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 Goodwill to JUST Men, [Open to BH team]
Posted: Feb 3 2012, 07:38 AM

Non-Registered Mutant
Group Icon

Group: Brotherhood Mod
Posts: 298
Member No.: 89
Joined: 13-June 11

Mystique's sarcasm rolled off of Mal like water off of a duck's back. As far as he was concerned, his desire to stay at the Brotherhood Headquarters while the others went out and got themselves filthy and stained in indelible drama was just further proof that he was far, far smarter than the rest of them. Why would any sane person want to go and roll around with the flatscans? Particularly one as offensive as this Elijah Matthews was likely to prove to be. Flatscans were disgusting, religious nuts were twice so...and the notion of a religious flatscan fanatic was enough to make Mal think that nuking the entire world to cleanse it of such idiocy was probably a good idea.

So his leader's disdain didn't bother him. Not as much as the presence of the more irritating Brotherhood members, like that savage Sabertooth and pretty princess Twinkletoes who was, really, a sign that genetics could be fickle things when he was a jackass with stupid hair and his twin was the most beautiful thing to have ever worn the colour red. It just didn't matter to Mal that his brothers and sisters might have thought him cowardly.

He was just more elegant than them. Wasted on combat. His specialties leant themselves much more towards being based at HQ while the others ran around doing the messy grunt work - he was a scientist, not an anonymous executioner and he had no interest in heading outside. Particularly in the middle of winter when slush threatened the hems of his dress pants.

"Aye aye, ma'am," Mal said, not entirely unironically, but with his usual overly-chatty mouth tamped down somewhat since this was Mystique. He even kept his eyerolling to himself as the lady in blue outlined the rest of her plan - murder really was such a messy business, even with so many of them to kill one little flatscan.

That nuke idea was getting more and more appealing by the minute.

Then Mystique was done and Mal was left to spin around neatly in his chair just the once, stopping the momentum of the pivoting piece of furniture with one elegantly-clad foot. "Well, boys and girls," he said ironically, getting up and stretching without any sort of real grace, highlighting just how angular and bony his physique really was, "I hope you all enjoy your little school trip. Wrap up warm now and try not to get any flatscan blood on anything valuable - you know how much of a bitch human bodily fluid stains are to get out of fabrics." He grinned, geeky and antisocial and unabashed. "Someone better bring me back a present, though. Extra points if you steal if from the tree while you're there."

Aaaaaaand then he was free, wasn't it? Mal stuck his hands into his labcoat's pockets and strode out of the room, whistling tunelessly as he went. Well, now that was done and dusted, he could get back to work while the rest of them prepared for their little outing.

Lucky them.
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 12:34 PM


While Xi’an had remained quiet, not wishing to say anything that could be taken as dissent nor truly wishing the fate that the man had brought down upon himself on anyone, no matter how vile, it was no surprise to her that others were less passive. In some respects, she agreed with Domino. If they were going to kill him, and no one in the Brotherhood was naïve enough to think that they would not end with killing this preacher, then at the least they could make it quick. Of course, it would be preferable if she and the others could at least take this seriously, given that they were discussing killing a man in what would almost certainly be cold blood, but she did know that was too much to expect from the Brotherhood. Unlike her, most of their members did not think that the humans were even worth considering. In others, however, she tended towards a different idea. They were soldiers.

In fact, however, it soon became clear that most of the team were going to join her in silence. Only Domino and Quicksilver had spoken before Mystique intervened again, this time to issue her orders. Xi’an listened carefully, taking in the sequence of events, resisting the urge to protest at the taunt thrown her way. It was fine. She was not here for them to like her. And, once she had shown that she would do what was necessary, maybe they would at least respect her. That was all that she needed.

Watching Genome depart, Shan wondered why she was there, not for the first time and almost certainly not for the last. This was going to turn into an excuse for carnage, she just knew it. People were going to die, unnecessarily, possibly just because they had happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And while she was willing to admit that this man had done nothing to excuse him, the idea that she was about to be party to the deaths of innocents because of this did not sit easily with her, particularly not as she could think of far more elegant ways to deal with the man. Having a human kill him would do so much more than the crude, ritualised death she imagined this would end in. But she kept her thoughts to herself, thankful that none of the others had telepathy. Not that she was incapable of keeping them out if they had been, but it was easier when she could allow herself the vaguely dangerous thoughts.

Instead, she just nodded in acknowledgement to Mystique, her eyes unconsciously seeking Wanda’s, hopeful that she was not the only one in the room not eager for the carnage to follow.

The next evening found Xi’an dressed in her usual fashion as she searched for somewhere safe to wait in the Rockefeller Center. She needed somewhere out of the commotion for this, so she could focus without risking being disturbed. Fortunately, she had been able to make her way inside one of the buildings overlooking the stage and to a balcony, where she settled herself carefully, locking the doors and glancing out. There was the stage. Now, she just had to wait and do her part. Touching the crucifix she had chosen to wear for comfort, the Vietnamese mutant sighed and waited.
Posted: Feb 20 2012, 08:18 AM


Sometimes, Domino was mystified by some of the choices made by her employers. This warlord who wanted their enemy impaled on a spike rather than killed in any ordinary fashion, this mob boss who demanded that they be shot "execution style" because it was his "trademark". Right. The Brotherhood, it seemed, was no stranger to making odd demands. In this, case they seemed not to understand the simple fact that no matter how they killed him- unless it was incredibly stealthily, say by poisoning him in his sleep or cutting his car's brake lines- he was going to be a martyr. Whatever horrid thing that they were cooking up for him was worse than being shot in the head, and therefore surely it was going to only serve to make whatever anti-mutant prejudices existed even more pointed? Dom thought all of this internally, of course. It wasn't her business how they got him. To her, this man was a racist who deserved to be killed, and she had no problem how they did that, but one was a simple method requiring one swift bullet, and one- the one they were evidently going to go with- would probably demand much more complex effort on her part. It was Domino being Domino, and putting her own needs, specifically the need to perform an assassination job with as little mess and fuss as possible, considerably further ahead of those of her comrades and prioritising, as always, her own professionalism ahead of any ideology. There were others around the table, she knew, with similar thoughts, that this was just an excuse to cause carnage, and that there were better ways to do it.

