Summary: Jean and Logan seek out Zandra to see if she knows anything about the mysterious young man who appeared at the rally. But things quickly go south with Scalphunter and Scrambler appear!
Location: Morningside Heights - New York
Rating: PG-13 for Violence.
It is late afternoon and Zan is in a coffee shop not too far from Columbia campus. She looks half asleep as she sits at her table, a steaming cup of chai sitting in front of her along with a ton of papers listing dates, long winded names and artists. Art history class sucks!
Out side it's a dismal day, over cast and humid. It's even threatening to rain.
About an hour ago, Jean requested that Logan accompany her into the city. She didn't balk or argue when it was decided they would take his bike; truth be told, she loves to ride on the back of the bike, and she clung tightly to him the whole way.
Despite motorcycle-rides not being ideal for trying to hold a conversation, that's not a very big hurdle for a telepath. On the way there, she explained to him her reason for going: she wanted to try to find the blue-haired mutant girl she'd already run into a few times, and who had also been at the FoH rally. Oddly enough, though, she doesn't have any sort of coordinates from Cerebro -- a curiosity she did not wish to explain beyond not wishing to bother the Professor with it. No, instead, she's trying to track down the girl on her own. And as they pull up near the coffee shop, Jean taps Logan on the shoulder. "I think... yes, I definitely think she's around here. She's close."
When Jean approached Logan about searching for a certain mutant, he didn't question her, or hesitate to oblige joining her on this hunt. After bike riding down to Manhattan, and being telepathically filled in on the details, its not long before he receives that tap on his shoulder. There's a small nod in acknowledgement towards Jean's words as he pulls the motorcycle to the curb nearby and cuts the engine. Still sitting, he turns to look back towards the redhead behind him and asks, "Got a pinpoint or just a general feel that she's around here somewhere?"
Zandra yawns loudly and stretches her arms up over her head. She peers down at her notes and the sketches scrawled there. Winged Victory of Samothrace 190 BC. Kouros Anavissos 530 BC. She makes a face. She glances down at her bracelets and ponders etching some of the names and dates down on them. "Ah.. such tempations.." she murmurs to herself.
"Gimme a second." Resting her hands on Logan's shoulders to steady herself, Jean closes her eyes and reaches out with her mind. Nope, nope, nope. Old guy, homeless woman, student student student... ah-ha. "There." Opening her eyes, Jean turns her head towards the coffee shop. "She's in there." She keeps her hands on Logan's shoulders until she's dismounted from the bike, lest she fall and bust her rear.
Logan would help Jean with tracking the mutant down, but without any incling on what she smells like, all he could do is rely on her abilities instead. As Jean closes her eyes and mentally tries to pinpoint the location of the mutant, his gaze shifts from one passing pedestrian to another, watching people as they walk past the two, and keeping an eye out for any that seem to sport blue hair. When she opens her eyes and indicates towards the coffee shop, he nods silently and dismounts the bike after Jean, then allowing her to take the lead towards the shop.
Zandra sits up abruptly, her eyes narrowing. Something.. feels off. somethings really. She takes a sip of her chai. No it's not that she's under caffinated. She looks out the cafe's window, peering out towards the street and the people passing by. Her gaze lingers on the redhead and the wild haired man on the motorcycle.
Jean pulls open the door to the shop and holds it for Logan, offering him a grin in the process. "After you, sir," she teases, motioning him inside with a flourish. Once they're in, she pauses to scan the interior. It doesn't take long to spot Zandra -- blue isn't a particularly common hair color -- and glances over at Logan. Undoubtedly, he had already spotted her, too. Taking the lead once more, she makes her way over to the blue-haired mutant's table.
The closer the two get to Zandra's position, the more that Logan feels - something. He can't really describe it, but already doesn't like it. His face draws a serious grim line and his hands balls into fists, as though preparing for a fight, or trying to internally still himself against the strange feeling of tingling within his bones. While he doesn't voice this discomfort towards Jean, he's certain that she could tell either by mind probe or just seeing how his body language went from relaxed to tense within a few seconds flat. He enters the shop first and upon seeing the blue hair, a glance is tossed towards Jean. "You know what this kid can do?" Comes out in a gruff tone towards her. "'Cause I gotta feelin' I know..."
