15365/The Scenic Route

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The Scenic Route
Date of Scene: 21 July 2023
Location: Moreau - Adirondack mountain - New York State
Synopsis: Well, none of that went according to plan, but Moreau is a strange township. Also, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned - particularly when her name is Rogue.
Cast of Characters: Sinister, Wolverine, Rogue

Sinister has posed:
New York State actually has some rather fantastic trails in the backwoods. And some tourist traps that are actually quite fun to visit, when they're close to you know... actual civilization.

Moreau, for instance, was the location of the estate of Ulysses S. Grant, of Civil war commander fame. His cottage is located up in the hills, where he died a rather unortunate death after his presidency. And there's all kinds of little eateries, treasure troves and general air that is fresh, clean and plentiful.

And it beats the hell out of being stuck in the city all the time, right? Or inside four walls.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan is keeping his ear low to the ground. Yes, it's better than the city. There's just rumblings about Sinister that do not sit well with him. Even one of their last conversations left a bad taste in Logan's mouth. It was how Sinister bragged that he's no longer human. It was just eerie. Like someone gloating about not having a conscious. And so Logan is just wandering around Moreau. Keeping the ears low, looking for clues.

However, the difficult part is Rogue. She may not trust Sinister fully, but there is some established rapport between them. Logan isn't going to lie about where he's going or what he's doing. Just a little vague detail about the who, "Someone I don't trust might be holed up there. I'm gonna poke 'round. See what's goin' on. Lots of tourist traps I can blend in," Logan admits and he does leave it open if she wants to follow. However, he's not actively asking her to join because Sinister is an X factor with some people. An unpredictable variable. And so, Logan trusts Rogue. He's just worried it might cause an internal strife within her.
Rogue has posed:
"You do realize that the list of people you trust is a hell of a lot shorter than the list of people you don't right?" In other words, Logan could be after anyone. Though there's a few she knows he might not let her tag along with (tho she'd follow anyway), the fact that he's letting her stick around narrows the list down. By like three people.

Out of gods know how many...

There are times when she can put her trust in Sinister, and times when she can't. Not that she knows it's Sinister they're tailing, but it stands to reason that it'd be mentioned vaguely. "I mean you gonna give me any clue at all about who it is we're tailin'? And if yer gonna blend in tourist traps, we might as well look the part togather, don't ya think?"
Sinister has posed:
The township has three properties that are owned by Essex corp. One is the local drug store in town, another is the cottage hospital and apartment digs nearby that are rented out to the local health care workers. A subsidiary owns nearly all of the rental buildings in the town, which took a bit more digging to uncover. And that whole deal? It's frustrating in that it looks overly legit, above board and perhaps even philanthropic. The hospital's well kitted out for a smaller institution, the digs are tended well enough to be high end, rather than low end and ... urrrgh, that's just frustration on a plate.

Nevertheless, at least a nose that's keen will pick up the whiffs here and there, sometimes stronger than other times, of the scent of -him-. Essex frequents here at least, on a reasonably regular basis.

What is peculiar though, is that there's a lot of colourfully painted 'indy' vans and trucks in town and a few with semi-corporate logos on them. The most prominent is parked in front of the local hotel along with two black SUVs; Ghost Hunters Incorporated. There's even a film crew or two interviewing locals.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan's wearing a blue hawaiian shirt. It's a variety of blues coloring leaves against a dark blue shirt, grey cargo shorts, and a baseball cap. He's trying to blend in by looking very stereotypical tourist. Plus, if Rogue is looking for him, she would know what to look for. The first stop is the drug store. He's just looking for clues, keeping the ears low, and wanting to confirm connection to Sinister. This is something that's unsettling to him.
Rogue has posed:
Rogue looks around for a moment. At the township as a whole and the little things that make it what it is. She spots the van in front of the hotel and tilts her head. "Ghost Hunters Inc, huh? They think that hotel might be haunted? That could be something cool to check out..." You know, in that whole touristy oooh shiny kind of way. Following Logan still, when they reach the drug store she actually stops and studies it for a moment. A long, lingering moment. "...You're after Sinister." It's said low, but knowing Logan's hearing, he wouldn't miss it.
Sinister has posed:
Oh, yes, there's that. Missed unless you've had some larger dealings with the geneticist, is the logo on the drug store. Much like pharmaprix, rather than a megachain like walgreens or the ilk, there's a smallish pharmacy chain that was bought out by Essex corp. The local drug store is so 'old school' that it doesn't immediately click unless you know your villainous type, that it's owned by him. Corporate take-overs to avoid bankruptcy in the overly competitive market that is high-priced corporations. How can a small chain compete with the giants? By being enfolded and selling out, that's how.

