2010-03-06: Heroes or Monsters


Chamber_icon.jpg James_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Robyn_icon.jpg Lucas_icon.jpg

Summary: Under the influence of Mr. Sinister, Jono fights James

Date: March 6, 2010

Log Title Heroes or Monsters?

Rating: R

Westchester - Salem Center

The parking lot that serves Salem Center is expansive. The mall building being the largest in the area, most of the traffic is aimed for there. However, there are a number of independent buildings along the edges of the parking lot and across the street. Benches dot the sidewalks that line the buildings, along with trash cans, bushes, trees and lamps. There is a large archway that leads to the mall entrance.

Finding Jonothon is fairly easy, for all no one seems to be looking for him beyond Hank. (And Hank's having misgivings about that to be sure.) Loud screeching sounds tell where he is, for he's pretty much performing orgami on an armored car behind one of the lesser used buildings in Salem. This poor little town. The armed guards for said truck are laying unconscious near a wall, safely out of the way.
The Brit is wrapped in psy-fire as the fire itself is doing the folding. Bend, tie, knot, twist.. look, a pterodactyl! Mostly just standing there watching his own psy-fire do the work, Jono's showing signs of the stress. His costume is more maroon and navy than the bright blue and red it was yesterday, and the colors are meshed - bleeding into one another.

James was only out for a leisurely stroll…well…not really. As a matter of fact he's spending one of his few detention free Saturday's trying to get a grip on recent history. And today that means a visit to the Salem Center; the same place he recently wrecked a majority of his demonically motivated havoc. So, it's with a little bit of surprise that he sees he's not the only one out for some fresh air. He leaps atop of one of the cars and calls out, "Jono!" Crouching down, he gets ready for what is sure to be a bad day, "What are you doing?!"

Sadly his first reaction is violent. Jonothon starts at the voice and tosses the whole vehicle. Heaves it at James, even before he turns to see who it is. Of course it's big, obvious, and fairly easy to avoid if one is paying attention. "Stay away from me." The Brit says angrily. Not that there's a follow up attack. Psy-fire riots around him, and while obviously angry, the man also seems confused. His costume shifts even as he straightens to his full height from the leaned reaction of turning and tossing. "What is with you Xavier types?"

James' eyes go wide as the machine comes flying his way. Thankfully, he's sunk low on the roof, so he’s already halfway into a good leap. He lands on the pavement with a 'oomph' and scrambles behind another parked car—remaining 'hopefully' hidden and on all fours. He peeks out from behind his position wondering what he should do next, "Jono! Please…I….just want to talk?" It's a question more than a statement. He runs for another car, leaving himself with open for a moment, "Dude…last week…we were in the med bay. You asked me why I was always such a dick…we had a talk. A good talk. Can we have one now?"

"Talk?" Asked as he strides out of that alley way to try and get a better view of James. Jonothon doesn't need his eyes, yet he doesn't use his telepathy at all now. Nor has he blasted things, when he easily could have. "What could we bloody well have to talk about? You're an arse, I'm an arse, and we've nothing to talk about!" Yet, he doesn't attack. Just finds you and watches you duck behind cars.

James flattens himself against the door of a Buick. Oh how he doesn't want to die this close to such an ugly car, "You're right. We are…but you told me that I…we could be better. It's a choice. I choose to lock people out." He peeks up through the front windows to see where he's at, "But last month, it wasn't a choice. It was someone else's. Remember? You shot me 'through' a truck. It happened just down the street. Now we're here again. And I don't want to be shot through a truck again because someone else is making a bad decision for one of us." He starts to pat his pockets, looking for his phone. Panic button…good idea. Cago pants with 20+ pockets…..Baaaad idea.

It's a good thing to point out. Already having troubles thinking clearly, and already fighting with emotion he can't quite understand thanks to what Sinister did, Jonothon stops and listens. He's frowning, psy-fire in constant motion. It's the only thing that moves for a moment, until the puppet jerks a step forward. "You're in luck." The words are slow things, and as he speaks the red over his left eye fades nearly entirely, "I don't see any trucks." Not much of a promise, but it's all he can give right now. "A choice." That's what caught him so powerfully.
"I don't have choices." Red reasserts itself, and costume grows lighter as Jono reaches out for that Buick with psy-fire. The vehicle rocks as he takes hold and begins to lift it. "Did you?"

