15271/The Magnetic Storm

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The Magnetic Storm
Date of Scene: 28 June 2023
Location: Lowtown, Madripoor
Synopsis: After an explosive incident in Madripoor, Magneto, Magik, Boom Boom, and Psylocke investigate and discover a lead to Cairo
Cast of Characters: Magneto, Psylocke, Magik, Boom-Boom
Tinyplot: Eternal Eclipse

Magneto has posed:
The Low Town area of Madripoor lies in ruins, its cramped streets now consumed by chaos and destruction. It clear that an explosion has unleashed devastation, leaving the city's inhabitants bewildered and terrified. Neon lights flicker sporadically, casting an eerie glow on the twisted wreckage and shattered glass that litter the thoroughfares. New reports have suggested that the explosion was electromagnetic in nature. There have been rumours of sightings of Magneto in the area.

The air is heavy with the acrid scent of smoke and burnt debris, mingling with the disarrayed voices of distressed onlookers. Amidst the wreckage, a haunting silence punctuated by the distant wailing of sirens fills the air. An atmosphere of despair and desolation surrounds the area. Broken remnants of daily life stand as sombre monuments to a city shattered by forces beyond comprehension.

The police have erected barricades around Low Tow, blocking people from accessing certain sections of the neighbourhood. Behind the barricades a still lifeless forms of various sides lying on the ground covered by white sheets.

The people of Madripoor, a diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds, emerge cautiously from the shadows, their resilience unyielding. Fearful eyes search for signs of solace or direction, yearning for a glimmer of hope amidst the devastation. They cling together, forming impromptu communities of support, their shared determination acting as a beacon in the darkest of times.

From the depths of despair, a resolve to rebuild and reclaim the neighbourhood emerges, as if forged by the very calamity that has befallen them. Strangers extend helping hands, and a sense of unity takes root amidst the ruins. The people of Madripoor, resilient and unbowed, will not let this tragedy define them. With each piece of debris cleared, each shattered window replaced, they will forge a new foundation upon which to build the area.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy Braddock has been largely absent for two years.

Absent from New York, anyway. Reports of her in Europe have been prevalent through glossy photos in social media and gossip magazines, as has reports of Psylocke in Japan... and Madripoor. In many places, having violet eyes and purple hair makes you stand out. In Madripoor? She practically looks tame in comparison to many. It's probably why she's spiced up her outfit a little: her tight, molded black leather is mostly concealed beneath a cloak in gleaming silver, sharp shoulders and a hood.

It's been a while since Psylocke has been seen carrying a physical blade, but she has a long Japanese katana strapped to her back, the handle of the blade rising above her head.

In Madripoor, if you don't look like you can handle yourself, you look like a victim. And Psylocke, striding confidently along, her silver cloak gleaming in the neon glow of Low Town, definitely doesn't look like a victim.

The tall ninja's on scene so quickly that it can't be coincidence: she must have been in Madripoor when the explosion hit. She'd heard the rumors that Magneto was responsible, and she's come to see for herself. The barriers are no impediment to a ninja; clinging to the shadows, she steps into one shadow...

...and steps out of another, directly into the ruins, the remnants of smoke and debris. Psylocke is alert, but she doesn't draw her weapon, moving slowly, her telepathic senses reaching out for signs of Magneto. Or signs of life at all.
Magik has posed:
"Perhaps the old man isn't as docile as he let on."

A white disc opens in the ruins of St. Christopher's Cathedral, in the cordoned area.

"... or perhaps he's on the verge of being the victim of bad PR," Magik continues, low and taut as she steps out of the disc and into devastation. "Prioritize search and rescue," she says to her teammate. "Be aware of any evidence pointing to a perpetrator. Remnants of a device; a body; an idiot lurking amidst their handiwork-- anything." Unlike Psylocke, Magik doesn't wear her blade; she just looks like a European woman who got lost on her way to a Hightown club, given her uniform of a black leather crop top and hot pants. The red-limned 'X' cut out of the center of her chest offers some semblance of branding without particularly disturbing the illusion of being wildly out of place not just in Lowtown, but in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Without waiting for acknowledgement, she gives Tabitha a brief look then steps forward, disappearing through the disc that snaps open in front of her. They have comm units; they'll be in touch.

"Do not engage any hostiles alone; fan out and concentrate on scouting-slash-recon," she transmits through hers as she steps out in what was an apartment tower to start picking through rubble.
Boom-Boom has posed:
While the weather back in Westchester might not have been too bad. Summer in a place like Madripoor comes with both heat and some humidity. Throw in the funky smells of poverty and little care for civic upkeep on things like trash removal. The addition of fire and death can hit the nose pretty hard even without enhanced senses.

Tabitha had come along mostly because of boredom. That and she kind of knows a fair bit about explosions. Her own powers might leave her up the creek if they have to fight Magneto himself. But she can always improvise.

Dressed more casually in some old dark blue Levi's. A red tee with a faded parody logo in white saying in small print 'SNORT' and in a larger print 'COKE' in white. Yellow chucks on her feet matching a spiky leather belt and choker at her waist and neck while red tinted Ray Bans sit atop loose hair.

At a glance she might look tourist.

