Friends Lost
Roleplaying Log: Friends Lost
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani and Carolus plan next steps to determine what exactly happened to Warren and Alison.

Other Characters Referenced: Warren Worthington and Alison Blaire
IC Date: October 23, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Oct 2019 17:51
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

To say the world is shocked over the death of Warren Worthington and Alison Blaire is an understatement.

Quite a few news sites and new stations have picked up the story and ran with it. Along with the more reputable news sites comes the less savory types; gossip magazines and gab rags.

Instead of running at a steady pace (like those news stations) and offering somewhat intelligent headlines, the gab rags go hog-wild -

LOVER'S QUARREL TURNS DEADLY

THE DAZZLER DEAD

JEALOUS PLAYBOY TURNED KILLER

It doesn't matter that these deplorable sounding headlines are all untrue, they approved and printed.

For those closer to Warren and Alison, the death of the two is probably felt much more keenly.

For Danielle Moonstar it definitely is so.

Upon hearing that news the Cheyenne woman stopped everything she was doing, shocked and shaken.

Moonstar can't say for certain how much time passed before she finally moved again, but surely it was awhile. After all, she was waiting to wake from what was obviously a dream - nightmare - and it took some time for the realization to hit her that this was indeed the waking world.

Only after that shock wore off (kind of) did the woman snap back to herself and with that awareness returned to her, Moonstar finally moved.

Which leads us to the now for Danielle Moonstar.

The woman reaches far and wide to her net of people and databases and information. She pulls upon her SHIELD connections for the police report, for video, for anything she might be able to get her hands upon. Only after she has some of that information does she reach out to people next.

First to Kiff.

Then to Roberto.

Now finally to Carolus.

Carolus' message is straight forward, to the point, short.

// I need you to drop everything and meet me as soon as possible. //

Only after she touches the screen to send the message does Moonstar swipe back to her contacts list. She looks at the neat and orderly list of names to see if there's anyone else she should notify. Should call upon. Should reach out for help and for now, the answer is no.

Not yet.

It's only after Carolus answers that text from Dani does further information come to light. Like where he needs to go, because it's not the school, it's the actual X-Base. Directions to the base are given and then also instructions on just where she's specifically located at within the base.

The Mission Room.

Where all the mission briefs happen, where the team decides upon the next course of action, where all the serious decisions occur.

And while there is seats for dozens of X-Men only one person waits within that room right now. Danielle Moonstar. She stands at the head of the table, her arms crossed. Her expression is tight as she stares at a holographic project that hovers over the table.

To note, once within the room itself the temperature can be found to be cold. A bitter chill that sweeps through the room, touching cold fingers upon everything. It leaves the table and chairs cold, walls and floors chilled and the air sharp.


Okay. Be right there. Fair warning:
Currently feeling pretty paranoid.
I'm not going anywhere without a third party knowing I'm out and about.

Which isn't to say that Carolus Sinclair was about to tell anybody about the secret mountain base, but still. There was enough conspiracy stuff going on to warrant an extra layer of security. He was actually on the tail end of purchasing several spare burners when he got the message from Moonstar.

When Carolus turns up he looks… surprisingly well put-together, but tired. His clothes are a little too rumpled-looking for something actually fresh, and he has the distinct air of a young adult who really hasn't slept properly but can keep it together because their body still thinks that it's thoroughly invincible. Who needs to eat real food and get eight hours of sleep anyway?

A part of him wishes that it was under different circumstances, even as he walks through the halls of the facility towards where Danielle said she was. Being exposed to the base beneath the mansion was awe-inspiring back during the invasion, even with events being what they were. There was a certain energy to what was going on that was different, then. A… you-can-do-something-about-it vibe.

A lack of finality, in spite of an overwhelming reality. But it was a reality that they could stand up and push back against. This isn't like that. It was as if some colossus in the sky had slammed a gavel in a vast courtroom, and taken leave of the room shortly after. All that was left to put up the chairs and tables, and lock up.

"Empty chairs at empty tables…" Carolus sings to himself, his voice dying away as he presses into the mission room. The cold of the room elicits a twitch of antennae, but causes no real discomfort. He's a flyer— he can cope with lower temperatures than most people can. There's a certain comfort to it that strikes him as appropriate, given the inevitable subject matter.

He fishes something out of a satchel hanging at his side, sliding it along the table with unnecessary drama.

"Burner phone with the number of two of my other burner phones in it." He explains, striding up to the head of the table and pausing at the nearest lefthand seat. Carolus deposits his satchel on the ground, leaning on the back of the chair and looking at the projection.

"What happens next?" He asks, dully. There's no point in how-do-you-dos. The answer is, 'Bad, thanks, how are you?', and that really could just go on for a while.


