Symphony of Destruction
Roleplaying Log: Symphony of Destruction
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

A mostly organized group of young but powerful metahumans takes a group of hostages at a special presentation at the met.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 08, 2019
IC Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 09 Dec 2019 19:20
Rating & Warnings: PG (Violence)
Scene Soundtrack: Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth
NPC & GM Credits: NPCs by Emma Frost
Associated Plots

It wasn’t quite what she had been thinking when she proposed it months ago. She often has a box at Lincoln Center that does a splendid job of keeping her separated from the population at large, and Emma Frost prefers that arrangement for enjoying a night with the orchestra.

But then she secured tickets for a Met performance, Honegger, Vallotton & the Avant-Garde in Paris. An exclusive guided pre-tour of an exhibition, and then the main attraction.

Part art, part orchestra, and part lecture by a music historian and composer. Artworks, excerpts, Q&A, and then a full performance. It’s not a black-tie event by any stretch of the imagination (someone will no doubt come in jeans, declaring that they are the new black slacks), but it has a number of other things going for it. Namely, it should suit a pair who delights in learning despite appearances.

Honestly, the worst that Phil Coulson could do is say no, and so she extended the invitation with a promise of an early dinner after the 4pm conclusion.

And he accepted.

So they convened at the museum and listened their way through the guided tour and learned more about Felix Vallotton’s work in Paris and his part in the avant-garde art movement there. And the advantage of going to such a thing with a telepath is that her occasionally snarky commentary is an entirely private affair for Phil’s mind alone, and she can afford him the same should he choose to avail himself of it.

There was prosecco along the way, and then its finally time to make their way inside to their seats—front row of the center mezzanine of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. And Frost has done her part to make it at least marginally more comfortable… by purchasing the seats on either side of them, and all of the seats immediately behind them.


No black tie just means Phil comes in dressed like a wholly forgettable G-man, in the better cut and quality that hints at his rank. He's just as often found in slightly rumpled off-the-rack suits, but that's when he's not trying to look his best. Sometimes it's great to be thought of as a not-very-successful and utterly anonymous accountant, and those latter types of suits fit the bill.

Given the chance to banter without hurting anyone's feelings, Phil reveals that he can have a low-key, understated critical wit that helps him keep pace with Emma's more pronounced one. While he has found quite a few pieces he genuinely enjoyed (Undergrowth was one that particularly drew his imagination, as was Le Vent), several nevertheless were worthy of a wry comment or two: in particular, the 1898 piece The Kiss had him lifting his eyebrows and asking mentally if she supposed Vallotton meant it to look like the man was kissing a woman he'd just killed.

Then again, maybe that question really speaks more to Phil's personal demons than it does to anything the artist meant to convey. The idea doesn't seem to occur to him.

Once seated, he lays a hand briefly on Emma's arm in a gesture that is both gentlemanly and familiar. "Thank you for inviting me to this," he says. "I am thoroughly enjoying myself."

This is honest: he has been relaxed all evening, and has even gone so far as to shut off his phone. If his XO can't handle matters for four to six hours, then he's got bigger problems than a missed phone call anyway.


Phil’s commentary about the woman’s questionable relationship with the gentleman and her mortal coil earns an amused smirk that belies a deeper and unvoiced concern. Sometimes art brings out better, brighter things from one’s musings. Sometimes it does not. Emma is hardly one to judge, and she just makes a joke that she hopes she’s wearing a more flattering dress whenever her last day comes to move past it.

“I am so glad,” Emma replies genuinely as she folds into her seat, her tone very nearly warm. She is a creature in her element, surrounded by things that bring comfort.

Her sweater dress is, as she always does, chosen for the point it makes. It clings and drapes, but the collar and hem are a bold and daring contemporary cut that sees a number of seams miss each other according to the designers asymmetrical whims. A skinny brown belt disappears on one side beneath a cape-like that covers her right shoulder, and her suede stiletto boots are an autumnal-perfect rust. She studies one pointed toe as she crosses her legs and sets her small envelope clutch on her lap.

“Honestly, I am so glad you were available. Going to these things by one’s self is not nearly as entertaining.”

Below, the room starts to fill, and a few members of the orchestra have started to take their seats on stage so as to have time to meticulously arrange their sheet music and accoutrements upon their stands.


The smile Phil shoots her way is definitely warm, and then he settles in, quickly glancing at the program as a matter of habit. Clearly he memorizes this in a glance, a skill meant for something else entirely.

His grin suddenly broadens for just a moment, because it occurs to him that Emma Frost does not have any trouble whatsoever finding company to go anywhere she likes, but she chose him, and he can't help but be pleased.

Really he's gotten pleased every time she has invited him anywhere, and this is no different. Still, it was the way it was said.

All the same, he says nothing out loud, his sense of decorum preventing him from saying things while it is getting on towards time for everyone to quiet down and enjoy the show.


The auditorium, still bright, is filled with the quiet murmurs of the audience as they begin to fill out the space. The soft sounds of instruments coming into tune is also heard, quiet pizzicato scales and harmonics.

It is always amusing, what a change in perspective can make. Phil sees the world as one full of options for her, while Emma sees a desert born of limitations, vast and stifling. The fact that most of them were self-imposed is immaterial, really. They’re limitations, all the same, as Emma has become ever more selective and captious in those with whom she chooses to surround herself. And then there’s the matter of the venue. Fewer still would be willing to go to a performance that could just as easily be the subject of a college paper as a Met event.

Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

In the end, it still puts them in seats beside each other and each thinking highly of the other, so does it actually matter?

Not really, at least by Emma’s summation.

