Three Quarters of a Plan
Roleplaying Log: Three Quarters of a Plan
IC Details

A few X-Men come up with a potential plan of action regarding the unleashed Sentinels.

Other Characters Referenced: Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Domino, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff
IC Date: April 09, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Institute, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 Apr 2019 04:26
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Doug is currently sitting in the television room, with Warlock — they're watching the news. This angsty scene is, perhaps, lightened by the fact that Doug has one of his socks off and has his bare foot up on the coffee table. He's contemplating his toes.

"Toes are so odd, Warlock. We could have toes for gripping, manipulating or climbing like the other great apes — instead humans have these weird stabilizers for forward motion."

"I think mine are too long."

* * *

"Much about human biology is odd, Soulfriend. Toes are just toes, yours are fine."

Warlock… well, he would be up-side-down on the couch if he were remotely normal, but instead he just maintains a face while basically making a Rube Goldberg Device of himself all across and over one end of the couch and also bridging to the coffee table. Because the News is terrible and he hates it and Doug is insisting on it being on instead of watching literally anything else.

* * *

The news in question is, indeed, very bleak, mostly about the events in Mutant Town and the subsequent DPS press conference gone bad. After the main analysis by the talking heads, however, there's a brief aside from the Serious News to get into some celebrity gossip. Inevitably a spot comes on to the tone of: 'Warren Worthington, of Worthington Industries, is reportedly out of jail after posting a $200 million bail. Of course, arrests aren't new for Worthington! Is this a return to the 2012 era for him? Such a shame when they backslide like that — "

Right about this time, there is the sound of two people approaching, walking slowly down the corridor outside. One voice is male; the other female. They were talking in low voices, but the male voice pauses and trails off, precipitating the conversation's death, presumably as its owner hears what's on.

A moment later, Warren Worthington's blond head peers suspiciously into the room. "Are they talking about me? Dani, they're talking about me. Christ, they can't leave it alone."

* * *

A second person peers into that room now. Danielle Moonstar. Partner-in-conversation with Warren Worthington, only that conversation stalled when the celebrity news - GOSSIP - was heard.

Those exasperated tones of Warren earn quite a bit of side-eye from the Cheyenne woman, up until she says in the driest of dry tones, "And you secretly love it."

Of course with that peek into the room, Dani spies Warlock and Doug sitting all comfortable; if a bit oddly. In much more normal tones, the black-haired woman calls out greetings to the two, "Evening Doug, Warlock."

* * *

That seems to be Doug's limit. He grabs the remote and changes the channel to whatever's most convenient. …Spongebob Squarepants.

Then he glances up at the other two and reaches down to pull his sock back on. "Hey!" He gives the TV a glance, "I just try to keep an eye on the news, you know, try not to be surprised." He glances at Warlock, and he says "I swear some components of you are non-euclidean right now. How do you DO that?" he reaches out to boop Warlock on the uh… well it's some sort of extension of Warlock. Does he even have an anatomy? He has been *known* to melt into a puddle when he's frightened.

* * *

"Chieffriend!" Warlock almost-cheers, and adds with slightly less cheer but a still-friendly "Designate: Angel," and then Doug is *poking him*. Several parts of the various bits of device that is currently Warlock click and whir and move in response.

"Omnimorphic capabilities of Technarch defy local definitions of physics, Self could not possibly explain further much like Soulfriend cannot explain variation of expressions in human X-Gene."

* * *

"I do not," is Warren's swift rejoinder to Dani's accusation that he 'secretly loves the attention.' "It's not a secret at all."

Despite the quip, he does seem a little perturbed about the tone of the coverage, perhaps making a mental note to deal with it tomorrow — or have a fleet of people deal with it tomorrow. His gaze crosses Doug and Warlock a moment later, and he returns the greetings with a, "Hey, guys," that only pauses just slightly for 'Designate: Angel.'

He steps more fully in — and thereby makes room for Dani to come in around his wings. "There's more than enough news to keep up with these days," he says. It does sound like he and Dani had been discussing SHIELD a moment earlier. "You both holding up?"

* * *

The mention of it not being a secret prompts another look at Warren - not even side eye this time - but a look.

And while that look is bestowed upon the winged mutant it holds more good-natured humor to it. Or rather amused acceptance of just who and what Warren is.

