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For a while, the children of fallen heroes started to work in the shadows as the new X-Men. Not all that long ago, the latest incarnation of the X-Men was brought down in flames by Division's efforts. Team members captured, Agents killed, Cosmic fire everywhere... It seems as though the days of the X-Men have come and gone once again. Or have they?
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|JONATHAN L. MCKENZIE||
Posted: Jun 29 2018, 10:29 AM
“Do not be foolish.”
He could hear his father’s voice in his head. It was something that he had heard time and time ago, yet it never seemed to sink in. It had come full circle. Jonathan appreciated it and at the same time hated it all at the same time. He wanted to be different. But time and time again he found himself in the same situation.
“I never authorized such endeavors. Subterfuge is beneath me. If I wish something to be done, it is done.”
Jonathan had been sifting through reports for days and yielded no results. The trail was there and yet the steps were cold. He didn’t have time to for this, nor was he willing to clean up what was most certainly a mess of his sister’s creation. They were days away from the meeting with the United Nations and the last thing he needed was everything he had worked for unraveling around him because she wanted to have her fun. Looking off to the horizon, the cresting waves were enough to calm him down in that moment. He needed to be clear-headed. He needed to look towards the bigger picture. Infighting between the two of them would have to wait, as there were more pressing matters at hand.
Stepping forward, he dipped his toes in the water. He could taste the bitter pollutants on his tongue, he could feel them coursing through his veins. The body of water was large enough that they were largely dolluted, having little effect on his well-being, more of an irritant than anything else. This is what they had been reduced to. Meeting in a bay outside of what remained of Chicago. Instead of being home, among his people, he was in this god forsaken settlement with humans who were oblivious to how harmful their very existence was to the ecosystem that they claimed to care for. They meant well, he knew. But sometimes that wasn’t enough, sometimes action was needed to rectify the situation.
Looking at the failing petroleum tanker, he couldn’t help but wonder how it would look sitting in the middle of downtown. What a commotion it would cause. The thought alone brought a soft smile to his face. It was during this wonderful foray into the world of imagination that he was interrupted by the sound of his communication device chirping.
Six have been activated.
The displeasure was palpable. His fingers plucked at the buttons of the wingtip collar, slowly making their way down the satin dress shirt. Within a moment, he had removed it and tossed it into the bay. He had opted not to wear any armor, his bare flesh exposed to the elements. The breeze broke against his skin, bioelectricity sparking off his epidermis in response to the change in temperature.
“Under whose authority?”
As seconds turned into minutes, his patience began to wane. As he went to activate the device once more, a flash of light from the pier across the bay caught his eye. Possibly more foolish youths who hadn’t the comprehension skills to realize that the signs posted around clearly stated that the area was private property. There weren’t many Oracle locations within the midwest, but this was one of the few that wasn’t entirely dilapidated. He began to wade out into the water before entirely vanishing into the breaking waves.
Posted: Jul 1 2018, 11:11 PM
It had been a few weeks since Nick and Rich’s misadventure with the Division agents. He still wasn’t entirely sure why he was wanted, but he was. So was Spider-Man now for being his accomplice. It was only a matter of time before people found him. They hadn’t issued a bounty yet, but he imagined that there would be. Nick idly wondered, not for the first time if this was his father getting back at him for something. Deciding it would be more convenient to turn Nick over to the Feds to get something in return would be the old man’s style.
He looked over at the Scarlet Spider costume partially sticking out of his bag, next to the little tent they had set up. Nick and Rich had been sleeping inside an Oracle warehouse Jonah owned. He knew the government wouldn’t think to look for them there, because the place was owned by the Prince of Atlantis. That never ended well for anyone.
The little scanner he set up mentioned something about Atlantean activity nearby and his interest was piqued. The only activity he’d known about was Erin finding him when Rich was out and that left him sore and bruised.
He found Jonah by the shoreline and nodded to him, a slight stiffness to his gait. “Yeah, I didn’t think it was you.”
The sharp reply only made Nick quietly nod to him. “I didn’t think it was something that you authorized. It seems more like something your sister would pull. And she has been around a couple of times this week.” He licked his split lip. “You’re more of a doer than a sidelines kind of guy. Kind of what I like about hanging around with you. You’re very straightforward. No hiding in the shadows.”
Nick looked at the communicator with interest. “Six what?” It didn’t sound good judging from the tone of voice.
The Atlantean Prince waded into the water and then started to move. Halden rolled his eyes. “I’m not falling for that again. I remembered that I can’t take your fish powers. Though your sister’s would be good right now.” He didn’t have any source to draw from other than Jonah. Hydrokinesis or Spider powers would have been great. Instead, he slipped his web shooters on and aimed for a nearby walkway. He fired a line and pulled himself up until he climbed over the fence, dropping onto the ground and chasing after Jonah.
“Nah, that’s cool. I’ll just run. No worries. Ass.”
|JONATHAN L. MCKENZIE||
Posted: Jul 1 2018, 11:40 PM
Surfacing on the other side of the inlet, he effortlessly pulled himself up onto the rotting dock. The light within one of the warehouses flicked before going out completely. Looking over his shoulder, he watched as Nic scaled the fence and looked to catch up to the best of his current abilities.