So the mind witch settles just a little deeper into her seat and closes her eyes for the moment. It may look like she’s relaxing, but she’s not, actually. Instead, she’s continuing her backslide into an old and far more comfortable bad habit: shameless spying. Of course, there’s no one here, really that’s she’s particularly singling out for the privilege, and so people’s thoughts eventually become just another part of the ambiance.

When the lights dim and the opening slide from the afternoon’s presentation is projected up behind the orchestra, she doesn’t open her eyes. Nor does she open them when the first violinist steps out to applause in order to tune the ensemble to her instrument’s bright A. It’s only the second round of applause as the conductor emerges and takes his place - the microphone at his back - that she sharply inhales and rouses herself enough to begin gently applauding.

And thus the event—a careful balance of lecture and music—begins in earnest, explaining the meeting of art and music in Paris of the 1920s.

As it begins, Emma shoots Phil a devious sort of look. Because these are the things one is devious about, clearly. Special lectures.


Phil is listening intently. This is not Spy Phil. This is History Dork Phil. This is the man who almost became a professor instead of an Agent, who in some alternate universe probably spent a thirty-year career breathlessly diving into primary source documents and extracting historical truths from within. A twist of fate and a geeky obsession were what brought him to the life he lives today, but it wasn't all about SHIELD.

Still, the devious look piques his attention. Warm hazel eyes shoot back to her, delivering the question in microexpression and a faint mental ?? that delivers both his delight in deviousness to come and his curiosity about it. His smile is on the warmer side of habitual-Cheshire-Cat, not the one that seeks to conceal his mood but the one that sort of ends up on his face when he's completely content.

The look he uses to deceive or conceal was simply crafted from that expression.


As soon as she’s got her reaction, Emma absolutely smiles back and closes her eyes once more in that ‘I’m not telling you’ sort of way where you can practically hear the sing-song of her thoughts. Then, for the moment, she seems content to let Phil enjoy the lecturing and musicking, only opening her eyes to briefly look at the art piece being discussed when it changes or to cast a content sort of smile.

But then, about an hour in, just as they’re about to move from excerpts of pieces to the abbreviated intermission and then the full first symphony from Honnegar, something in the telepath changes. Her legs uncross, and boots set themselves upon the floor. Her hand sets itself upon her tiny clutch purse, gripping it tightly as her eyes open and her chin lifts as she stares in the direction of the stage’s curtained wings.

Then her other hand sets itself protectively down upon Phil’s forearm.

« Something’s wrong. »

She probably sounds like a crazy person, because there isn’t anything that actually looks immediately wrong.

A moment later, however, Phil might notice the room feels noticeably different as outlines of objects seem to bend, like a room that grows out of focus after a few drinks. It doesn’t last long.


It's more the way she moves than her mental words that brings the change to Phil, too. He's alert before the thought even starts, his gaze following hers to the wings of the stage. Her protective hand isn't missed…it's not an unpleasant sensation to be the one someone wants to protect, though he's usually on the other side of that particular equation. He just doesn't entirely respond to it with more than a brief flash of emotional warmth.

Indeed, he's focused on the job suddenly before him, and he doesn't think she's crazy. He doesn't miss the strange visual effects, stiffening when they come and remaining on guard when they go. «Did you see that? What just happened?»

He asks in case it was something Emma recognized, but he himself is already pulling his ICER side arm out from the holster that was neatly concealed beneath his suit jacket. He eases to a standing position with the gun pointed down and somewhat concealed behind seats. He slips to the end of the row, puts his back against the wall, and starts creeping towards the wings of the stage where he saw Emma looking before.

He trusts her to know how to deploy herself, though there's a brief flash of indecision, as if not sure if that's the exact right move: by rights she should expect his protection, to his mind, and that might mean staying by her or waiting for her or some such. He certainly won't presume to give her any sort of direction, in any event.


It’s for the best that Phil doesn’t say anything about her reflexive protectiveness; it would only bring all matter of internal conflict to the mind witch who offers it.

Did you see that? he asks her.

The look of confusion and brisk shake of her head reply in the negative, but it’s clear that the thought that both she and he have different perceptions of the same room is a troubling one.

When Phil disappears from view to travel stairs and get to the wings, Emma rises to her feet but doesn’t necessarily follow. Instead, she moves to a place still on the balcony, against the right wall. It obscures her a great deal from view.

Unaware of the goings on, the conductor calls for the five-minute intermission so attendees can stretch their legs and use the facilities. Maybe grab another glass of prosecco or bottle of overpriced water. The instrumentalists all start to move off stage.

If only the guests could get that far.

All at once, the auditorium doors slam shut. The sound echoes loudly as a male’s voice cuts over the PA system. “Ah ah ah. Not quite so fast! We’re not quite ready for that.”

The instrumentalists who had departed the scene come back onto the stage, a lot more scared than when they had exited it. Behind them, emerging from the wings is a dark-haired, tanned man whose footsteps are lost in clouds of thick, rolling fog. And he’s not alone. There’s a woman whose skin is scaled like a snake, and the points of fangs show prominently as she smiles broadly.

The man continues to speak. “It is a wonderful afternoon for a show, isn’t it?”

The orchestra is literally throwing themselves off the edge of the stage and down the stage steps at this point.


This so isn't what anyone meant by Avant-Guard, Phil gripes to Emma, as he slips carefully into the shadows, seeking a hiding spot where he might draw a bead. The trick is deciding who. Not snake-lady, namely because…

I'll take the gentleman with the flare for the dramatic. I don't think the dendrotoxin in an ICER will get the job done with her.

He takes careful aim, figuring he's only going to get the one shot.


As the fog continues to spill away from the man on stage, it floats across the floor and begins to spill over its edge towards the front row of the audience. Someone begins coughing and that’s all it takes for panic to seize hold. Patrons scramble over seats and each other in a mad dash, for doors that are sealed tightly shut.