James feels the car move and begins to look for an exit, "No. But I'm weak…you're strong." He scampers right, all 4's clearly visible as the car rises. Not like he has much of a choice in directions anyways, "I hurt people….I did things I can't even begin to deal with in my head." He peaks out from the front of another car, "But you can beat this. You bigger than that, than this." He lowers down, looking under the car at Jono's feet, muzzle barely beyond the tire as the snout presses against it, "Dude…you're my frekin' hero."

Huh, not under this one. Jonothon tosses the car over a shoulder, and it goes careening off to hit the pavement and skid into a building. Doesn't seem to do the building any harm at least. "I'm strong now." That much he can agree with, especially as he lifts another car. Under this one? Then James says Hero. "…What? Are you bloody high?" Just drops the car down. It bounces on its wheels, but little else. Something about the comment hits him hard though. Those blue and red boots shift to black a moment. Even shift their shape to something more familiar. With that he makes a sound of pain. "Christ." No more car lifting, for he's holding his head. "Stop it.." Almost pleading.

James edges out a little, looking at Jono, "You can't let it take you. If it does what hope have I got? I'm so lost inside this…I hear so many voices inside my head…it kills me. Everyday it's a fight not to devolve into something even worse. Jesus Christ…I killed someone. And that animal inside me? It isn't the least bit sorry. It keeps pushing and pushing…" He stands, hand on his chest, "And it keeps talking and talking and Rashmi is talking, and the headmaster is yelling…and out of all of these voices I hear yours the loudest. And for whatever reason I stop…and I listen." He puts his hands behind his head and grabs a handful of scruff, "For gods sake, I'm loosing this battle by inches every day. And if I loose you I loose!"

"STOP IT." Doesn't quite shout this, yet the strength for it is there. Looking breathless, eyes afire, Jonothon holds that agonized pose even as James talks. His costume shows the conflict within as it shifts from dark to bright hues, and then back again. The Brit really makes for a terrible lackey, doesn't he? "Stop it! I'm not a bloody hero!" Which both meshes with Sinister's tweaking, and Jonothon's own beliefs.

It's the voices though that get him moving again. "Losing yourself? Voices?!" Almost mocking that as Jono storms forward, psy-fire seeking to grab hold. «You don't know anything about voices! Killed a man? That's all? Just one? Look at your hero!» And with that he shares with you something he never has with anyone else. The day he died. The pain of the pressure within. It finally too much for his body to hold. It bursting free.. and then the people. A couple dozen people all in your head, dying. Their pain, their fear, and one by one all of them snuffed out.
He's lived years with this knowledge, for there's no doubt. Jono killed all those people, and he carries their deaths with him every moment of every day. "I'm no hero!"

The much less experienced teen is easily grabbed by Jono. He fights a futile battle, trying to wrestle from the grip and then, that's when the memories hit. His mind gets flooded with all that and more. He chokes, muscles tight as his eyes roll back mind absorbing the intrusion as his body shakes in response. It's too much. Way too much for someone who spent their life on a small Indiana farm. Body trembling in a telepathic seizure of sorts, he cries out n a whisper words like, "Stop," and "Please." But it's all too late. And during it all, the beast inside smiles. "It's not your fault," is all he can manage when it's over. He's not sure if it was a voice or thought…let alone his own.

Please? Stop? Jonothon does and drops James to the pavement. "You kids think you bloody well know everything. You've got it all figured out." Mocking here. "You want to fight the beast, then do." He drops down into a crouch, eyes blazing. In fact all of his appears to be in fire. Looming over the teen if possible? Hell yes. «The beast?» Let him and he points the thing out, showing the true shape of it, ignoring an already hurting mind. «Look at it? It can't help you. Make it weak and you'll have no trouble with it. You going to let it not be your fault too? Just a fault of your powers that got the better of you? Time to look in the mirror, mate. This one isn't pretty.»

