LOCATION> ATLANTEAN OUTPOST OFF THE SHORE OF NEW YORK
SCENE> LANDSLIDE AND MAXIMUS HAVE BEEN CHAINED AND ARE BEING MARCHED IN A LINE ALONG WITH MANY OTHER PRISONERS OF WAR THROUGH A A CORRIDOR.
<Landslide> ::trucks along in an upset fashion:: ((Joto cannot believe the power that man controls))
ACTION> THEY ENTER A LARGE ROOM WITH MANY LEVELS. THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF ATLANTEANS APPARENTLY, ONES WITH BLUE SKIN AND OTHERS WITH HIDES SIMILAR TO LOBSTERS. A BLUE-SKINNED ONE STANDS ON A HIGH PODIUM, APPARENTLY IN CHARGE AND CONVERSING WITH HIS ADVISORS IN EARSHOT.
<Landslide> ::looks up and then around noticing the difference in appearances then lowers his head again::
<Attuma> Have the war-beasts brought from the southern coast! The main battle is here!
<Advisor> I'm sorry to report, majesty, that the warring in the east has taken a turn for the worst.
<Attuma> What?! That is not possible! Primus' Ravers were contained!
<Advisor> It would seem that our commander in the east was slain by one calling himself the Black Knight and the members of some form of rebellion.
ACTION> THEY ARE BROUGHT OUT OF THAT ROOM AND TO THE SECTOR WITH PRISON CELLS. THEY BOTH NOTICE A MAN, WITH MOSTLY STRANGE CYBERNETIC PARTS AND WRAPPED IN A CLOAK, WALKING CASUALLY TOWARDS THEM AS IF UNSEEN BY ANYONE ELSE BUT THEM.
<Landslide> ::arches a brow as he lifts his head:: ((Who's this guy..?))
<Landslide> ::looks at the man::
ACTION> TIME SEEMS TO STOP AROUND THEM. THE ONLY THINGS UNAFFECTED ARE HIMSELF AND MAXIMUS AS THE MAN APPROACHES THEM.
<Landslide> ::glances around:: What is going on here...?
<Caretaker> You are being rescued. ::waves his hand, causing the chains to break apart and fall off Landslide and Maximus::
<Landslide> ::double-takes:: Joto thanks you, stranger... but why have you come to help us? I don't recall ever meeting you before?
<Caretaker> You have not. ::makes some more hand motions::
ACTION> THE FLOOR RIPPLES AND GLOWS UNDER THEM AND IN MOMENTS THE THREE OF THEM DISAPPEAR. LEAVING A GROUP OF STUNNED ATLANTEAN GUARDS STANDING THERE, LOOKING AROUND.
LOCATION> THE FORGE
SCENE> POWERSLAM AND XENO RACE OUT OF THE PORTAL, WITH AN UNCONSCIOUS ANGEL BLUE IN TOW AND A FEW EMPLATES CLINGING TO THEM.
<Xeno> ::carries angel through, defences turned off and places her on the floor and turns to toss some emplates back through the portal::
<Powerslam> ::turns and sends another energy ball into the portal:: Okay, you need to have a serious talk with your girlfriend about who she hangs out with
ACTION> TENDRILS OF ENERGY REACH OUT FROM THE PORTAL AND PULL THE EMPLATES BACK IN BEFORE CLOSING UP.
<Xeno> ill do that
<Powerslam> ...::shakes his head and looks to Xeno and Angel:: ((I just won't ask...)) okay, so now that we've got one more person... now what?
ACTION> THE CARETAKER STEPS INTO THE ROOM, WITH LANDSLIDE ACCOMPANYING HIM.
<Xeno> ::looks to the caretaker:: we ask him, what else?
<Landslide> ::double takes, with a sort of dis-orriented look:: Joto is now confused...
<Landslide> ::looks towards Xeno and Powerslam:: Some familiar faces.. Joto is happy to see both of you
<Caretaker> I've liberated your friend and one other from the Atlanteans. ::walks towards Xeno and Angel Blue::
<Powerslam> hey Joto... I figured you wouldn't die from a simple thing like almost the end of the year...
<Xeno> ::suits down:: im happy to see more of us are alive
<Landslide> ::nods:: Joto is happy to be alive... Where is everyone else?