Phil’s gripe is received and draws a smirk to Emma’s lips, even as she takes a comfortable place hidden in the crook between a pillar and the wall. She doesn’t need to see to work, and her eyes shut as delicate fingers find their way to an arrangement gently set against her temple and she gets the lay of the land.

« No, I’m fairly certain you’re right. But they’ve got friends in the lobby as the rear guard, so it’s generally a bad situation. » Her thoughts are thick with dismay as she offers her own dose of sarcasm, « Absolument fantastique. »


And of course, patrons are all scrambling towards the rear, so that's a thing.

Which means Phil has to blow his cover and his shot.

"SIDE EXITS!" He bellows, with all the snapped authority of a trained G-Man. If he can divert some of them away from the exits maybe this will go better. "THEY'RE COVERING THE FRONT! DO NOT PANIC! SHIELD IS ON THE SCENE!"

Right. He is on the scene. Emma is on the scene. SHIELD-lite is on the scene. But since when is he squeamish about stretching (bending? Breaking?) the truth for the greater good?


The man on the stage and the woman behind him both smile and turn their attention in Phil’s direction in unison as he betrays his location and purpose. “Oh,” says the fog-footed man, his voice thick with condescension as his hands spread wide. The fog rolls thicker, starting to creep towards those who are having trouble getting to the side exits. “Does SHIELD think that it can keep death from coming?”

Do not panic. Even Emma has to crack an eye open at that, and cast a cynical glance in Phil’s direction as though she could see him through the balcony wall. Does that actually ever work?

She’s not a telekinetic, and can offer no help so far as actually blocking the progression of the gas. However, the mind witch has more than one trick up her sleeve. She reaches out her senses, meaning to target the serpentine woman’s pain receptors and fire them to life.

It works and makes the woman double over and then hit the stage floor, her hand seizing hold of the man beside her, nearly taking him down with her. But that’s not before Emma’s handiwork bounces back at her with an uncomfortable and unexpected interference and she draws the attack off with a hiss and a snarl. “Bloody hell.”


The emergency call went out fifteen minutes ago.

It's a bright and sunny afternoon, just a few minutes past three.

The streets are crowded, which makes it all the more chaotic when the doors of the Met fly open and attendees come racing out as security evacuates the building.

It was supposed to be a quiet afternoon here at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium - with a special presentation about the meeting of art and music in Paris in the 1920s. Except that it all went sideways, and the present intel is that a bunch of metahumans have taken the auditorium as a space full of hostages. Guesses on how many there are vary widely. Some say it's only ten. Some twenty. Other estimates fall in between, meaning the truth is likely in there somewhere, but it leaves a lot of room for error.

There's also seemingly some confusion, as there are also rumours that SHIELD is on the scene. Maybe they are, but there's no outward evidence of it.

It's the NYPD who is presently guiding the evacuation, getting people to distance and safety while they strategize about how to get into the building.


Power Girl doesn't usually respond to calls in New York. This time, though, things are a little different. First, none of her channels have lit up to tell her not to get involved. Second, she was already in town anyways, and fifteen minutes without proper Avengers response is too long.

There is a loud -pop- in the sky that arrives on the scene a second or two after she does. Seeing as the authorities might take offense to anything coming into the city over Mach III, Karen is toning it down… A little.

She lands next to the evacuation efforts, and immediately starts looking for the person in charge. The last thing she needs is to get the Lecture about stepping on toes. She'll do this one by the book.

That always goes well.

In the meantime, she takes a few ganders at the building—and then through it. Trying to get a count on bad guys, hostages, and locations.


SHIELD is on the scene.

Sorta.

Pressed to the wall inside the theatre, Phil had been bellowing instructions for people to evacuate. With a "Do not panic" instruction that had caused something of an incredulous commentary from his companion. He's inside, with his ICER pointed at the stage and an arm pressed to his nose and mouth against gas that's already making him cough.

But Emma has just taken a shot at the perpetrators, and he takes his own, firing his ICER at the male half of the pair. And yes, wishing he'd brought his comm stuff to the very nice art and music event instead of leaving it home for once, so that he might call or coordinate or communicate.

He didn't. He brought his side arm and a super nice suit that he suspects will not be nice by the end of the night.


Meanwhile, One thousand and one hundred miles away.

Agent Danvers stand among several NASA engineers within a space shuttle hangar at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Wearing her flight jacket and Captain Marvel suit she listens attentively as the nation's brightest astro-engineers discuss plans on how best to harness the power of metahumans, such as herself, to assist in space flight. Walking through a small tour of various launch vehicles and specialized docking apparatus for future designs. She gives her feedback here and there, offering a few comments but for the most part just trying to be helpful and answer questions.

Which is when her communicator lights up. Cutting off an engineer mid-sentence she holds up a gloved hand and steps away. As she listens, her expression goes from kid-in-candy shop happy to grim.

Cape Canaveral's afternoon skies alight shortly after with a shooting star as Captain Marvel races across the East Coast's night sky, higher than the highest altitude flight to avoid panicking air traffic.

A thousand miles means little to a woman who's flown laps around the moon. She'll be in the New York skies in a matter of minutes.


For once, Colin actually didn't mind being late. A mix of trouble with the van, (thank God for it crapping out next to a supermarket so he could pull the old egg in the radiator trick) and the usual New York gridlock had put him a fair bit behind schedule to grab a seat at the auditorium, he was so late in fact that instead of getting caught up in the hostage situation he was instead turned away at the police barricade. Of course, Colin being Colin soon found the curiosity getting to the better of him as he sat in a car park chewing on a conciliatory McDonalds, and this *was* the van with the suit in the back.