Her own jump through the portal with Illyana gets a nod of her head.

The darkness of the EMP based detonation gets her double checking her comms in her ear. "Just be nice and casual, we're rubbernecking white girl tourists." she states and hmms. The closest thing she has to a weapon is an old nultitool in a pocket. "Seems like the old man, no power. But feels kinda like why would he bust up this place? Why not go where the money is?"
Magneto has posed:
As Psylocke gracefully glides through the debris-ridden streets of Low Town, her telepathic powers extend like delicate tendrils, reaching out into the ether. With focused intensity, she probes the psychic landscape, seeking signs of life amidst the chaos. And there, her mental touch stumbles upon a faint flicker, a consciousness shrouded in darkness, emanating from a nearby shattered edifice.

The building, a mere skeleton of its former self, stands precariously on the precipice of collapse. Its skeletal frame leans haphazardly, defying gravity's grasp, as if daring the world to swallow it whole. Psylocke's keen gaze sweeps over the wreckage, taking in the jagged edges and twisted metal, a testament to the devastating force of the electromagnetic blast that tore through this once-vibrant enclave. The devastation is palpable, a symphony of destruction, and the air hangs heavy with a sense of impending doom.

Within the crumbling walls, tucked away amidst the remnants of shattered lives, lies the trapped individual. Unconscious and vulnerable, their very existence teeters on the edge of oblivion. However, the danger that looms above, the imminent collapse of the ravaged structure, renders it a deathtrap, a forbidden zone for the emergency services of Madripoor.

Meanwhile, in the desolate aftermath of St. Christopher's Cathedral, Illyana and Tabitha stand amidst the ruins, a solemn tableau of devastation. The once-grand arches and sacred halls now lie in ruin, reduced to a haunting memory of a bygone era. Amidst the desolation, a glimmer of hope emerges---a young boy, untouched by the physical toll exacted by the cataclysmic event, scurries about the shattered remnants, his youthful spirit seemingly unscathed.

Eyes keen and vigilant, Illyana and Tabitha catch sight of the boy. Before they can utter a word or extend a comforting hand, the child's gaze meets theirs, and a flicker of trepidation dances in his eyes. Fear seizes him, like a wild creature on the brink of escape, and he instinctively turns to flee. His tiny feet carry him towards the welcoming embrace of a nearby street, blissfully unaware of the peril that awaits.

As the young boy inches closer to the threshold of the street, fate intervenes with a cruel twist. A section of a nearby building, already weakened by the ravages of destruction, succumbs to the weight of its own demise. Like a slow-motion dance of destruction, the edifice teeters on the brink of collapse, a monstrous guillotine poised to strike down upon the unsuspecting child. The world holds its breath, as if time itself momentarily freezes, the gravity of the situation etching itself upon the hearts of those who bear witness.
Psylocke has posed:
The moment two minds simply appear in the middle of the area, Betsy becomes aware of them. The tall woman stills, in the shadows, reaching, and surprised to find them familiar. A complication, but not the worst one. Their presence doesn't really change her approach.

When the telepath finds that faint flicker of a life, shrouded in darkness, it takes her mere seconds to cross the space. From one shadow to the next she steps, bringing her to the shattered building in mere moments. One doesn't need to be a telepath to sense the Sword of Damocles situation at play; Betsy's seen enough ruined buildings to know it won't be long before the whole thing comes down.

One of the major downsides to Betsy's power is her need to focus. The telepathy falls away, as she reaches out mentally with her telekinesis, and careful movement of some of the debris begins. While she might not be linked telepathically to the unconscious figure, she holds a sense of where they are, simultaneously creating a kind of shield immediately around them to protect them should her movement of the heavier items shift anything towards them.

Her body is still, mind focused on the task as she peels away the wreckage trapping the individual as readily as she might peel away the layers of one's mind.
Magik has posed:
Between steps - as she passes through the timeless realm of Limbo - a vision flashes across Magik's perceptions, tuned as they are to her domain:

A small hand stained with blood;
    An avalanche of mortar and bricks;
        Fearful steps echoing past a threshold and free-standing doorway;

With a captured breath, she glances back over her shoulder--

-- and sprints out of another stepping disc, snapping into the Cathedral mere moments after the last one's disappearance. Diving, she tries to tackle the boy to the ground--

Through a stepping disc shredding through asphault--

Out of another disc a couple feet above what was the Cathedral's floor, all in the hopes of crashing to safety with the child in her arms.

She is very careful to keep the boy's head tucked against her body, and her hand clasped over his ear during the moments when the two of them must step through hell on the way to salvation.

Through it all, the most notable astral clues as to which familiar presence has arrived in Lowtown are the empty blotch her adamantine-clad mind forms amidst the psychic seas-- and the way that blotch flickers in and out of existence at seemingly arbitrary moments as Magik flits to and from her extradimensional dominion.
Boom-Boom has posed:
It might have been a pretty nice looking church in it's prime. Tabby being pretty light with moving debris. Not sure if anything forensic might get messed with. Best she can do in that regard is make bad puns and look good in sunglasses.

Doesn't mean she doesn't put her back into anything that looks like it might be covering and burying people or weird hidden stuff. Lifting a bit more than what most women her size and apparent level of fitness might stand out.