While Dani doesn't respond to his text about paranoia, she can't blame him.

The world just revealed something they all knew, though never like to admit. That no one is safe from Death.

It's only when Carolus steps into the Mission Room that Moonstar's gaze finally refocuses on something other than the holoprojection.

Automatically she catches the burner phone that Carolus slid across the table at her and almost idly, she turns it over in her hand. Then she tucks the phone into a pocket, "I suppose we should all take the necessary steps to be careful."

While her voice isn't dull like Carolus' it does hold a tone to it. Mostly a flatness that leaches out all emotion except a harshness that puts an edge to all her words.

That sharpness only amplifies with Carolus' next question.

What happens next?

It's a question that's echoed in her own head and everytime she asks herself that the answer is always the same. Always. The. Same.

"We figure out what the hell happened."

With those words of hers Moonstar touches the tabletop, or more specifically the controls for the holoprojector. The image that floated there moments before disappears and changes to what looks to be some sort of records. Police records. Crime scene reports to be quite specific.

"Tell me what you know, before I get into what I know and then we'll meet somewhere in the middle." And when she removes her tips from the controls small patches of frost line the table in the exact shape and size of the tips of her fingers. Those ice crystals stay there longer than what they should, but eventually they fade from view.


"Maybe. I'd rather look stupid and not need it than the alternative." Carolus says, shrugging faintly about the burner phone. He's got at least one target painted on his back at the moment, and maybe up to three. Doesn't hurt to be careful.

He makes a mental note to consider some kind of relocation in the near future. But man is he going to miss his apartment if that becomes necessary.

Moonstar's answer draws out a firm and approving nod.

"I spoke with Warren a little under two weeks ago. He wasn't in the best way, but he was better. Making tentative plans, but plans all the same. I pointed out that Alison didn't seem so good, and he was surprised about it. Seemed to be inclined to do something about it, having failed to notice before a stranger."

Both right hands drum idly against the side of the chair Carolus is leaning against, "If he was going to kill himself, he wouldn't have done it this way. But I think you and I are both agreed that he wasn't in that state of mind anymore. Maybe immediately after he was released, but— not once he'd been out and about a little while. Revisited the Institute. So I was fairly confident right away that the murder-suicide bit was bunk."

"I called Kiff and asked some questions," He continues, "both bodies disappeared during an electrical disturbance that I would be willing to bet money had something to do with that substance we found in Jersey. Which has some disturbing implications in itself, but might be reaching. The whole thing is being kept quiet, but funeral plans are on hold and I imagine everyone involved who doesn't have a personal stake is running CYA protocols."

"Kiff thinks that Cecilia LeFrak and her son stand to gain the most from Warren's death, having been pushing to oust him from his position in Worthington Industries. Other members of the board were pushing against it." He stops drumming on the chair, "And while I /would/ follow the money and the path of most resistance, my opinion is that we should take a good long look at whatever the path of least resistance is here, too."

He heaves a heavy sigh and concludes, "Kiff doesn't buy the murder-suicide, either. I'd say he's in danger and should be watched, but I'm not so sure. It depends on how tricky an enemy we're dealing with here."


"Best to be safe." Agrees the Cheyenne when Carolus offers up the explanation for the burner phones.

After all, she understands just how crazy all of their lives can be, even if she doesn't know specifics for Carolus.

Anything more that could be said isn't, not once Carolus begins his debrief of everything he's found out to date. While her expression stays relatively closed off there are several points where she looks away to frown, in either thoughtfulness or something else.

"I agree." She finally says, her gaze back upon Carolus, "He seemed to be acclimating better to his loss." Meaning the loss of his wings, Moonstar still struggles to say those words out loud, even with Warren and Ali 'dead'.

"I would never have thought he'd take this step and, at the very least, he would never have inflicted this on Ali."

After saying that, Moonstar falls briefly silent. Thankfully, Carolus has more to say and at the mention of Kiff, and Cecilia, and everything else, the de-facto leader of the X-Men tucks the ragged edge of her emotions back behind that mask.

She uses the cold that rises up inside of her to blunt and dull their sharp edges.

"Yes, I learned of their bodies disappearance too. The electrical disturbance was a supposed power surge, which is possible, but something seems too convenient with that. I pulled corresponding security footage from other cameras on nearby businesses and found absolutely nothing on them. Whoever took the bodies was obviously good. Likely a professional. Which prompts the question of - why do they want their bodies? What can be gained by stealing them?"

A question to ponder for sure, but first Moonstar continues with, "I agree that Kiff is likely in danger, but we have to be careful on how to handle it. I doubt he'll leave his post either, he's not the sort, but we can potentially give him something to help him should he find himself in a sticky position."

