2020-07-31: Ensuring The Future


BruceF_icon.jpg ConnorF_icon.jpg HeatherF_icon.jpg KaelF_icon.jpg

Summary: As Heather and Volk try to ensure that time proceeds as it needs to, Kael has a minor battle with Dingo.

Date: July 31, 2020

Log Title: Ensuring the Future

Rating: PG (V)

The Future - NYC

The Metropolitan area, New York City, a city that once stood for diversity, freedom and liberty, a city that was once the largest city in America and home to the United Nations now stands for something else. New York City was the first city to get attacked after the Sentinel attack on Xavier's. Most of its residents have fled the area leaving many neighborhoods empty, shops forgotten about and the streets deserted. Entire neighborhoods have been leveled, electricity is only in select areas. Sentinels patrol the streets of New York like clockwork making it almost impossible for any mutant to be safe. The United Nations building has been taken over as a base for those against mutants, for those trying to destroy the race of those born with the X-Gene.


Everything has a purpose. Even this Hound version of Heather believes this little phrase, even though her soliptic delusions are a bit skewed with the inclusion of Ahab in the realm of reality. She appears, fading in while looking at her watch. She glances around, seeming a bit confused for a moment, since there is nothing happening. She appeared to herself earlier (at least in her personal timeline, earlier doesn't really mean anything to the time manipulator in the general sense) and reset her watch, essentially telling herself that it would be important to be in this area at this moment. And yet, it appears that nothing is happening. Patience is sometimes a virtue, but not one that Heather has in her possession. She looks up to evaluate the weather. It is overcast this evening, warnings of a shower or even, on the horizon, dark clouds that speak of a violent storm, but before long is zipping around to survey the area. That she is doing it now means that her other self has done it before, so she reasons that whatever her purpose in this moment, it is being fulfilled.

Maybe the purpose for this spot is to meet an old schoolmate and teammate? The aerokinetic is making his way out into the city once more. He was out here earlier today, and now he's on a mission to find something that he thought he saw earlier. Supplies, probably spices or something of that sort. Though he stops when he spots Heather, and he's silent for the moment as he lets a breeze flow down the street. Making it feel as natural as he can.

Dingo hunches on a bit of rubble, glancing out over the destroyed city while resting his chin on his hand. He sighs and checks his watch, not really wanting to hunt down any mundane mutants. It's been a week since he heard from Jack, and he's slightly less motivated to fill his quota because of it. He glances over to where Heather materialized when he catches her out of the corner of his eye. Interesting, that's the time-Hound. Maybe he'll go investigate. The man dematerializes and moves forward as a small sandstorm, blowing down in front of Heather and recollecting himself into human form. He folds his arms and looks her over. "Hound eh? Don't think I've actually met you yet."

Eyes trail around at the feel of the breeze, but this is shifted into a curiosity at the sound of the voice, "Ohh, yes. I have heard about you. But you still have to tell me about yourself, whatever you feel is right. It is very important. My name is Heather Brown, Codename: Timeslip. Yes, Hound of Ahab." She grins widely after the small speaker mounted on her chest finishes relaying her speech. "I knew that you'd be here. Not you. But someone who is you. But why do I have to be here? What is important about me?" She might possess that little bit of brokenness that many Hounds do, but Kael will easily recognize that this is just what Timeslip is like.

Kael blinks a bit, and shakes his head with a soft laugh. "That's the Heather I remember." But when Bruce enters the area, the aerokinetic lets out a soft curse before he slips back behind one of the buildings. Crawling in through a hole before he floats himself up towards an open window to watch and listen to these two.

Dingo quirks a brow at Heather. He had heard that the time mutant was eccentric. Somehow strange and difficult to understand. He also knew that she was somehow vital in Ahab's plans, though he was unsure how exactly. The man ponders for a moment, not understanding the complexities of time travel. "Perhaps you telling me is what causes the outcome. Maybe that is why now is important." He glances around when she mentions the third. "Third? There is no one here. I would detect them…Unless it's Sloth." He surveys his surroundings again. He'd had a run-in with the Sin not too long ago. She was immaterial and able to sneak past him quite easily.

Kael is now muttering to himself as he looks out of the shadows, and then steps forward to the window. Floating outside before he sits down on the window sill. Giving a wave as he says, "She's talking about me. I somehow doubted that I could hide for long with her around. She always seems to know."

"I'll find our third. And no, I know that telling you does not cause the outcome. It is the opposite. I have been then at a different then. That's fine. Do not worry about it," says Heather, waving her hand at that. She looks over towards Kael and says, "Oh, it's you. Hi Kael. Aren't you one of the White pieces right now? I'm one of the Red. Are you gathering intelligence? Or just being nosy?"