How convenient.

He first simply took the helmet and plugged it into the cigarette lighter, powering up the comms to listen in on the radio chatter. Whatever it was, it sounded bad. Metahumans, mass panic, and a whole bunch of hostages to boot with a police force that was doing its best to try and keep control of the situation.

"Computer, power up and run a level two diagnostic on all systems."

«WORKING…NO ERRORS DETECTED.»

He sighed, part of him almost hoping that some little glitch would have put a stop to the rapidly forming stupid idea of his. "Alright." He said to himself, taking a final sip of his coffee. "Let's do this. Master switch… armed, boot sequeeence, hello? Wake up… Thank you."

«BATTERIES… ONLINE»

«SENSORS… ONLINE.»

«WEAPONS… ONLINE.»

«ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL.»


"Hey, JARVIS." This would of course be one Tony Stark. "If you were going to subvert a laser anti-personnel system on say a balcony, how would you do it in the most awesome way possible?"

"I would not have too, sir. I am an AI and don't need to get onto Miss Frost's balcony."

"Who said anything about… Look, it’s a hypothetical here! Fine, then! I'll figure out what to do myself that has NOTHING TO DO AT ALL with anyone's balcony! It’s totally for work!"

"Of course it is, sir."

This conversation is of course not happening right now. This little conversation happened about fifteen minutes ago as Stark walked down the street near the Met, just one more billionaire on the streets of NYC talking to themselves. Its fine. Everything is fine. He was on his way to his old building, just to see Bart and Pepper and for no other reasons. NO OTHER. NONE.

A sudden panic though can even get his attention, even if he is possibly one of the top five most self absorbed men on the face of the planet. There is a squint towards said panic. Then a grumble.

"Great! I was going to have a day off, but nooooo." The man mutters to himself as he starts towards the crowd there, possibly the only man in the several thousand dollar suit that is heading /towards/ the problems.

"Hold that thought on laser systems." He mutters to his AI. "Warm up some of Iron Legion bots and lets see how bad this is." He adds as he seems to flick a finger against his watch. Nanites scatter into the air to almost weave themselves into a trio of tiny little red and gold drones that go zipping towards windows to get a view of things. "One of you find someone in charge." He calls as he continues forward, breaking through the flood of rubbernecking tourists before he squints at the entrance.

"Well!" He says in a loud and cheerful voice. "At least nothing is on fire."


And Tony Stark is right about that. Nothing is on fire.

Yet.

As the police on scene get their act together, a captain is trying to get everything hurriedly locked down. He's masterminding the effort that is a multiple street lockdown and a line that will keep any civilians from getting too close.

It's his team that confirms that SHIELD is not on scene, and that the scene is thus theirs.

Meanwhile, inside, panic is the name of the game. A group of ten or so metahumans, outing themselves as such as they use their abilities to seal the back doors of the auditorium. With fire, with super strength, etc. A young man stands at the front glass doors, considering the crowd before stepping out. He offers no words, but instead simply stretches a hand towards one of the cop cars and closes his fist. Part of the hood collapses on itself, and engine block cracks.

Unseen by most the new arrivals, would-be hostages had raced for side-exits under the instruction of one Phil Coulson, while he and the telepath presently hidden from view in the balcony made a play for the man and woman on the concert stage. Fog laps at Mr. Dramatic’s feet, and it stretches out towards the audience. She looks reptilian and suddenly fell over with a cry. When she reaches out to seize hold of the man beside her while going blind with pain, it knocks him off guard. It means that the ICER round hits, thanks to Coulson's steady shot and he collapses beside her.

This doesn't sit well with the reptilian, and her slitted eyes turn angrily towards the seats of the auditorium as she regains her senses. She takes a protective place crouched beside him and glares at last in Phil's direction. "That won't save you, you know."


As soon as Karen hears the sound of Coulson's gun go off inside, her frown deepens a bit.

"Well. Negotiations have started." she remarks. There is a rush of air. She's gone. It didn't take her long to arrive at the front door- quite literally in the blink of an eye- unless the telekinetic there can react to something faster than the human eye can see, the next thing he'll be dealing with is an angry blonde.

Arms folded. Scowling.

"If you stand down now, I won't hit you with the moon."

It wasn't necessarily an idle threat, either. She's had a bad week. Her eyes? Just a little -red-. You have to get to them, but it's not a pleasant thing to have directed at you.

"Tick tock."


'That won't save you,' says the snake woman.

"No," replies Phil Coulson mildly. "But it's made your day worse. I'll take my wins where I can get them."

He glances up as a tiny red and gold drone appears by his shoulder. It burbles at him…and at Tony. Apparently it thinks he's in charge. Phil himself isn't so sure, but hey. His comment to the drone?

"If you're looking for a siterep the answer is 'Class 5 Cluster-you-know-what.'"

He's still pretty sure his ICER isn't going to do much against the snake woman, so he darts for the back stage area. Maybe he can find something he can use.


It's comical. Literally ten seconds after the Officers on the scene are told that SHIELD is not present.. A tell tale glow streaks across the heavens and Captain Marvel touches down amidst them with radiant presence. Her eyes affixed to the chaos of the Met as she listens to radio chatter from SHIELD, giving her a sitrep from both Roosevelt and the Police at once.

"Okay Officers, how many are we dealing wi-" She pauses as a Detective continues barking behind her, speaking up over the din of sirens and scrambling civilians.

Her blue eyes turn over her shoulder as a groan escapes her lips. "Kryptonian? .." That just made things a whooooooooooooole lot more complicated.

Captain Marvel turns to face the Met, a hand sweeping over her neck as her Kree Helm digistructs into place. "Great." She grouses as she darts into the air and heads for one of The Met's many gorgeous sky lights. Selecting the least beautiful one and carefully crashing through as few panes of glass as possible.