Not yet knowing Psylocke is around she just keeps on doing what she does. Not that Tabby is trying to be too stealthy.

The kid gets spotted at as much the same time. There's a quick look to her field partner and then to the kid. "Hey, we're not gonna hurt you, we're here to... crap, he's running!" she states and moves to take off after him. He'd already dashed as she'd opened her mouth.

Illyana's portals make her faster when they see the debris coming down atop the kid. Tabby is not so fast on foot but just in case she's already lining up a small number of small plasma bombs. Flung in a backhand seemingly haphazardly.

Once they get close enough over where Illyana scoops up the kid, might be a trip through a hell, but it beats not being able to comeback from any afterlife.

BOOM! Small blasts but shaped to direct debris away and around from the child and keep from sending anything through the portal along with the two travellers.

It's noisy but with parts of building coming down hopefully noise is the only thing that gets covered up.

"You and the kid okay?" she asks through the earpiece communicator.
Magneto has posed:
Undeterred by the devastated surroundings, Psylocke perseveres in her valiant efforts to liberate the trapped soul from the rubble-laden confines of the building. Every motion is purposeful, a symphony of grace in the face of imminent danger. As the arduous task unfolds, a faint but distinct sound reverberates through the air---a steady rhythm of booted footsteps. Yet, no mental echoes resonate from the person behind her.

Undeterred by the enigma, Psylocke redirects her focus, channelling her energy into her mission. She wields her mutant gifts like surgical instruments, navigating the treacherous labyrinth of debris with unwavering resolve. And in a testament to her unwavering determination, she triumphs. The woman, who had teetered on the precipice of doom, is now liberated from her entangled prison, rescued from the jaws of impending catastrophe. The building, too, defies the fate that loomed so ominously, holding its crumbling facade at bay, if only for a moment longer.

The boy, his eyes wide with a mix of fear and awe, peers up at the two extraordinary women before him. His voice quivers with uncertainty as he tentatively addresses them, seeking confirmation of their extraordinary nature. "You are mutants, yes?" His words linger in the air, their weight heavy with apprehension, yet tinged with a glimmer of hope. Though fear still grips him, rendering his movements tentative, for now, he remains rooted in place, held captive by a numbing shock that seizes his young soul.
Psylocke has posed:
Piece by piece, debris flies around in a kind of orchestrated symphony. In a way, it would be beautiful to view, if anyone but Betsy Braddock were here to see. When she finally reveals the unconscious woman, the pull of Betsy's mind brings the unconscious form forward, settling the woman at her feet. The purple-haired woman doesn't bend to tend to the figure though, because she hears those footsteps.

There are many reasons why Betsy can't sense a mind associated with the footsteps that approach her. The immediate being that her use of telekinesis to free the woman prevents her reaching for it: but even when done, even when her mind unfurls and stretches out instinctively to give her a moment's warning before she turns -- she can't feel the presence at her back.

Another telepath? Someone who can shield their mind?

It's not like she can hide though, so Betsy turns to face the approaching figure, chin lifted, expression haughty and confident.

Somewhere in the background, there's a BOOM! Really, she thought it was going to happen sooner given who she sensed.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Tabby is pretty sure Illyana at least is okay. The woman's tough as nails. The boy the pair saved seems to be as well though he probably could do with a bath and something to eat. Good guess he might be homeless. A life Boom-Boom knows way too well.

There is a smile aimed at the boy and yes she's acknowledging the question. "Well we are, but if like anyone in like military uniforms or like cops roll up on us we're totally just two chicks that got lost trying to find a good rave. A mutant might have caused all this so like people might not be fans of our kind right now." she keeps her tone cheery and warm. A finger at her lips in a kind of shush gesture. Secret identities do sometimes have their place.

Of course now that they have him, might as well ask some important questions. "What got you out here? Church might have some stuff worth selling if it was still active. Don't think we'll be finding a safe in all this though filled with collection money? Parents or someone all adult gonna be missing you at all?" It's probably a lot of questions pretty fast but the American woman does run her mouth a lot.
Magik has posed:
"Yes," Illyana succinctly says while Tabby explains at length.

"What happened before the explosion? Did you see anything?"
Magneto has posed:
Standing resolute before Psylocke is none other than Magneto, his regal form adorned in the red and black version of his iconic attire, accentuated by the flowing cape and the gleaming helmet that shields his thoughts from her telepathic reach. A silent understanding passes between them as she comprehends the reason behind the building's defiance of gravity. Magneto, the master of magnetism, stands with hands poised, his powers harnessed to preserve the precarious structure.

Words remain absent from Magneto's lips, an unspoken agreement between the two mutants forged in the crucible of shared purpose. A stoic visage reveals his steadfast determination, his unwavering commitment to safeguarding the woman, even amidst the chaos that surrounds them. In this profound moment, their paths converge, united by a silent understanding, each knowing their roles in this fragile dance of salvation.

Meanwhile, the boy's anxiety permeates his trembling frame as he shakes his head in response to the inquiry about mutants. His voice trembles, betraying the worry that clutches his heart. "No," he whispers with a mixture of fear and urgency. "I heard noise and came running. I am worried for my family."
Psylocke has posed:
A long pause. Violet eyes regard the other mutant.