Zandra arches a brow at the woman and the short man. In fact she blatantly stares at Logan for a few moments. Interesting. She's seen the lady before of course, but each time she's been around other.. unusual people. Once Jean and Logan are at her table she speaks up . ".... so.. I guess.. I oughta thank you and yer..other friend for helpin' out with the ghost idiots the other day.." she says softly. She's a bit nervous, since she's not quite sure why Jean is here. And frankly a guy with metal bones and blades in his arms is pretty freaky too.
Jean returns Logan's glance, her brows arching. "Telekinesis, I think," she replies. She does quick, mental review of what she's seen Zandra do: throw cars and robots, cause some lights to explode -- all things that Jean, herself, can do. But... pieces all into place, and the waves she's getting off of Logan confirm her new suspicions, causing her to grimace. Stupid, stupid. "I'm sorry, Logan," she murmurs to him. "I'm so stupid, I shouldn't have asked you to come along." Because all those things? Metal, or electric. The girl has magnetism powers. Coming up to the table, she offers Zandra a faint, if sincere, smile. "Hi. You don't owe me any thanks, really. If anything, I should be apologizing; if I hadn't decided to be mischievous, they probably wouldn't have noticed you." She offers a hand. "I'm Jean."
"S'fine," Logan starts lowly towards Jean. But mentally, he notes towards her, "If she tries anything stupid, especially with me, I'm not gonna be held responsible." Its not a question of a matter, its a statement. After approaching the table, he allows Jean and the girl to speak, not offering an introduction of his own, and not taking his eyes off of the blue haired woman yet.
Zandra pushes the other chairs at the table back with her feet, inviting them to sit. "... maybe..maybe not.. I think that device they had was picking me up anyway.. " she says softly and then after a moment of concentraition takes Jean's hand to shake. "... I'm Zan.. so... is this another random crossin' of paths?" she asks.
((I won't allow her to try anything with you.» Jean replies to Logan, her mental 'tone' quite protective. Funny, she brought him along to watch her back, but it looks like the tables may have gotten turned. Accepting the unspoken invitation, Jean eases herself down into one the chairs. "Not really random, no. You were at the counter-protest." She, personally, didn't notice Zan, but Jean noticed her when she was poking at Scott's memory of the event. He most certainly saw her. Reaching into her pocket, Jean pulls out a carefully folded piece of yellow legal pad. Unfolding it, she sets it down on the table in front of Zan. There is a sketch of a young, black man with an 'M' over one of his eyes. He is wearing an unseasonable sweater. "Do you remember seeing this man at the protest? Maybe before we got there?"
Taking an offered seat besides Jean, Logan continues to be quiet, letting the two women converse as his eyes flick from Zandra to that pad with the sketch on it that Jean just laid on the table. He doesn't really have much to add to the conversation, so he's just playing the role of the grumpy gruff unhappy man.
Zandra looks at Logan and smirks. "I ain't gunna do nuthin'.." she says, as if to put him at ease. Of course that is under the condition they don't start anything either. "Mmm.. don't think so.. " she says as she studies the sketch. "Why? " she asks, her brow creasing with concern. "..I was warned there was some trouble.. of sorts.. that thankfully it got resolved.. "
"He's someone that I'm looking for, is all. Just unsure as to where to start looking." Or what his name is. Or where he's from. Sigh. Taking the paper back, she folds it back up and returns it to her pocket. She steals a glance at Logan to make he's alright, then returns her attention to Zan. "You're a student?" She nods towards the books on the table.
While Jean and Zan discuss the rally some one else has taken note of them in the coffee shop. A man stands atop a near by rooftop and he points his hand. The strange armor over his body shifts, creating a laser pistol. He aims, a wicked smile upon his face. He'll subdue Jean first.. then Logan. He isn't too concerned about damaging either. Sinister has his ways of getting what he wants no matter the condition of the victim. There is no warning, not even one of those red dots when the first beam shoots through the window toward's Jean's shoulder. ZOT!!
The attack happens so quickly, that Jean has no time to toss up a telekinetic shield. Not that it would do /anything/ to protect her from a laser shot. Telekinesis is less than useless against lasers, unfortunately. She cries out as pain lances through her shoulder and slumps against the table. Ow. /Ow/. Of all the X-Men, she is -- physically -- the most fragile. And that /hurts/.