“You do know that our friendship is the only reason you currently draw breath, correct?”
Judging by his current physical state, it didn’t seem as though Nic was having the greatest of times. He wasn’t going to ask. It would come up in conversation, one way or another, and it would be dealt with. Such was their friendship. More likely than not, however, the busted lip had been a gift from his dear sister. If that was such the case, it was definitely a conversation Jonathan did not look forward to having.
“It is one thing for you to build your encampment within my holdings. It is an entirely different matter for your guest. Whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting.”
The judgement in his tone was unavoidable. This wasn’t a shanty town, nor would he see it become the wayward home for lost and damned humans or mutants. While operationally nonfunctional, these warehouses more often than not served as safehouses and gathering points for his people sent abroad. This location served as the hub of all of their operations within the area. While the invitation had always been on the table, he was not aware that said invitation had included a clause about guests. Fugitive guests. Not that Nic was any better in his current state, but such exceptions would be made. That didn’t make the position he had been placed in any better.
Luckily for Nic, the lecture would have to wait. As would the conversation about the intelligence leaks that seemed to finding their way to the surface. Jonathan’s focus at that moment in time was on who their unwelcome guest was.
“Do not blame me for shortcomings of your species.”
“It is no fault of mine that you have not adapted more capable abilities.”
It was at that moment that he raised his right hand, extending out a single finger in Nic’s direction. He could feel something, somebody. Their energy was there, but it was muted somehow. Such interference was uncommon but not entirely unheard of. While not without its usefulness on dryland, the technological advancements of humans tended to get in the way of his senses at times. The hum and waves of the generator within the nearby building wasn’t aiding the venture either. Not that he was all that worried by what anyone would find on the surface. As like most Atlantean ventures, what dwelt below was far more enticing.
“If this is your friend, his games are testing my patience.”
Leveling the warehouse seemed like a valid option. Not that there weren't several others on the site to choose from. Explaining the commotion in the middle of the night wouldn’t be too difficult. Late construction. Time finally catching up with the unserviced structures. Hell, training with his guards getting a little too aggressive. With no neighbors for a couple blocks in any direction, there wasn’t much concern.
Posted: Jul 2 2018, 12:05 AM
“Nah, you’re the reason I’m still drawing breath. I tried to fix that problem. You saved me. We weren’t even friends. I owe you a life debt or something now.”
Halden was moving a little faster now that his muscles were warming up. He still wished he had an actual power. He wondered, not for the first time, if he could use Jonah’s bioelectricity to surf along the metal fence. Nick shook his head. That was ridiculous. Then he winced as his Atlantean friend mentioned the presence of Rich.
“Jonah, I would not have brought him along if it weren’t necessary. We were living in the same place when we were attacked. I promise that we will move on as quickly as we can. You know that I don’t do this lightly. Especially knowing what a position it puts you in. I’m just trying to call some favors to get us some place more permanent. I’ll introduce you both soon.”
The impending lecture was not unexpected and Nick knew he had not cleared it with Jonah, but he couldn’t abandon Ricky any more than he could any of his other friends. Loyalty to others was important. He figured that maybe he could get some help from his Morlock contacts and a more permanent place to hide, but first they needed to let the heat die down a bit.
“I blame you because your gifts are not the ones I want. Learn to have better powers I can steal. You--” The young man’s speech cut off at the signal from Jonah. He immediately drew on the Atlantean’s bio-electric powers and shook his head in a way that couldn’t be missed. Rich wasn’t due back for a few hours and he wouldn’t come this way.
|EVA V. RENFROE||
Posted: Jul 8 2018, 12:01 AM
'It was temporary.
This was temporary.'
It was the mantra she kept repeating to herself when she found her mind drifting to the status of her working relationship with Nicholas Halden.
The distraction was nice, but he was in over his head and Eva had drowned enough innocents clawing her way out of the depths. She wasn't about to rationalize hurting anyone who didn't have it coming. That chapter of her life was buried. She had managed to keep things from him for a lot longer than was socially acceptable. They almost made it to the two month mark before he pulled a move and pressed for more than just a moment of skin to skin contact. Eva could keep her shit together when she saw it coming. If she kept the exchange at the respective doorstep stayed light and brief, the burn was likened to a minor alkali exposure and mended in a day or two. Outwardly, her skin might pink a little, but the true damage didn't set in until he was long gone and she was alone and able to apply a cold compress to the effected area.
The night that Nick put all of the pieces together hadn't been entirely regrettable. Up until the involuntary shuddering of her chest and the forcible shove for him to stop with the kissing and over the clothes stimulus, Eva had kept up the guise that her limited tolerance for touch was psychosomatic. What followed came in the form of a few more burns, some shouting, and a hard right cross with the prosthetic fist across Nicholas' jaw. The talking part didn't go smoothly. "Vivian" scrimped out the truth only when she had no other option and it was clear that if Mr. Halden didn't continue to pursue this, she would have walked permanently. She tried, really tried to make it work without the aid of Division's latest pharmaceutical; Rativant. She'd helped develop the drug, she knew that it came with side effects and depending on her supplier, strings.