Normally it would be a really bad idea to charge into a hostage situation head first but the damned unregistered hero made the first play, her hand is forced now. It will take her another minute to arrive at the site of the crisis..


Colin had climbed up to a vantage point, throttling back on his thrusters to keep the engine noise to a minimum he stared down at the theatre while a wireframe plan of the building flickered in front of his eyes. "Aaaalright-" He said, taking a deep breath and rubbing his armoured gauntlets together. "-this is probably the dumbest thing I've done to bloody date. Right. Overlay thermal sensors onto wireframe."

Red dots appeared in front of his vision, each one, although a little jittery as the system tried to compensate for what little information it could read through the windows and thinner sections of wall, representing the people inside, with the metahuman blobs showing up with a blinking outline. "Okay. Scan for structural weaknesses and give me an overlay. What walls can I slot a gauss round through without causing too much damage?"

Just as he said that and his suit got to work on trying to figure out something that was honestly a fair bit above the CPU's paygrade… Captain Marvel bust through the window. Yup. There goes the whole carefully planned, or at least, *somewhat* carefully planned sniper plan. He considered just taking off and leaving the others to handle it for a moment, yet, instead he powered on his thrusters and snuck around to the back of the building where he couldn't see any hostile signatures. "This is stupid." He said again, as he stacked up against the side of the door ready to smash it open.


Slowly strolling up on the outside and peering at the man in the glass, Stark just cheerily waves towards him. "Let’s not hit NYC with a moon, ok there?" This towards Karen with a smirk angled towards her. "But yeah, if you don't stand down we are going to taze and/or beat you until you can't do anything but drool into the carpet."

Not wearing suit of power armor, just strolling forwards, towards the door. Completely calm and unworried, that cocky smirk on his face. There is a wave for the police captain.

"Yeah you might want to move back a bit…me and…" A look towards Karen. "…you know, I haven't really thought up a good nickname for you yet. Gotta get on that." A slight shrug for a moment before a voice chirps into his ear.

"Oh hey, Phil's inside. Everything's fine now. But yeah, Phil! I was totally thinking that was the sitrep from you know. All the screaming and people crushing police cars."

A glance back towards the telekenetic. "You're really not helping your case you know. Fear just doesn't work. So come on, stand down. We can talk this out, alright?"

More burbles. "Oh hey, Carol's here too. It’s a party now!" Stark adds with a grin as he tilts his head towards the man behind the glass again. A simple command sends one of his spy drones winging after Carol, even as the one with Phil burbles and drops a com bead into the agents hand. Or at least he /tries/ but Phil runs off so the drone franticly flies after him, waving the earpiece.

He's helping!

Of course then he sees another jet of power armor exhaust and quirks an eyebrow. "Oh yeah. This is totally a party."


Tick tock, says the Kryptonian. 'Stand down,' says Stark. The young man on the steps snarls. "They're right to fear! They should fear! So… Beep beep," he quips back with all of the tonality of an alarm going off, squeezing both fists tightly shut. The engine from before crunches down further, and the engine in a neighboring squad car crunches and immediately bursts into flame. There's innocent officers in the way, and he's hopeful that it will distract her.

Needless to say, this sends the authorities into a desperate panic to get civilians back and the car contained. Fortunately, there is a firetruck on hand to help with the effort.

Carol will find that she meets no resistance as she zips through the halls of the museum, at least until she's closer to the auditorium. That's when she'll see a wide variety of metahumans that are more visually diverse than is common to see in the city, outside of Mutant Town. There are only four in the lobby now, leaving one to wonder perhaps where the rest of 'between ten and twenty' went.

Inside, Emma—tucked in her little corner—finally gets past the supremely uncomfortable kickback from her little trick that distracted the reptilian woman and bought Phil an excellent opening. She looks out over the balcony railing, and sees that fog from earlier beginning to dissipate. That seems like a good thing…

And she promptly decides to not go for Round 2 with the brain that caused her trouble as there are others to deal with. "Eeny, meenie, miney, moe," she says in a sing-song as she skips through brains with abandon, selecting her target. Or targets. "I'm the biggest meanie… that… I… know." With that last emphasized word, she reaches out and begins an illusion, masterfully seizing control of auditory and visual processing centers. Someone might hear as three bodies creeping towards the side exits start screaming about the enormous shadow monster that's just emerged from further up the hall. A shadow monster that no one else will be able to see, but it does an excellent job of flushing them back towards the lobby. Of course, one of them is capable of tossing plasma and is doing so in the attempt to slay an impossible beast.

That leaves Phil to move towards the wings, where there's another person waiting, distracted as he looks towards out towards the audience and is talking to someone on the radio. "No, no, he's down." Another glance past the curtains and he continues. "I don't think he's getting back up. We're going to need another way to exterminate the place. Got a preference?"


Stark's entrance draws a roll of her eyes from Karen. However, he's welcome enough, that's for sure. He's even assigned a task!

When the mutant does his best to provide a distraction, Karen turns to see the damage done to the car. "Could you?" she says, pointing at it, "Thanks."

Then, her attention is back on the kineticist. Her left arm swings up in a swift and wide backhanded slap intended to bring down someone one and a half times this fellow's size.

She's not playing around today- and you never know when these types have shields up. She hopes that this blow will disable the door guard, but she's not without a clue as to where the action is inside. She doesn't want to linger too long out here.


The frantic drone catches Phil's attention, and he actually stops long enough to grab the device and cram it into his ear. He snorts softly at Tony's commentary, but he can't exactly say anything back when he's relying on stealth. Every assailant here is, after all, someone who could rip him to shreds and toss his remains in thirty seconds if he's not very smart, and he's all too aware of it.

