2010-05-14: Shooting Fish in a Barrel


Corrin_icon.jpg Jono_icon.jpg

Summary: When shooting fish in a barrel, the fish should NOT shoot back. Or, the less than graceful art of street combat. Or, Jono gets a headache, and Corrin is afraid of fire.

Date: 05-14-2010

Log Title Shooting fish in a barrel

Rating: R (V)

NYC - Mutant Town

//Mutant Town, also known as District X, has become a haven for mutants. This section of town doesn't care what you look like, accepting all mutants no matter what their appearance. Most of the businesses in this section of town are mutant run ranging from small convenience stores to clothing shops to restaurants to night clubs. The buildings here aren't the high rise buildings you might find in mid-town but most are about 5-6 stories high. Mutant Town might not be the most luxurious section of town, in fact it's fairly run down, but this section of where mutants are safe and welcomed regardless of race, religion and culture. //

Jonothon does have friends in Mutant Town, and that's why he came here tonight. It's getting late however, so he said his farewells and headed out onto the streets. There's a late night train he can catch back to Westchester. The Brit blends well with the night time streets too, his black making him difficult to see as he passes through long shadows. This neighborhood never was one to get renovations often, so there are areas that don't get lighting. Considering his powers, and his training, Jono never thinks about being attacked. Ego on his part to be sure. Just a skinny guy walking towards the better lighted streets where he can catch a taxi.
He should think about getting attacked. He *is* an X-Man… that sort of thing happens a lot to them.

The first he'll know about it, the streetlight above him-it's one of the few on this stretch—goes out with a *POP* of breaking glass. The shadows pounce, and the street looks black for a moment, just in contrast. That's when Hell breaks loose in the form of a hail of gunfire, bullets sleeting from above into anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the open. Two lovers, holding hands on the corner. An old man, using a crosswalk. A frumpy woman with half a dozen plastic grocery bags. A down-at-the-heels young man walking on the other side of the street. And Jono, nearest the streetlight….
Screams. Yells of fear. And the sounds of ricochets.

And yet Jonothon doesn't at all think about it until it's too late. Surprised, he stops to look up as the lamp goes dark, and then it's far too late to do anything. The first bullet passes right through his torso, and he almost doesn't feel it. A second follows, and that one he certainly does feel. He's been shot! This has happened before, and in spite of the pain he knows he'll recover. «…!» but there's nothing he can do as the third hits his skull. It only grazes him, which is a very good thing, but that doesn't change the fact that the Brit suddenly can't do a thing to defend himself. He reels and then drops to the ground, there under that lamp. Psy-fire leaks out of the holes in his attire, but it doesn't form up as normal. Too dazed for any concerted effort.

A sudden ambush, in the middle of New York City? Not quite; this is Mutant Town. And everyone on the street qualifies as a mutant. That makes this something even darker.
There's the spit of radio talk from one of the roofs where the bullets are coming from, and an answering spit from another across the street. The screaming boy on the corner, one leg useless under him, both arms holding on to the girl lying limp in his arms, is trying very hard to use the tentacles sprouting from his back to pull them into safety. They're thin, though, obviously used for manipulation, not locomotion, and the effort is slow and laborious. Guns rack and more bullets rain down on him and his girl.
And do not hit… quite. A glowing golden shield appears over them. He yowls at each strike, but no holes appear in him… he gets himself and the girl into a doorway, out of immediate line-of-sight. More radio spit and static above.

Jonothon can hear the radio static above him, but then he can hear most everyone on the street too. Their pain echoes through his mind, even as the orders those shooters are getting flit about amid it all. The Brit makes no sense of it all however. By the time he starts pulling himself together enough to think, he's pushing the voices away. First order of business is blocking out other minds so that he can think.
A quiet, mental moan and he shifts there on the pavement. Awareness returns, his head burning, and his chest aching, but the Brit forces himself awake. Why can't he remember what happened? Did Magneto hit him with a semi again? Blinking up at the dark sky, Jono attempts to focus. Oh wait.. gunshots! Eyes widen as he looks over at the glowing shield. Soon he's struggling to sit up.

