IC Details

Protests HAPPEN! And so do consequences.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: April 18, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 19 Apr 2019 12:15
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: GM: Moonstar
Associated Plots

On social media the message began to spread.



The hashtag is like wildfire. It's picked up and begins to trend within the hour. For the whole day it stays upon the top ten list and finds itself shared hundreds of times. Thousands. It amasses quite the following; both for and against.

As the time approaches people begin to arrive. Some arrive by themselves, some in small groups, others come on foot, and more come on bus or UBER. All carry signs and all come with righteous anger.

That energy is such that it can almost be seen, and while it's not it can be felt.

The chants begin -

'Hey Hey Ho Ho Registrations Got to Go'

'Hey Hey Ho Ho Registrations Got to Go'

Hundreds of voices raise up along with their signs and the people protest.

A woman in the front talks into a bullhorn, leading the chants, and urging those protesting to keep strong.

They all know that soon some kind of (terrible) response will be felt, but that doesn't stop them from congregating.

Already the local authorities can be seen, they're keeping a respectable distance away, but their attention is focused completely on the group.

Elsewhere, a number is dialed and quiet instructions given over a secured line, "Take care of this. Now."

Noriko had heard about the protest, and certainly had planned to go. There were several reasons for this - one, because she damn well agreed with the fact registration had to go - two, to try and help /prevent/ a catastrophe as what happened previously - three, probably to be up to a little nefarious play, innocent and subtle like she had talked about with Dani.

She stands off to the side, part of the group but at a convienent spot to detach herself, and remain mobile if needed. Her lips move with the chant, but her eyes are more focused to her surroundings rather than the protest itself. She knows something is coming.

She'd had an inner debate for several hours, before she decided she had to do more than put moneny where her mouth is. Still, Betsy had sent a bike messenger with a letter explaining her plan to join the protest and a cashier's check for more than enough (or should be more than enough) for bail to Murdock's office.

Purple hair is pulled back in a braid, her makeup minimal - though she may be recognized by any fashion fans, there's no need to present herself like a model. Comfortable flat boots come up to just under her knee, black leather over distressed denim, paired with an orchid tunic sweater, relaxed and comfortable for wearing without knowing exactly what to expect.

The chant does, however, make her sigh. "Where are the Lennons and Strummers of this generation to come up with new chants?" But she will join the crowd, chanting along, before she will slowly let her telepathy reach out in an expanding circle around her, to try and stop trouble before it starts, if she can. Protest yes. Violence - well, not against those who can't protect themselves. She hopes.

It couldn't possibly have been planned any better.

Quake had been keeping up to date on the social scene. Ever since she disappeared from SHIELD she's had more time to dig into the online realm at her own pace, find her own leads. Cause her own trouble. With the protest happening so soon after the DPS hack they look like they're deliberately connected. It'll buy her small crew some much desired breathing space and give her a chance to bring the pieces together.

The feeling that -something- is going to happen is felt with Quake, as well. Though even if this weren't the case she would still be keeping a very low profile during this gathering. She's all shadowed out with charcoal black eye shadow, a drawn hoodie, and a biker jacket tossed on top of the whole works.

This isn't about witnessing the 'fruits of her labor' or anything so self-centered as that, but the events ARE linked and she wants to be here first-hand to witness how everything plays out. Like it or not, now she's also tied to this situation.

Caitlin is not wearing leather, or rubber, or even vinyl. That is how you know she is Off Duty. Like a pros- like a domina- LIKE A REAL SUPERHEROINE. She is instead wearing one of those ancient button-up cardigans that the Xavier Institute produced for students during the very first years of its existence, the blue one with two white stripes on the left arm, pockets on the front and a circled X at the left breast. (She is also wearing a black t-shirt beneath it, because during the very first years of its existence the Xavier Institute was not making clothing for six and a half foot tall women with such prominent super-powers and, as such, the cardigan cannot button nor even attempt to do so past her abdomen.) She is also wearing ash grey leggings and black running shoes, because if she were not, that would be indecent exposure.

While it had been Caitlin's intent to simply linger along the periphery as more of an observer than a participant, the ever-growing mob has placed the periphery several blocks away from where it was when she arrived. And so it is that she finds herself amidst a small army of people who are enjoying screaming slogans.

Standing near the back of the crowd, just far enough out of the line that it makes her able to see law enforcement with a peek over her shoulder and just close enough that she can keep an eye on at least a little bit of this crowd, Sloane L. Albright is here; a lightweight shirt and jeans, with running sneakers on her feet. Her track jacket is lightweight, comfortable, and keeps the worst of the evening chill off her scales — even if it has a circular X patch on the left sleeve, breaking up the stripes.

It's less a fashion or political statement, and more that she doesn't have much left to wear, now that the majority of her worldly possessions are under literal tons of rubble.

Sloane looks for the familiar and the friendly; those that she could rely on in a pinch should the protest turn sour, both among protesters and police. She's keeping an eye out for troublemakers, too, but that's born from both SHIELD training and paranoia; from hair electric blue or purple all the way to the tall and powerful redheads.

'Please,' she thinks to herself, 'no trouble tonight.'