"Magneto," Betsy says with a smile that is, for all it has the air of a practiced act, genuine.

She has really no cause to assume there's any animosity between them; Psylocke in the past has proved flexible in working with Magneto's more aggressive agenda, even if she does work for Xavier. What surprises her though, is the Master of Magnetism's willingness to assist in such an endeavor... especially when word had it he was responsible.

Is it guilt? Obligation? Is the unconscious woman a mutant? The latter seems more likely than the former, but Betsy's normal ways to intuit such understanding -- merely pulling it from someone's head -- elude her, thanks to Magneto's helmet. He is beyond her reach, and she doesn't try -- instead, her thoughts range further, for a moment.

When her attention returns to the here-and-now, it is obvious, because a glance sees the unconscious woman lifted by unseen forces, floating gently alongside them as she steps out of the precarious building. "I sense others that way," she tells Magneto, with a nod in the direction she senses the small grouping of three.

It's a test, of sorts. A way for Betsy to discern Magneto's motivations through mundane means. Does he mean to help? Hinder? She'll learn something useful, either way.
Magik has posed:
"Tell me where they were," Illyana says, looking into the boy's eyes. Despite the care shown when jumping through Limbo with the child, there's nothing gentle in her voice or expression; this is an emergency situation that hasn't the room for softness, and saving lives trumps coddling feelings.

"Despite appearances," she then says with a sidelong look towards Tabitha, "I sincerely doubt that Magneto had anything to do with this; we would know if he had. He would be floating above it; proclaiming, loudly. He is not a subtle man. Keep an eye on him--"

Because as soon as he gives her some idea of where to go, Magik will open a stepping disc to traverse there and search for signs of his parents.

"-- and, perhaps, get his name," she thinks to add after a beat.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Considering the amount of wreckage inside and what reports she'd heard before she and Illyana arrived, Tabby does her best to not turn her smile into an awkward looking yikes version. "Imma bet money they'll be fine. After all this they're gonna be scared as hell if they don't see you at home." she points out.

Hers wouldn't really have cared but amazingly some people actually have good caring parents.

It's possible that while Betsy can likely tell it's Boom-Boom and her erratic mind. Even more scrambled in places since it had been a long time since even Tabitha had been around the Xavier school. Magneto can likely pick up the bio-electrical signature of Boom-Booms power. Especially with the added noise. How long was here there watching.

There's another smile, to Illyana and then the kid. "So you have a name? I'm Boom-Boom, this lovely lady that is offering to help look for your folks is Magik. Figure we can take a quick spin around and see if they're around here first before we get you home." It's gonna suck if the kid is now an orphan.

"The old man did love to gloat. Definitely at least not his daughter doing this either." she had been hoping to find a device or something that might have done the damage instead of someone with powers.

She still looks around for any signs though. "Are we even in like ground zero or is that like across the street?" she ponders aloud.
Magneto has posed:
With the unconscious woman safely removed from the immediate danger, Magneto's steely gaze follows Psylocke's gesture, his focus fixating on the ominous direction she points. A sombre resolve etches itself upon his face as he addresses the gathering, his voice carrying the weight of admonishment.

"You shouldn't have come here. None of you should have," he retorts, his tone laced with sternness and a touch of regret. The gravity of their presence in this treacherous place looms heavily upon his words. Yet, his tone shifts, his pragmatic nature asserting itself. "However, it is too late for that now. I suggest we join with the others; time is of the essence."

The boy, Yazhu, gazes up at Boom-Boom, his eyes searching for a semblance of connection. His voice carries a tremor of vulnerability as he imparts his name, a small thread of identity in the face of chaos. "Yazhu," he states, his voice both tentative and resilient.

Turning his attention to Magik, a flicker of uncertainty dances within Yazhu's eyes. The depth of the unknown weighs upon him, leaving him grasping for answers. "I don't know," he admits. "It's different." His voice tinged with a blend of fear and hope. In this shattered reality, uncertainty has become the unwelcome companion of those left in its wake.
Psylocke has posed:
He speaks. It's not what Betsy expects though. There's a long pause, a sculpted brow lifted briefly. Even with her Japanese features she manages to pull off British haughtiness like she as born to it -- because she was. "I was in the area. I heard rumors you might be here."

Whether Betsy intends that to sound like she was seeking out Magneto or not, that's certainly how it comes across.

The concession that it is too late makes her smile. "Indeed." The woman carries herself with a grace, not picking her way across the debris, but lifting herself into a slow glide, alongside the unconscious woman, as if anticipating that Magneto will do the same.

He did say time was of the essence.

Betsy can no longer sense the other mutants, since she's using her telekinesis, but she points unerringly to where they were all the same, gliding towards the group.
Magik has posed:
Since he's not giving her a place to search, Magik stays put, frowning with her back turned to Yazhu for several expectant seconds before finally turning towards him again. She lets Tabitha handle the diplomacy; Illyana's all frowns and taut body language, standing as she is in the middle of a disaster zone with nowhere to direct her energies thanks to having a child to concern herself with.