Logan concentrates on the conversation at hand, but something in his peripheral vision catches his eye. Its a bright small light, and before he could go through the process of putting the thoughts together as to what that light means, Jean's already hit and is now slumping over the table. "Jean!" Comes out in a gruff voice that is full of concern as Logan quickly jumps from his seat to try and see if she's alright. Instinct tells him to pop his claws, but he doesn't since they're in public - at least not yet. A dark stabbing glance is offered towards Zandra as the short man suddenly growls in her direction, "Knew this was no good."
Zandra yikes and you'd better believe she's under the table no time flat. "What the hell?!! " she glowers at Logan "I didn't do tha-" but before she can finish her equally grumpy sentiments another volley of red laser shoots into the coffee shop. People are already fleeing or jumping under tables. There also plenty of obligitory shouts and screams as the man on the roof top continues to shoot, laughing with a good deal of amusement. Logan is the next target and the majority of the beams arc towards him.
"I'm fine, Logan." She doesn't sound fine, but it looks like it's only a flesh wound. A slightly smoking flesh wound, but it's not bleeding too terribly bad, which means nothing vital was hit. "Go. He's on the roof." Despite the pain, she's already mentally located their attacker. Such measures have been drilled into her; she couldn't call herself an X-Man if she let a little thing like a shoulder wound take her out completely.
Before Logan moves away from Zandra and Jean, more lights can be seen if anyone were to be looking. Its a split second reaction, but Logan looks up at where Jean indicates, and that's where he sees the lights being focused upon himself. Quickly, he tries to move and dodge out of the way, especially to get away from Jean and Zandra with those blasts being aimed at him. Still, those lasers successfully cut through his flesh as he tries to get out of the way. Oh, it hurts, but pain is something that Logan is used to. He settles for crouching behind the main counter in the coffee shop, wincing in pain. "Get out of here," he sharply calls out towards Jean. Despite the five or so holes burned through his clothes and skin where they hit, the bleeding and seared flesh doesn't seem to last for long as Logan's healing factor already kicks in to start mending those burns.
Even with the pain and wounds, he still doesn't expose his claws. A quick glance is offered towards Jean before he moves again, this time ducking out of the shop and dashing to get to that rooftop where those men with the laser weapons were standing.
Zandra glances at Jean but doesn't poke her head up yet. "Geezus..does insanity follow you people or something?!" she mutters. "I swear if I'd know this city was so violent I woulda chosen a different state!"
Outside Scalphunter smiles as Logan takes the bait. He shoots afew more times towards Jean and Zan's position, knowing it'll take a few minutes for Logan to cross the busy street and climb up the side of the building, or run up the stairs. His other arm shifts, changing as the techno armor forms yet another laser device, this time a canon. He aims at Logan as he comes into view. VOOOOMMMM!! a good 4 inches worth of laser energy leaps out, seeking to blast the canadian.
"Pretty much." Jean flips over a table for cover as more shots are fired towards her and Zan. "You should take cover, Zan. This isn't your fight. He's after us." She managed to pick that much up from his mind. Once Logan has left the building and the shots fired at her have ceased, she risks a glance above the edge of the table. All clear.
Following the letter, if not the spirit, of orders seems to be her thing this week. She does get out of there, as Logan told her to... just not really what he had in mind. She sprints for the front door and dashes outside, immediately taking cover behind a car. "Alright, jerk... let's see how you like getting blasted." Reaching out with her mind, Jean searches for the shooter... and when she finds his brain-pattern, she begins her own assault. This, of course, leaves her pretty much undefended for the moment.
It does take some time for Logan to reach the building and then scale the fire escape up. Once he reaches the top of the building, the claws come out, and that's when he sees both Scalphunter and that new laser machine pointed straight at him. Immediately, he quickly backpedals to the fire escape to try and get out of the way of the laser. With a sigh, he mutters darkly, "Great..." But the moment that laser blast finishes, he quickly pushes forward, hoping he has enough time between discharges to swipe at that canon device to try and render it useless before swiping his claws at the Scalphunter himself.
Zandra frowns "Whoa.. wait, are you nuts don't go out there! " she shouts to Jean. She frowns and peers up over the table to see Jean rushing outside. On the roof Scalphunter abruptly faulters from the psionic attack. However another person is ambling down the sidewalk in street clothes. There is no reason at all for any one to think he's anything but some one rushing for cover. But as he gets close to Jean he reaches out to grab her by the shoulder. His gift? to distrupt the systems of men, mutant, machines. In this case he seeks to knock her out.