Either way, as Warren steps further inside, Dani likewise does too, ever mindful of the wings.

Warlock's more exuberant greeting earns a smile from Dani, "How're you doing, Warlock?" And when Warren asks both how they're holding up, Moonstar's gaze flicks to Doug as well.

* * *

"Stir-crazy." Doug says, "Warlock keeps beating me at checkers. I need a *job*, guys, or I'm going to go bananas in ways that the big-shots in Hydra never even dreamed of." He wraps his arms around one knee, and looks at Spongebob's… uh… Spongebutt on TV. "…I guess his butt would be square, wouldn't it."

* * *

Maybe Laura sensed life. Or… maybe not, because there are decent odds that if she had an idea there were going to be a lot of people here she'd have made an effort at /avoidance/. In this case, it's rather more a matter of coincidence and efficiency: a path from A to B that happens to go through people, and an alternate route, say… climbing out a window just to dodge a brief social contact is a little excessive even for her.

Still, she's not easily surprised, and the sharp-sensed might hear the brief *sniff* from the next room that precedes the young woman's appearance. "Hello." Eloquent, she's not.

* * *

"Self is happy to be somewhere safe for now, Chieffriend, though worries that situation may change at any time. New Sentinels terrifying, too many humans on alert and angry, Self not safe to interact even carefully." Warlock answers with utmost seriousness, even as he slowly eases himself his more common shape.

Dani knows, and Doug knows now by proxy. Like he'd been surprisingly fine abroad.

"How is Chieffriend adapting to new realities of SHIELD?" Turnabout is fair play, after all.

* * *

Dani's look at him prompts the most innocent expression from Warren. It goes well with his wings and general demeanor.

It disappears a moment later as he catches movement out of the corner of his sharp eyes, his gaze turning towards the door as Laura appears in it. "Hello, Laura," he says. "We were concerned after you drew Danvers' fire, though you seemed to lose her well enough."

His attention routes back to the conversation as Sentinels comes up. "We've faced Sentinels before," he says, "though these seem to have a few unanticipated upgrades. They haven't been fielded in so long, prior to this, that I suppose that does not surprise me. I did talk to Tony and his… ah… young new CEO about it. If Tony was to get ahold of a disabled Sentinel, I'm certain he could reverse-engineer it."

Warlock's concern draws Warren's blue eyes. "We do have some personal emitters you could use to make interactions easier, if it was your inclination," he says.

Talk of SHIELD brings him to silence, however, his gaze turning to Dani.

* * *

"That's… not really the problem." Doug says, easily, "Warlock doesn't need an image inducer. He can take on a human form so convincing that it'd take technology that most governments on Earth don't have to detect him." It's a good thing Technarchs are too arrogant to take an infiltration/assimiliation tack to world-eating, really…

"It's more that while my Selfsoulfriend here has many, many talents… he's not the best actor." He pats Warlock on… a shoulder?

* * *

"Why?" Laura halts near the others once someone addresses her, but the question seems to genuinely pass her by. "Given all preliminary data on her photonic attacks, a glancing shot at less than point-blank range was unlikely to do any permanent injury. And she'd have lost her advantage of maneuverability if she followed me down to the street - I give her credit for not making that error. Still, I was a logical decoy." The cool reasoning might take some of the heroism out of it, though. She's gotta work on that!

What Warren says that /does/ hold her interest is that bit about the Sentinels. "Has the new data been uploaded? I'd like to review it and begin working on training simulations." The parallel conversation she simply… observes, Warlock clearly a bit more closely than Doug. Stare.

* * *

Warren's greeting and Laura's arrival causes Moonstar's attention to shift for a moment onto the young woman. Much like Warren, Moonstar offers her own welcome, "Good to see you, Laura." And while the few interactions between Moonstar and Laura haven't been what Dani would call friendly, something (for Moonstar) has changed.

The whole debacle in Mutant Town has changed a many of things, it seems.

Of course, the mention of Warlock's worries, Sentinels and then SHIELD brings the Cheyenne's woman gaze right back to the room at large. A variety of emotions flicker across the woman's features, until finally it settles on something between exhausted and angry. "We're adapting, 'Lock, thanks for asking. We've fallen back to an old base and now we're just dusting all the cobwebs off of it."

