon as the fire from that area ceases and the graze of another round that cuts and burns the top of his ear and some of his hair is warning enough until suddenly the squelch goes off and they're distracted. Vanishing from the mid-point of the crossfire and the focus on himself, the young man grabs one of the rear-most men in the left formation around the neck, pressing his hand on top of the automatic weapon in hand. Perhaps in viciousness, or perhaps in a sense of ruthless efficiency that would make certain people proud… he forces his bindee's trigger finger down, and then sweeps the weapon across the knees and lower legs of the rest of the group he's with. The moment he's out of ammunition, he uses another grav-pulse to knock this one out in a burst of blue-green energy. As that man falls, he stares at the rest through the red-eyes of his glasses, and a quiet voice somehow cuts the din, "Understand… you might get me… but how many of YOU go down first."

Hildegarde slams a foot against the ground in front of her as the soldier pulls out his cannon. A sheet of rock displaces and juts up under the man, throwing off his aim as he fires so that the missile rockets off into the side of the Condo behind her. The woman glances confusedly at her phone for a moment before shaking her head. "No. Get out of here, all of you. I don't want you hurt and I can keep them AAAAH!" She screams out as several bullets strike her in the shoulder and arm. Hilde lurches forward for a moment before rising up and slamming both fists into the ground in front of her, sending another tremor and directional shockwave toward the group after Magneto. She manages to stand again, blood flowing down her left arm to drip onto the concrete beneath her.

Magneto shifts and lifts his head as he rises to his knees. The device on the back of his head is glowing white hot, the glare back-lighting his face into a demon's mask. The first of the special squad hits the wall of the Association with shaped charges and brings it down. The next two stomp in as the bricks are still falling and level plastic rifles on him. Magneto brings his hands up and they fire, a rattling crack of gunfire that staggers the man, flinging him backward, arms wide. But he isn't falling down….

Then Hilde's shockwave hits and the whole squad is thrown off its feet. Broken pavement and dust fly up in an obscuring cloud, and another slice of the front facade of the Association building falls, right on the two leading squad members… and upon Magneto.

Maxwell drops the man he was using as a shield and is on the move after the flamethrower guy as he's returning the shotgun to it's scabbard and reaching for another weapon with the other hand. You don't have powers? You make up for it by being versatile and unpredictable, and a little nuts. The length of chain looped over his shoulder uncoils to a length of about 6ft, weighted on each end with a large machine nut. As he breaks into a run after his last standing opponent he spins one end over his head a few times before swinging it fast and low to try and entangle his legs. "Get over here! I'm not done with you!"

"You people are crazy," Theo growls. He watches as Connor and Chloe fight bravely. His powers give him no such advantage in this crowd. He leaps into the crater, picking up the dead soldier's shotgun and cocking it. After he jumps raises again, the bullets strike Hilde behind him, causing him to reflexively duck. That could've been him. He raises again, taking aim at one of the shooters in the booths, one with as few civilians between him and them as possible. He fires. Good thing it's a shotgun, that means he doesn't have to be as good a shot.

Giant rumblings from the park side of the party and from the Embassy side both tell a tale of heavy fighting. Three helicopters scream overhead — Theo knew about the shield. Now he has evidence that it's gone, and that should tell him something about Magneto.

In the crowd, there is shouting and screaming and accusations and rumors — Dingo is dead. Dingo is alive. Dingo is a giant pink rabbit with exploding carrots. Transformers live! Dingo is… Magneto is… SHIELD is… fill in a blank, someone is saying it… and a lot of it is true. None of it is true. All is confusion.

Nobody is attacking Chloe at the moment. Nice. She gets to vomit in peace.

Connor's bleak and practical attack puts down a large swath of bad guys, all at once. Unfortunately, it doesn't take all of them OUT… and he's dealing with zealots, here, so they will make it their dying task to take him down with them. More than one is a good shot, and more than one takes aim on him. It's not as vast a crossfire, but it is just as determined. It's like the lottery: play enough times, SOMEONE gets lucky.

A ragged cheer goes up as Hilde stands up again, bloody and all. Despite the casualties in the area, there are some who are trying to help — who are directing people away from the fighting by directing them through buildings, rather than along the choked streets. Who are gathering wounded and taking them into cover for care. Who are catching individual warriors and making sure they don't become part of the larger problem.

Not all of those helping people are mutants. Not all are even New Yorkers. A few don't even approve of mutants… but they approve of carnage even less.

And then there are the perennial tourists, some of whom must be mutants themselves, considering how lucky they are to stand where they are, gawking and taking pictures, which bullets and blood fly, and they aren't touched. (Some folks are born lucky.)