Fortunately, there's another person radioing all about exterminations, and since he's not covered in scales Phil figures the dendrotoxin will work just fine on him, too. He takes a moment to engage the silencer, and a second to aim at the back of the fellow's neck. Then he squeezes the trigger, trying to do his part to take out another problem without getting under the feet of the heavy hitters.

There's probably some school of thought that says with the likes of Carol, Emma, Tony, and these other folks he's less familiar with on the scene that he ought to just sort of find a place to hunker down and stay out of the way until they're done, but that's just not in Coulson's DNA.


As Captain Marvel arrives at the lobby and spies four metahumans present. She cannot quite see exactly what's going on in the auditorium itself and the gathering of heroes therein, but she can't pass up this opportunity. No hostages present, she takes the clear shot.

With a burst of speed, Captain Marvel darts through the lobby, ramming at the middle-most terrorist with enough force to send a grown man flying. In the same motion, she sweeps her arms out in twin wide-angle blasts of golden force, trying to scatter the small crowd of attackers to the corners of the area.

Agent Danvers is careful to measure her attacks this time, not knowing how much the criminals can take she sets her photon blasts to 'stun' as it were.


"Hokay…" Colin took another deep breath, checking his scanners again despite not being able to see too much through the thick wall he was currently standing with his back against. "Three… Two… one." With that, he turned, planting his armoured boot into the door and sending it careening clean off its hinges into a dividing wall, lodging deep within it.

Of course, he didn't have too much time to feel good about that dynamic an entrance or how cool that might have looked or even the performance of the leg actuators going well above and beyond what his previous estimates guessed at, as he was instead confronted by the metahuman terrorists sent to guard the rear entrance!

Yup that hole in the scan did indeed look way too good to be true, and here he was standing off against them with relatively few non lethal options. He opted to instead fire his suit's tasers, the whole four shots in fact, sending two barbs at each of them.


There is a moment as the kid speaks where the look on Tony's face falls slightly. It’s not annoyance, or anger, or worry about himself or others. It is pity, and bone-deep weariness. "Oh, kid. You totally got it all wrong." But then he's clenching his fists. "But sadly, I don't have time to explain it to you."

There is this look at Karen as he can hear the stress fractures begin to go in the engine blocks. "I didn't know Kryptonians were grandstanders." He calls as he leaps /towards/ the explosion. "Oh, wait. Yes, I did."

As he leaps, the bespoke suit he was wearing shreds itself in a sudden explosion of almost liquid seeming metal, it sheets across him. The red and gold colors iconic to the man in a can himself as he lands between the guards and the exploding cars, hands snap up as the metal of the gauntlets flows out to become paired shields to block the flying shrapnel from the crowd. "Captain! Get your people out of here!" He shouts at the police, voice amplified by the now full suit of Iron Man armor.

"JARVIS, get some of the armor drones down here for crowd control. Carol? You got eyes on anyone in there?" He says as he catches himself as the after-flash of the firebomb fades.

"I'm going to assume Phil is shooting people and that's why he's not making some dry witty comment at me."

Turning back towards the front door, that might just be smashed by this point, he just starts strolling up there. "Phil, silently shoot something once if you're alone and twice if you're not." Beatpause. "Or just turn and glare at the drone he's still following you."


The young man that Power Girl backhands into next week goes down without much in the way of additional fight, save that he does manage to crush down another something on his way to dreamland and through the front doors. (So, yes! They are definitely smashed good at this point.) Of course, this strike is a bit off given the circumstances, and it happens to be a scaffolding a small distance off that suddenly loses eight feet of height and its structural integrity as its middle supports suddenly condense in on themselves like a crushed soda can. It collapses, falling towards a crowd of onlookers.

Meanwhile, Carol gets some resistance in the auditorium lobby, mostly from a young woman who hurls several return volleys. Where Agent Danvers's attack is bright and impressive, the other young woman's is dark and underwhelming tar that she conjures from God only knows where. If it hits, it will be sticky and mildly corrosive. She doesn't really stand a chance against someone of Carol's calibre. Nor does anyone else in that lobby. There's fire and super strength and other things beside, beyond sheer gumption of youth. It's not enough. They'll go down.

Phil also manages a very successful strike against his target. The ICER works its magic, and the man goes down without much of a fight at all. Something around him seems to glimmer on the air before dissipating, but there's otherwise nothing really all that impressive about him.

Colin manages to run into two men, and neither gets to demonstrate their ability. One assumes that they have one, given the circumstances, and their obvious part in the plan. But both men were really anticipating something more in the realm of people trying to get out, so Colin catches both of them by surprise. And tases them. It's very effective, happily.

Now, of course, there is still the matter of the three terrorists racing up the side hall, one of whom is tripping backwards as he fires his plasma bursts at an interior wall. It punches through, sending debris flying over the terrified audience. The second has a heavy duty laser rifle that must have been hauled in after they took the place hostage, and he's trying to lay covering fire. More. Holes. The third really doesn't care about the other two and is booking it towards the front lobby where he - erroneously - assumes that superior numbers and help are waiting to help. He'll scream about the monster in the hall, just so they know to help him. An unsympathetic Frost continues to drive them that way without relenting.

Some of that (now plaster-coated) audience, those who had been seated towards the front, have begun to wilt a little and are slower and less vibrant in their response. One can't seem to stop coughing and is having trouble catching her breath.


As his target hits the floor, Phil turns and gives the drone the requested long-suffering look. It's just a twitch of his mouth really, thinning it down for a mere second.

With no more targets, he mutters into the comm: "These people need medical attention."