James coughs, laying on the pavement, the air in his lungs fighting to get out, and back in. He tries to pick himself up off his elbows, and before he's completely aware of his surroundings, Jono is back over him. He gets hit again, the his beast, Jamz' and more. He tries to move away, but finds his escape blocked by that car. He cowers against it, "NoooOOO!" He buries his head in his arms, a clawed hand ruining the paint on the already ugly auto. He see himself, what he's done, what he might do, and everything the beast wants him to do. His pupils narrow, hackles rising, and with that his mind snaps. There's no words, no action…just a 'twang' of an internal rubber band breaking. His head turns, looking at Jono, "Stop….Hurting….Me!" The feral lad, now very feral, lashes out; mouth open and going for his friend, mentor, and teacher.

Either he didn't expect the attack, or Jonothon was hoping for it. James' attack tears easily into costume and flesh before the Brit can react. "AHHHH!" A scream of pain as he loses a good bunch of flesh and blood flies. Only after James gets a mouthful does he push powerfully with telekinesis. Get off! No proper direction, just off. In agony now, he more of flies to his feet than rises, using the psy-fire tendrils to lift himself from the pavement. "That.. was a mistake." Hand to cover the bleeding wound, Jono reaches for that car again.

James flies through the air with a 'yelp.' He lands with a crunch, but is back on his feet before his body allows him to feel pain. It's pure adrenaline that drives him now, and it's driving him to attack the thing that just backed him into a corner. He lets out a laugh, a beastly hyena sounds as he launches again, toe claws digging into the pavement for purchase. Running at the man, arms spread, claws bared, he makes a jump for the lifting car, his body aiming to jump from it and—with far more luck than the lad probably has—bury his claws into the 'hero.'

Batter up! Jonothon uses the car and attempts to smack James with it. Really did just hover there waiting for the teen to race forward. Just try getting in close again. "Some hero." The Brit mocks with a bitter laugh. "See how easily you turn?" You know, like he didn't totally deserve being bitten. His costume once more bright red and blue, Jonothon's eye has a red spike over it as well. "Hurts a little and you're bitting the hand trying to help you. Isn't this what you feared, James?"

James sees the car. The world turns black. There's a thud that sounds too far away to be from him. Too muffled. But it is and he’s just unaware of that fact. And then the return of sound to a pair of sensitive ears. It’s a distant scream that grows far too loud far too quick. And when he next opens his eyes, James is laying on a car hood…well…half of him is, the other half is across the fender…on the ground—and thankfully all in one piece still. He shakes his head a little, tasting a familiar metallic flavor that belongs to him, not Jono. He stands, almost falls, and pushes himself up off the hood, "Shhhhiitt…Where am I." He staggers a second, and turns towards his aggressor…Jono…? No…yes. His mind tries to reorient itself, healing factor taking care of the internal stuff, Jono "…oh my god. I'm sorry." It's said to no one in particular as the boy looks for an exit. No…man with the car is still here. And so is the beast… He falls to his knees, still trying to regain his strength, "Don't do this."

Jonothon again doesn't attack. Merely waits, ready. As it's obvious that James isn't going to be doing much of anything the car is dropped. A crunch of metal and glass that he ignores as he moves towards the teen. With the shrug of a shoulder, he flicks blood off his hand and reforms his wounded face. A brief haze as molecules realign to the arrangement of his choosing. "Done, you little wanker?" Not sounding as amused as he once was. "You see it in there. Do something about it. But for now, you need to run away little animal." As impressive as this appears, Jono is now damn tired. The psy-fire isn't as strong as it once was. "Run home. Stop trying to play with the adults until you're ready."

Sitting there, James pants lightly, lungs still on fire from the landing. It's starts out quiet, but builds, that beast wrapping its tendrils around the hyenas's mind again, "I am not an animal…" He pushes himself off the ground with some effort and finds his back against the car. Cornered… No clear exit in all this tunnel vision. "I'm not an animal…" he wheezes. Those pupils of his begin to dilate, his beast's tendrils digging into his brain, "I am not an animal. I am a human being!" And with that his claws launch out for a solid strike, aimed from shoulder to chest to hip.