That last remark was an attempt at levity on Moonstar's part and while it may fall flat, that doesn't stop her from turning a look to Warren again. This one far more speculative. "We'll have to make sure we stumble upon a Sentinel then." Which causes her to shift a pointed look to Doug now, even Warlock, but mostly Doug.

* * *

"Is that so?" Warren says, of Warlock's shapeshifting. He has cause, again, to think with a bit of ruefulness on the long stretches of time he was away from the team. He certainly missed a large portion of the time when this younger set of mutants was coming into their own. "Lucky skill. Acting can be taught, at the least."

Laura's confusion on why they would be concerned about her just deepens the ruefulness of Warren's expression. There is a mote of sadness for the obvious damage that would precipitate such confusion. Still, Warren is nothing if not quick to adapt. "Oh, not concerned for any reason of danger or likelihood of injury," he observes. "Simply a function of bonds between a set of people accustomed to operating as a team."

As for the data? "What we've been able to be capture has been logged into the Danger Room, yeah," he says. "Should be able to generate some new scenarios. I'd certainly recommend the training. We'll see more of this before we see less."

His eyes turn in time to meet Dani's gaze. "I'd call trying to secure a Sentinel a priority," he says. "We still don't quite know enough about their overall control systems. SHIELD…" He exhales. "What happened with SHIELD was a hit we're going to have to do a lot to counteract, reputationally speaking. The Brotherhood set us back a decade in good will."

* * *

Doug glances to Laura, and then he reaches up and *turns* Warlock's head so that the Technarch is looking at her. "This is Warlock. Warlock, this is Laura Kinney. Warlock is a shapeshifting extraterrestrial space alien called a Technarch. He's also an X-Man."

He glances back to Warren and Dani, and he says, "…Would the two of you like me to steal a Sentinel?"

Then he murmurs, "Quicksilver's a tough case to figure out. I think he hates himself and on a level I don't think he even begins to understand he *hates* what he's doing. But he's also desperate, and angry, and trapped. Combine that with what's obviously a *twitchy* temperament and I don't know if it's worthwhile to try to reason with him at all. Risk outweighs reward."

* * *

"I understand." Although Laura says it, it's not clear she really does. Still, this is the answer Warren gets. "I am used to solo operations with a remote handler. On future missions, I'll make sure to keep the team more closely updated on my status to alleviate any concerns." With the last, she looks from Warren over toward Dani, as if to include her. So… maybe she kinda gets it.

Of course, Doug gets the normal Weapon X routine: "I have read his entry in Mr. Summers' files." With all his nicely-organized data, spreadsheets, and dossiers, Scott continues to prove himself THE BEST X-Man in the eyes of one Miss Kinney. More critically, she doesn't seem too weirded out by the introduction, more thoughtfully curious of Warlock. "Your abilities have many valuable strategic and tactical applications. Are you developing protocols to interact with these enemy constructs?"

So she's kinda into it. Well, where 'it', in her eyes, is another very advanced and adaptable weapon-person-thing. Also probably stealing robots. Or maybe smashing robots while other people steal them. More likely that, in all honesty.

* * *

The mention of the Brotherhood brings a definite sour expression to Dani's face, but there's also something more.

A faint twist of something to her lips, but then it's gone as she flicks a look back to Doug. "I think soon." States the Cheyenne woman quite seriously to Doug's question, "Though we'll need to discuss the actual mission before we even attempt it."

Laura's question about Warlock possibly establishing protocols to deal with the Sentinels brings a curious look now from Dani, but for now she doesn't voice any of her thoughts that swirl in her head.

No, instead Moonstar cuts a look to Warren again, and while there's a flash of wry amusement from the woman, her tone holds a rather serious note to it. "We should start scheduling weekly training for the team on various Sentinel scenarios. For some of us it's been years and there's enough new faces that this may be their first time fighting the robots. Best to dust everyone off when it comes to dealing with them."

* * *

One thing about Warren Worthington: he might not have an offensive powerset worth a damn, but he does have max ranks in his social stats. That said, Laura is an especially difficult individual even for him, but he makes the attempt to frame things as she would understand it. Perhaps she does. Her answer, at the least, serves the purpose. "Please," he says, with a flicker of a gracious smile. "It is how we're accustomed to operating."