So does he, probably; he stifles a series of coughs by pressing his hand to his mouth and turning his head, but he's not going to complain about his own state.

"Fast."

He eases back to the side exit, trying to see if he can't get it open now that the ranks of the terrorists have been thinned a little. He didn't entirely see what happened to stop the progression of people out of the theatre; too much had been going on at the time.


Sometimes, Captain Marvel seriously considers not having the hair crest for her helmet. For instance, when a metahuman shoots you in the face with black tar for example?

There's a brief lull of offense from Carol with her head literally glued to the floor with two metas desperately smashing whatever available furnishing they can get their hands on into her back. From chairs to at least one ceiling support column.

This is when Tony's voice comes onto her comms. "What th-ERG-How did y-" The statement is paused both by the enormous crash of an oversized front desk crashing into her.. As well catching herself that this is Tony freaking Stark. Of course he got access to her comms.

With a grunt of resignation she replies, "Three left in here-"

She finally just pushes hard enough to rip a yard of carpet as well as a chunk of marble from beneath her to give a superstrong metahuman an uppercut that sends him to the ceiling.

"-Two. And its -Captain Marvel- in the field, Iron Man." Emphasizing the words as she rounds on the remaining combatants in her area, seeking to bring them to heel before moving on..


Karen drops the meta at the doors, and takes her first half step towards the interior- preparing to accelerate through it- before she hears the noise of metal collapsing in on itself.

Seconds begin to split, then, and the world is in this sort of slow motion. She ponders- Tony, with his nanotech, could handle the scaffolding… If he was facing the right direction. She doesn't even doubt that he could even since he's -not- facing the right direction… But it's not enough certainty for her to risk lives.

The sound of the rush of air that accompanies her acceleration travels only slightly faster than she does to the sight of the collapsing scaffolding. At speed, the red of her eyes shines upon the innocents present as Karen spot welds any loose metal so that no pipes or detached pieces land on anyone…

And so that when she swoops in under the falling platform, catching it with an effort that almost seems frighteningly minute, one arm raised upwards as she looks towards the people that were standing there.

"Well?! What are you waiting for? Get moving, get somewhere safe!"


Colin advances through to the main building proper, his visor leering through the dust as he scanned for targets until the fire from the laser rifle caught his attention; not only due to it being a threat but because it obviously contained tech within that would help perfect his own energy weapon cooling problems! He tracked the beam backwards, spotting the shooter, yet without any taser charges left he instead had to think it through a little sideways.

«STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS…»

«GAUSS RIFLES ONLINE.»

He fired near his feet, the weaponry mounted to the suit's arms letting loose a shower of brilliant yellow-orange sparks and a deafening *crack* as he aimed to rip up the very floor beneath him, or at least use the shockwaves to incapacitate the laser gunner.


He was going forwards but then he hears a crack behind him and Stark starts to turn, a blur of movement however and the Power Girl is there. Stark just smirks behind the helment and cheekily touches two fingers to his forehead before he dashes inside.

"JARVIS, get SHIELD EMT teams here. Like yesterday."

"Already on the way, sir."

"You hear that, Phil? See, it'll be fine. Now… Give me a target…" Oh look, as he comes bursting out of the entryway the Iron Man as people like to call him is met with some meta screaming about monsters.

"Hey, how are ya!" He calls cheerfully as taser rockets lance out from the armor to well. Stun the poor distraught hostage taker into next week. "So, did I hear someone say something about plasma blasts? You have that Captain Super Serious. Or Captain Unfun. Or Captain Boring. I mean, I'm flexible." This all to Carol of course.

A pause.

"Also if there is a second suit of power armor, its friendly. So don't punch it." He adds with some haste.

A pause again. And then he's headed towards the source of the plasma blasts and the lasering and the shockwaves. Because he's going to assume that is where everyone else is.


Outside, Karen's efforts are hardly in vain. Her swift action means that everyone safely escapes the crashing scaffolding, just as Tony's warning does indeed drive law enforcement (finally) back to a safer distance.

The door leading out of the auditorium seems to be jammed, and it's not budging. The handle moves, but nothing else, and it's not going to move for Phil. He's going to have to find another way out. Fortunately, he's right. The numbers are thinning quickly.

The floor beneath the laser gunner gives way; it is after all just a commercial building at the end of the day. And when he hits the floor, he's not immediately moving. Breathing, but not moving.

The radio that crackled instructions before, the one connected to the person who was going to give a new extermination plan, suddenly goes dead.

The man who bursts into the lobby with Carol and Iron Man gets a taser rocket to the gut and doesn't even get a chance to dodge.

Of course, all of that means that Emma only has the plasma-firing metahuman left… and she suddenly just stops the illusion. No longer is the thing of nightmares on the man's heels, tearing apart the building. (Although the building is a different manner of torn up.) It evaporates in a wisp of black smoke after a final lunge forward to feature its terrifying voids for eyes. And it leaves the man scrambling even closer to the lobby and then frantically looking around for where the hell it went.

Which means, there's only the reptilian woman. Who's suddenly gone missing in the confusion.

Of course, she's not really missing, so much as camouflaged. Her heartbeat and heat signature will still be there for anyone who can detect these things, although she's attempting to mix in with the crowd of bystanders, lurking at its edges.


Setting the scaffolding down as soon as the other civilians are clear, Karen is in the air a split second later.

She curls and arcs over the roof of the building, her eyes lighting up with this odd blue as she surveys where the other responders are.

She books it then through the doors of the building, noting how Carol and Tony have dealt with the people in the lobby. They'll feel her after she's gone, though both of them might have ways to perceive her coming and going through the building, like a supersonic bullet the size of an amazon weaving its way through with an elegant precision that most can never see in order to appreciate.