Ultimately, Domino had little choice but to follow the decisions of her leader and team-mates. She could not, she knew, raise too much of an argument against anything. She was just an employee. They paid her, and she did her job, like a part in a machine. She did not earn a reputation for professionalism by arguing, even when she thought that she had a point. Which was part of the reason why she did not push her "let's just shoot him" idea any further. Another part of the reason was that Domino found herself reacting to her conditioning as a soldier and, when a woman such as Mystique, who was so clearly the "commanding officer" in this situation regardless of what Pietro might have thought, began to issue orders, she had very little choice but to agree to them. Mystique told her her position, and her job. Domino nodded. "I can do that." Her voice, unlike dear old Cutie's, wasn't even slightly ironic. It was a soldier confirming they had received an order. Hitting any target wasn't really too much of a problem for her,much less blowing off some poor fool's kneecap at half a mile. She had a tendency to get lucky with shots like that. She was more suited to a role as a sniper anyway, than anything on the ground. Thanks to her tattoo, her mutation was a little too visible to go marching around the centre of New York City at Christmas time when an anti-mutant preacher was in town, and all the martial arts training in the world came to naught if you bumped in to some brutish security monster twice as tall and three times as strong as you, which there inevitably would be at an event.

Dom stood just after Cutie left the room. She had to go and do some reconnaissance on the area, check out some building plans, get her affairs in order, find the right gun for the job, get enough ammo to last the time, consider the chances (Dom was good at considering chances) of a close-quarters skirmish, what sort of sidearm she should take on something like this. "See you tomorrow night, then." She gave a mockingly girly little wave, wiggling her fingers, and scooted out of the room to go and prepare herself thoroughly for tomorrow night.

The next night, Domino had set off for her sniper perch a little earlier than everyone else. She had dressed in her conventional black leather, and taken with her a standard issue compliment of side-arms: combat knife and a suppressed service pistol (Beretta M9, a personal favourite). She didn't expect to get much use out of either of them, though. She had found herself the perfect position, one of the offices of the Exxon Building opposite the stage. She would have total view of the crowds and the stage itself from all angles. Access to the building had been easy enough. Domino tended to be very lucky when it came to getting in places. She arrived just as the cleaner of the office was leaving, and he conveniently forgot to lock up the doors. She sneaked past the security cameras in the lobby and got up to a very conventional office level- fifteenth floor, the accounting department. She headed to the floor-to-ceiling window and found the seal. With a light push, she opened it enough to position her rifle- a military-issue sniper Mk11 SR-25, perfect for anti-personnel sniping without being too messy- just perfectly. She put her eye to the scope. With a little searching, she spotted someone in a blue hat. That would be Mystique. "This is Domino in position." From up here, she was like their little guardian angel. A guardian angel with a 7.62mm piece of smoking lead for anyone who stood in the way of her or her team.
Posted: Feb 20 2012, 11:24 AM


Pietro stood in relative silence, the sounds of his own fingers tapping quietly against his arm the only noise that was currently escaping him. The Brotherhood, as they were, held only part of his faith. Pietro trusted that they, as a team, could perform this mission without any questions, but they as a "team" did not mesh in a way that was conducive to much, except for the occasional murder of a filthy flatscan racist who deserved to be drawn and quartered and fed to the wolves of his own race.

His silence lingered, and Pietro idly watched the reactions of the other Brotherhood members as he waited for them to respond to his words. There was plenty of time for watching, for making notes, as Pietro's concept of time was so different than any of the others. Time passed slowly for him, and it was only by the grace of his mutation that he was able to force himself to slow his words down to a normal level and match the sedate tempo around him. But it was also his mutation that made his life this way.

In times of peace and quiet in this strange world, Pietro could almost assume that this was what it was like for everyone else. For in these times of peace, he was no longer fast and time was no longer languid. These moments never lasted, however, as Pietro's emotions, hasty as always, conflicted with his concept of the world by instinctively altering his being. His heart and his body sped up, his mind catching up easily and even surpassing what speed the physical components could reach, but the world around him remained exactly the same.

So, with the tapping of Pietro's fingers, he observed everything at once, one, two, three, four taps, each digit meeting his arm before the current situation moved onwards and changed.

Wanda's questioning look was the first thing on his mind, and with his desire to interject and make his opinions about Domino's little scheme known rendered useless, Pietro could now turn his attention to his sister. It was momentarily, but Pietro caught the woman's gaze, answering it was a look of his own, a careful look that was unchanging, unnoticeabley different for the people around him, but Wanda would know. Wanda would understand that he was here, and that he needed her help on this mission, and that he knew she would do exactly as she was ordered to do.