The voices, raised as they are, continue to chant. It melds into one voice, on terribly loud voice, as the group sings their anger at registration. At how their freedom, or their friend's freedom, or their family's freedom, has been taken away.

The woman at the bullhorn leads into a new chant -

'Up, Up, with liberation!'

'Down, down, with registration!'

Then another -

'Say it loud, say it clear!'
Mutants are welcome here!'

'Say it loud, say it clear!'

'Metas are welcome here!'

For those upon the fringes of the group, or those stretching out psychic powers, they might see and sense the new arrivals first. Large and intimidating black vans with heavily tinted windows pull tightly around the bend in the road. They come with squealing tires upon the scene and their arrival is such that it seems coordinated; like something from a movie. The stop right next to each other, offering an effective road block, but with enough space between each vehicle to allow those inside to exit easily.

As if on cue, the doors of each van (front and back) open to allow the assembled DPS agents to step out. Their boots ring heavy, their armor shines, and their attention turns to the assembled people here tonight.

The cops, for their part, continue to hang back. This is both their fight and not, and right now it's not as DPS exerts their power.

Trouble has come to this peaceful protest.

Even when not wanted.

The lead DPS Agent steps forward and like the woman who leads the protests, he has brought his own bullhorn.


And with that message given the troops take a step forward in unison.

A united front against these assembled rabble rousers.

"Shit." No doubt others will echo Noriko's sentiment. Of course, she knew this would be the case. But she didn't think they'd come like this. She expected something, perhaps, more subtle at first. More sinister. This? This is outright dystopian. She looks around herself - certainly the armor they're wearing that's so shiney? It'd be a perfect recipticle to her electric output. But, that would just give them reason to do what they want to do.

She'd also promised Dani if things got 'bad' she'd run. She hopes she can still honor that promise, but she should do what she can do, first. Because she has repsonsibilities, too. To these people. To herself. But, she does do one thing she told Dani she would do. She uses her head, doesn't instinctively react. Furtively, her eyes scan for anyone familiar. She finds Sloane, there.

She's never -met- Sloane. Not -really-. She's seen Sloane at the mansion a few times, said 'hey' in passing, or something. So, in hoodie, gauntlets hidden by long sleeves and gloves, stuffed in front pockets, Noriko moves her way over to Sloane. Says, low, "Hey. It looks like the shitshow is about to begin. We've - got to try and stop this before it gets bad." 'Bad' being subjective here and being worse than it already is getting. "Any ideas?"

"We may not all be mutants, genius!" Betsy will yell, vocally and mentally. "Some of us are just against fascist laws and the brainless morons who enforce them!" That British, cultured voice rings out, up from the diaphragm, without fear. She will move towards the thugs of DPS - and those black vans? They will start rockin', like no one should come knockin'.

And this is exactly why when you're trying to stay at the back of the crowd you -always go further back- than what feels 'far enough.' Quake happens to be a part of the large group now getting boxed in by DPS agents. Normally this wouldn't be such a bad thing. She had registered. All it would take is a flick of the ID and she could be on her way.

Life is never so simple.

With this encounter she could actually have a reason to resist, and the conflict of what to do and how to handle the situation is quick to weigh heavy upon her mind. There are now two vastly opposing forces, either of which might be looking for her. If she had been flagged by the DPS agency then she could be in a heap of trouble…

What begins stays perfectly in line with retaining a low profile. Hands in pockets. Hood covered head dipped forward. No sudden movements. She simply starts to walk. Calmly. Away from those vans. Give the officers absolutely no reason to come after her.

But her stress is on the rise. Given the shouting of some lady with a British accent, she's likely going to get a lot more stressed before she's in the clear.

While it can be said to be an absolute certainty that other, *blonder* parties would no doubt take some measure of delight in using this incident as a ~Teaching Moment~ as regards the inherent lack of value to protests and in fact to nonviolent resistance itself as even a broad concept - probably while citing the works of Jackson and Luxemburg - Caitlin's politics are far, far more bourgeois.

Caitlin is, after all, from *Seattle*.

She is also, of course, well-enough acquainted through personal experience with government agencies running the gamut all the way from 'shadowy' to merely 'shady,' and, as such, is not especially surprised to see a crackdown of this sort being enacted as a statement and a show of force in the current political climate.

"Someone is definitely going to throw a bottle at them," she murmurs under her breath and to herself. But, charitably, she does offer, "If they start shooting, you should probably get behind me," to someone standing next to her who has not used the teaming mass of humanity as an excuse to grab at her ass.


Orange eyes drift toward Noriko, blinking as she takes a moment to remember — she's — electric blue. Gauntlets — Someone from the Institute, though she hasn't gone on to meet everyone there just yet. "Hey," Sloane says after a moment. "You're — one of the students?"

Her face is… pensive. Worried, a little bit — though more for Noriko than herself. "/You/," she starts, starting to run the tactical scenario through her mind, "… keep your card ready, if you're registered. If not, I can get you out of here without much fuss. I don't need Worthignton breathing down my neck because those giant robots start showing up."

Her hand shifts to her jacket, reaching for the familiar feeling of an ICER — but it's not there. Frowning, her hand moves down to her belt instead, clicking the strap loose on a canteen holstered there. "But, if fighting breaks out, I'm gonna need you to start getting people out of here — Minimize the danger, and /then/ we'll deal with it. I just — If this turns into a shitstorm, I'd rather not hear about another kid getting shot."