<Caretaker> ::takes Angel's hands, turning them palm up and looking at the emplate mouthes:: It will take time for me to purge this from her body.
<Xeno> how long..?
<Caretaker> ::levitates her from Xeno:: Hours.. perhaps days. It is difficult to predict. Be warned, there will be some unknown residual changes after the purging.
ACTION> ANGEL BLUE IS SURROUNDED BY A CONFINING FORCEFIELD, A STRANGE SYMBOL DISPLAYED ON THE FLOOR BENEATH HER.
<Caretaker> I believe that you all wish for some further explanation about your current situations?
<Landslide> ::nods:: Joto would appreciate it
<Powerslam> It'd be helpful if we're supposed to figure out what to do next
<Caretaker> ::looks at Powerslam:: The Morlocks share a great deal of responsibility for Apocalypse's second coming. His servant, Ozymandias, has secretly guided the Morlocks since before coming together as a group.
<Powerslam> ::blinks:: We've been manipulated the entire time?
<Caretaker> ::waves a hand, producing images to prove his point such as a scene of Powerslam's parents and his sister Hope boarding the transport to take them to the Pixel mining colony before he was even born, Ozymandias stands in the background watching:: Yes.
<Landslide> Joto is confused... Joto does not know much about the history of this group... Joto knows only what he has experienced
<Powerslam> ::grits his teeth slightly:: So it's his fault my family got killed?
<Caretaker> Then perhaps this would be of some interest to you as well. ::changes to image to the recently destroyed Seattle, the Stark-Fujikawa jet with Landslide and Predator aboard fly over, the image zooms in on Ozymandias standing in the burning wreckage::
<Landslide> ::Arches a brow:: Who is that man? I dont recall ever seeing him either
<Caretaker> It is far more complex than that. Ozymandias has knowledge of events thousands of years before they occur. It is likely your family would have taken the same course of action even without his presence.
<Landslide> Is he a mutant similar to joto and the morlocks?
<Caretaker> No, once he was a man.. but was changed and forced into servitude thousands of years ago.
<Landslide> ::frowns:: What is it you require Joto for?
<Landslide> Joto is willing to help to show his gratitude for helping him escape the Atlanteans
<Caretaker> Apocalypse's reign has been in preparation for nearly a century. I'm sure you all realize the difficulty involved in putting a stop to him.
LOCATION> RUINS OF HALO CITY
SCENE> THE LANDCRUISER STARTED TO BREAK DOWN BUT FLUX, GALLY, KALI, AND RANDALL MANAGE TO GET IT AT LEAST TO THE RUINS, WHERE RANDALL IS TRYING TO MAKE REPAIRS.
<Gally> ::looks around at the ruins:: shock... this apocalypse sure knows how to make a mess... ::frowns::
<Kali> ::Sighs as she looks around the ruins with a quiet face.:: From here, it looks like there is no trace of anyone we lost...
<Flux> ::studies the Landcruiser and looks at Randall:: Do you need any help?
<Randall> ::working near the treads:: Major disaster here.. have the city's population sided with Apocalypse and it all just fell apart. ::glances back at Flux:: Sure.. get inside and take a look the diagnostic monitor.
<Gally> ::shakes her head:: sad... ((why are organics so... easily swayed by lunatics?))<Flux> ::hops inside the landcruiser and looks at the monitor::
<Kali> No one left at all... ::More to herself than anyone else at all.:: So the one who destoryed everything is near by or am I not thinking well today...
ACTION> THE DIAGNOSTIC MONTOR FLICKERS ON, AND SHOWS THE TREAD RANDALL'S WORKING ON TO BE OPERATIONAL NOW. KALI NOTICES A BODY BEHIND SOME RUBBLE, OUT OF SIGHT FROM EVERYONE ELSE AND FAMILIAR TO HER.
<Flux> ::looks over the monitor:: It should be fine now.
<Randall> ::slides out from under the cruiser:: What did you say?
<Kali> Someone keep an eye on me for a moment, I want to check something out. ::Leaps off the rock she was sitting on and starts to apporach it slowly.::
<Flux> ::steps out of the landcruiser:: I said it should be fine now.