The look was both comforting and cold at the same time, a look of knowledge and knowledge alone. That look lost it's comfort as Pietro turned his attention to Sabretooth for a fraction of his thought processes, his look hardening back into the cold ice he wore as a shield. Sabretooth's silence was noted, but that was just how the mutant was. Pietro almost appreciated it, he almost respected the other mutant for speaking only when necessary, for not submitting idiotic statements into the conversation like some of the others did.

The others could learn a little from the silence.

Karma seemed to do well enough with her own quiet, but whether it was from simple compliance to orders or something else, Pietro couldn't tell. Nor did he care. He held a almost respect for this member of the Brotherhood as well, but it was weak and ill-founded, based only on the knowledge that Karma followed orders and didn't cause problems. He knew she didn't have the strength, the resolve needed to be a truly committed Brotherhood member. Her personality simply wasn't right. She wasn't Pietro nor Mystique nor Sabretooth. Even Genome, as pathetic as he was, had the right personality, the commitment and the hatred.

But Karma, Karma was like Wanda. And like Wanda, Pietro simply ignored the fact that they didn't really belong. They were here, and they followed orders, and that was what mattered.

His silence was still continuing, that round of observation over and another beginning, but it was Mystique that occupied Pietro's mind now. She lingered in his mind like a contaminant that Pietro couldn't quite get rid of, no matter what he turned his attention to.

He didn't need the approval of Mystique, aloud or inferred, to know that he was right. Of course, Pietro was right. He had intelligence and foresight that some of the other Brotherhood members lacked, and in his own personal opinion he was better than the shapeshifter, he deserved the respect of the Brotherhood more than Mystique did. But, even so, he took the orders of the shapeshifter in stride, not one to let a stone trip him up on his path.

But his fingers did stop tapping momentarily, as his attention was forced to fight the flames of the cold war rising, to push away the arrogance that threatened to do something hasty and stupid at this moment and make the respect any of the Brotherhood had for him null and void. He recognized that Mystique's orders weren't wrong. They were perfectly valid and correct - he was needed on the ground for crowd control - but there was a firm insistance by his arrogance that Mystique did not deserve to be giving orders. She did not deserved to hold the power.

But she did.

And he didn't.

So, Pietro moved on, this time letting his mind bristle at a new set of grievances as his fingers tapped once more. The mere idea that he would have fun with crowd control didn't offend Pietro in the same way that it might Wanda, but it offended him all the same. This mission wasn't meant to be fun. They needed to focus, not play idly. And to have Wanda play among the flatscans? That warranted most of Pietro's attention anyways, and it would be his first concern when the battle began, even before completing the mission.

No human was going to touch his sister.

Genome's little departure speech about this being a school trip did not amuse Pietro. What was the suited sociopath doing, joking about a matter that was supposed to be serious? Even with all of his knowledge of science, he was an idiotic fool in Pietro's eyes, but he had his uses, and for this mission he was not needed. Pietro stared coldly at Genome as he left, sorely tempted to behave childishly and block the doorway for just long enough to annoy the mutant, but he only stood still as Genome squeezed by, counting the slow seconds until the bore was gone.

Everyone who was remaining had agreed on the plan, if not in words than in silence. The stage was waiting, and the Brotherhood was standing in the wings, preparing for yet another performance.

And a what a performance it would be.

It was almost traditional for Pietro to arrive early to these sorts of missions. He wandered around this part of New York Proper with all the time in the world. Time to grab a coffee, adding the extra energy to his system, just in case, as he sat quietly on a bench. Pietro looked almost normal in this moment. Almost like he wasn't a mutant, almost like he could have blended in with the world of humans and lived without any problems.

But they were too slow for him.

Because he wasn't a human, he wasn't here to relax, he wasn't here to enjoy the afternoon.

They were here to kill a man. To cause chaos. To make their purpose known. To make the Brotherhood known. To take these glass and metal buildings, symbols of the greatness that man could be, symbols of how high man had risen from when they'd first stepped out of the sea, to take these symbols and make them into a prison for the filthy humans.

A prison and a tomb.

Pietro sat, watching the crowd pass by on the sidewalk nearby, and smiled to himself, quietly and disturbingly.

Long live mutantkind.
Scarlet Witch
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 07:42 PM


Of course Malcolm would be allowed to stay here, and there was a small flicker of jealousy when Mystique excused him from their mission. It was a logical decision by all accounts, given the scientist lacked any sort of combat-friendly mutation or any physical prowess to make up for that lack. If only she was as fortunate. Still, even if Mystique had allowed her to stay behind her brother would not have, the look on his face all she needed to confirm that. It did not make her feel any better about what they were going to be doing, her disquiet subtle but readable for her sibling, as was her reluctant agreement. Where Pietro went, so too did Wanda.

Wanda mere nodded as her orders were given. Her powers gave her the ability to wreak all sorts of havoc in the crowd, preferably from a distance, if Wanda had any say in the matter. She was well aware that her own ability to fight physically was hardly better than Malcolm’s. Not to mention that, given her brother’s overprotective tendencies, Pietro would be less likely to be distracted by any possible danger if she were removed from the immediate vicinity of their…victims.

Genome cheerfully left them all, and there was a suggestion of a sigh from the brunette at his antics. Her gaze slid sideways over the chair the scientist had just vacated, hazel eyes finding those of the woman who had been on his other side. It was a glance that portrayed a certain unhappiness on the part of both parties, a distaste for the violence their compatriots seemed to relish.

It lasted merely a moment, before Wanda was pushing herself up out of her own chair and heading for the door. She paused for only a second in the doorframe, fingers brushing lightly against Pietro’s arm before she disappeared down the hall.