Her eyes shift from the DPS agents on the bullhorn to the vans, and then back to Noriko, expression deathly serious. "Can you do that?"

Psylocke keeps her arms loose, hands in easy view. She doesn't have papers, but then again, she isn't considered to need them. At least not according to her legal council. She stands in the crowd, tall for a woman, though in this city being as tall as a model isn't anything that unusual.

Betsy will keep those vans rocking, until she will flick her fingers to send the doors sliding shut.

Psylocke's shouted words are heard.

Does it stop any of the DPS agents as they move forward?

Nope, not one bit. There's a job to be done and they are here to do it.

And let's face it, word has already gotten out that their computer systems were hacked, it's now payback time.

Half of the DPS agents take point on crowd control. Their plexiglass shields come up and as soon as they near the group those shields push forward. Herding. Corralling. Confining. Blocking.

The woman with the bullhorn immediately turns and upon seeing the blockade she shouts right on back, "IT IS OUR RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE!" Which is true, it is, but it's also the DPS agents right to ask for proof of their humanity or inhumanity.

Which is how Daisy finds her way suddenly blocked by a large form and a male voice that bellows, "ID!", and when Quake shows her ID the man all but snatches it from her hand. He scrutinizes it for a few silent seconds and then, with a soft sound of disgust, he shoves the ID back at her. "Over there for questioning. Now." And when Daisy doesn't move fast enough (for him) he brings a hand up and shoves her forward. Towards that black van and two agents that wait there.

By this point the crowd has lost the rhythm of chanting and instead finds themselves confused now. Afraid too. The fear begins to grow as those agents step forward and press inward. Some people bring their ID out, while others don't.

Of course, by this point, the DPS agents take stock of their vans. hey shake and rock and after a moment a DPS agent cries out, "We have metahuman activity! Metahuman activity!"

That call goes down the line, both verbally and via the communication gear that the agents use. The leader brings his bullhorn back up: CEASE AND DESIST WITH THIS DISPLAY OF MUTANT POWERS. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING.

Then the doors of those vans slide shut all on their own. At the same time a bottle, much like Caitlin predicted, flies through the air. It crashes against the shield of an agent and shatters. Glass and liquid covers the plexiglass and for a heartbeat, those nearby, freeze.

Then the spark takes hold and chaos erupts.

Billy clubs and tasers are now brought out by the agents, while the crowd surges forward - though not all try to attack. Some just want to run.

Not that it matters. Now it's just a free-for-all.

Those within the center of the crowd can feel it surge forward. Pushing and shoving. Moving forward even if most would rather not.

A billy club angles down hard at Sloane, Caitlin too, while Psylocke and Noriko find plexiglass shields shoved brutally forward at each of them.

Noriko sees the focus in Sloane's eyes, her features. She knows that focus. She's been on the team. She's been in far, far worse positions. And she knows that her usual 'act first and ask forgiveness later' attitude will only do more damage here. "I'm registered. If I need to prove it. And - I'm more than a student," she assures Sloane, meaningfully. But, her jaw sets, and she nods firmly. "I think I can help get people out. And I can fight. How well can you see in the dark?" The question might seem odd, but Sloane can see Noriko's eyes flick to the streetlighs above with added meaning. The darkness would certainly provide a good cover to get people out.

The vans rocking draw her attention, briefly. Someone here, at least, is of the same sentiment as her. Briefly, she allows herself a grin. Breifly.

Then. Chaos. Poor Sloane doesn't have an opportunity to answer. Noriko knows there's a telepathic in the crowd. All she can do is do what she promised Dani she would do.

What Sloane /asked/ her to do.

She's going to run. She's going to try and help everyone. And she's going to try and stop this from becoming a shitshow. All she can do is pray that her idea isn't a bad one. But's the only idea she has.

There's a snap. Several pops. Sparks fly. Literally. And the streetlights begin to wane, poppping on and off. Sparks and electricity snap and hiss off of Noriko as she drains the lights, the power, all of it, from the area.

The DPS aren't the only ones who can cause confusion.

She shouts at the top of her lungs, "Everyone, follow me. We're leaving. Now. To safety." And, Noriko thinks. /Hard/. If the telepath is listening? Hopefully she'll help her.

Betsy doesn't hestitate. A little bubble will form around the DPS agent coming at her with a shield, and people around him should bounce off that shield. And if he tries to fire anything from inside it, it should bounce back off it at him.

Then there are pops and sparks, but Psylocke doesn't even look up, instead she's reaching around her for those without billy clubs, to pass on and boost the signal. The signal of thought she follows back to Noriko, and she will look then. She will silently tell people to follow that mutant. She will stay and deal with dumbasses with shields. Once the telepathic signal is sent, she will focus more of her energy on TK to push DPS agents back and around.

Never forget the goal.

Quake has some pretty radical plans in motion but they're targeted. Specific. They all revolve around the basic principle of causing no physical harm and attacking no one. It seemed like the obvious choice to her going into these plans and it's what results in her now presenting identification once stopped by a 'friendly' DPS officer. It's a gamble on her part but the alternative involves powered resistance. Best to avoid that if at all possible.