"And while Warren's relatives did have the most to gain, I'm not sure I see them stooping to the level of murder. Not that I'd put anything past anyone at this point."

"I think we should follow the money, but let's not only focus on that. We need to follow all trails. Especially with what we found at Meta-Biologic Waste Solutions."

The crime scene report, which details that Warren shot Alison in the head and then shot himself in the heart, is swiped aside. It's replaced by a picture of several metal fragments, familiar fragments. They came from the creatures (they weren't people at that point) that attacked them. "I ran some analysis upon the metal pieces we were able to bring back. I don't think I'd classify them as metal, but something more."

The projection lists out the various things discovered about that inert metal.

"That same sort of metal was found within Warren's wings and when I run it against our database of mutants and powers it flags as something similar to one of our own. Warlock - an alien being composed of a techonogical organic body."

"Now the question remains how does this all fit together."

Because in Dani's mind it has to fit together. These just can't be random coincidences. They can't, because if they are Dani might just lose it all.


"We are in agreement, then," Carolus says, "that this is an elaborate murder rather than a murder-suicide." This seems merely to be a confirmation of the direction of the conversation, rather than something that he considers to be truly in question. They both know the score here, as ugly as it is.

Privately, he's glad that such an understanding is so uniform between those he's spoken to about this. He really thought he might've been grasping at straws like a lunatic.

Regarding Warren's relatives, he waves his two right hands lightly and takes a seat at the table, "I do not disagree and you would more than likely have more familiarity with their characters than I would. I would even go so far as to suggest that they are convenient cover for a more competent actor. All the same, it is best not to discard possibilities out of hand altogether for now. Possible, plausible, probable. That's all that really matters until we have more information."

"By the way," Carolus gestures loosely at the hologram, "it may be a nonstarter, but if you can get me access to the crime scene I might be able to observe some things that others wouldn't. I'm no CSI, but people tend to focus their clean-up efforts on things that would be noticed by other people like them. That might not be the case with this enemy, but we might get lucky. On the other hand, we might just draw attention to ourselves. Your call on whether it's worth pursuing."

He lapses into silence a small while, reading the analysis of the metal. His wings issue a small buzz, vibrating against his back about midway through the explanation.

"Alison was held up at the airport during the amputation. The foreign material was targeted at Warren's wings. There was a rushjob on disposing of the wings that was not successfully accomplished, but it was Warren's doctor who insisted on it, and insisted on a specific disposal vector." The moth man taps a finger against his cheek, "Given present information I think the doctor attending Warren is more involved than we previously expected… or at the very least understood more of what was going on than he let on."

"There's one more thing," he lets both hands fall to the table, "and it's that if this was set into motion at the hospital or earlier, every step of it requires the people responsible to either be completely unobtrusive elements in Warren's life, proxies of the same, or possess abilities that allow them to come and go unnoticed and unremarked. Unless the bear introduced this material to Warren at the same time as it damaged his wings, somebody had to be able to do it without raising any sort of alarm."


An elaborate murder.

Murder.

Carolus says the word out loud and it in that way it makes it seem even more real. More concrete.

It brings an extra coldness to the already chilly room.

"Yes, we are definitely in agreement." Are her only words to that bold statement of Carolus', then it's onward to everything else the two have brought to the table.

"I agree that we need all the information we can get. Something connects this all together, I know it. We just can't see it yet, but it's there." Moonstar states, before she frowns at the timeline Carolus' speaks aloud; Alison delayed, the wings amputated, the doctor. "We'll need to speak with Dr. Stuart as soon as possible. If he's not an accomplice then he was duped into assisting whoever did this. We'll need to get a run down of everything he did, everyone he spoke with and everything he approved for Warren. Once we have that information we can add to what we already know and see where it leads us. Damnit, we should have talked to him before going to the biological waste disposal company."

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

"Also, yes I can get us into the crime scene." She says as she addresses one of his earlier points, "It won't necessarily be through official or proper channels, but as long as we don't disturb anything no one will be the wiser."

The mention of the Bear possibly introducing this particular substance into Warren's wings bring an immediate head shake from the woman. "No, the Bear was completely magical, not technological. I can say with almost complete certainty that it wasn't the Bear who put that in his wings." She hesitates now for a moment, before she adds, "There's a connection that exists between the bear and I. If it were still here I'd have sensed it."

Then it's back to the real topic at hand, "You should also know the gun that was used for the murder was reigstered to Warren. Specifically for his concealed carry permit. Whomever did this had access to that as well. I suppose you could make the argument that he or she found it within the apartment and used it in that opprotune moment, but I can't say I believe that. Both Warren and Alison are -" She should really say were, but no she can't and so, Dani doesn't correct herself just yet, "- mutants. Alongside that they've been trained in combat and various fighting techniques. We should keep in mind that the people responsible for this has the power, or the means, to take both of them down powered and all. We have to be careful."