The flamethrower guy on the roof goes down, tangled in Maxwell's chain. "But I'm done with you, mutie lover!" he snarls, as he yanks a handgun out and trains it on the young man before him. Bang!

Double bang, actually. The men knocked down by the pancake rounds aren't out. They are getting up, and at least one has decided his buddy has the right idea. Handgun out, aimed, and fired. BANG!
The shotgun Theo's carrying coughs out a round that whistles as it passes over the heads of the crowd before exploding among the booths. He misses hitting anyone, but a cloud of white powder rises off the hit place, and a moment later, the booths on either side start to sag inward toward the strike. Hard to tell from this distance what it is doing….

Chloe is very very angry. Especially as the gas hits her much faster. Thankfully she had only really eaten pure sugar and doesn't have much to throw up and hey while it acts fast it also seems to wear off quicker thanks to her overcharged metabolism. At least enough that she can wriggle her way towards the nearest downed soldier with a gas mask. With the intent of stealing it and then maybe kicking some bad people, preferably in the crotches.

Bullets move at the speed of sound, which is arguably as fast as the speed of thought… which means that as Connor teleports clear of the attack, he has to throw his grav-shields in place to counter some of the fire… bruise-lines appearing on his arms under the coat before he's gone, the follow-through of kinetic energy. The pain is ignored as he appears right into the next pack of them. This time he just grabs the pistol from one guy's hip, vanishes, and the next one he takes a grenade from, and another from, popping in and out of the crowd in a torrent of chaos. He's not unscathed as there looks to be some purpling around his cheek from a counter-blow here and there, and he's sweating hard as he's pushing himself to new limits.

Again he moves in and out of the crowds… this time a grenade is left here, a pistol goes off there… until finally he's back in the first spot, panting hard, reloading a magazine on the handgun as he levels at the ones who've had to deal with him flashing through the group like some kind of ninja. The slide locks back into place, sliding a new bullet into the chamber… and shaking hands just open fire on the pack, aiming low for the lower body on them all. Mutant powers are impressive and make one an easy target… but the look they cannot see says it all. He's selling himself for as much change as he can. And the moment the pistol is empty, it lances out to smack another Gamesman in the face.

Hildegarde takes a moment to catch her breath, glancing around the crowd quickly and waving an arm at some onlookers. "Go! Get out of Mutant Town! Move past the police barricades!" She glances up as the helicopters pass overhead. "Helicopters? How well armed? What the hell is going on here!?" Hildegarde was not one of those who were privileged enough to hear about this trap before it went off. She does know that helicopters can be really bad if they begin attacking the crowd, and she also knows that helicopters are made of metal. So if she can just find…"Magneto? Can you hear me? Where are you?" She turns toward where that strike force was heading to discover that she toppled part of the building over. "Oh my…" She darts forward, shooing people away as she moves. The woman begins digging through the rubble, moving several hundred pound chucks of rock with great ease in an attempt to disinter Magneto.

There is nothing from the Condo Association building for a long moment. The remnants of the Magneto task squad are rising from the rubble, dragging each other free, where they can. There's nothing they can do for the lead two — they're completely covered in collapsed building. All they can hope for is that Magneto is as down as they are.

Hope is a four-letter word. Light spears up from amid the debris and a moment later, it explodes outward. An EMP flows outward, shutting down unhardened electronics in a twenty block radius. Metal beams the size of trees fly and wrap themselves around squad members, warriors, and Hilde — gently, in the last case, as if by touching her, they understand that she is not to be harmed. (This is probably creepy to experience.)
( Theo gets this treatment, too. A chunk of angle iron as long as he is comes spearing at him, then splits and flows around him at the very last nanosecond, forming an armored torso for him. It's as heavy as the angle iron, but tough enough to take a bullet… which it promptly does. SPANG! )

Maxwell staggers back and nearly drops the chain as the bullet strikes home into the center of his chest. He drops to one knee gasping in pain as the impact rattles him to the core. Luckily the torso armor is the thickest of the suit and held.. barely, though he wheezes and coughs as the impact knocked the wind from him and makes his lungs burn with every breath. "I am… going to seriously… hurt you for that.."

Theo cocks his head to one side, watching the strange effect of his shot. "What the hell is that?" he asks. That's the moment when the piece of iron nearly pierces straight through him. The boy dives down into the crater for better cover again, watching as the helicopters manage to make their way in. "What? How did they get in?" He glances back in Magneto's direction, seeing him get back out of the rubble.

"Finally," the technopath says with a grin. "Looks like it's my turn to have some fun. Let's see if they're ready for this." He focuses hard. "Thank you Sam for teaching me to fly." He takes control of one of the helicopters, and begins spinning it rapidly. The nice thing about modern aviation. It's almost entirely electronic. Hopefully it will shed the occupants in the process and give him uncontested control. But alas, the EMP goes off, and he loses control of the chopper. "Figures." On the up side? Theo has a completely electronics quiet environment, less noise. But also, absolutely no mutant powers to work with.