Almost immediately afterward she gets to learn about how any plan fails implementation. The ID is returned but as she's putting it away the guy gives her a shove toward one of the vans, immediately earning a "Hey!" from the girl.

In the next moment she's at one of the vans. Hands resting upon the hood. Cool demeanor fully eroding away. If THIS kind of conduct is at all being sanctioned by SHIELD then she might have to rethink her overall gameplan…

It starts with a hum. A buzzing rattling sound from the van she's touching, like some foolish teenager with a subwoofer amped up to eleven in the trunk of his first car. At the same time that all of the van doors mysteriously close on their own this rattling quickly builds in frequency, buzzing into the ground as various bits and pieces of the van start to shake themselves loose. Bolts, screws, fasteners, in a matter of seconds the van Quake touches is starting to disassemble itself where it's parked, complete with shattered glass and broken bulbs.

Those DPS agents standing nearby get to experience this a bit more personally as their weapons and gear start to suffer similar fates, shedding themselves apart whether holstered or drawn. They may not have reached for their guns just yet but by the time they might there won't be anything left but emptied out receivers. Pins and screws back out, magazines drop free and spit out all of their bullets, barrels separate from trunions, sights vibrate out of dovetails, stocks, grips, and panels pop free, it's an absolute mess which renders so much of their gear completely..freaking..-useless.-

Somewhere amidst all of this is another woman calling out to follow her to safety. With a quick yell Quake pushes free of the hood and quarter panel right as they fall away from the frame and spins about on her heels, hoping those DPS agents are too dumbstruck and scattered to hold her back from that call for safety because Running Time Is Now!

If only the damned shaking would stop!!

Tragically, at least for the cause of enforcing public order and preliminary racial hygiene laws, hitting Caitlin with anything short of a tank shell is only going to hurt the thing - or the person - smashing into her, aptly demonstrated by the way that aluminum batons bend backwards, plastic ones thud uselessly, and one particularly unlucky truncheon old enough to be made out of wood explodes in a shower of splinters.

And even though these are all blunt weapons, her cardigan and the t-shirt beneath it are now torn in several places. No, it doesn't make sense, but it's one of those things she gave up on even trying to explain so long ago that sometimes she could swear it started happening in the 1990s.

"Please stop?" asks Caitlin, a riot shield pressing so ineffectually against her that in another context it would very likely be comedic. With several grown men hanging on to and off of her as if she were a quarterback, she takes a wallet (pink, Velcro closure, faded Weezer logo) from one of her cardigan's pockets and produces a registration card from within. "See? I'm - this is a wildly inappropriate and excess display of force, the sum and total of my contribution to this event has been to stand here as a passive spectator - I'm registered, I'm obeying the law, and I'm wildly popular on several forms of social media and have had videos carried by Teen Vogue!"

'I'm more than a student.' "I believe you. But this isn't about fighting — this is about keeping metas safe and not escalating it more than it needs to be. Your job's to get them out of here. Okay? No matter what happens, don't worry about me. If I get arrested… Heh."

At closer look, Sloane's eyes look slit — and in the dim evening light, even in the City that Never Sleeps, her pupils are blown out a bit larger than the human average. "My eyes—"

The vans — the ground — starts to shake. Warning yells start; Hell breaks out. She doesn't get a chance to fully reply, as a club comes crashing down on her; the blow is fierce and actually sends her dropping down to one knee, hands pressed against the ground to keep her balance before she falls flat to the ground. Truthfully, she's been hit harder; from terrorists to demons and monsters… Neutron.

Sharpened canines bared for just a moment with her grin, she exhales hard… then starts pushing herself up to stand, almost stubborn in her refusal to raise her hands or stay down. The Bostonian accent starts slipping out, too. "You guys are gonna be kickin' yourselves so hard in an hour."

"Y'gonna be frickin' lucky to be meter maids in Alaska when I get done with you."

The chaos continues.

The DPS agent that Psylocke bubbles finds himself unable to slam his shield into anything. His billy club raises and comes down hard only to hit an invisible barrier. He immediately starts to scream, "WHAT TRICKERY IS THIS."

Because it's like we're in the 1800s at this point.

As billy clubs break, bend and shatter, against Caitlin's durability, each individual DPS agent gapes in surprise. Then their half-hidden features turn grim and several jump at the very tall woman. It doesn't even matter that she's being quite polite, nice even, or that she pulls out her registration card to show herself as a properly registered meta. They just try to bring her down as quickly as they can - even though that too fails.

Daisy finds her hands upon the hood of one of those vans and then the shakes really intensifies. So much so that washers and screws loosen, nuts and bolts fall, and the van (and weaponry and armor nearby) falls to pieces. Literally.

At this point the police officers start to step up - intending to help - though who is the question? They themselves have riot gear on and their own billy clubs and shields raise upward.

At the same time the street lights begin to dim, to crackle and pop, to flicker and go out. It's almost like a cartoon where one light goes out, then the next, and the next. Running down the line, as it were.