The next evening found Wanda bundled up against the cold and wondering where her, for lack of a better term, partner in crime was at the moment. The plan, as Wanda had understood it, was for her to act as a sort of bodyguard for Karma, to protect her while she used her powers since doing so left her unable to defend herself. The two women had picked a spot in which to meet and from there choose their hiding place, but while Wanda stood at the designated location with slightly anxious eyes scanning the crowd, Karma was nowhere to be seen.

The quick look she'd shared with the woman during their briefing meeting last night had led the Witch to believe that they shared a similar viewpoint on tonight's events. That they would be unnecessarily messy, that killing was never a thing to be so excited for, but that they would do as they were told because it was expected of them. Had Karma since changed her mind? She wouldn't have thought that likely, particularly not over the span of one night - after all, Wanda had been with the Brotherhood for years and still hadn't quite managed to grow the stones to disobey an order. Part of her envied the absent Karma if that was indeed the reason she'd failed to show up, part of her wondered if the woman knew that she would carry a target on her back unless she could give Mystique an adequate reason for her absence.

All of that aside, this left Wanda in something of a pickle. Protecting Karma had meant she'd be separated from the bulk of the crowd, close enough to use her powers but far enough away that she would be unlikely to be in danger of suffering bodily harm. Frankly she rather preferred it that way. Now, instead of being out of the way it looked like she'd be smack dab in the middle of things and that could not possibly end well.

Fingers curled and uncurled absently as she stood there, unhappy gaze raking over the people milling about. Things would begin shortly, and get messy quite quickly she suspected, but perhaps if she stuck to the outskirts of the crowd... There would be nothing subtle about her gift once she started to use it, but in the meantime at least she could blend in like a normal person.
Posted: Mar 11 2012, 09:34 PM


((OOC: Sorry for holding the gang up y'all!))

Victor leaned back into his chair in a round about lazy kind of way as he simply watched and observed everything that was going on around him. That was just how he was. Not one to speak many a word...unless he had to or wanted to. Then you were in for it. The mocking banter and taunting that he was so well known for (and that he absolutely loved of course) and probably just as hated for to. But he never cared of course. But for now--he was quiet and observant. He had nothing to say after all and he wasn't on who talked just for the hell of it. (unlike some people).

'And there goes the rat back to his cave.' He gave an irritable snort as Genome got to his feet and left. The feral mutant couldn't resist the chiding snerk (more like a laughing at you kinda smirk type of...thing) that came to his face as Raven gave him his parting shots then let him on his way. He deserved every one of those. The guy was weak...he was pathetic...he was....well Victor didn't really know what to call that guy. Other then a waste of space maybe? Humph!

Though it seemed like everyone else was on board (a thought that pleased him---at least only one of us seemed like a total chicken). He listened up as Mystique gave them their places and gave them things to do. A fleeting smirk came to the corner of his lips (though this was a more I am pleased by things smirk now other then a distasteful one) as he was given crowd control duty along with a few other (who? he didn't care. All he knew what that he was going to have fun tomorrow night and he was pleased). Oh crowd control. It was more like kill anyone who got in their way kind of control. And Victor enjoyed that. He enjoyed it very much so.

Cause he was bloodthirsty and insane like that! We all should know this by now!

And so that was that. He had his orders. He had what he had to do. He knew what time t o be there. And so that was all he needed to know. There was no point in sticking around anymore. And so giving a slight nod to one and all, he got to his feet and moseyed on out of the room the same way he walked on in (that same beat to his own drummer pace that was). He said not a word, he gave not one parting motion to the group. He was gone....just like that.

Typical of him---really it was.

[-----The next evening-----]

Victor's insides were burning with a variety of emotions as he stood leaning against a building. He was wearing a large black trench coat (it didn't seem too out of the ordinary given the weather and all) with a pair of jeans and a simple shirt underneath it (he was oh so predictably simple like that sometimes). The coat was more for the identification thing then anything else anyways. A way to tell him from the crowd. The crowd that had no idea what was coming to them. None whatsoever.

Oh how he was alive. Alive was a fierce determination to take this idiot down. Alive with eager anticipation of the mayhem they would be causing. Alive with the desire to kill. His feral instincts were on high alert....this was Victor Creed at his most dangerous. And he was ready. He was so ready for this. But he knew he had to wait. Wait for the fireworks to get started so to speak. And that was always the hardest part for him. He wanted to feel blood, hear the screams...feel the fear....

But he still had to wait....

And wait he did....

reluctantly...but he did...
Lady Mastermind
Posted: Mar 12 2012, 10:34 AM


((Heeeeeere's Regan! Lemme know if there's a problem and anything needs changing, k? K.))

Regan settled herself in bed and reached a hand over for the remote. It was rare for her to be in her room this early, especially during the holidays, but she had had her fun all week, and she had a headache besides. However, her plans to spend the next few days treating herself to manicure, pedicure, bubble baths every day, etc. were quickly brought to a screeching halt by the channel the TV had been left on the last time she'd turned it on.

Regan's plans and headache were pushed to the side by the man who called himself a "Proclaimer" and spread his message to the world during Christmas.

"Christ was visited by three wise men. Men, like you and I. Good, honest, God-fearing men. If mutants were holy and right, why are they never mentioned in the Good Book? Because God. Hates. Mutants. And so I'm appealing to you, my brothers and sisters of the clean blood, do God's work this Christmas. Do not buy gifts unless you are sure that only human hands have touched them; do not taint your loved ones' lives with the uncleanliness of mutants! Even supporting their businesses goes against what the Lord teaches us, that it is mankind who should prosper and survive. The baby Jesus would want us to honour His birth by fighting against their sinful existence. Come, brothers and sisters, pray with me now that we may have the strength to rise up in the new year against this satanic army that is threatening to overcome our good, holy city."