"ARGGGG!" Claws sink into shoulder and rip down across the chest. Don't reach his midsection though for Jonothon reacts to save himself. If he can he pins James to that car. Hunched over, obviously in pain, he glowers. Blood darkens red, but it also has a strange affect in that the pain has his whole attire turning black. A hand over the bleeding wound, short hair suddenly long, Jonothon looks almost exactly as he did before all this weirdness. Just with a face. "No, James." He whispers there, still close. "You aren't a monster. Be /my/ hero, and tell them. I'm not strong enough. They've got to help.» Fire bright eyes turn dark brown as he says these words. And by the time they end they are mental. Lips moving to echo the words in your head.
Let him and he touches James' furry cheek, leaving blood behind. Even that has little scent. Having trouble breathing, yet kind of ignoring the little gasps, Jono tries to find James phone.

James goes in for another strike, hesitates and roars; making a sound that was long lost to the annuls of time. It’s a sound that doesn't belong to a hyena but to its distant relative's whose life was already starting to end when homo sapiens' lives were just starting to begin. His hands shake, turning to fists as he raises them above his head, unsure of what to do next. The retreating beast wants them driven into the brit's back, the boy just wants to go home…and the boy wins as Jono's words, the fight, the memories that aren't his, sink in. The phone? Easily found and waiting this entire time. There are no words exchanged…how can he? It's so much in so little time.

Taking the phone with him, Jonothon lifts into the air with a surge of psy-fire. It's still weak though, and he hasn't healed the claw marks yet. It allows him time to think. «Don't let it win, James.» With that he's taking himself away from the situation. Sirens are sounding off in the distance, and hyenas should hurry as well. Once he's at a safe distance the hold drops. Gathering his strength, phone in hand, Jono disappears into the sky.

Suddenly, painfully, very alone, James finds himself running! With his body on fire, mind running on instinct alone, he speeds off towards the school before finding the nearest tree line to disappear into.


Xavier Mansion - Courtyard

Surrounded on three sides by the school, a large courtyard forms the front yard. The courtyard leads right up to the door of the mansion. Yellow square stone slabs cover the ground where the grass would be. The most noticeable thing about the courtyard is the large statue of Jean Gray, aka Phoenix, in the middle as a memorial. Benches surround the outside of the statue so students can sit and hang out in the courtyard. There are two paths leading off the courtyard, one to the left and the other to the right.

It's a pretty easily seen sight from where all are involved sit. From the observatory, those inside can see a figure skulking up the front path; a few students outside freezing in their fun, chores, and what have before they drop what they're doing and go running towards the shape. One even waves frantically at the front of the building, hand at their mouth, as if shouting. After a few more steps, the…figure… no the 'hyena' shakes himself off of the would-be helpers and nearly falls over in the process. Stumbling towards the front of the mansion, he looks like he just stepped out of a scene in a horror movie. Claws, mouth, face…clothing. All covered in splatters of blood and more.

Rashmi's eyes wander for a moment, quietly amused at the byplay. The tension in her shoulders, however, as she chances to look upon the unfolding events outside, is the first sign that all has stopped being well. As he stumbles further, she snaps upright with a sharp gasp, eyes wide. "JAMES!" Very nearly in Lucas' ear, but perhaps forgiveness will come later. For now, she scrambles off the couch, pelting toward the elevator. "OhMyGodSomeoneGetTheDoctorHurryJamesIsHurt!"

Well the better mood was good while it lasted, seeing James out there, Robyn jumps up right behind Rashmi and heads for the elevator. "Holy shit what happened…does he..regenerate or anything?" He's not sure since it seems to be common with some shifters. He thinks. He really doesn't know many. The elevator ride seems to take forever when you have somewhere you have to be urgently.