The squad leader of the DPS agents can't help but see everything that's happen and right before the power is drained from EVERYTHING, he clicks into a specialized com-channel. His voice pitches loud, "Back-up requested. Repeat back-up requested. Drop the payload. Drop it NOW!"

And just as the man says payload the lights, the tasers, all of it goes dark. Even the cellphones that people have brought out to film everything.

Darkness now covers this particular block, not that it stops anything. Batons still raise and fall, shouts and screams still echo through out, and for Sloane she finds her taunts and threats answered in kind.

Three agents step forward, one aims a kick at the downed Inhuman and the other two swing their batons.

Daisy finds her escape pretty effective, especially coupled with the darkness, and Surge (aided by Betsy's telepathic messages) finds a group of people linking hands together to follow her.

And while it seems the heroes, whether superhuman or not, gain the upper hand it doesn't last long.

For those that can see in the dark, or sense such things, something large and metallic drops from the sky above. It hits the ground with the sound of thunder and the pavement beneath everyone's feet shakes hard. Like an earthquake.

Seconds later the darkness is pushed aside to reveal what has arrived.

It's perhaps a familiar figure to some. Unfamiliar to others.

Frightening for most.

A Sentinel.

Both hands of the massive robot are up and pointed at the crowd. "CEASE AND DESIST." Comes the mechanized voice of the robot and external lights upon its body flares to life. Giving everyone a glimpse of what type of world they now truly live in.

/Keep them calm. Keep them calm. Keep them calm. Get them away. Keep calm. Keep calm, Nori. Keep /them/ calm. Keep them calm and get the fuck away while you can. Please. Get away. Keep them calm. Thank you. /Thank you/./ These are the pleas to the telepath. And, herself. Because at her very core, Noriko is utterly terrified as that Seninel drops. It's only her training with the X-Men that she's able to find resolve. To squeeze the hand that's holding hers in reassurance. That she's there. Nori can feel the claminess on her skin as the 'payload' drops. THe payload that was /far/ too prepared and /far/ too ready for it to be anything /but/ planned. A trap.

"MOVE. Keep together. Move. Keep together. Hold hands."

Okay. She doesn't run. She's walking, quickly, looking behind herself, making sure people are with her. She's doing what she can. She wants to fight. She wants to run at that Sentinel, and see if she can overload it. Drain it. Anything. But that's what /they/ want her to do.

"Move," she encourages again, quickly leading people away. Out. As quickly as they can all move. "Make sure everyone is together. Watch out for each other. Stay calm. And look ahead. Just keep moving," she calls back, trying to keep the tremble out of her voice. It's probably the most responsible, adult thing she's ever done in her entire life.

Noriko knows the path. She'd plotted it out, in case she needed to run. Moving away from the protest. From the DPS. From the vans. From the Sentinels. Moving, to safety, to buildings, and alleyways Just Over There. So far away. So close. And yet so much time to move the group. "Just keep moving," she calls back, much as to herself to the others, gently pulling. Moving. Always moving.

There is really no sign another person has arrived on the scene, up until a distinct shadow flickers across the ground and over the people milling about below. Normally the wingbeats produced by a sixteen-foot wingspan would be pretty loud and announce the new arrival's presence well enough, but under the circumstances nobody's going to hear anything over the yelling and screaming.

Circling in the air overhead, heedless of potential gunfire, Warren squints. His normally extraordinary eyes are not much better than a human's in the dark, but the Sentinel is hard to miss. Dropping a wing to roll into a sharp turn, he spears downwards in a stooping dive, only pulling up when he's directly in the Sentinel's face. His wings snap open to their fullest span, braking him in the air, feathers spreading in a defiant display. When one of your only powers is looking good, you learn to use imagery.

Well, there's some practical element to it, also. From experience he knows both that the visual sensors are about where one would expect — and accordingly are now being occluded by sixteen feet of fanned white feathers — and he also knows that the lasers are not face-mounted. Of course, if Sentinel designs have changed, he's going to regret everything in a second or two. Or not — he always had more bravery than common sense.

"What the hell is going on here?" he demands down at the gathered law enforcement. "What warranted this level of response?! Put this thing away before people get hurt."

Psylocke is about to start pushing back against the DPS and police, pushing them back and together and herding them to try and protect both sides. She had every intention of not hurting anyone, and still making her point.

«I'm not an empath, love. Just do the talking and listening. » But she will broadcast to everyone to stick together, hold hands, and follow the leader. Just like kindergarten.

Her head tips back staring up at the monstrosity « GO GO GO!» She will broadcast to Noriko, before she's looking at Warren. « Warren! No one was hurting anyone, they just started pushing in and demanding papers. » She will shift, moving back to try and start using TK to tear the Sentinel apart.

The lights are busted out. Some kind of power surge, maybe? Some officer is stuck in a weird hamster ball thing. There's a seriously tall lady trying to be all polite while getting ineffectually pummeled by officers. There's someone else calling out with a Boston edge to her words, that..that almost sounds familiar to Quake. Maybe she would stop long enough to look around but she's too busy running!

Car alarms start to sound off. A nearby fire hydrant trembles at just the right harmonic resonance to burst the valve and fire a jet of water out to one side. It's all unfocused, random seismic wavelengths being tossed about without any guidance.

To say that she's in control of it would only be partly true.