When one of her brisk perimeter scans - for looters, terrorists, or evil mutants - turns up flickers of familiar psionic light, blue eyes narrow, fixing on the distant flares.

Just in case, she holds her right arm out to her side and just about closes her eyes. Eldritch ribbons slither out from her core, wind down the length of her arm, and gather in her waiting hand, coalescing into an enormous sword that should be a two-handed burden, yet remains casually balanced in just one.
Boom-Boom has posed:
That look of worry Yazhu wears gets a similar look back from Tabby. "So hey, if we find ya parents and it's not a happy ending. You like got other family you can lean on? Grandparents, cool aunts or uncles?" she asks, helping to make sure the kid doesn't have too much worry if the worst case scenario comes up.

Magik's mystical scanning and then the appearance of the Soulsword gets a frowny face. Serious business time. This gets another smile and Boomie's tone staying warm. "So yeah, just in case we gotta throw hands. I'd suggest if things get extra extra rough..." a bunch of Lowtown being engulfed in an electromagnetic explosion is plenty as it is. "Running home is something I'd suggest." safest thing he can do just in case. "But we'll help you look for your folks as long as it's safe. Falling debris doesn't count. We can totally knock more walls down if we need to. And if you like wanna loot, we saw nothing!" she adds with a more playful wink.

There may be problems with income in the kids future. Better steal than starve.
Magik has posed:
"You should loot," Illyana adds, deadpan; still fixated on the disturbance in the distance.
Magneto has posed:
With unwavering determination, Magneto guides Psylocke through the labyrinthine ruins, their steps resonating with purpose. As they navigate the shattered remnants of Madripoor, a sight greets them---a convergence of forces, where Boom Boom and Magik stand alongside a young boy. The recognition in Magneto's eyes is palpable

Closing the distance between them, Magneto's voice carries a note of inquiry, his tone tinged with a blend of caution and curiosity. "If Psylocke was in the area, what about you two? What are you doing here in Madripoor?" His penetrating gaze seeks the truth, the lines of his face etched with a mix of concern and authority.
Psylocke has posed:
There's probably no one who has met Psylocke -- or Betsy Braddock -- and determined that she is in any way submissive. And yet, an interesting thing happens, as she moves alongside Magneto; as they approach the trio with the young boy: she drops back just a step, like there's a subtle kind of deference to the older mutant.

It might be deliberate; it might be unconscious. Hard to tell, because Psylocke's expression is placid, largely -- interested violet gaze alighting on the additional pair of mutants with just as much interest in the answer as the man beside her.

Floating just behind her shoulder, the form of the unconscious woman settles down on the ground, without even a look from Betsy.
Magik has posed:
"I wanted to see whether you'd had an abrupt change of heart," Magik evenly replies. The answer's for Magneto, but her attention quickly settles on Betsy as a blonde brow gradually arches.

"And engage in altruism," comes with a vague gesture towards the child, "regardless."

A beat passes.

Her head cants, ever so slightly, as blue eyes curiously narrow.

"And you?" she asks, of Betsy.
Boom-Boom has posed:
When Magneto actually seems to make an appearance. And starts to address the two blondes and their new fried. Or at least Tabitha and Illyana the blonde in the drog advocating red tee and almost painted on jeans makes sure she's between the master of magnetism and the boy.

Just in case.

"So like, big old EMP explosion, lotta bodies, kinda screams you. But at the same time kinda off. This place's kinda low income if you wanted to send people a message." she states and sweeps one of her hands around. The whole area is a disaster zone, not just inside the church.

Betsy hanging back by and behind Magneto getting an upnod of a greeting while the Ninja is in back. Hopefully there won't be any stabbing but a telekinetic blade is probably the better option if things get wild.

"Like so, why not go up and hit people in the money instead. Better message. So we're trying to like figure out who or what. Polaris is off the list of whodunnit, just tryin' ta cross you off." she adds
Magneto has posed:
A flicker of surprise dances across Magneto's countenance as he absorbs the words spoken by Boom Boom and Magik. "You both think that has something to do with me?" he queries, his voice tinged with a mix of curiosity and bewilderment. His attention shifts, focusing on Psylocke standing behind him. "And what about you? Do you also believe that this incident has something to do with me as well?"

Caught up in the exchange, the young boy, Yazhu, seizes the momentary distraction as an opportunity for escape. Swift as a fleeting shadow, he slips away, fading into the ruins of Low Town. Magneto's gaze briefly acknowledges the child's departure, his voice resolute as he speaks of leaving him to navigate his own path. A testament to the resilient nature of Madripoor's denizens, their ability to adapt and survive even in the face of adversity.

Returning his focus to the conversation at hand, Magneto dismisses the accusations levelled against him. "This incident has nothing to do with me," he asserts, his tone carrying conviction. He elaborates, his words laced with pragmatism and the foresight of a leader. "Attacking Madripoor so blatantly would not bode well for Genosha. It could lead to international trouble with other world leaders, a situation I am not currently seeking to provoke."