Dingo frowns at the girl and cocks his head, confused slightly by her odd nature. "Right…Well if you telling me causes the opposite, then know that I want Jack back. So do whatever you need to do for me to get him back." He turns when he hears the voice and looks up, smirking at Kael. "Ah yes. The former student of Xavier's. So you survived the tunnel collapse then?" Dingo knew this. He'd stuck around to see if anyone actually died from his attack. Also he'd heard that a wind user was causing some trouble for the Hounds, seeing as the wind was not often accompanied by raging storms he assumed it was not Ororo.

Kael just grins as he looks down at Heather. "Neither actually. I was actually looking for some spices. We're running low so I figured we'd just stock up so we can have something that resembles actual food." He switches his gaze to Bruce and smiles, "Good to see ya, bloke," spoken in that fake Aussie accent; which is rather bad. "You think that little collapse could take me down? Dude, ya can't stop the wind."

"Sssspices. I have been to the past recently. They have so much food then," says Heather, tilting her head at Kael. "Pity you weren't then. Well, you were. I assume you still are." She looks over to Bruce and says, "You are the Hunter here, so I'll defer engagement decisions to you. But odds are always tilted in my favor. Not luck, but design."

Dingo tips his gaze down to Heather and smirks. "Oh? So if I attack this X-Bastard here with you present, it's more likely I'll succeed with you on my side?" He seems to ignore Kael's comments for now. He glances up at the other man and seems to contemplate something for a moment, must be judging distance between himself and the other. Kael is too far out of his reach, but he'll pull in the sands in this area just in case. The city being in ruins, Dingo has no shortage of sand at the moment. For now he'll pull it toward himself, causing it to dance around himself and Heather as he contemplates his first move against the wind user.

Kael glances over at Heather and smiles softly. "I think I may have been there back then, but it wasn't me now as I don' remember it." Then he glances over at Bruce, grinning wide as the winds around him start to whip and lash around him. "You really think that's gonna work. Did you learn nothing in the tunnels?"

"The difference between here and the tunnels or any other encounter that you have had up until this temporal reality is myself," says Heather, blinking a few times very quickly. She shrugs at Dingo and says, "Yes, it is more probable. I am not saying there is a certainty, but the odds have been skewed into your favour. A stalemate may become a viable game."

Dingo nods and continues to watch Kael as he floats in the air. "Alrighty deer, might want to step back a bit. Don't want ya smashed…" He suddenly charges forward toward the destroyed building Kael was in and collects his sands around him. He forms himself into a sand dingo several stories tall and slams into the corner of the building, causing the structure to jolt suddenly. He continues to assault the base of the structure before it finally tips and begins falling in the direction of the three.

Kael's eyes go wide at the giant sand dingo before he blasts out to the side, clearing the building relatively fast before he watches it fall down towards the two of them. "Way to go Bruce… you should earn a Darwin award!"

"Ummm," says Heather, perplexed expression on her face. Which is kind of an uncharacteristic look on the time shifter’s face. She steps back at Bruce's suggestion, though, quite happy to follow the suggestion. She then just jumps straight up into the air and then vanishes, preferring not getting crushed to getting crushed.

The building comes down in a heap on top of the sand dingo, sending up a massive cloud of dust as it lands. The dust rises up into the air near Kael in a plume and begins to spin rapidly, swirling itself into a rather quick sandstorm. The storm swirls toward Kael and attempts to buffet the other man. It would appear that Dingo dematerialized right before the building struck him and used the cloud it produced to increase his own strength.

Kael floats in the air, watching the sand come closer as the winds around him start to swirl before a wind sphere wraps itself around the aerokinetic. That should keep the sands at bay just like they did back down in the tunnels and Kael is wearing a confident smirk because of it.

Heather reappears in midair, as if still carrying the momentum from one of her super speed jumps, tossing at the moment of her appearance a small, broken length of pipe towards Kael. Given her speed shift, the throw makes the object blast towards Kael at supersonic speeds. It's mostly an experiment, to test the barrier, but it is carefully aimed at the aerokinetic.

The sands around Kael get pushed back suddenly as the man ups his wind speed. The storm swirls back for a moment before twisting back toward the target, moving almost like a swarm of insects as it targets the area where the air is moving. The sand cloud moves toward Kael again and splits in the middle, forming a loose representation of a giant Dingo head with its mouth open. The cloud comes down on the air shield, biting down and making a horrible sound similar to wood against a belt sander. The cloud is buffeted off of the shield and takes a moment to reassemble.