"Tomorrow I plan on visiting the scene, I'll drop a text for when I go so we can meet up. In the meantime I'm going to task you with tracking down Dr. Stuart and grilling him for whatever information he knows. If you feel comfortable take your Spider friend with you for back-up. I don't want any of us doing this investigation alone. I'll be damned if we lose anyone else."


"Talking with Dr. Stuart prior to gaining information on the wings probably wouldn't yield useful results. We wouldn't know what buttons to press. Now we can reasonably intuit that, if he wasn't complicit in much worse, he probably understood that something dangerous was going on with the wings." Carolus states, wholly unconcerned with that missed opportunity.

He nods curtly concerning the crime scene, a sinking settling into his stomach immediately.

Both eyebrows and antennae lift when the subject of the bear is addressed with such confidence, but Danielle's explanation seems to assuage any concern or curiosity he might have on the particulars. If she says so, it must be so. Who is he to gainsay her expertise there?

Regarding the mortal hazards of things, he shakes his head, "If the crime scene looked like a murder-suicide, then there wasn't a fight. In terms of physique I — excuse my immodesty — far outclass Warren, but I would bet on him finding a way to beat me in a fight all the same. I expect that the enemy will concoct a specific formula to dispose of any stubborn investigators if we don't get to them before they piece together how to either throw us off the trail or get rid of us entirely."

"I'm already at-risk from targeted retaliation by Purifiers… I suppose I should just say, I'm well aware of the danger here."

He rubs at the back of his head, "I'll be trying to keep Spooky looped in for exactly that reason, but… I think we need more in-house muscle if we can get it. Anyone else been on call that I could go bring up-to-speed? Is Logan reachable, or is he…"

He gestures vaguely into the air. 'Being Logan.', goes unsaid.


"Or it was possibly staged to look like a murder/suicide." Moonstar says when Carolus mentions there not being a fight, "Sure, staging can sometimes be sussed out, but if you do it well enough and then grease the right palms it's amazing what will go unnoticed."

His apologies for being immodest causes the faintest of smiles to appear on Moonstar's face, but then she nods to the rest of what he says. "I agree, but thankfully we're not your regular flavor of stubborn investigator. We're much more dogged and bone-headed."

So much more.

At his mention of the Purifiers that causes a frown to tug Moonstar's lips downward, but it also prompts a nod in understanding. "We all know we have to be careful, but either way, back-up for all of us." The question of more in-house muscle and more specifically Logan, cause Moonstar to look thoughtful. "I'm not sure, but we can see if he's around and if he is we can talk to him. Whichever one of us sees him first can bring him up to speed. We can also talk to Rogue and Kitty and bring them in on this."

"Tony Stark too."

"With all of us working on this I know we'll get to the bottom of this and bring those people who did this to *justice*." Those last words of hers are said with a finality to them.

Just substitue death for justice in that sentence and it becomes clearer in what Dani really means.

Pulling herself from those dark thoughts, Moonstar re-focuses on Carolus again, "That's all I have right now, but let's make sure to stay in contact. Especially if we find out any other tid-bits of information."


"We'll be able to tell better once we get a look at things, I am sure." Carolus says, with a faint shrug. He rises from his chair and retrieves his satchel, fishing a glass bottle of what is most assuredly soda out of it. He pops the cap off into the bag and shoulders the satchel.

He raises both auxiliary hands, "Track down Dr. Stuart, grill him. Try to establish a more concrete task force— inquire towards Logan, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Tony Stark. Alright."

But he lingers a moment on Moonstar's words concerning justice. Although his expression is sympathetic, he does seem to catch what she means by that "substituted" word just fine. Carolus inhales deeply, shutting his eyes and /very obviously/ bracing himself to say something that he doesn't want to say. When he opens them again he grasps his soda between both auxiliary hands, and both primary hands are pressed together.

A known nervous gesture from him.

"Mutants are not in a good place right now, Danielle. I do not think that I need to tell you this. This situation with Warren is not helping that. In fact, it is probably hurting it. So please understand that I say this in the interests of Professor Xavier's vision and not out of personal coldness—"

"This HAS to be above board at the end," Carolus insists, "or a lot more people than the X-Men could suffer terribly for it. Warren and Alison were doing what they could to avert such a future. How this story ends could well define how mutants are perceived for years to come, and whatever we might feel about it, history has its eyes on us."

There is nothing more to say, and nothing he CAN say will make the situation more palatable. He turns, "Be safe, Danielle. Talk to you soon."

And then he's gone.

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