More bullets. The old man fell in the crosswalk and he is mewling, twitching, trying to get up. The darkness isn't total-this is New York City, after all-and one can see the bullets hitting the pavement, walking toward the old man. They stitch across his body and he arches up in pain, white-out of the mind. Liquid dark eyes, whiskers… rather like an otter. He falls limp as the bullets stop and doesn't move again.
The woman with the shopping bags disintegrates… literally. Where she stood there is now a heap of terrified rats, running in all directions. Bullets strike some, but others disappear into sewer grates, into the cracks under steps, behind trash cans… she's hurt, but she might not be hurt enough to matter.
Always, more spit, more static. Jono may be able to understand some of it, now: "Roger, base. First pass complete. Commencing clean-up."

The bullets. He can see where the bullets come from. Jonothon is totally missing that there's more than one shooter as he suddenly blasts at roughly where one of the shooters lurks. But then, with Jono, general area is kind of all it takes. Fire riots, there's a PHOOM and all he can think about are the mind white-outs of the people around him. He takes out a portion of the building too. A little bit. Blows a wide section of roof into a fine powder.
Blasts and then immediately regrets it. It drives spikes through his mind and he drops back to the sidewalk, clutching at his head. «!!!» Ow.

Sudden uptick in radio chatter. "Red Crow to base! Taking fire! Taking fire!" Literally.
Jono's method of retaliation is effective: the team on that roof disintegrates nearly as completely as the lady with the shopping bags, but more permanently. His blast goes through the roof to their left-bad aim, Brit-but the scoring is like hand grenades, so close is close enough. Two of the men up there vanish in the flare of psy-fire, along with the roof they were standing on and the parapet they where looking over. The third was just far enough away to get blasted backward instead of blasted apart, and he ends up on the opposite side of the roof with broken bones and terror in his voice: "Red Crow to base! I'm hit!"
But more bullets hit the street, heading for Jono this time. Jono hears, "Son of a …!" from nearby, and that man from the other sidewalk bolts out of cover from behind a car and launches himself at Jono. "More than one team…!" Hand in Jono's lapels, uses momentum to haul the Brit up and into the shallow shelter of another doorway, just as the bullets stitch across the space Jono was just lying in.

In as much as psy-fire is active, the Brit gives no resistance as he's picked up and hauled out of the line of fire. Jonothon's head feels like someone's hammering white hot nails through it, and there are voices everywhere. Voices he can't keep out. «Red Crow to base! I'm hit!» He's echoing them, and not all that loudly. There's blood all down the one side of his head, yet none around the holes in his chest. No, those leak fire. As for that fire, it's weak now. Barely a flutter as it moves his hair and illuminates softly. Sorry, not all that good at hiding, is he. If there are other orders he echoes those too. As well as some praying from another man hiding under a nearby car, and the desperate 911 call being given in an apartment over the two of you. Sorry, Corrin, but he's not making much sense.

Corrin spends a moment staring at Jono, looking at him with that Sight of his, and feeling the pieces in his own head slide out of line. Jono isn't properly *alive*… and yet he absolutely is alive. That's confusing in a way that Corrin has trouble handling…
And then the team on the opposite roof zeroes in on Jono's leaking psy-fire. Corrin has an eyeblink to react as Jono repeats the fire order and suddenly, both men are wreathed in a glowing golden shield, just as the bullets hammer down. It HURTS… this is like wearing Kevlar, not like being behind a wall. But it beats the hell out of actually getting holes punched in you.
It does have the effect of wiping the confusion away for Corrin, though. Priorities: get you out of the line-of-fire. That first. Corrin looks around the street: cover… where? Facts and possibilities fall through his mind and are organized on the fly… car. Safe from above, save ricochets… nothing to be done about ricochets. Need two seconds to get there, two more to stuff Jono under the car… four seconds is too long, need a distraction….