The moment that Heather blasts that pipe at him is the same moment Kael drops himself lower towards the ground. So he feels the pipe slice through the airspace that his head just occupied, and his eyes go wide at that before he's caught in a sand dingo's jaws and he ups the wind speed once more. Into his comm, he yells, "Anyone out there?! Could use some help right now!!" With the lovely background sound of howling winds.

Heather lands back on the ground. Even though she was high in the air, the landing is soft. She kicks up a bit of dust, but she lands it elegantly, like it doesn't bother her much to make such hard landings. "High momentum objects pass through," states the time traveler for Bruce's benefit. Though she likely would have spoken that out loud if Dingo wasn't present.

From a half-mile out of the fight the comm chirp is caught by a familiar form. Grumbling to himself, Volk takes the sniper rifle off his back, and then settles it down on the ground after setting the bipod. Getting down into a firing position, he starts to home in on the battle itself, having caught some of the updrafts from long range… the view being spectacular. There's a soft growling grumble from him of, 'Only one person would stir this much shit and ask for help.' Shaking his head again, he shuts off the HUD to focus his other eye. Seeing all involved, he sights in not on Bruce or Kael… instead it's Heather. When the heavy bullet leaves the chamber in a thunder crack that will be heard even by the group in a moment, it is aimed not for her head… it's aimed for her watches.

Unfortunately for Dingo, Heather is currently out of the range of his sands. He cannot hear when he is dissipated like this and has to interpret the vibrations through his particles. With nothing near enough to her under his control she might as well just not be speaking to him at all. The sonic boom and gun crack are strong enough for him to "hear", but he is content to remain in this form and attack Kael. It seems that the other man can deflect his sands easy enough, so he'll try something else. The man moves his sands in toward Kael again, hovering a thin layer just outside the Aerokinetic's shield. He then condenses his sands in that area to form a large hollow sphere of sand several inches thick around the other mutant. His theory is that if he can maintain the sphere then the man inside will eventually run out of air and pass out.

Kael growls out as he's surrounded, and he just loses his eyes for a moment before the winds outside of the sand sphere start to swirl. In a matter of seconds, there's a literal tornado swirling its way around the sand sphere with Kael beckoning it to go faster, stronger. Aiming to just shred that sand sphere into bits.

For just a split second, another appearance of Heather flashes, touching herself on the wrist to redirect her own motion just barely. This apparition seems to have an arm injury of some kind. The bullet still shatters the watch, sending several bits and shards in several directions, and a wound opens on her arm, spurting one high pressured stream of blood before, in just a moment, slowing. "Aaaugh!" She furrows her brows and looks back up, "Volk! Where are you?" She vanishes, reappearing with a bit of gauze around her arm in a slightly different position. "I know why this moment is important now."

The answer is the automatic sniper rifle refocused on the next one down the chain, risking the second shot as Volk lines up on the watch furthest up the arm and once more comes the thunder crack *BOOM* and another .50 caliber round flies out with all the care of an enraged hornet intent on stinging it's target. From there Volk calmly does up the rifle and the shifts himself to another building six hundred feet away, just walking… stepping and then reappearing on another building as if it was all a stroll. Changing position he sets up once more, shielding himself from view with his cloak, mumbling to himself, 'All right Timeslip… you know where the next shot is coming from…' And deliberately he lets go of the rifle and takes several steps back from it.

The wind blast does indeed send the sand sphere swirling apart. The debris falls back down to the ground where it rematerializes back into Dingo. He takes a moment to collect his thoughts and notices the sound of a gun. Glancing up suddenly he notices that Heather appears to be injured. He narrows his eye and glances at the building from where the bullet seems to have come from. Kael is too bothersome at the moment. It seems his sands cannot penetrate that wind dome. He decides to take out whoever has the gun, that might be a bit easier to do. Also if the man manages to kill Heather it will be bad for Dingo and thus bad for Jack. The man collects up his sands and transforms into a giant sand dingo again, charging straight toward the building from which the gun was fired. He's moving at a good pace, but it will take him a short while still to reach the target.

Kael has the tornado dissipate and revealing a very perturbed Kael as he watches Dingo run off towards Volk. "Oh like hell you do!" The aerokinetic takes off after that Dingo, as he makes walls of wind; the same height as the Dingo itself blast in front of him! Cascading backwards towards the running sand morph.

Another spray of blood spurts forth from Heather's arm as another one of her watches is destroyed, and she dashes back to seek cover from the sniper bullets coming at her. A further Future Heather appears on the rooftop that Volk is occupying. "Volk," she says, tilting her head slightly at him. She seems wary and cautious as she arrives there, her wounds packed sparingly with gauze, "Those were gifts."