Lucas looks out the window, "Fuck." As the girls jump to the elevator, he pushes the window open, yanking off his gloves, and leaps out. As he falls, he pushes his open hands out beneath him and uses their nuclear reactions to superheat the air below, bringing himself to a safe hover just a few feet above the ground. He drops his feet to the earth, hurries to grab the gloves from the ground, and as he puts them back on

Outside, James is standing in front of Jean Grey's statue looking up at it with a weird expression on his face. He's still wearing that borrowed coat—the one without the sleeves that looks like it was splashed with acid he took for the Inferno. Except today it's also been splashed with blood. His hands, too, are covered in it along with his jaw. He looks blankly around, a bit surprised to be standing where he is. Wasn't he moving? He's not sure. He takes another couple of steps, breathing fast and labored; his pupils two tight little orbs buried in all that blackness. He looks at Lucas as he lands, "Find my phone." He hobbles towards the front doors. Steps…shit. He begins to work out what that means and how to get to the front door. Oh god…a door. How does that work…

A few moments later, there's little worry for how to work the door, as Rashmi pelts outside, taking the steps two and three at a time in her hurry to reach the hyena. "JAMES!! WHAT HAPPENED?!"

As soon as that elevator opened, Robyn was out of there running as fast as he can. He gets to James and is catching his breath so Rashmi gets out exactly what he was going to say. He steps next to him and carefully puts an arm around his waist trying to help him since he doesn't look like he should be standing on his own, in Robyn's opinion. "Are you okay James?" Obviously not.

Lucas glances around the ground, and then says, "Ah don't see your phone, Jim. What happened? Is any of this blood yours?" He begins touching the hyena, doing a quick sort of mecic check.

Someone's talking. Is it English? Does he know even how to speak it? What was he just saying? Did he even speak? The thought is lost. He's never pushed himself this hard and he's paying for it 10-fold. Rashmi was the loudest, so his eyes focus on her just staring for a long moment. He says something…mostly mumbles…unless he really was saying, 'Joker baked potato coleslaw. Me sit on tack. itchy itchy.' Focus…focus…. Each word comes out singurarly, forming a sentence with great effort, "Jono has my phone. Track him." Under the pressure of Robyn's arm, something goes *SQUISH* in a baaaad way. There's a roar, the hyena's mouth opening widely. He turns on Robyn, arm raising high and fast as if he was going to strike or swat. He stops, looks at the boy as one pupil turns creepily much larger than the other, "I'm sorry…"

Rashmi skitters backwards at the hyena's roar, eyes wide and panicked. Eyes locked on him, Rashmi gently tugs Robyn back from James' side. "James," she says, clearly enunciating each word, "You Need… To Go… To The Doctor. We'll… Take You There. Just… Come With Us, Okay?"

Robyn doesn't need Rashmi to pull him back, as he already had jumped back at the roar and he raised arm causes him to flinch. He exhales when he realizes he's not in pain and looks at James. "We need to get to the medbay right now James."

Lucas furrows his brow a bit, and then he moves Rashmi out of the way, taking her place at James' side so she doesn't get hurt by him. "Come on, Jimmy. Let's go inside, bro." He begins to lead James towards the stairs.

James drops his arm and turns his head towards the voice, then another, and another…This is so confusing. He just wants to make them stop. All of them…Rashmi…Lucas…Robyn…Jono….the headmaster…all those deaths from all those people from all those memories he was force fed… Just shut up. Shut up…. There's another roar, "Shut! UP!" There's a look passed around. Something is not right. If this is James, at the moment, it's only a thread of him. He recoils from Lucas, spinning as if to attack. But the steps are too close and in his state they become a lot closer, a lot faster. Simply put: He falls. His head hits a step and, thankfully, finally, everything does go quiet. He's out cold.

There's a long, drawn out silence as James falls to the ground. Unable to force herself to move, Rashmi simply stands there, tears falling down her cheeks, a storm of conflicting motives within her, warring for dominance. The silence, broken of all things, with a small sniff. "I… I'm going to go get the doctor. …Maybe Dr. McCoy. Someone who can carry him… I…" Her gaze flicks up, moving between Lucas and Robyn, not… quite… actually orienting on either of them. "….I'll be right back." The redhead turns, and before she can be stopped, pelts inside the mansion, trying not to call out; perhaps, too afraid she might scream, instead.

Robyn is about to do the same thing as Rashmi, but when runs she runs off he just sits there on the steps, sitting by James and just looking to see what exactly might be wrong. They'll be time later to refelcton it, right now it's just getting James to a Dr. which is important.

Lucas curses, "Ah hate this school." He picks the hyena up fireman style, and caries him to the med bay.

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