A pointed glance is directed at Magik, a silent reminder of their recent conversation. However, he acknowledges his presence in Madripoor prior to the explosion, driven by reports of unusual activity. "I came to investigate," he reveals, his voice holding a hint of urgency. "I am not sure what caused the explosion, but rumours suggest there may be an eyewitness, a survivor. We must locate them, to uncover the truth and prevent potential trouble for Genosha and our fellow mutants."
Psylocke has posed:
"I am not generally inclined to altruism," Psylocke declares. It's not true; she has her moments. The unconscious woman lying on the ground behind her now might suggest such, but it's Kwannon that is matching Illyana's energy.

She's aware that's not what the blonde Russian is asking.

"So if we're all here for /altruism/," is that a sidelong look at Magneto from Psylocke? "Then we should try and figure out what caused this." The long beat of silence follows Magneto's look at her in turn. It's Kwannon's cool honesty that answers the man: "I wondered, when I heard rumors of your presence here. Not once I saw you." Protecting her. Protecting the woman, too, more surprisingly. Whatever his reasoning, she believes him.

When Magneto speaks of an eyewitness, Betsy nods. "A moment." Her eyes close. Unnecessary, but it helps her focus as her mind spools out, around them, seeking nearby thoughts, seeking nearby presences. She feels, briefly, the boy as he disappears, tracks him in an absent way as she extends her reach, seeking what they're looking for.
Magik has posed:
"Not particularly," Illyana promptly replies to Magneto. Her attention drifts his way as he explains his innocence at length; she listens, silent and intent, until he's finished.

"Like I told Boom-Boom:" she then adds, "If it had been you, we would have known by now; you would have made a scene of it."

Rather than press on Psylocke's non-answer or offer more deadpan observations about Magneto, the blonde woman turns from both as her eyes lid. Beneath her breath, she utters strange sounds -- words in a language long since forgotten by most -- while splaying both hands before herself. A small stepping disc stretches open between them, swirling and pulsing in time with her incantation.

Psylocke has her own, relatively efficient way of finding a needle in a devastated city; Illyana has to rely on more circuitous means.

Elsewhere, burning air reverberates with instructions in an infernal tongue. Stepping discs snap open; a small flock of diminutive demons - each one about 75% blinking, spherical eye plus bat wings and little talons - splits itself among the portals, flitting between 'now' and varying slices of 'then' in an effort to canvas Lowtown for signs of a witness. Their senses weave with Illyana's, inundating her with half a dozen pitching, swirling impressions of Lowtown in varying states of decay and/or destruction immediately before, during, and after the attack.

Even though they're both preoccupied, she manages - toneless and low - to note:

"That isn't what I asked at all," to Psylocke.
Boom-Boom has posed:
"Magik's got like a good point. My money be like false flagging. Some shady ass black ops stuff. Build an EMP bomb, set it off, make it look like you. You come here anyway cause it's straight sus. But they hit a run down part of the city instead of something you would hit." Tabitha ponders and when she hears the footsteps of Yazhu running off she shrugs and gives the kid a smile he probably won't see.

She'd wave but that'd be a waste. "Hope he finds his parents alive." she says softly before her volume inevitably goes up to speak with Magneto.

If he was a witness he'd probably be dirtier looking than the usual Lowtown fare.

"Figure you'd be able to feel out if it was tech or someone with powers and isn't like your hot green haired daughter, EM feelies and signatures and stuff. And if we find bits and pieces of a device, then it's like follow the money we can sic the math nerds at. Who gets the most outta trashing Lowtown. and like, making you look and Genosha shittier to everyone?" she posits while making sure she doesn't fall into one of the portals being opened around her.
Magneto has posed:
Magneto's head shakes in a gesture of resignation. "Indeed, my powers excel at detecting energy patterns, but I believe the source of this explosion has long vanished. Searching for a witness without knowledge of their nature, whether mutant or human, is a task better suited for the talents of Psylocke and Magik. Their tracking abilities surpass my own."

The quest to locate the potential eyewitness proves to be a more arduous undertaking than anticipated. Time stretches, elongating the path they traverse, as Psylocke and Magik painstakingly follow the faint trails left behind. Their determination remains unwavering, a testament to their expertise in pursuit and apprehension.

Finally, their efforts bear fruit. The duo discovers a figure concealed in the depths of the Princess Bar's basement, barricaded behind the protective cover of stocked racks. Anxiety pulses through the air, evident in the rapid beating of the hidden individual's heart. Fear clings to their every breath, a residual echo of the traumatic events that have unfolded.

Psylocke's empathic senses catch glimpses of scattered thoughts, fragments of the survivor's mind that hint at a presence clad in brown cloaks.
Psylocke has posed:
Psylocke can't see the impressive magic that Illyana is weaving right now, with her eyes closed. But she knows what the woman is doing. Whether intentional or not those portals leave openings for the purple-haired telepath's mind -- though she can only sense minds through the ones in the 'now' rather than in the past.

"We will talk later, Magik," comes Psylocke's murmur in return. A promise, then.

Anxiety and fear aren't exactly unique in Madripoor, even on a day in which a part of the city has been exploded. The place is a literal den of thieves, pirates and criminals, after all. But it's the imminent beat of that distant, fearful heart that brings the telepath's mind to that basement location.