Not reappearing for the moment, but the distortion in the air that only someone with enhanced senses might make out is present a foot behind Heather as Volk replies, "Mistake." And as he appears, there's a pistol to the back of Heather's head, "The only one who can save you is you, and you can't move… if you do, you know I'll fire at you." The hammer is pulled back and the cold presses to Heather before he growls out hard, "Second mistake." He says as he immediately ports in front of Heather to evade the next potential causological Heather's appearance.

The great sand hound slams into a wall and shakes its head as though it was not expecting the wall. The creature paces back and forth along the wind wall before stopping. Dingo rises out of the head of the creature in human form, crossing his arms. He glances around at the situation before deciding that he still wants to go after Volk. From where he is he has no idea that Heather is on top of the building. He also does not know that she is currently in any kind of danger. Dingo returns to his sand form and becomes one with his construct once more. The great creature leaps into the air and slams face first into the ground, landing in a large heap which seems to sink below the ground. There is a rumbling in the earth that seems to be rolling toward the building that Volk and Heather are on top of. It seems that Dingo is either burrowing beneath the ground or traveling along an old subway tunnel.

Kael floats up in the air, panting a bit as he watches that dingo leap up into the air and he growls a bit at that. "Dammit." That wind wall vanishes as the aerokinetic. He watches Volk and Heather on top of the building and then looks behind him for a second before returning his attention to the building. "I hate time travel…"

Another instantiation of Heather appears, flashing to take her former self out of harm's way into another moment, another temporal version appearing at Volk's landing point to swipe her fist at him with incredible speed, while yet another appears behind the Heather that had a gun pointed at her (where Volk was), seeming surprised for a moment and firing off a flare so that her past version, still hiding, can find this location. Even in the heat of battle, at great risk, she wants to keep her causal loops elegant. The flare-shooting Heather also vanishes to another moment in time, leaving only one time traveller on the rooftop. She touches a couple of her watches.

The strike was incoming and expected it seems and evaded just elegantly, and the pistol aims up the at flare going into the air, and an expert shot goes off, popping it and leaving it unable to deliver any more intelligence. Calmly and cogently he picks up his sniper rifle, and turns to face Heather once more, Volk saying, "In precisely five minutes you will deliver yourself from just before the moment the harpoon strikes you to the rooftop the first bullet came from. You will take the harpoon for your Master, because it was his gift to you, and you cannot exist without it. Do this, or you will die today. You cannot beat me. I've been through time. I understand finally about you. Excuse me. We're about to fall." And with that he ports off to the ground level, walking under Kael, saying up towards him, "You're an idiot."

The rumbling in the ground ceases for a moment as it reaches the base of the building Volk was previously on top of. Dingo has no way of knowing that Volk has left the top of the building. He also is unaware that Heather is on top of this building. He assumes that she will be able to simply know what is about to happen as a side effect of her abilities. Dingo begins his attack on the building. Not a terribly large structure, only about six stories tall and not in the best of shape. The attack is reminiscent of paintings of Kraken attacks. Large tendrils of sand rise out of the ground around the building and wrap around it, squeezing the walls and causing it to slowly collapse into itself.

Kael looks down at Connor and scoffs a bit as he floats down towards the man. "How'm I the idiot? Bruce attacked first! All I was doing was looking for spices to bring back." He throws his arms up into the air with an exasperated sigh before he floats back up into the air. "Though thanks for the assist."

Heather raises her eyebrow at the suggestion, shaking her head quickly at that. She vanishes. In another few minutes, another rooftop, another Heather appears. This one bears none of the leather or signs of being a Hound. She is Heather before being struck by the harpoon, the one that caused her the misery. She is wearing the same outfit she was wearing that day, a simple superheroine outfit that she crafted herself. The Hound version is nowhere in sight. Wearied eyes look out from this place, a soft sigh sounds and this Heather, this clean, inscrutable Heather sits down against the wall.

Pulling a pair of white phosphorous grenades and tosses them towards Kael, "When Dingo shows up, feed him these. Should buy you some time. Don't die. It'd piss Rashmi and Max off." And with that he takes a few running steps and vanishes once more, leaving the pair of manipulators to play a bit longer. Volk has his target. It takes only a few seconds of movement, shifts in the air before he appears in front of the Heather who is not a Hound, and kneels down in front of her, saying quickly as he pulls off the HUD and balaclava so she can see his face. Taking out his old pad of paper and a pen and writes something down on it. Then before she can react properly, he reaches down to one of her watches and quickly sets the time for now. Folding the note into a crane, he then places it at her feet before he shakes his head, puts his fingers to his lips, and then re-dons his combat gear and vanishes from sight.