Regan's face tightened, her formerly relaxed expression turning into a scowl. "Asshole," she muttered. She restlessly hopped out of bed again, grabbing a hairbrush and jerking it through her blonde hair as she continued to scowl at the television, muttering angrily as she did so. "...Christmas...-grumblegrumble-...'Proclaimer'... -grumblegrumble- ...that little... -grumblegrumble- ...hate holidays... -grumblegrumble- ...fucking nutcase..."

She stopped and turned back to the screen as it was announced that the "fucking nutcase" would be speaking again the following night. A malicious grin spread across her face. "...Oh, hell yes," she said out loud. "You're getting the reception of a lifetime."

She could take one night off to dish out a little vigilante justice. The bubble bath could wait.

~ ~ The Following Evening ~ ~

Regan zipped her sleek black coat dramatically, a motion that - had this been a movie - the camera would have lingered on, and possibly slow-mo'ed. Taking one last glance at herself in the mirror, she smiled thinly and nodded in satisfaction. Black wedges, dark wash skinny jeans that were surprisingly easy to move in, a cream blouse and a slim but warm black jacket clothed the curvaceous blonde. Oh, yeah. And the semi-auto hanging at her side. Not that it was readily visible. The dull black metal was mostly concealed by her coat, still readily accessible, and she was sure she could keep anyone from noticing, if she had to.

Without further ado, Lady Mastermind was on her way to Rockefeller Center, to 'cleanse the world' of her 'chosen one.'

There was quite a crowd gathered, and even more listening the the whackjob than there were the night before. Lady M wandered through the crowd, a few shopping bags and a cup of coffee in her hands by way of camouflage. A faint sense of unease grew in her stomach, but she tried to ignore it. It wouldn't go away. She glanced appraisingly at the crowd, and her steps slowed as she caught sight of a large man in a black trench coat, glowering as he leaned against a building. She knew him. Sabertooth.

Her eyes narrowed, she took a harder look at some of the people in the crowd, but no one else was immediately apparent. "Great," she mumbled to herself. " 'Great minds think alike. ' "

She hesitated. Would they get in each other's way? Unlike some of the people at Xavier's, she had no problem with working with them. Tonight, they had the same goal. Regan grimaced and changed her direction to leave the main crowd and approach Sabertooth. She was wary of the animalistic mutant, but confident in her ability to send him to his knees if necessary. She paused a few feet away and let a dark half-smile tug at her lips. "Good evening," she said, loud enough to be heard over the crowd behind her, but quiet enough to not attract unwanted attention.
Posted: Mar 19 2012, 12:13 PM


Elijah Matthews felt the biting air of New York City in winter pinch colour into his thin cheeks and he inhaled sharply, glorying in the freshness of it all. Sure, there was smog and soot and the scent of a thousand back alleys, but he felt invigorated tonight. The sky was clear, the crowds large and bustling and tonight, like every night, he was going to spread the message of his dear Lord. The true message.

This would be a Christmas Eve to top all that had come before it.

"They're ready for you, Mister Matthews," one of his people told him and he flashed her his brilliant smile, the one that had become his trademark. He preached with passion and fire and always, always a smile on his face. More out of habit than anything else he adjusted his lapels and stood up that little bit straighter, eyes impossibly dark in the nearing glow of the spotlight and then he was stepping into it. Like one of His angels, he was bathed in incandescent and he held up his hands to the heavens, gloried in the glow, felt as is he was being blessed by the Lord Himself...

"My children," he cried and his voice rang out over the crowd. He was Gabriel, he was the messenger, he was the proclaimer...and they were his flock. Only he could speak to them, could guide them onto the right path. "My brothers, my sisters!" Elijah smiled and spread his arms, as if he wanted to embrace them all. "Thank you for being here tonight. The Lord rewards those who surrender their own comfort in the name of hearing His word."

Some beheld him with skepticism, but Elijah ignored them. They were sad and misguided, to be pitied rather than feared. It was those who clustered before the stage who filled him with love and benevolence and fervent fire, those who looked at him with the devotion he himself felt. It filled Elijah to the brim with righteousness and, with his followers and the Lord Himself on his side, he was invincible. He even paid no heed to the two bodyguards who followed him onto the stage, trusted minions chosen for their faith and their size both, but they already saw the way - Elijah's attention, today, was for those who still needed to see the light.

He lowered his hands and felt the light from behind shine through his golden hair like a halo. "But you will be rewarded when the Judgement is upon us. When the Lord sees who followed Him and who let themselves be swayed by the propaganda of an unclean society." He paused, felt the silence, felt the pull of their attention. And the Lord had given him this gift, of knowing when His words would have the most impact through Elijah as His mouthpiece, and he let that knowledge guide him.