Alive to extremes in all the wrong ways? The bullets hit shield and Jonothon calls out with Corrin's pain. Which will be distinctly strange as Corrin hears an echo of his own hurt, but not from himself. It grants Jono just a little bit of focus. He's still repeating things he 'hears' and yet there's a little awareness in dark eyes. Psy-fire brightens. Which totally doesn't help, does it. Sadly, Jono's not a guy with a subtle power. Long tendrils of fire slide out of the Brit's chest and lash out towards that car. Not too well. His aim sucks, but hearing Corrin's thoughts about the car, Jono quite simply brings the car to Corrin. Not gracefully, not neatly, but it's soon being dragged right over to form a nice shield against bullets. Every bit of this hurts though. It radiates from the man.

Surprise and worry—will that car stop or will it crush them? Corrin hauls Jono further back into the doorway, as if that might help, and then the car is there and he can drop his shield for a moment. "Geez," he mutters. His head is sliding; he clamps down on that. Fall apart latter, fool. Bad guys in the wind right now.
He hears the echoes of his own thoughts and frowns puzzledly down at Jono. "Are you doing that?" He's heard of telepaths, but he's never met one… is this what it is like? Then the men on the roof are talking and Jono is repeating: "Blue Crow to base. Red Crow down. Repeat: Red Crow down. Evac required. Red Boar, Blue Boar, take out the stragglers."
Corrin thoughts: Shoot. Two aerial teams, two street teams. At least. One aerial team out of commission, second team acting as ops and spotter. Street teams on clean-up. Aloud, he says, "Mister? You'll be all right here. I'm going out and I'm going to make trouble for those boys." Memory: the old man in the street. The two kids hiding at the corner. The man is dead; Corrin is determined that the kids won't follow him.

Jonothon's head feels much the same way. Sliding. He can't quite tell which end is up. Ears are ringing, and people are shouting at him from all sides. Even as he repeats orders for Corrin, the Brit lifts hands and grips at his head. Hasn't had it this bad since he was a teen-ager. It's been more than a decade since he lost control of his own shields. There's blood covering one eye, making it difficult to see, and for a moment he doesn't quite realize that Corrin is speaking to him.
Not until Corrin's own thoughts second the words. Oh! …Oh. Right! Jonothon nods to Corrin. He'll be alright. Go ahead. «Sorry.» Couldn't answer about that he's doing the sharing thing, but he can give Corrin a rough estimate of where people are in the area. Hope your head can handle it, Corrin. Jono's not sure his name. Strike teams.. where are the strike teams? He closes his eyes, huddles down, and listens. Anything useful he gets is sent to Corrin.

Corrin is ridiculously easy to talk to mentally-he has no shields to speak of, not even the natural ones most people have by way of knowing who they are. Corrin doesn't have that, and he takes a lot of things at face-value, and that means things don't fit well, sometimes… but part of him understands a fight, this kind of fight, and he's leaning on that part of himself real hard. Anything you give him gets fed into that, and what comes out is plans.
Two aerial strike teams at opposite ends of the block. Jono took out Red Crow team; one survivor, too injured to be a problem. Blue Crow is… there, on the building almost directly above where the kids are hiding. They have no angle of fire, so they're calling in the street teams. Red Boar is at the end of the block with Jono and Corrin, just one building away, around the corner; Blue Board is one building away from the kids. Corrin is real worried about that—how does he get to the end of the block alive?
Skating. "Wish me luck." And he's up and over the car, glowing golden light in a strip in front of him, skating like mad. Yes, his shoulder blades are itching, from the bullets he knows are aimed there and incoming any moment now…

One of the roof teams is where? His head hurts so much, but once the teams are tagged, and with Corrin skating off to save some kids, Jonothon plays distraction. Can't blast again. That hurt far too much to do twice, but there's this nice car. Shifting around to where he gets a good angle on the situation, almost more of sprawled there in that alley then anything else, the Brit uses the car. Again. Gathers himself, tries to focus past the pain, lets go of the link with Corrin, and pretty much telekinetically kicks that car at the rooftop sniper team. Hopefully this helps Corrin get to the end of the block alive.