The scene she comes across is odd. From what she saw through the walls earlier, there should be one more.

That's when the heartbeat hits her, coming from a place that's not where it should be, a crowd that is one heart too many. Karen descends upon it, and if the reptile isn't watching where she's going, she'll run right into six feet of steel.


Given the alert that the EMTs are on the way and seeing no further targets, Phil is left with a door he can't open. Had he been on duty, he might have had half a dozen devices that could have made this happen, but that's what he gets for taking a night off.

Then he realizes he totally has a device. More or less. And coughing people with an indeterminate amount of time left certainly prompt his desire to use it.

Sorry, building.

"Hurry it up, Tony," he says mildly into the comm, still searching for a target.

"Emma's stuck in here too, and I don't know if the gas they used is any better for her than it is for the civilians."

There. If that doesn't get the door open, or close enough, he doesn't know what will.


Yes yes, terrible air quality, civilians who can hardly breathe, and one of the metahumans has gone missing with no real way for his sensors to track them, but, *laser rifle*. Colin gravitated to the shiny thing dropped by the gunner, holding it in his hand and examining it from all angles before mag locking it onto his back. This little doodad right here might just unlock the secrets to stopping every energy weapon he ever tried to throw together from simply melting right in the test cell!

Walking back to the main hall, he saw several civilians still trapped inside the building, half blinded by the dust in the air and coughing. One of them ran up to him, her dress ruined by plaster dust and her eyes red and streaming. "Iron Man! Where's the exit?!!"

"There."

Colin, rather nonchalantly, punched a hole right through the wall. Admittedly, he was at least a little careful. That section would have no doubt had to have been replaced anyhow what with the crossfire from all the fighting, that and it wasn't structurally important from what the earlier scans showed.

With that, he started directing the few people who remained trapped inside out into the fresh air outside, even carrying the ones who had become too choked to walk by themselves. Big damn hero. Though he was still certainly grumbling to himself about being once again mistaken for Iron Man when Stark was *literally right there in the building*. At least the dust served as a good excuse on their part.


"Gas? No one said anything about gas!" Stark replies. "This is what we call burying the lede, Phil!" Stark mutters for a moment into the coms as he just stalks past the fallen meta. "Wait." Now his brain catches up with things, even as he recalls his drones, reworking them on the fly. The pair of them that he recalls begin to shift form, white with a red cross on them, fans and what looks like medical scanners and anti-toxin fog dispensers. "Are you saying Emma? Like…eternally angry with me for something I don't understand Emma?"

Stark pauses for a moment before he sends the modified drones off. "Deploying broad spectrum anti-toxin drones in." He swiches over to a broad band transmitter, which he hopes everyone can understand and both Colin and Karen can hear. "Friendly drones incoming, possible toxic gas don't know what it is yet but I'll figure it out. Don't kill the drones though, they should deploy a neutralizer fog."

Then get back to Phil. "What were you doing here with Emma?!"

A longer pause.

"Not that I. You know. Care or anything."

Which is when he thinks very hard. Emma if you die here I'm going to deliver the sweetest and most gooey eulogy at your funeral that you will never stop spinning. A beatpause. And I'm thinking at you because I know you blocked my phone number. WHO DOES THAT?

With that message sent he'll send the drones off, stalking towards the doors to the main room and just kicking the remains of the doors down. "Ok! Way out is clear!" Then a crash from the back entrance. "Multiple ways out are clear it sounds like!"


Doors start being opened from multiple sides. Of course, this will be after Power Girl punches through the upper half of one and goes fist first into an invisible reptile woman. Who doesn't stay invisible after she's unconscious on the floor. So, yay, heroes!

There are certainly enough fawning civvies who seem to be grateful enough to get assistance away from the nightmare.

Drones are here, helping with what is absolutely a deadly gas, albeit far weaker for not having been delivered at maximum strength. (Darn interruptions! Ruining evil plans!)

Emma—still in the balcony and the only one there, cradling her throbbing head—sounds altogether cranky, but also a little tired, as her presence has clearly been outed. She slides down into a sit on the floor once it seems clear that things punching through various parts of the structure are not going to bring it down. The floor! Such indignities. « I've no intention of dying, Tony. So could you please, for the love of God, think a little less loudly? » A pause, and then, « And I wouldn't have had to block the number if you'd stopped calling. So, I feel that I'm rather innocent in the affair. »


«I wouldn't have to call if your defense systems didn't keep shooting at me, so ball back in your court.» Stark can't resist. At least he isn't thinking this loud anymore. «Where are you anyway?» A pause. «I'd send a drone to help you, but I think you might kick it.»


With the last of the out of control Metas knocked out, Power Girl does her best to get the civilians out as swiftly as possible. She didn't have any conversations to have- at least, none that were verbal. The Captain certainly isn't giving her the happiest of glares, and she's not getting that in return.

Karen avoids her for now. It's not an argument- or a fight- that -anybody- wants.

Instead, she's clearing the path, and directing traffic. In the midst of this, the metas end up piled up in the center of the room. When that happened is difficult to ascertain, but Karen -did- flit out of sight momentarily a couple of times while directing the hostages to safety.


Emma frowns, and then runs the back of one hand under her nose to check it while there's no one there to see her do it. There's some relief when she pulls it away and its clean. « My home security system is doing precisely what it was designed to do. Keep my home secure. » Then she pauses. « I'm upstairs. »

And then she's reaching out to find Phil, to make certain he's alright in all the mess now that it seems to be settling down.

Hostages are free, bad guys are seemingly all rounded up to the last, and in the morning everyone will read on how the precious art, at least, survived… even if this part of the building ain't looking so great.

The heroes win!

…The heroes win, right?

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