Merek was a fringe ally. When she was still the head of her department, he was a primary focus patient. That gave him preferential treatment options to try and cure him of the ailment of which he suffered. Felix Merek was an immortal who wasn't happy about the inability to die, and he was more than willing-eager even, to offer up his body for beta testing to correct the ailment. She'd stayed in the know on current events and had become privy to his promotion to headmaster at The Institute. It wasn't difficult to track him down and get him alone somewhere within the city where Division wasn't keeping tabs. He confirmed that the popular rumour about her status was dead. She agreed to continue her research on fixing his physical ailment, and in exchange Merek had promised to try and work on getting her a few months worth of the x-factor suppressant. He had said he just needed time. But now that Nick's apartment had been raided by a M.C.E.A. team, she was wondering if her cover hadn't been blown.
It was just plain luck that Eva hadn't been there when the tear gas and zip lines played prequel to the squad of mutant control enforcement agents. Her day had been consumed with work for the Morlocks and then a status update for Castle. He hadn't appreciated the intel she had for trade regarding his biological family. He also didn't appreciate being put in the position to ask Antigone Stark for a favour. Renfroe hadn't put all of her eggs into one basket in regard to gleaning a new 'aesthetically perfect' prosthetic arm, but Max had been the one to put her back into play in the city so he was the supplier she was tapping first. Much like the inquiry with Merek, it wasn't something that could be acquired overnight. The psychos that had lopped off her arm and changed her DNA had done their homework on how to truly fuck someone over.
"No games, just dropping off a care package." Eva nodded at Glitch as she walked out of the seclusion of a shadowed entryway with a toolbox clutched in her hand. Under her arm was tucked a manila envelope and a box of sterile gloves. "I have a few things I need to see to, but I wanted to make sure you weren't in need of some medical attention. Also I don't know how long I'll be be gone, so I wanted to let you know that if you get into a pinch, I've given Sonny a heads up that you are allowed to tap my account with the Morlocks. -I know you're good for it." There was more, but Eva wasn't about to get all sentimental around the infamous egomaniac, Jonathan Mckenzie.
|JONATHAN L. MCKENZIE||
Posted: Jul 13 2018, 09:28 PM
The deliverance was cold, nor did Jonathan give her the benefit of a glance. Instead, he simply looked at Nic with eyes aflame. This was not the person he was expecting, nor was it something that he wished to tolerate for any exorbitant amount of time. This was not something he could simply sweep under the rug, especially now with a former member of Division parading about the grounds. There would be questions, investigations, and ultimately he knew such an event would reach his father’s circle. More so, he knew that they’d reach Erin. Even if she didn’t manage to work the information of Nic, she had her ways. More likely than not she had somebody inside his own entourage.
It should have bothered him, but it didn’t. Her network at its uses from time to time, even it meant a breach of his own personal space. While not fond of the idea, he was fairly certain was not wrong. But such things would have to wait for another time. There had already been a series of messages relied to his device, none of which sounded very pleasant. This wasn’t something that had gone unnoticed.
“You have a total of five minutes to sort out your affairs.”
The offer was just, given the current circumstance. Even allowing that much time was a risk he wouldn’t normally have taken. But he knew the friendship with Halden was clouding his judgement on the matter. While he wasn’t much older, he felt as though they were miles apart when it came to understand and adapting to the world around them. More so, he was somewhat puzzled as to how he had come into the acquaintance of Doctor Renfroe. Definitely a conversation for another moment, but surely not one that would be avoided. No. This was not the kind of information that Jonathan would allow to simply slip through the cracks. He couldn’t, even if he wanted to.
He couldn’t afford to look weak. Not with everything that was going on and certainly not with his sister biting at his heels. More so, this was one of the last functional sites in the area. Its loss was something that would impact their operations moving forward. That was something that just couldn’t come to pass.
“Your friend needs to be gone before then.”
Breaking away from the two, he wasted very little time as he dove into Lake Michigan and continued downwards. Strong strokes carrying him downward as he approached the vessel submerged beneath the rundown pier. As he approached, a rush of bubbles met him followed by a hiss. The doors had opened, breaking the seal and allowing the prince to board. He was greeted almost instantly by two Atlanteans, both standing a solid head taller than Jonathan, their blue-tinted skin a stark contrast to his own. They both were clad in ceremonial armor similar to his own, but the rifles on their sides looked far less ornamental. Jonathan passed by the men without giving them notice, barking orders as he faded into the darkness.
“Monitor the situation. When the time is up, remove her by force if necessary. Do not harm the young man.”
While fairly certain that such extremes would not be necessary, the line in the sand had to be drawn. Friendship or not. if Nic was going to be staying there this wasn't going to turn into his home for the lost and the damned. Jonathan had more important things to deal with than whatever nonsense the two of them had going on.