Laura's obvious love affair with Scott and his files, however, draws an internal sigh from Warren. Even more so because, these days, more and more Warren is starting to feel LIKE Scott at times. It's eerie and he will never forgive his friend for doing this to him. Dani taking a bit of point, especially on the matter of training, draws a slight sideglance of gratitude. Please help decrease the amount of seriousness he is having to evince right now.

Warren lets Dani answer on the topic of stealing a Sentinel — it's the answer he would have given too — but there is a pause when Doug brings up Quicksilver. Oddly enough, Warren has 'known' Pietro Maximoff longer than he has known any of the people currently in the room. "Jean and I practically grew up alongside Pietro and Wanda. In a way," he finally says, with particular dryness on those last three words. "We were eighteen when we started fighting, and…" Well, Warren is thirty now. Do the math. "Jean went to try to reason with them, with all that history behind us, and even she couldn't get through." He shakes his head. "They're set in their ways. Magneto left his mark behind." A pause. "And above all, Pietro is protecting his sister. Or so he perceives."

His blue eyes shadow under his long lashes, as if to hide any regret when he says, "Now it's just about counteracting their damage — and stopping them."

* * *

Warlock has been quiet for a long time, especially while the others strategize and talk about his shapeshifting capabilities.

It's the reason he's been quiet, honestly. Doug will recognize the signs of truly thinking something over.

"Designate: Angel - if a Sentinel can be caught, truly… self *could* duplicate one. Exactly. Since they are not self-aware, Self could infiltrate facility and send back data. Would likely only work once, imagines they are tracked very carefully. Also, Self would not want to respond to combative commands."

But, there's that.

* * *

Doug glances back at Warlock and then says "And you called yourself a coward." He gives the alien a little push, and then says, "Realistically, if you're me, disabling or taking control of one of them shouldn't be difficult. Either they're controlled via broadcast from a central source, which I can hack — or they're autonomous and they have to interpret external data so they can react to it, which is another point where I can attack."

"…Realistically, the most dangerous part of the plan would be the initial encounter. If I can avoid being pulped by it in the first twenty seconds of the encounter, it's mine."

* * *

"While I made sure to familiarize myself with all the prior models and have devised numerous vectors of attack, I concur that training should be re-oriented toward this new threat if it is expected to be an ongoing presence in the field." The one thing they can be confident of, is that when it comes to training sessions, Laura will be there with a bow on. Well, definitely not literally, but she doesn't mind putting in the work and will 'happily' (insofar as it ever seems to apply) run whatever drills all day long if that's what they want!

Warlock and Doug musing the details, she doesn't bother to comment. Just as she has her specialty (is 'ultraviolence' a cirriculum specialization?), they have theirs. And dealing with giant murderbots in any way other than disassembling them seems right up their alley. So she might not have much more to add beyond how eager she is for the Danger Room, yet there's something in how Warren goes on that does prompt her to speak. "They're angry. It's not that hard to understand. I'm lucky: all the people I have to blame the most are already dead." Yikes. "But they do not have such a clear designation of blame, of friend or foe. It must be very confusing."

* * *

Warlocks offer of a way to bring a Sentinel back to the group at large is seriously considered by Moonstar.

There's some definite approval there and just as Warren turns that grateful look to her, she too looks at him. A simple silent message communicated with that look - 'I like this idea'.

"I think if we send Warlock and Doug in with a very small specialized strike group we could make this work." Dani muses thoughtfully and now her gaze turns to Laura, as she considers the ex-assassin.

Domino also comes to mind as Dani tries to quickly think of logistics.

"Let's discuss it and make sure we have a plan. We're not going to do anything halfway when it comes to something like this. There's too much at stake."

"We can't add to what the Brotherhood has already done with their strike against SHIELD." Of course, anything more pauses as Laura states that last line of hers. It once more brings Moonstar's gaze over to the young woman. The Cheyenne doesn't necessarily stare in shock or surprise, but her gaze is heavy as she looks to X-23.

"Speaking of SHIELD, I need to check in soon." A look flicks to Warren, "Did you want to continue our conversation before I inadvertently get yanked back to HQ?"

* * *

As Warlock speaks up again, Warren's golden head turns towards him. His brows lift, impressed both with the ability the Technarch describes — and the plan that ensues. "It could work," he says slowly. "Like you said, you'd just have one shot before they realized… but that'd be enough to grab some data."