Focus on breathing, focus on running. Get out of here. Get—

In the darkness she comes across one of those officers repeatedly beating up one of the protestors with a club. They're already -down on the ground- and he—

What starts as a shove and a "Knock it off!" results in the *crunch!* of a broken arm, and going by the resulting scream for once it isn't Quake's. It's enough to have her spinning back around with wide eyes, nervous and afraid, before returning to running. Yeah..that just happened. Shattered the guy's bicep.

The arrival of a Sentinel is too well timed to be a coincidence. She has GOT to get out of here before she kills herself, OR someone else!

Soon she encounters the group of protestors neatly linked hand in hand. She doesn't reach out for anyone else's hand. Not until she collides with some girl with bright blue hair, her hands reflexively snapping out for support only to catch Noriko's metal gauntlets.

Which begin to vibrate in a most uncomfortable fashion.

"Help me," she pleads with desperation in her voice. "I can't make it stop!"

"Oh my gosh, this is just - this is - this is so… this is so… *darn* excessive!" Caitlin exclaims, pulling a riot cop off her and holding him, flailing, in the air by the back of his protective vest before, well, before setting him delicately onto the ground. Then another, and another, until the towering redhead is standing next to a pile of ? piled-up riot cops, trying and failing to disentangle themselves from one another and from the heap they have become. "See?" she addresses to one of them, somewhere in the middle, with his head poking in the right direction to see the registration card she holds up. "I'm very sorry for letting my temper get the best of me like that, and I'm even more apologetic for handling you like this, but I'm registered!"

And then she puts it back into her wallet, secures the Velcro, and puts it back into her cardigan and starts, rather calmly, to navigate her way through the crowd.

And then there's a gigantic death robot.

"Oh, no."
By this point standing somewhere near Sloane, she says, with a sigh, "I'm going to have to jump through that, aren't I?
"Roxy was right. I *really* shouldn't have worn this sweater."

Caitlin unfastens the few buttons that can actually *be* buttoned and pulls her arms from its sleeves. "Uhm. I'm sorry, do you think you could hold this for me?" she asks of Sloane, despite the fact that Sloane very clearly has problems of her own at the moment. "It's super rare and I think I can probably fix it? There are some rips but, you know, I don't think it's all that bad? And my wallet is in there too, and - there's no easy way to say this, my clothes are definitely going to get torn up when I do this."

Sloane's tried her best to be a bridge for metahuman outreach for over two years. She tried her best to put the best foot forward. She provided free water for anyone that was stuck and hiding out in shelters in New York during the demonic invasion. She did her best to stay a public ally to both regular humans and metahumans at all times. Carol Danvers even co-opted her image in a pro-registration TV spot.

The Brotherhood beating her down went viral for a short time, before it started getting ghosted off various websites.

She knows well and good where her taunt is going to go; where these people enforcing the will of the DPS will go to do their job; the crack of the baton across the back of her head does nothing but reinforce it. Still, she doesn't go down — not all the way, still holding herself up on one knee, even with armored boots to the ribs.

And gosh, Caitlin is just so … polite.

"Are you s—"

And then a bell-ringing crack of an aluminum baton across the side of her temple.

Sloane drops to her side, prone for the moment; the sound of the Sentinel arriving and the boom of the robot's voice drowned out while she tries to keep her senses about her, hunkered down and trying her damndest to keep JUST ENOUGH attention on herself while Noriko — hopefully — is aiding in making sure people start to escape from here.

She might also be clutching Caitlin's cardigan to her chest as defiantly as possible, at least for the time being, because … well…

She /asked/.

Noriko offers those words of encouragement of bravery and from them the hand she holds tightens around her own.

More people are added to the chain and in-between the screams and the shouts, other things can be heard. Mostly choruses of 'I'm scared', 'Holy Shit' and 'Oh My God'.

Noriko starts to get her particular gaggle of protestors away. To the spot Just Over There, only that freedom is an illusion, as two DPS agents step into view. The arrival of Quake doesn't seem to stop the DPS agents either, as they bark, "ON THE GROUND. NOW!

The Sentinel begins to move, only before it can go too far it finds itself suddenly blocked. By Warren Worthington the Third. If a Sentinel could cock its head to the side in confusion, it would, but all it can really do is bring a hand up to try and bat at the winged-mutant.

It's like how one would swat away a pesky mosquito.

Warren's demands are met with silence from the regular police force, but the DPS is a different story. One of the agents shouts out a very convincing argument, "They started it! We're just protecting ourselves!"

Which is … true.

Psylocke's telekinetic powers reach out to the Sentinel and while one can't immediately tell what's happening, it doesn't take long for the sound of over-stressed metal to be heard. It's coming specifically from the Sentinel's upper body and the seams that connect arms to shoulders begin to gap open. Sparks fly as wires are exposed between those joints and the Sentinel itself rumbles: DANGER. DANGER.


And while it's uncertain whether the Sentinel knows just WHICH mutant is attacking it, it doesn't seem to matter. Not when energy flares at the robot's hands and from each palm a wave of energy is released. It flash-bangs towards the crowd, an arc of energy to stun everyone it might hit; whether mutant or human.