Flying car. GOOD distraction. The aerial team spotted Corrin and his strip of lighthard not toand they take aim at him. "Stinking muties," mutters one, a shout in Jono's poor, bruised brain. None of them notice the dark car flying toward them from Jono's position… until it crashes into the corner of the building they're on and shears away the facade they're leaning against. One man is crushed outright, one is slammed to the roof, and the third is shoved off the roof, falling three stories, screaming. The scream cuts short with a splat.
Corrin doesn't know about the car. He knows that something exploded overhead and that things are falling—his brain is saying, 'rocket strike' and he's taking evasive action re: falling debris. He passes the kids' hiding place and shoots out into the open of the street, in view of Blue Boar team, who are startled and looking up when he arrives. The advantage is Corrin's: he shifts the strip to wrap around himself in that glowing golden shield of his and manifests his sword. Howling, he charges the three men in Blue Boar team.
Red Boar team comes around their own corner, antsy and aware, because they could hear the 'explosion' but they don't know what it was. They do know they aren't getting chatter from Blue Crow team any more, though…

Sprawled in the door way, all he can do is lay there to try and get a breather. If he could breathe, Jonothon would be panting heavily. Didn't he just get beat up by Magneto yesterday? Mostly he's just glad that the strike team has stopped shouting at him. Never quite realizing why they did. He will later and he will agonize over it, but now there is only simple relief. At least until Red Boar finds him.
Tendrils of fire are lazily sweeping across the sidewalk, for Jono hasn't bothered to rein them in. The Brit is really obvious at the moment due to the fire effects he surrounds himself with. «You should go.» He whispers, radiating pain at the team, «Before I hurt you too.» Only fair to warn them, right? Of course he says this just as Corrin's howling. Perfect timing there!

Corrin is inside sword's reach of Blue Boar team before the team can react. The glowing golden katana rises and slashes through one man's gun, smashes sideways against another man's throat, and is coming up toward the last man's face within the first two seconds of contact. Blue Boar Three leaps backward, yelling in fright, and Corrin pursues him. Blue Boar Two is on the ground, choking; Blue Boar One, staring at the remaining half of an automatic rifle in his hands, is in shock, too startled to go to the assistance of either Two or Three just yet… especially with the ghostly voice of Jonothon Starsmore floating in his head.
Red Boar Team plays leapfrog around their own corner; one man dashes out into the street while the other two cover him. Red Boar One sees Jonothon's psyfire writhing on the sidewalk and yells, "Mutie in doorway, ten yards east!" He continues out into the street, trying to get a good angle on Jono while Red Boar Two and Three come around the corner and approach along the sidewalk, hugging the wall.

Ten yards. He warned them, but they didn't listen. The Brit doesn't actually do anything pro active as the Red Boar team plays leapfrog, trying to get that proper angle of fire. No, Jonothon waits. He's tired and this allows him some much needed moments to recharge. Waits for the man in the street to fire. Eyes dance with fire as psy-fire tendrils lift. Bullets are caught as the fire forms a strange kind of shield before the man. Caught and then reshapped. The whole action takes barely a second as metal is elongated into spikes, and sent right back at the gunman at high speed. «I warned you.» That voice whispers again. «You should go.»

They were told only weak mutants lived in Mutant Town. They were told only the dregs were here, muties too damaged by genetics to live anywhere else. They were told that the ghetto was a barrel, and that all who lived there were fish. And Red Boar Team has time to be angry that they were told these things, because now they know that they were lied to.
Red Boar One tries to evade the spikes flying at him, but Magneto taught Jonothon well; the things seek, and when he hits the pavement, rolling, they change direction and stab him anyway. He shrieks as needle shards of metal pierce his legs and back. He's still alive, but he's in no shape to continue.
Red Boar Two and Three pause. They heard Jonothon's voice the first time, and discounted it-weak muties, remember? They took a gamble: it was a bluff, intimidation without weight behind it. Two makes the decision: "All teams, pull out. Repeat, pull out. Medical evacs required." Then he and Three dash for Red Boar One to drag him back around the corner for the extraction teams. They've made a statement-they don't have to stay. They can come back another day.
Blue Boar Three raises his rifle to stave off a swipe from Corrin's light sword and the sword cuts it to pieces. He jumps back again, still yelling, then throws the useless remainder at the glowing man. It bounces off him. Corrin says, "Time to go, Blue Boar. And stay the hell out of this neighborhood!"