"In this world, we are told to 'relax'. We are told to 'get used to it'. We are told to be 'politically correct'." His hand made an impossibly loud smacking sound as it struck the lectern. "And I say to that, to those people who want me to accept a little bit of sin to make someone else feel less guilty about their sinful life, I will say this - that I compromise on God for no man." The crowd roared and Elijah rode their agreement, felt them reaching the high place on which he stood in their hearts. "And if I will not let myself be drawn into sin for man, then I will surely not let those who are not men drag me down to their level as well!" More roaring and shouting and, below him, he could see the crowd shifting, moving, pushing at the barriers that contained them. "God made mankind in his own image. It is we who are his children, with the bodies that he crafted for us, with the limitations that he put upon us. We are exactly as he meant us to be. And, in the past, the Devil has sent us snakes and witches and we have burned them for we reject all that is not of God's dominion. And now, my children--" His hands extended, his fingers spread like claws, like talons, like wings. "--I beseech you. Reject these unclean mutants as we have rejected the Devil's temptations in the past. Reject those who were not made by God's goodness, but out of sin. They do unnatural things, have unnatural powers, are unnatural in their very essence. Some are fiendish to look at and clearly monstrous, but it is those who seek to slip amongst us, unseen, to sow sedition and sin, it is those against whom we must be the most vigilant."

Elijah's fingers turned white with passion as he gripped the lectern and leaned forwards, dazzled by the bright lights that shone on his face and it was like seeing heaven, it was like seeing Him. "I speak to you with my mouth, Brothers and Sisters, not with foul magic or means. I speak to you with my mouth because I am Elijah Matthews, I am the Proclaimer and I..." He paused, felt elation and exultation swell up within him even as the crowd roared below his pulpit. "...and I am a child of God. And you, His other children, will you march with me towards a world of which He would be proud? A world which we have made clean for Him? WHO IS WITH ME?"
Posted: Apr 8 2012, 02:04 AM

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Rockefeller Center in winter. A place that in most minds brought images of happy Christmases spent with families, people hurrying through the cold carrying presents to bring home, children skating happily at the rink, just to laugh when they fall down. That was in most minds of course. Raven Darkholme however, had no such happy associations with this place. It had been a very long time since she tried ice skating, and there was no family waiting for her at home. Of the two people she considered her children either by choice or by birth, one was estranged from her and the other might as well be lost forever. And the people she did live with, her fellow Brotherhood members, they were here as well, scattered around the crowd in their various positions, waiting for the show to start. So no, this place held no happy memories for her, it was not a symbol of good and wholesome things; it was just another part of the city, with people spending money on things they didn’t need. She would help create new memories of this place in the minds of everyone here though.

It hadn’t been hard to infiltrate the preacher’s ranks. After replaying and studying the video of the first speech Raven took note of the positions the various guards had around their leader and decided which one of them she would be replacing. The next evening, a giggly, perky little blonde approached the guard as he and the others stood around, waiting on Matthews as he gave an interview before the speech was supposed to start. The preacher’s mind may have been on holy matters, but those of his followers weren’t entirely, and the guard flirted with the blonde for awhile before leading her off an alley nearby. It was while the guard had the girl pressed against the wall of the alley, groping her feverishly, that she transformed into the taller, wirier blue form of Mystique, who used the guard’s moment of shock and horror to quickly snap his neck. She then dragged the body into a nearby dumpster and rejoined the group, now taking on the form of the deceased guard. The only change she made to the disguise was to add a blue hat; the identifying symbol she had promised the other Brotherhood members so they would know who she was. Raven didn’t want there to be any ‘accidents’ once the action started going down. Of course there was only one person that she would expect such a thing to be attempted by; would Quicksilver try making such a move however, in the middle of a mission? She wouldn’t put it past him, if he decided that he didn’t dare go against her openly. A person couldn’t live in anticipation of what another might do though, and if he did try something tonight, she would either put a stop to both it and him, or failing that, do her best to take him with her.

It was a cold evening, but unlike the people around her who shivered a little even beneath their coats, the only thing Mystique wore was the skin she’d been born with, and the temperature barely affected her at all. She hadn’t been born with it, this seeming disregard for the weather, but long years of practice, gaining near-perfect control of her mutation, gave her the ability to look normal while wearing the appearance of a coat that was nothing more than her own skin, while in the midst of a New York City winter. Some of the guards joked around with each other, while others kept an eye on the crowd, and Mystique kept quiet, falling in with that latter group. She however was keeping a lookout for her own people, to see where the Brotherhood had arranged themselves among this throng. It might become important later to know where everyone was, and she would not be caught unprepared. The only thing she had on her that was not made up of her own flesh and blood was the guard’s gun she’d taken before shoving him into the dumpster, a Desert Eagle that Mystique didn’t know if the man had had a permit for and frankly didn’t care. One or two people she could see; Victor tended to stand out in any crowd, with his size and his fuck-the-world-and-everyone-in-it demeanor. And there was a man sitting on a bench that she thought was Pietro, but at this distance she wasn’t one hundred percent positive.

Matthews finished up his interview and signaled for the guards to follow him. One of the men, the man who Raven had noticed in the video last night had been the only other man flanking Matthews apart from the man she herself was currently impersonating, he began to step towards the stage and Raven followed his lead. The so-called ‘preacher’ paid no attention to them; he might as well be a rock star appearing before his audience rather than a man of the cloth. Mystique didn’t think her opinion of the man could have dropped any lower, but it managed to find itself down to an entirely new level.

Elijah Matthews began his speech and although some regarded him with doubt at first, Mystique saw that he was drawing them in, and it made her sick. His words, twisted and filled with hate, created an anger deep inside of her, slow-burning but strong. She was not a particularly religious person, but she did believe in a divine creator, no matter what name it went by (and God seemed as good a name as any), and every word that this man said went against everything she believed. And these people below, soaking up every word he said; they would follow him, she could see that. Mystique had to stop it. She was not the orator that Erik was. If he was here she could almost imagine the arguments that he would put against this egotistical, would-be crusader. She was a woman of actions, not words, and since Erik was not here she had to take his place. There was always the possibility that she could be creating a martyr with this man’s death, but didn’t these fanatical religious types aspire to become martyrs? Then she’d be giving him what he wanted; he just wouldn’t be around to thank her.