Then before another wave of energy can be released the continued onslaught from Betsy's telekinetic powers pulls one arm free. It crashes to the ground.

It still has its other arm and hand, but perhaps not for long as it too begins to spark and sputter.

Above in the sky another large shadow looms; reinforcements. Again of the robotic kind.

And while people do stay and fight, like Sloane, and Caitlin, it's easy to see that a lot of people are now running away. Trying to escape from this protest turned nightmare.

As for Caitlin's politeness, the pile of DPS and local law enforcement call out a variety of unflattering things. Or, at least, the ones who haven't had the sense knocked out of them do.

"Would you-

"Guys, *stop* that!"

One by one, and with a speed that is shocking given the size of her frame, Caitlin snatches away every baton in range and crushes them all together into a useless mass of aluminum and plastic.

"You know, I'm, I'm trying to talk to her, and you're being - frankly, you're being incredibly discriminatory *in addition* to showing absolutely no sense of proportion or decorum or, or, or *decency* and I think all of you need to just take a moment and really think about what it is that you're doing to another human being and, and think about what your mothers would say if they saw you doing something like this! And that's without even taking into consideration the way that a display of, of, I'll say it, of savagery like this is only going to feed directly into the accelerationist ideology of groups like the Brotherhood and the Mutant Liberation Front!"

This is, believe it or not, Angry Caitlin. It's just that 'angry' for her is 'I don't know, I guess a little bit annoyed' by any normal human standard. (She *did* reduce someone's car to flaming rubble once, but that was a unique situation. See, it involved a conscious viral meme transmitted through a pop song, and - oh, right, death robot.)

Caitlin pops her neck, and slackens and shakes remarkably large arms (which also shakes remarkably large other things, which despite the chaos will still end up as a gif), and then—

And then the death robot falls down.

"Oh. Oh, I - uhm, never mind. I'm, uhm, I'm *really* sorry you got hit a bunch of times. Do you - do you need any help getting out of here?" she asks as she, literally, picks Sloane up and sets her on her feet.

Noriko sends a mental nod to the telepath. A last thanks. Then, she's slammed into as she continues to pull on the group - until she's bumped into. THere's a moment when she's going to respond with an attack, when her eyes, getting vaugely used to the dark area settle on Quake and hear the worry in her voice. It makes her heart jump, her throat catch. She's heard that voice in her own head before. So. Many. Times. Her own voice. So. Many. Times.

But she can't stop moving, or the group will get confused. Why her? Of all people?

She grabs Quake's arm, gently. Swallows, hard. Swallows again. "I can help," she says, putting as much calm, as much assurance in her voice as she possibly can given the situation. It's not much. But it's something. "Yes. Walk. We have to walk. I can help, but we have to keep moving. Move with me." She raises her voice, "We're almost there," she encourages to the others, nearing the ally. "Just a little farther. Keep moving. Keep holding hands."

Then there's two DPS agents. In her way. She has a mutant(?) about to lose complete control, she has a full gaggle of people depending on her. "Sure," she tells the agent, barking orders. Gently, she takes Quake's hand off her gauntlet. Sets it into the arm of the woman behind her. Then Noriko's hand's are moving with faster-than-human-eye-white-blue lightning into the metal chest portions of the officers, that power crackling briefly and sending both of the agents flying back on their asses like they just stuck a fork into a light socket. They'll feel it in the morning.
Sh grabs Quake's hand again. The girls. She begins physically encouraging the girl to move with her. "Keep moving," she calls to the group.

"My name is Noriko. Noriko Ashida. I'm a mutant," she tells Daisy. "Electric powers. I caused the blackout back there because we can't - too many people could have been hurt. I wear these gauntlets for a reason. To keep my powers inside. Controlled. I need them. I need you to listen to me. Very carefully. Beause you? I can already tell. You're scared. Damn right you are. I am too. But you know what? You can control your powers. Because you had them under control, all this time. Until now." She tells Daisy all the things she thinks she would have liked to hear when she was on the street, so scared of her powers she'd turned to drugs to keep them at bay. She tells Daisy the things the people at Xavier's told her the day they accepted her.

"So you can get control again. You just need to believe that you can. You need to know that you, and everyone here, is going to be safe. Because we're going to safety." And, Daisy needs a distraction. "These people need to get to safety. So do you. I need someone to help me. Because I have a /shitload/ of electric power stored up. And i know just where I want to use it." Shouldn't be a hard guess as to where.

Noriko swallows. Asks Daisy, "Can you take lead for me? I believe I can count on you. I need to go back and make these people safe. I need someone I can count on. I think that's you." She looks at Daisy, "But I won't leave you, if you don't think you can do it." This last is said with fierce sincerity. "I promise. I know what it's like. You tell me. Can you do this?" Noriko's body language makes it clear that her words are /very/ sincere. There's not even the briefest of look backwards to the fight, her attention is solely on Daisy. There's no rush to abandon Quake. "When this is all over, come to Xavier's Institute. I think some friends of mine can help you more. That offer stands, no matter what." The question now is - should she stay, or should she go? Because if she goes, there will be trouble. But if she stays? It would be double. So, Quake has got to let her know. Should she stay or should she go?