<Randall> Good.. not sure how I pulled that off but good.. ::sits up::
ACTION> KALI SEES A SHROUD MEMBER SPRAWLED OUTON THE GROUND, DEAD, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR MEMBERS OF THE MORBID CULT.
<Gally> ::follows Kali... from a ways back::
<Kali> ((Who could of killed him...?)) ::Removes the hood to check for a pulse or for a sign to what happened.::
<Flux> ::places her hand on the landcrusier:: I could check it over.
ACTION> THE HOOD REVEALS THE SHROUD'S DECAYED FACE, NOT SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY FOR EVEN STILL LIVING SHROUDS. BUT NO SIGNS OF HOW HE COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.
<Kali> ::Frowns and covers the face again.:: ((What was he doing out here...))
<Gally> ::walks up behind Kali:: friend of your's?
ACTION> GALLY CAN TELL THAT THIS HAPPENED RECENTLY, NO MORE THAN A DAY OR TWO AGO.
<Kali> No, thank god... Not in a cruel way but at the least it's not someone I know or care about.
<Gally> ::shrugs:: it happened recently... a day or two ago on the outside
<Kali> ::Frowns.:: It's decaying quickly...
<Randall> Go ahead. ::stands up:: I'm going to go get our to wanderers so we can get moving. ::walks towards Gally and Kali::
<Flux> ::place both hands on the front of the landcriuser:: ((better to do it this way...)) ::closes her eyes and tries to connect to the landcruiser::
<Gally> which means who or what that did this isn't too far away, unless they can fly or have a vehicle
ACTION> FLUX SLIPS INTO THE CRUISERS OPERATING SYSTEMS, GOING THROUGH ITS SYSTEMS AND FINDING A FEW SHUT DOWN, PROBABLY SUPPOSED TO BE THAT WAY.
<Gally> ::looks around for any tracks not belonging to Kali or herself::
<Randall> ::walks up to Gally and Kali:: Hey, cruiser's ready. We should get out of here now. Wave Spider feeding grounds and all.
<Kali> ::Nods quietly and looks around.:: I suppose we should get going. ::Nods to Randall.::
<Gally> ::shrugs and follows Randall and Kali:: ok... let's make tracks ((oh well... I suck at mysteries anyway))
<Randall> ::gives the body a quick glance:: Shock.. guy looks like he's died a few times over.. ::walks back to the cruiser::
<Flux> ::goes through the operating system a second time just to make sure she hasn't missed anything and then slips out of the system and takes a deep breath:: ((I'll have to ask him about those shut downs)) ::Opens her eyes::
<Randall> ::looks at Flux as he approaches:: Everything check out? ::climbs into the cruiser::
<Flux> Almost... there's a few shut downs, but other than that it's fine.
<Kali> ::Heads over to the crusier and looks at it quietly before she looks around again.::
<Randall> Supposed to be. Thing was nearly scrapped when I found it. Had to dump some systems to save others. ::sits in the driver's seat and starts the cruiser up:: Let's go!
SCENE> CRUSADE, SETH, SLYM, STATIC, AND THE MARAUDERS JOURNEY THROUGH A DESERT MOUNTAIN RANGE, WHERE THEY EXPECT TO FIND GENESIS' HIDDEN BASE OF OPERATIONS. SLYM EXPLAINS SINISTER'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE CURRENT SITUATION.
<Gally> ::climbs into the landcruiser::
<Slym> ::walks at the head of the group:: Apocalypse was defeated and killed in the beginning of this century by the X-Men. But before his death, he released "seed" into humanity's gene pool.. ensuring that he would be born again and his consciousness laid dormant in the astral plane..
<Crusade> ::walks along the trail with the group, staring downhill::
<Static> ::Scowls:: How exactly did it happen? ::Looks around, clenching his fists:: ((Still can't believe I have to protect this shockin' glitch..))
<Slym> Was a precaution he took. Sinister devoted himself to finding the seed and eradicating it before he was reborn, but it got too out of control and before anything could be done Kaft was born. We tried to locate him and end it there, but that obviously failed.
<Static> Wait..::Frowns:: Kaft..the kid..he's Poccy?
<Slym> ::nods:: The Haven served as one big.. astral lightning rod.. Apocalypse's consciousness escaped the astral plane and homed in on it. Through it he merged with his new vessel, Kaft.