It would be so easy to just lift the gun that she carried and put a bullet into his skull. Quick and easy. He’d drop like a stone. Probably wouldn’t feel a thing. But that wouldn’t be fair to the mutants out there who Matthews planned to cleanse from the world. She highly doubted he would give them the mercy of a quick and easy death, so why should he get any mercy from her? No, there was to be no mercy for those who would stop the future.

The so-called ‘Proclaimer’ was still speaking with that damn mouth of his when Mystique stepped forward. Still wearing the disguise of the guard, she grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him around to face her.

”I think we’ve all had enough now, Mr. Matthews.” She said, and changed her shape right in front of his eyes. Raven felt a great deal of pleasure at seeing the horror on his face as she shifted her form back to that of her own true self. The other guard on stage stepped forward but she pressed the gun to Matthew’s chest, aimed directly over his heart.

”Take one step further and you will be washing the remains of your employer’s heart out of your shirt.” Mystique ordered coldly. Her golden eyes glowed as she watched the preacher maliciously. His fear was almost tangible, and she reveled in it. The crowd below, shocked into a brief silence when she stepped up and grabbed him, now began shouting names and threats. She knew that there were police in the area, and it wouldn’t be long before they began converging on the area. People in the crowd would be calling 911, those who weren’t trying to record this to upload onto YouTube, of course.

”Remove your hands from me, bitch from Hell.” Matthews tried to recover, to put on a brave face even with his life in immediate danger, but his voice shook.

”People like you make me sick.” Raven said, a tight, cold anger in her voice. ”All this talk of God, everything comes from God, unless it’s something better than you, and then of course it’s Satan. ‘Kill it, oh kill it, we have to clean the earth for God’.” she mocked him. ”God’s already cleansed the earth once, don’t you remember what’s in that little book of yours? I think if he wanted it done again he’d have taken care of it himself already, don’t you? Life isn’t static, haven’t you noticed that? Everything changes, even people. You say you are a child of God, Mr. Matthews. And I believe you. But so am I. And guess what? You’re last year’s model.”

”See the spawn of sin right before your eyes!” Elijah cried out. ”Do not let the evil take hold in your city! Do not suffer the witch to live!” He sounded frantic, obviously hoping to call on the crowd to try to save him, and annoyed, Mystique kneed him hard in the groin. His next words were stopped by a strangled croak at the pain, and he would have doubled over if she hadn’t still been holding on to him by his shirt.

”Oh shut up.” she said. Out in the crowd the shouting grew, she could hear sirens approaching, and the distinct sound of a gunshot. Hopefully her people were out there doing their jobs…
Posted: Apr 16 2012, 10:05 AM


Domino was tempted to take her chances with Mystique's rage and the Brotherhood's disapproval and send a bullet straight between the priest's eyes as soon as he mentioned the word God with a capital G. She had controlled it this entire time, but there was something that brought a sickness to her stomach every time she saw someone perverting religion for their own ends. She had been raised by a priest, and if there was one lesson that she had taken away from her entire childhood it was that God was not a hateful being. Her earliest memory was praying, sat beside the man who had been half-father, half-teacher to her, Father Rudolpho. She could remember his words clearly, starkly, mumbled through that Chicago accent with the pointed vowels which hinted at his Italian heritage. God loves, Neena. God loves. He loved her in spite of her sins, and when she was ready to repent she would do so wholeheartedly and without fear. And for her repentance she would enter his Kingdom for all of eternity, as she had been promised. God loved unconditionally. And when someone said he didn't, when someone perverted his words to make them in to messages of hate, Domino couldn't help but want to squeeze the trigger until the gun ran dry and turn every single skull on that stage to paint.

Yet the fancy to blow away Father Fuck-head was decidedly a passing one. Domino got a good hold of herself. He was still going to die, and that was a good thing, but her task was simply to back up her team from afar with her rifle. And, she being Domino- the killer who would do anything if the money was good enough- would do that job to the best of her ability. As her discipline overcame her innate desire to just blast the guy she didn't like in to pieces, something bordering upon a physical metamorphosis seemed to come upon her. She grew hard like iron, her spine straightening and her feet fixing themselves in to position. Her eyes began to scan. She was no longer the leather-wrapped, sardonic gal she had been. She was a soldier. She was a machine designed to kill those who threatened her. And if she was a machine, she was top-of-the-line. She was ready.

To those who were close enough to be able to clearly hear and see what was going on, Domino was sure it was all as beautiful and perfectly choreographed as a Broadway musical. Indeed, as Mystique stepped up and assumed that blue form which Domino envied so much- to be able to be anyone. To be able to leave yourself behind and become someone new when it all got too hard. How Dom would have loved to be able to do that- she'd be willing to bet that there were some people out in that crowd who were looking for the cameras, trying to see if this was some sort of publicity stunt for a new movie or a piece of improv theatre. The noise and confusion on stage might have been entertaining, but Domino filtered them out. It was important that she not focus on a single target. A bullet, a blade, a threat to some team member or comrade, could come from anywhere. Every second she spent focused on the Main Event on the stage was a second which someone could be getting ready to draw their gun. She did, admittedly, allow herself the occasional glance, to smile to herself at the look on the man's face as Mystique advanced upon him.