"Princess Bar," Betsy murmurs. "Basement. Hidden behind racks. They are terrified, anxious about what happened. I-" the purple haired woman hesitates. "I got a glimpse of a figure in a brown cloak. I would need to get closer to see more." Her eyes open, focusing again, and she glances from Magneto, to Tabitha, then finally to Illyana. Her portals will be the quickest way to traverse the distance.
Magik has posed:
What is magic but an expression of physics yet to be understood?

Leveraging the timeless nature of Limbo and her command over its denizens, Illyana eventually gets a look at someone barricaded behind inventory through the bulbous eye of one of her scouts, and all it cost was adding a layer of supernatural intrigue to the already chaotic events of the day. Down in the Princess Bar, the bat-winged observer hover-strafes to and fro before the barricade, eye trained unerringly on what it can see of the witness while the sensory impressions of its flock stream in for confirmation from across a local swath of the timestream.

This probably doesn't help their feelings of terror, but so it goes.

Illyana opens her eyes and fixes them on Psylocke for a few silent, pointed moments. She then looks away while suggesting:

"Let them know we're coming,"

before stepping discs open here and there, providing a tunnel to the Princess Bar for the mutant witch to lead her peers through.
Boom-Boom has posed:
The time spent looking for that witness, the Mystica and Psychic each able to better speed things along, does not do much for Tabby's mood. Mostly because she can really only survey her immediate area. And not doing much when even she wants to do something can leave her a little antsy.

There is an urge to occupy herself mostly with clearing the street of any larger detritus and debris but she refrains. last thing anyone needs is to see a bored blonde blasting seemingly wildly on the streets after the last big explosion. Though her powers do sometimes flare enough that Magneto can sense the uptick in bioelectricity. Even Betsy might notice the psionic side of it here and there.

Eventually when there's a location found, Boom-Boom sighs with relief. The woman stretching her arms and legs a little to get some life back into them.

"Brown cloak? Soo we're looking for a Jedi?" she says and makes a lightsaber noise. Once there's a portal the blonde woman jumps on through.

Hopefully that doesn't freak anyone out as well.

On the off hand chance anyone is waiting, she lets out a playful. "Sup!"
Magneto has posed:
As the portal opens, granting passage into the basement of the Princess Bar, the stark contrast between the opulence of the bar above and the grim reality of the subterranean chamber becomes apparent. The basement, shrouded in a veil of neglect, exudes an air of dirt and dust, the remnants of forgotten time. Despite its lackluster appearance, the space offers ample room for the gathering of all those who venture within.

Magneto, stepping through the portal, joins the assembly within the basement, his presence commanding attention and respect. The mutants' arrival elicits a startled cry from the man concealed behind a set of racks. Sensing the man's fear, Magneto swiftly makes his way towards him, a soothing voice seeking to alleviate his distress.

"Please! Don't hurt me!" the man pleads, his voice trembling with trepidation.

"We're not here to hurt you," Magneto responds, his tone laced with reassurance. "I believe you witnessed the attack in Low Town that occurred mere hours ago. Would you kindly share with me the details of the incident?"

Still shaken, the man momentarily quivers, but then gathers his composure, driven by a sense of duty to relay the truth. "There were people in Low Town, but they were not from Madripoor," he begins, his voice wavering with a mix of anxiety and recollection. "They were something different... not like you, either. They possessed fangs, claws, and horns. They sought something within Low Town, coming to my shop with the expectation that I held it in my possession. When they discovered I did not possess what they sought, they departed. Then, they sought to conceal their actions by detonating the area."

Hope flickers within Magneto's eyes as he presses further, seeking knowledge of the assailants' whereabouts. "Do you have any idea where they might have gone?" he inquires, his voice carrying a note of urgency.

The man averts his gaze, deep in contemplation. "I'm not entirely certain," he admits, his voice laced with a touch of uncertainty. "But I recall one of them mentioning something about Cairo."

In that instant, the path forward becomes clearer, the quest for truth leading beyond the boundaries of Madripoor. Cairo, a distant destination, emerges as a potential location in the pursuit of answers and justice.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy is the last to step through the portal and onto the discs, pausing for a second before she does. She reaches out, finds a mind amongst the masses huddled fearful and watching nearby -- and implants a suggestion. By the time the portal disappears behind her, that brave young man, with a little psychic 'nudge' from Betsy, will come to rescue the unconscious woman she brought out of the rubble.

Psylocke is no stranger to the Princess Bar, nor it to her. It's a place where one goes to do deals, to find people to work with, for or under you. The woman's been here for months, long enough to establish herself. Long enough to find one of the bartenders, a familiar mind, and insert a remembered conversation about needing a quiet place to talk, tipping them to allow a small group of people to slip down into the depths of the Princess Bar's basement.

In person, the terror of the man feels like a physical wave, so strong that Betsy sways for a second, before she reaches out. /Calm,/ her mind encourages, with subtle nudges. /We are friends. We can be trusted./ The presence of a telepath always makes interrogations go faster, easier. While the man explains what he saw, Betsy keeps a light touch with his mind, feeling for any falsehoods.