The building Dingo is assaulting collapses fully and the tentacles come up a bit further as the sand dingo emerges. The tentacles appear to be split off from the creature's tail and retract into a single appendage as the construct pulls itself above ground. The dust from this collapsed building are added to the dingo, causing it to increase in size slightly. The human form of Dingo appears on top of the construct again so he can determine the location of his quarry. It would appear that Volk managed to teleport away. Kael seems temporarily distracted by the man, that's all he needs. He assimilates with his construct and the creature charges toward Kael again, leaping into the air with it's mouth open as though it intends to snap up the aerokinetic.

Kael catches the grenades and nods as Volk leaves. The crumbling of the buildings causes him to look towards where Dingo is, and he smiles as the aerokinetic waits for him. As the construct leaps at him, the aerokinetic pulls the pin on one of the grenades and tosses right into the sand dingo's mouth! "Chew on that!" Right as the grenade clears his personal range, that sphere of wind swirls into existence quickly!

Eyes trace over the words of the note. -By the time you read this, you will realize that you defeated yourself. And I can make you do this any time I want. You win.- Nimble fingers fold the crane back into it's original position. It is then tucked away. She pulls three sheets of paper of her own from the bag she carried, scrawling down a few words on each. The first: 'Heather Brown, codename: Timeslip is dead. Kill her on sight. Signed, Heather Brown, codename: Timeslip.' An afterthought, a memory, and another line is written on this. 'E4-B4 A2xD5 C6-C1 D3-E3 D6xE8'. The note is folded up and tucked away, readied. More tools pulled from her bag. Her watch, the plastic watch she's always worn, is opened, etchings already made on it. The second note is written and put in its place.
Keep sight of my many faces,
Listen to the bells and chimes,
Retrace all my muddled paces,
And turn back the tides of time.
Heather Brown, codename: Timeslip
The last, a finger draws across the surface of the sheet, a third message is penned, quick scrawls, and eyes peer over the edge. Heather sits, feeling at the corners of this last moment for a moment as she folds it into another crane. "This moment is important." The crane is set down, weighed down with stone to be shielded from the wind, and this Heather disappears, leaving nothing but this crane as evidence that she was once here in this moment.

It seems Volk only vanished to stow his sniper rifle, and reappears where he was standing before. It takes a moment to look around and see the item that was left there. Looking around for several moments, he murmurs to himself, "Now… it gets ugly…" And he goes for the note, trying to grab it before all the casual catch-ups end, and it goes back to where it's supposed to be… the two of them trying to kill each other. Time and Space at war.

The grenade falls into the open maw of the sand dingo and disappears into the darkness of it's throat. The construct smashes into the air wall and presses against it, actually seeming to hold its own against the barrier for a moment before a great explosion rips through the creature's torso. The face seems momentarily confused before the entire construct is flung apart in a spray of sand and debris. The particles float down from the air slowly to land on the ground. The sands are calm. They seem to be dormant for the time being.

Kael is blown backwards by the explosion out of the construct's maw and he slams into a tree. The wind sphere cushioning his impact a good bit as he shakes his head. "Such… a bad idea." He stands up with a groan, and then flies up into the air to head back home.

Here, at this moment, the Hound Heather reappears. She does not notice the crane, like it is a hole in her memory, a block from spotting it, one forced by her former self by using Betsy in the way prescribed. "I am too stubborn," plays the time traveler, "And now I know… there are moments, double memories you have left me with. And it's so unclear. It is hazy. And I think I know why."

Pocketing the crane outside of view of Heather, Volk turns around and stands up to face Heather. Minus the extremely heavy rifle, he just puts his hands in his pockets and under the balaclava he smirks at her, "You don't know anything you don't want to know, and know everything you need to know. Stop trying to be who you are, and be who you're supposed to be, Timeslip." As if the battle was decided in those words, he turns to start walking off, adding over his shoulder, "Right about now… you'll remember the note I left you. Try not to scream too loud." And with another step he's off the building, and walking towards Dingo's inert remains. Stopping, he brushes some of the sand, and then writes another note. This one says -Actions cannot be forgiven. You betrayed everything for nothing. Stop fighting for ghosts.- After that… he continues on his way.

"Exchange, advantage: White. Cleanup time," says Heather, only to herself. She visibly concentrates, gathering energy, space and time warping around her for nobody but herself to see. Light around her seems to bend and it seems like moments past and future flash and flicker inside her immediate radius before she vanishes into the decade past.

~ Fin ~

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