Connor is taking fewer and fewer attacks, because there are fewer and fewer people still up and capable of dealing them. He's going into the data banks as a prime target — but since everyone who can still play this Game is here, no one is seeing it but cold data storage. Still, it's there… for later.

Chloe gets her gas mask. It stinks of cigarettes, which tells her more than she wants to know about the guy who was wearing it. He and his immediate buddies are down and out of the fight, thanks to leg wounds administered by Connor. If you want to stomp cojones, there are plenty here to choose from.

Indeed she does. A few hearty kicks at a speed and skill level enough to ensure the squad in question are going to be adopting if they ever get out of jail and then Chloe staggers towards a booth, still reeling from the gas attack, when the shockwave collapses it on her. And while she's tougher than most and wired on adrenaline it's not quite enough to keep her standing after the massive amount of energy she's used when a sturdy roof has decided to land on her head. On the plus side it'll provide cover from stray bullets while she's napping!

The efforts to disinter Magneto are moot; a moment after the initial flight of iron, the pile he was under explodes outward. He isn't trying as hard to not hurt folks with this, but most of it will go up and onto roofs (Got an umbrella, Maxwell?) as opposed to into the crowd. He's going for shock and awe, not body counts. He will ascend out of the rubble on a wave of pure magnetic force. His costume is tattered, his armor mangled, and his face is bloodied, but his eyes are blazing. "THIS WILL STOP!" he roars, and for a wonder, most of it does, as people turn toward him, mutie, flatscan and villain alike.

But not all. Theo sees at least one of the Magneto squad people raise a shotgun at him. He sees at least two warriors dragging a third off to safety. He sees wide cracks in the face of the Association building, meaning it is threatening to come down entirely, endangering those people still near the stage who survived the initial bomb blast.

And on the roof, Maxwell is getting fire from behind, as well as from flamethrower guy. None of these is using electronic weapons, so none of them suffer from misfires. The two behind suffer from their radios suddenly squarking and going dead; this damages their aim. But they'll correct for the next round. And the guy with the broken collarbone has already called for help. They all know it's coming: Maxwell doesn't. All they have to do is survive him.

Magnetic Energy meets Gravitons, and never the twain should meet often… Connor being ripped back into the reality in a painful sound that tears from his lips. Kneeling and panting behind a garbage can for a moment, he tests… and is momentarily powerless, while his connection to his power source has to re-synch. Diving to the side and away, he goes for one of the nearest downed men, and pulls whatever weapon he had at his hip free. Someone's shotgun blast catches him in the back, where the thickness of the motorcycle leather quality jacket protects him from harm… but the kick knocks him on his stomach and the breath from his lungs. That shooter receives some more pistol rounds in reply, the young man shooting wild until he hits and takes out another knee. Empty again, another pistol is discarded by Connor and he scurries for cover once more… waiting for the energy to reinfuse his body.

Hildegarde seems a bit shocked as the ground beneath her erupts upward. When the iron strikes her in such a gentle manner she seems a bit more confused, but she shakes her head as Magneto emerges. "Well that's one last person I need to worry about." She glances around and sees Chloe get struck with a piece of debris, prying herself out of the iron bar and moving over toward where the girl fell. Hilde gently lifts the rubble from atop the girl and bends down to pick her up.

Magneto spends a moment looking over the crowd. "This was a gathering of peace and enlightenment, of celebration and joy, and look what it has become!" He sweeps out a hand and half a dozen dead come to him, borne on biers of lacey metal, formed out of the debris lying everywhere. "These are our martyrs! They have died for the venal pride of slobbering fools… fools like him!" A warrior is suddenly flung into the air and stripped of his armor by flying razors. "Or him!" Another goes flying and is stripped. Both were shot by Connor; both are crying in pain and terror. "These are what we face? What we fear…?! NO!"

Maxwell grits his teeth as the other two have recovered. He hits the ground and rolls to keep the flamer guy from landing another shot, another gas canister triggers in front of Flame guy as a third is sent rolling towards the other two shrouding the rooftop in the burning vapors once again. As the debris starts to fall it's both the queue to leave and a needed distraction to by a few seconds. Flame guy can hear his voice for a moment behind him. "Four men armed with assault weapons and a flamethrower got their asses handed to them by a kook in a hockey mask. How many points is that worth? I have to thank you, you've given me a new purpose. See you again really soon… game on." The voice is gone after that, though if they stop shooting they'll hear the door to the stairwell close. The chain and dropped bat are gone, along with the assault rifle the guy with the shattered collarbone dropped. Max knows when it's time to retreat, he's certainly no Martyr.