For now, she senses none, and if any of the other mutants looks her way, she'll give a subtle nod to indicate the man's sincerity. "What was the object they were after? And do you know, or suspect, who has it?" That too, might provide leads -- leads that might head exactly in the same location.
Magik has posed:
"And why did they think that you might have it?"

Illyana casts a curious eye towards the man while her scout flutters over to alight upon her outstretched index finger, *chrrr*ing softly despite its lack of a visible mouth. "What sort of business do you operate?" she wonders with an arching brow. "Do you suspect that you were their first target?"
Boom-Boom has posed:
To be fair to the cowering man. Having a portal open up and three women and a dude with a bucket on his head probably isn't the most reassuring. But they do their best Tabitha included to reassure him. "Dude, yo. We're not here to wreck shit. It's like okay." she does her best, more of those warm smiles but may be lost on the man.

The description of the beings that came knocking and booming before them. "Fangs, claws, and like, horns. Not much of a description. Could be like anything." she gives a look to Betsy who might be able to get a better image out of the man's memories. "They have anything else to stand out, scales, fur, other sorts of body parts. Gives us something to go on." she hmms and stands somewhat idly with a tilt in her hips and hands together behind her back.

"Cairo? I'm gonna need to switch to khaki shorts for that." she hmms. They have a friend from Cairo, handy to have when you want sunny skies. "Anything important about the town or is this an Ancient Egypt deal?" sometimes you have to think about a thing to lie about a thing.

Which should get the man's mind working and able to be read by the telepath of the group.
Magneto has posed:
The man's gaze shifts towards Illyana, his voice tinged with uncertainty. "I'm not entirely sure why they believed I possessed it. Perhaps, at some point, I did indeed have it," he muses. "People often come to me to sell their belongings... or other items... and I facilitate their sale to interested buyers. It's possible that whatever they were seeking had passed through my hands. However, they never disclosed the nature of their search. They simply descended upon my shop and ransacked it."

Magneto interjects, his tone contemplative. "It appears you function as a fence, facilitating the transactions of various items," he remarks. "Considering the nature of your trade, it is unlikely that there would be a way to definitively know what you had obtained. Maintaining a paper trail would be undesirable, as it could lead to unwanted attention from authorities."

The man nods, his shoulders shrugging in resignation. "You're right. I don't keep detailed records of what passes through my hands. It would be risky," he admits. "As for their appearance, they masked their faces with hoods. I only caught fleeting glimpses of them in the sporadic light as they scoured my shop."

Magneto absorbs the limited information, a contemplative expression gracing his features. "Cairo seems to be their next destination, or perhaps a return to familiar ground," he muses aloud. "That's the extent of the information you can provide us?"

The man nods in affirmation. "Yes, that's all I know," he confirms. "I wish I could offer more, but that's the extent of what I witnessed during their intrusion."
Psylocke has posed:
"Many objects have passed through your hands," Betsy observes, quietly, her thoughts still fixed on the fences. "Many unique items. Too many for you to document or recall clearly, surely." But she plants the thought and leans, just lightly, so that she can get an impression of what has come and gone from the fence's hands, the things that stood out. It won't help to identify /now/, but if they learn more later, the telepath will have a mental image of it.

When the fence concludes that's all he knows, there's another subtle nod from Betsy. They've gotten, and so has she -- all they can from the witness.

"Without knowing what they are looking for, it would be futile to hang around in Cairo. But I have a contact or two, from my days in STRIKE, who have CI's there. They can listen out and reach out if they hear of anything with similarities to what happened here."

The purple-haired telepath's gaze goes to Magneto, contemplatively. "There are many here who think you might have been involved. I shall do some adjustment to dampen that belief. In a few days, people will not associate this incident with your presence, but I suggest you not linger." It's a kind gesture, from Psylocke. Or practical, anyway. "It is good to see you. All of you," her gaze goes to Tabitha and Illyana. "I shall be back in Xavier's... soon. I have some other things to finish up first, though." She offers a card, with just a number, before she sways her way up the stairs and into the bar proper.
Boom-Boom has posed:
The guy is a fence? That is something Tabby knows well enough about. That whole being a thief before she was an X-Adjacent chick or even BlackOps hero stuff before she got the mother of burn notices and rejoined the X-fam. "I get it, no paper trails, cash only. Or at least if you have to go electronic, there's like all kinds a crypto and client side online. Don't wanna risk leading people to buyers and sellers. Some of them get kinda mean when they have people tracking them down." she commiserates.

The card is taken with a look and a hmm. It'll get stashed in a pocket so she can punch the number in later.

Betsy will likely get a selfie from Tabby in something low cut and the phone high and angled down. Extra blowing kissy face and wink along with it.

"No being a stranger. I'm still trying to get back in the grooves there. Lot of us spent too long away. You may still wanna lay low a bit Mags. Someone doing you dirty and I expect dumbasses gonna wheel up in tanks anywhere else you show up." she admits and then guesses with a nod and a bounce of blonde hair.

To Illyana and Magneto she shrugs. "I could kill a beer right now but I got no cash on me. Wanna bail and head home, or see how much free booze two blondes can score upstairs. Double points for extra roofies." either way, Magik is her ride so Boom-Boom would have to wait on the Queen of Limbo.

Either way she's making sure there's booze at some point.