<Static> ::Groans:: So you're saying we cratered, big time, by protecting him..Terrific..
<Slym> If it makes you feel any better, I don't blame you. From your perspective, he was just an innocent kid.
<Static> Some good that does us now..::Looks around, muttering:: Where's that son of a glitch supposed to be at?
ACTION> THEY ALL HEAR TWO "SNIKT" SOUNDS BEHIND THEM.
<Static> ::Blinks slowly:: Why am I thinking that's not a good thing..::Tries to spin around and ignite his energy blades::
ACTION> A LARGE, BLACK HAIRED MAN ATTACKS THEM FROM BEHIND WITH CLAWED HANDS (THREE ADDITIONAL METAL CLAWS SPROUTED FROM THE TOP OF EACH HAND). SCALPHUNTER GOES DOWN AS THE METAL CLAWS SLICE THROUGH HIS BACK. CRUSADE IS GRABBED BY THE HEAD AND SLAMMED INTO THE MOUNTAINSIDE, THE MAN REELING BACK TO STRIKE HIM WITH HIS CLAWS.
<Static> Who the shock..?! ::Tries to port behind the man and slash his blades at his lower back::
ACTION> ELECTRICITY SPARKS FROM WHERE STATIC SLASHES HIM, CAUSING HIM TO DROP CRUSADE AND SMACK HIM ACROSS THE HEAD WITH HIS FOREARM.
<Crusade> Ugh! ::drops down and blasts the guy away from him:: It's Flipside! Some android reject your buddy Firewall told me about!
<Flipside> ::rolls back, getting some distance:: I'm getting famous! ::growls:: Howzabout I care my autograph into your backside, bub?
<Slym> We don't have time for this! ::let's loose a blast at Flipside::
<Flipside> ::moves to the side and lift his arm, letting the blast go under it and miss::
<Static> Gack..::Gets knocked backwards, rubbing where he was hit:: You again? Terrific..::Gets back up, ready to dive back at Flipside again::
<Flipside> ::focuses on Slym, grinning:: ((Positive match. 100% accuracy.)) I know who you are, punk.
<Slym> ::eyes narrow::
ACTION> FLIPSIDE STARTS GLOW WITH ENERGY, CONCEALING MOST OF HIS APPEARANCE AS HIS FORM CAN BE SEEN CHANGING. WHEN THE ENERGY DISIPATES, FLIPSIDE NOW HAS THE EXACT APPEARANCE OF THE TWENCEN X-MAN, CYCLOPS.
<Static> ..::Eyes go wide at Flipside:: Wha..? No way..::Looks from Flipside to Slym, a stunned look in his face:: He can't be..
<Slym> ::eyes flicker and flare with energy:: Everyone back.
<Flipside> ::visor glows:: Oh, you want a mutant staring contest? Bet you'll blink first!
<Static> ::Moves out of the way, still kinda looking in shock:: ((Unbelievable..I can't believe I didn't notice the similarities, all this time..but how..))
ACTION> BOTH LET LOOSE THEIR OPTIC BLASTS AT THE SAME TIME, CLASHING TOGETHER WITH EQUAL FORCE.
<Slym> ::clenches his teeth:: As I said, there's not time for this!
ACTION> SLYM'S BLAST QUICKLY OVERTAKES FLIPSIDE'S AND TEARS THE ANDROID'S HEAD OFF. THE HEAD AND BODY TUMBLE DOWN THE MOUNTAINSIDE AWAY FROM THEM AND OUT OF SIGHT.
<Slym> ::turns and starts walkign down the trail again:: We have ground to make up for now.
<Static> ..::Watches Slym blow Flipside's head clear off:: The great Cyclops in action..Never thought I'd see that..::Shakes his head and follows, moving to catch up with Slym:: So what..you the real deal or what?
<Slym> "Cyclops" is not a matter I care to discuss. We might not get there in time to stop War because of this.
<Static> Right..::Frowns:: I can port ahead..maybe stall him, long enough for you guys to get there? ((Meanwhile, trying my best not to rip Genesis' shockin' head off..))
<Slym> No, none of Apocalypse's Horsemen are forces that someone should go up against alone.