The technopath watches his speedster teammate fall under the booth, and his eyes go wide. "Chloe!" He has little time to worry about her, though. He's face to face with a shotgun. The brown-haired teen glances up at the building, preparing to topple, and he looks at the man with the shotgun. "Look out!" he yells, pointing up at the building. The old 'look behind you' trick. Except this time there's something to really look at. And something to really run from. He takes a quick shot at the ground in front of the armored man with the shotgun, hoping it can do to the ground what it did to the booths. After all, it's usually subways or sewage lines beneath your feet when you're in New York City. At the very least, he hopes that the white powder will create a problem for the other to get a shot at him with the shotgun.

It's all over but the mopping up. With Magneto's appearance, many in Mutant Town have regained their courage, and they are dogpiling the warriors wherever they are to be found. Most are disarmed and bound, so that the police can pick them up; some will need coroner's wagons. No one is being too careful about which.

The last fight of the night is Theo's. The powder bursts upward to cover the legs and groin of the man facing him, and a circle of pavement around him. The man starts to move forward… and then he screams. He keeps screaming, even as he melts into the pavement, becoming a silvery pool of… something.

Maxwell will get to the street to find emergency services moving in en masse. He'll have his work cut out for him to avoid them. Ditto for all the others, although Magneto will suggest to Theo to move select persons — such as Chloe — to the Embassy for care. They have hospital level facilities and are in full swing, thanks to the action in that area.

Magneto will… talk. To the media, the police, and anyone else, making very sure to blame this on the Gamesmen. He'll explain what they were, why they were, and who they were, naming names and numbers and websites. This Game is OVER.

Connor has a bruise on his cheek and neck, three bruised ribs, two bullet creases on one arm, and another on the leg. There's a bit of blood coming from one side where a knife strike from one of them scraped his abdomen. It's a buffet of superficial injuries and is coupled with power exhaustion. Making his way slowly through the crowd, he looks down at one of the one's that he'd harmed with his portal trick, and then shakes his head. He does speak, and it comes out in a pained voice, and perhaps becomes the newsbyte for a few, "This is Christmas… CHRISTMAS… for god's sake… hate any other time of the year… but not now. All of this pointless destruction… and it's Christmas… we're supposed to be better than this. We're supposed to be greater than this. The one time of the year where we're reminded of our better natures…" And kneeling down he closes the eyes of the dead man before beginning a prayer for the departed over him.

Maxwell keeps to the alleys. The 20 block blackout compliments of Magneto's EMP pulse is the perfect cover to evade detection. As he goes he grins to himself about the stolen rifle slung over his shoulder. A week or so to rest and let the bruises heal, a few days after that to repair his armor and restock his weapons. Then he's going to have allot of fun tracking down where these guns came from.

Theo watches the man sink into the ground. He can't tear his eyes off of it as he melts into goo. Even after the screams have stopped, the technopath continues to stare at what he's accomplished. It was close enough that he could see his face. Emotionally he feels rather numb, dropping the shotgun. "We aren't any better than this, Connor," he answers, walking away from the still spreading white cloud.

Somehow, Theo managed to make it through the engagement with only cuts and bruises. As he regains his focus, the teen remembers his fellow Corsair, and starts to frantically look around for Chloe. "Chloe?" he calls out. "Chloe!" He rushes to Hilde's side. "Is she okay? Chloe, are you all right?"

Hildegarde will take Chloe to the Embassy, getting the girl and herself some much needed medical treatment. She will try to get the other students to come with her if she can. She sighs heavily as she walks toward sanctuary, shaking her head just thinking about what Ms. Frost is going to say when she hears about this.

Connor almost growls back at Theo as he goes back, "You're wrong… but I can't make you see it." Pushing up, he starts walking along after the others, but not towards the Embassy, but towards Magneto himself…

Magneto is thoroughly involved with the media. Connor will find it very difficult to get close to him by any normal means. Also, the man is ACTIVE… metallic bits and pieces are flying around him, reassembling themselves into either original configurations or useful new ones, such as splints, gurneys, and ad hoc medical monitor beds. He is hammering home a point: this was a PEACEFUL event. Mutant Town was ATTACKED. The people here did NOTHING to deserve this… and for once, he's getting some sympathetic ears.

Connor tries for a moment to get past the throng, but then he shakes his head and moves off to find a place to sit down, somehow landing close to where his coat was, and picks it up to wrap around himself. And for the moment he just sits there, covered up some and staring at a spot on the ground where some debris is sitting, scorched and stained with something that might be blood.

~ Fin ~

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