But that requires access to a Sentinel first. And for Doug's part — he's pretty confident he can do the Sentinel-catching. If he's able to survive long enough to get the hack in, anyway. To wit: "Laura may be able to help you out with 'not being pulped,'" Warren says wryly. Even giant murderbots can be distracted. If she ultraviolences one standing next to their target — and has help from, say, Domino — it might not notice something sneaking up behind it…

He does hesitate when Laura offers that unexpected insight. A pensive look crosses his lovely features. "Yes," he agrees. "Anger seems to be all they know, and the one at whom they are the most angry is beyond their reach."

He shakes the thought away, a moment later. His head inclines to Dani's assessment. "It's a definite path forward. When we're finished, the Sentinel can be forwarded to Stark," he says. He catches Dani's glance, and he nods slightly in an affirmative. "We'll circle up on this shortly," he tells the rest of the room. "If you will excuse us…"

With that, he turns, wings flicking more tightly closed at his back, to lead Dani back out into the hall and on.

* * *

Warlock is chuffed, and visibly so - but just goes sort of squiggly when Doug nudges at him. "Self is glad to help. Wants home to be safe, friends to be safe… well, as safe as friends ever MANAGE to be safe." Because it's just, like, never in the plan. Ever.

"Soulfriend you must PROMISE to be careful."

* * *

Doug glances to Warlock. "What, it's like you think I have a history of getting injured on missions or something."

…That's a joke.

* * *

Shockingly, Laura does not seem intent to linger and socialize. A quick nod seems to indicate that she is on board if they have some job for her. Otherwise? No doubt she's gonna log some hours in the Danger Room ahead of time. She does spare a moment's further curiousity toward Doug and Warlock, and particularly to the overt affection between them. She can barely manage it with humans, so there's a certain something impressive there.

She -does- have a reassurance as it comes to Doug's would-be injury, though: "If I go along, I will make sure they focus on me. I assume the robots are not as intelligent as Captain Danvers, so I do not think it will be difficult to draw their fire if you can maintain a low profile."

* * *

Warlock did NOT find Doug's "joke" funny. He makes a very stern pouty face to show it.

"If you could keep Soulfriend safe during this mission, Self would be very appreciative." No, he doesn't really know Laura, but she seems violent and nobody else was fretting over her so… she'll probably do a very good job, yes?

* * *

"Oh COME ON." Doug says to Warlock, as he crosses his arms. "…It's a little funny."

* * *

Warlock just GLARES at Doug, and shakes his head slowly.

* * *

"You have no sense of humor." Doug says, rolling his eyes and looking away.

* * *

Once his back his turned, Warlock makes a giant cartoon face, wagging tongue and concentric-circle crossed eyes and all.

* * *

Doug snaps back around, sticks his thumbs in his nose and sticks his tongue out, making a face back at Warlock. "Blaaaaaaaaaap~"

* * *

And that's all it takes. Warlock is laughing, but his hands are giant airsoft mallets and he starts gently pummeling at Doug. There are squeaks.

* * *

"Ow, hey, ow!" Doug exclaims, trying to shield himself with his arms, "Stoppit!"

* * *

Relenting, Warlock rests his hands on Doug's shoulders. "Soulfriend is stubbon, but Self wouldn't trade you for anything in the Universe. Self knows he has said it before, but Soulfriend is irreplaceable. Succeed, but not at cost of own life force."

* * *

"…You never know what's going to happen, Warlock," Doug says, "Everybody dies. But I'm not going to go looking for it." He gives Warlock a hug. Or… tries to, anyway, what with how weird and amorphous Warlock is. "I promise."

* * *

Hugs are the best, so Warlock is pleasantly solid and soft of springy during it. He gives great hugs! "Excellent!" He doesn't even bother thinking about the serious part. "That is all Self asks."

"Spongebob is uninteresting. Find something more interesting for us?"

* * *

"Uhhhhhhhhh." Doug grabs the remote, and then clicks through it, until he finds a PBS channel showing a detailed breakdown of how peanut butter is made. He gives Warlock a quizzical look.

* * *

He gets a couch cushion in the face.

* * *

"What," Doug says, "…You don't like peanut butter?"

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