Jonothon lets them go after he's done putting another man in the hospital. He watches perhaps a little too calmly as the man cries out, and his team mates decide to withdraw. Of course he watches to ensure that no one else is shot while they are doing the withdrawing. His head aches incredibly, and he can't see out of one eye, not to mention he's bloody tired, but the Brit still manages to push himself into a sitting position. Even though he has to use his TK in order to do so. «We should go.» Said in that whisper to Corrin. Corrin who's mind is truly strange. Slides. Touching it feels distinctly strange. «Those kids okay?» Jono's own voice sounds strange. Maybe he's sliding too.
Of course this doesn't help Jono figure out just where he's going to go. He doesn't want to stay and deal with cops, much less hospitals. «…My head hurts.» Stating the obvious, because he can't think of anything else to say as he sits there on that doorstep, looking like he caught fire.

Blue Boar Three makes the decision to withdraw at the same moment Red Boar makes the withdrawal announcement. Not much Blue Boar can do with one gun and a choking man, is there. "Yeah," Three tells Corrin, sullen. "Yeah, we're going." He and Two go to grab One's arms to haul him away. "Don't get too comfortable, mutie! There are more of us!"
Corrin just watches them go. "Yeah. I know," he says, and then he's headed back toward the kids. His head comes up as Jono's voice enters his thoughts. Is that himself or…? "Checking. And yeah, no cops. Too many questions." He stops in the doorway with the kids-they all right? The boy is; he's got a hole in his leg and and he can't use it, but it isn't bleeding too much. The girl is much worse, shot through the body. Corrin spends a moment showing the boy how to make a pressure bandage and how to hold it over the hole through her lung. The boy looks so grateful when he hears the immediate improvement in her breathing.
Jonothon can track the retreat of the teams. Red Boar thataway around a corner and to a vehicle. Blue Boar the other way and to another. Other men picking up the wounded from the rooftops, and the dead; they can't do anything about the man crushed under that car, though. So they set fire to it, and leave. Just what Mutant Town needed-more fire.

Fire is at least easy to deal with. Once he notices it anyway. For now Jonothon is struggling to his feet. There's this really helpful wall here though, and he uses that to support himself. This is done as Corrin helps the kids. Breathing improves, a car is set on fire, and Jono peers up at it. It takes him a moment to realize just what it is. He's so sigh if he could. Might have to leave that, but he tries anyway. Reaching out, fifty feet his max range, he seeks to snuff that fire… and so out of it is the Brit that it never occurs to him to fly. (Magneto would be so disappointed.) Who knows what they used to create it though. Removing oxygen might not be enough. That's who Corrin will find him, frowning upwards at the burning car, even as he, himself, is aflame.

Corrin comes out of the niche where the kids are hiding and turns toward Jono… and stops cold, staring at the man on fire further down the street. Now that bullets aren't gobbling up all his attention, he has time to register what else is going on. Fire. Man on fire. The interior of his head starts slipping sideways, even as he looks up at the car above him, half-on/half-off the roof. Car on fire. ABOVE HIM…
Corrin's mind shatters under blind panic. Fire! Burning alive! Pieces of memory flood him, overwhelm him, and he bolts, away from the street, the kids, Jono… but more than anything else, away from the fire.

Jonothon actually has his arms lifted even as he tries to snuff out those flames, even though this does /absolutely nothing/ to help him. As Corrin runs off the Brit stops and blinks after the man. Um. Blink. That was the cool glowing sword guy. Jono looks around. What? Did Godzilla suddenly appear, or maybe it's Magneto out for a little frothing revenge… and it the man finds nothing more than an empty street. Okay, he's totally confused.
Then the first sirens are heard. Oh shit. Jonothon straightens, fire vanishing from around him. He SO has to go. Poor building with burning car. He has to leave you as he too high tails it away. A thin man in black staggers off into the shadows. Not the most graceful exit he's ever made.

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