Up on the roof top Logan has a perfect opportunity to attack. The claws slash through the metal-machine armor, leaving deep grooves in the armor and even reaching some of the flesh underneith. "Aaiieee!"
What's another person running for cover? Jean is aware of the man, but her energy and attention are focused on helping Logan by mentally blasting Scalphunter up on the roof. So when the man reaches over to grab her shoulder... damn. Her eyes go wide and she manages a sharp, surprised intake of breath before Scrambler's mutant abilities do their dirty work. Her nervous system disrupted, she slumps into unconsciousness.
Up on that rooftop, Logan is too busy trying to keep Scalphunter from pressing on another attack. His movements are quick, and the swipes with his claws are even quicker as he tries to attack the man, dodge, and go back with another melee'd swipe. The man doesn't even notice that Jean goes down, let alone the fact that she was trying to help him out at all. It's only when he tries to seek out her mind to send a message, that he gets no response and realizes that something is wrong. Now, while trying to fight off the man on the rooftop, he tries to spare any moment he can to glance down at the streets to look for any glimpse of Jean, and even goes as far as to sniff the air to see if he can discern her scent being nearby or not.
Scalp hunter might have gone down if not for the fact he too has certain regenerative traits. His sheilding buffs up upon his arms as he parrys and blocks the Canadian's swings. Parts of armor and mechanical do dads are sheered off. The Native however is not all about the defense. He is not as old as Logan, but he's old enough to learn how to fight, and fight damn well. He seeks out an opening and when Logan does spare that look for Jean he pulls a knife from his boot and throws it, aiming for Logan's stomach, below the protection of the rib cage. Meanwhile down below Scrambler is picking up Jean and flopping her over his shoulder.
Zan stares. "Oh hell no! " she shouts and pops up. The bumper of a car abruptly is ripped off and it slams into Scrambler's legs. She's about to do more when she suddenly blinks and slumps to the floor.
That opening costs Logan as that knife aims for his belly. If his attention was fully on his enemy, he would have caught the move, but that wasn't the case. The pain is sharp and sudden as nothing but the hilt can be seen protruding from his stomach. The reaction though? Logan growls lowly against the pain his nerve endings scream against. Yet, that doesn't stop him even as a small amount of blood starts to trickle from his mouth. The blood is spat against the ground before he pulls the blade from his stomach and the large bloodied wound there. Once the blade is tossed onto the ground, he then hears Zandra's words below and quickly looks over his shoulder at the street below him. The man knows when there are battles that are just over his head. So, he turns back towards the fire escape and quickly swings down from it to head back to the street level to deal with Scrambler who just knocked out both Zandra and Jean. The taste and scent of the blood start to get to Logan at this point, though. The words can be spared for later. Right now, he snarls lowly as the mutant's eyes lock onto the man, before he charges him, claws extended... Which is more than likely going to one of the worst decisions he's made in a long time.
Indeed. It's always a bad idea to turn your back on a still standing enemy. Scalphunter pulls armor bits from his legs and lower body, forming two automatic guns. He begins to shoot, the shifted pieces of his armor becomming the projectiles. BADDBADDABADDABADDA!!!
Meanwhile Scrambler is untangling himself from Jean and the car bumper. In the far distance the sounds of sirens can be heard.
As Wolverine attacks Scrambler tries to roll to the side and attempts to pat Logan on on the outstretched arm, attempting to short out Logan too.
The sudden gunfire from behind slows down the feral mutant's charge as he howls out in pain with each bullet that slices and pierces through his skin. The barrage comes too fast and it dampens Logan's healing factor from mending the wound at his stomach. The man's mind starts to reel under the pain, soon bringing him near that breaking point of his - which he's thankfully not at yet. Once Logan reaches Scrambler though, he swipes at the man in a dizzying and unbalanced swing that is uncharacteristic for himself, and its not hard for the man to get his touch in and cause Logan to quickly fade into an unconscious heap with both Jean and Zandra.
With all the would be heros down and out Scalphunter and Scanner grab Jean, hop into a van and drive away! It isn't long after that however that Logan wakes up and limps off, disappearing. Zandra wakes up about 5 minutes later with a terrible headache. Finding herself alone she jumps out the broken window and runs off. The red head and the guy on the bike are gone.. and all she can think of is the terrible laughter she heard in her head.