The first gunshot Domino heard cracked whatever smile had been gently coming to rest on the corner of her lips like a brick through a shop window. She began to scan the entire crowd systematically, dragging her scope across them, searching for the glint of a gun. She could have sent out a single shot and hoped it would hit them, but there was no telling how her powers might interpret this situation. It might be that she blasted any piece straight out of their hands, but it could just as easily be that she sent a bullet through their back. If no one was hurt yet, she sure as hell didn't want a mutie to be the first to cause a casualty. Her powers' unpredictability meant it was best she stick to the old-fashioned sniping system for now, and that meant finding the guy. She found him. One of the preacher's bodyguards. His hand was still up in the air. A warning shot. Taking absolutely no time to calculate the wind in to her shot, Domino focused on the gun that was high above his head and sent out her first shot. A second later, she watched as the man, aghast, snatched his hand back down, the gun he had been holding shattered to shards. His hand might have been broken, but he'd live.

Two gunshots. The cops couldn't ignore this forever.
Posted: Apr 17 2012, 09:22 AM


After his coffee was finished and he was through pretending normalcy, Pietro hung at the outskirts of the crowd, watching the ebb and flow of the humans crowded around the stage and taking note of the almost ant-like way they moved. Channels opened up where one person attempted to walk through, and others would eventually follow and take advantage of the path the first had forged, with less and less resistance as more people moved. That was what this was about. If you let one ant through, others would follow. Luckily, Elijah Matthews was an ant giving his final sermon, before he was to be crushed under the shapeshifter's heel as she moved into place.

There was an idle note of where each of the Brotherhood members were waiting in Pietro's head. A basic map with the crowd and other obstructions carefully marked so that when things started getting a little more interesting, Pietro knew where he could go and what was in his way. If each member was marked accordingly on this hypothetical map, Wanda was a question mark with a large circle around her, indicating that somewhere within these lines she stood. Pietro hated that, even though it was nothing to worry about. He didn't particularly care to see Mystique, he could see the target, he could see Sabretooth, and he knew where Domino was, but he couldn't see Wanda.

Frustrations of a control freak, always out to get him.

The black-coated mass of Sabretooth was very evident to Pietro, and the speedster let his eyes rest a moment on his brother-by-association before returning his attention to the crowd to mark threats. Sure, even though Sabretooth was rather large and attracted attention, Pietro was pretty positive he got more second glances than the feral mutant. It was hard to hide the silver-white hair without making himself even more suspicious, and as everybody and their second cousin had noted, such white hair on a young face certainly drew questions.

Questions that would undoubtably be answered in due time. Pietro watched the Matthews character preach as he tugged at his gloves, unsuspicious in the cold weather, but reinforced with metal and made of similar construction as his uniform Pietro wore underneath street clothes. He listened as he performed the almost pre-mission rituals, anger at the preacher growing as time ticked slowly by. There was no need for Pietro to have to force himself faster, to take the baseline speed he operated upon during the quiet times and push it farther and harder, because Elijah Matthews was doing that perfectly well.

Pietro had opinions on religion and God and those kinds of things, but they were things better left to conversations outside of the Brotherhood, and certainly not at this moment. Right now, he was much too preoccupied by the words the so-called preacher was saying. Pietro could have bet money - and had this not been a serious enterprise, he might have - on how many Brotherhood ideals this man was entirely against. Ideas like "I will surely not let those who are not men drag me down to their level" seemed to imply that it was mankind who stood above mutantkind in the world. Wasn't this religion supposed to teach forgiveness, and didn't that the worst sinners could still be redeemed? It was funny how this particular human contradicted himself, and though Pietro thought these things, he simply did not care. The Brotherhood, as far as Pietro knew, did not operate under any kind of jurisdiction from religion. This preacher called them devils and demons and witches and snakes and sinners - all things that Pietro certainly hoped that they were, considering what saint-like qualities this preacher was showing them.

Amusing, but that would soon end. Quicker than Pietro expected, it seemed, as a guard stepped forwards and by his actions declared himself to be Mystique in disguise. Her actions? Herself? Pietro wasn't entirely sure how far Mystique's shapeshifting actually went, but he had no doubts she had her options. Shapeshifters could get and do whatever they wanted, apparently. Pietro thought this with a touch of irritation, but these were all in the very brief moments between movements of Mystique and Matthews. He could hear the little lecture Mystique was giving the man, and there was plenty of mental sarcasm for the scaly snake giving the preacher lessons in religion, but it was in Pietro's head alone.

The guard's warning shot was noted by Pietro, as he'd seen the gun come out of hiding and the man's arm move before judging that it was just a warning shot. The next gunfire he heard was from Domino, if he was to take the look of surprise on the guard's face for anything. Pietro was less concerned for Mystique's safety, since Domino obviously had her covered and since Sabretooth was substantially closer to the stage than Pietro was (not that distance truly mattered). He was on crowd control, not "defend Mystique" control. There was a glint of something that caught Pietro's eye, and he noted a man standing a few paces away pulling up his jacket to reveal something less forgiving than the good book. Pietro didn't rush, but nevertheless, he had time to remove the gun from the man's waistband before the man was able to get his hand in to the right place. Pocketing that, Pietro moved away, blending a little in the crowd with a careful stride, eyes flicking from the now very confused man to the stage in a guise of concern.

Oh, dear, there's a mutant on the stage. I should feel concern for Matthews and be angry at the sinful mutant who dare approach him. Hah. Pathetic. There was still a sense of shock across the crowd, but some of the ones who were not still staring dumbfounded at Mystique were moving. Hopefully, they'd decide to do something stupid, or else he was going to get bored very quickly, even for the speedster.
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