The Sentinel swipes at him. Warren flips in the air with a flick of his wings, threading over the swipe and swinging around behind the Sentinel's head distractingly, darting in circles around the robot's optics to try to keep the sensors overstimulated.

"I don't want to hear about whose fault it is," Warren yells, in that boardroom 'I don't want to hear excuses!' tone. "I want the DEATH ROBOT put the hell away!"

A moment later, his mind, accustomed to quickly picking up telepathic links, catches Betsy's thought in his direction. « On a peaceful protest? » Warren's answering thought to Betsy's telepathic call is deeply incredulous. His mental presence shoots through with the white-hot forked lightning of mingled anger and outrage. « They're barely supposed to even demand papers without at least a modicum of reasonable suspicion. Well — we've got them looking pretty bad right now, but if we push back too hard the optics will turn against us. Besides, » his telepathic voice turns dry, « if you get yourself landed in jail, I might have to return the favor of calling you a moron, and I really try to avoid calling ladies that. »

He banks in the air and veers away when the Sentinel starts to throw sparks — and that stunner-wave from its hands. « So I suggest you clear out while you can! I'm going to get the rest of these people away.» There's a pause. Warren is, perhaps, remembering the exploits and minor foibles of a certain man when he adds, « If you have to wipe your face from their memories for your safety, I'd advise it. »

True to his own advice, he abandons the Sentinel and dips lower, flying strongly towards where Noriko and Daisy stand, mid-shepherding the people away. He dips a wing briefly to Noriko, recognizing her, before he circles in the air and picks up where she left off in guiding the people to relative safety. Few better beacons to follow than an 'Angel.'

Betsy will sigh, internally « WE were just chanting. Swear. They rolled in like a task force on some drug cartel, with the shields and crap out. » There's a snort. « With you around? No one's looking at me. » But she will follow him as he takes flight to go help Noriko and Daisy, using TK instead of wings, though she will not soar very high. He can have the high flying aerials. She just wants to get people out and go home.

It would appear that Quake found the right person to bump into! Where so many others are freaking out and losing their shit, just like Daisy is, this girl with the funky punk rock hair and metal adorned forearms is like a peculiar rock of calmness. One that can also fire bolts of lightning from her hands, an act which has the hacker's arms darting up to shield her eyes with a yelped curse of surprise!

Helping people, yeah… Like what she had been trying to do. This whole crazy stunt of hers, it's ultimately meant to -help- and that goal had kept her focused. She had managed to keep her cool while infiltrating Governors Island. This is not some unfamiliar new trick. It's only one which she is not yet in touch with.

While Noriko has quite a lot to say, Quake has very little. She sets her jaw and stares back at Nori long enough to force a quick nod. "Yah..okay."

She can do this. Just like she had on the island.

She -has- to do this. Just like what she had to do on the island.

She looks a total mess; the hits, the kicks, the metallic batons bending and breaking over her scaled limbs, the pain throbbing in her right earlobe right now — no, her earring didn't get torn out — but then just as fast as Sloane feels dizzy, she's pulled right back up onto her feet, looking up at Caitlin. "Damn."

"Y-yes, please, I—"

Shoving the pain and the ringing in her ears aside, Sloane brings the sleeve of her jacket up to rub away at the split lip and the blood in her mouth, pointing away from the crowd. "That way. Fast. Can't — goddamn it—"

Digging into her jacket, she pulls out a small leather fold from her pocket, pushing it into one of Caitlin's hands: A SHIELD Agent's badge: Official and shiny, for one Sloane L. Albright, otherwise known as Merrow, according to the photo ID in the wallet side. But she also wears the sacred X on her jacket…?!


She's holding still onto the cardigan, at least. Hopefully the bloodstains and the dirt can get washed out of it.

Everyone scatters.

Like leaves upon the wind.

But not all the leaves catch that wind and fly away. Some are hit by that wash of electrical energy and as soon as they're hit they fall down.

That energy doesn't seem to discriminate against who's really a mutant, meta, or just human. It fells all it finds in their way. So along with a portion of the protestors several police officers and DPS agents are taken down by the very large robot.

However, that robot doesn't chase after any of the escaping protestors. Not when its combating its own injuries; primarily to both of its arms.

As such, Warren, Betsy, Quake and Surge find themselves able to escort the group of linked hand protestors away.

Caitlin and Sloane also find their path relatively free of armored roadblocks.

And for those that didn't make it out, they find themselves herded away. For those unconscious they simply find themselves being dragged away.

Another day in the life of a City and a portion of its people under siege.

"Okay, um - full disclosure, just to be totally upfront about everything? This is going to be awkward, and I'm sorry for, you know, invading your personal space like this without getting your consent beforehand and I'm not great at this, but I guess there are more of those robots and you're pretty banged up and — and also please please please don't throw up on me, because then I'll throw up on me, too."

Caitlin takes a few deep breaths - and that, too, will turn up somewhere as a gif, especially given the strategically placed rips in her t-shirt. "Okay. Okay."

She then lifts Sloane into a bridal carry. Her lips pursed and her face tensed, she takes a few steps back and then - well, then she's abruptly running at just shy of one hundred, and then she's several stories in the air and - tactically falling at an angle.

With her eyes closed.


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