Convenient when it can supply generic and name-brand to the local hospital, at a discounted cost, no?

The scent is strongest around the vaccination clinic entrance to the pharmacy, interestingly enough. It has an odd tang to it, like... it got dipped in hand sanitizer a while back and the edges of that are lingering.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan's heart breaks a little when Rogue connects the dots. He expects it. There's just no idea of when it would happen. To him, it's never an If Rogue would figure it out. Still, there's a mission.

When he gets to the vaccination clinic, he makes a mental note of how it's mapped alongside the various other parts to the interior. To do this he'll browse the candy section, grab a big Kat, pay in cash and walk out. Keep his head low so his face is concealed by the hat.

He moves around the sidewalk seeing how the lauout works. Logan's seeing if one of those marked vans leads directly to the clinic. That's the part he's interested in. It's not the building, it's the Van's cargo. He wants to know what Sinister is pumping those patience full of. Especially with injections and starter doses.

With many ongoing injections, patients start at higher doses to get themselves acclimated to the medicine. Logan figures if Sinister's lacing the medication with a medication, it'd be a quick and effective way to get into someone's system. A stronger dose for a new medication that works "Twice as much" as the namebrands with a cheaper price tag.
Rogue has posed:
Funnily enough it's not the fact that he's snooping on Sinister that's actually got Rogue a little upset in the moment. It's the fact that Logan felt the need to not tell her outright. To claim he trusts her but apparently not when it came to something like this. Him going after a man who she entrusted for a fleeting moment to help her with an issue.

And yet, getting all pissy with him now would blow the cover he's trying to keep. So, the southern belle has to set that on the back burner and let it simmer. Anyone ever let a southern woman's temper simmer for a while? That's gonna be a real hot mess later.

For now, she points out.. "See that there? That sign on the store means it's owned by EssexCorp, which is Sinister's company." She offers. "And I dunno what yer af'er..." She pauses. Takes a breath and then smiles.

Sweet as Southern Tea.

"Just point me where to go lookin, sugah, and I'll help the best I can."
Sinister has posed:
It's actually a white van that's unloading, with one of those stickers on the back that approves it as being refridgerated -- what's it carrying? Well, from the smell of it, a mix of common nasties -- MMR, flu, because that even happens in the summer and some are sensitive, tetanus, hepatitis C, etcetera etcetera -- and oddly diptheria. Why diptheria in north america, is a puzzle, as it tends to be a hot climate water-born nasty. There's also a few other 'refrigerated' products, like insulin in the back of the van and the guy and gal doing the unloading look utterly ordinary.

Bizarrely though, the crew of two pause on the unloading of a crate and stare into nothingness for a moment -- one has to love serendipity, no? -- They set one crate on the sidewalk, ignoring that it even exists and continue their unloading.

From the side door of the pharmacy comes a droll tone "I'm sure you're not going to explain what you're doing, but are we really going to have an issue in public, in broad daylight?" -- Corporate clothing, looking like he's wearing someone's annual salary, Essex wasn't there until he was, because that's the nature of a psychic masque.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan deals with the impending wrath. Oh, he knows this isn't good. Like having a partner tell you, "Everything's fine" or "Do what you want" after a heated fight. Then the wrath doesn't come. Now, he might be worried.

Then that voice comes before strides could be made. "Just enjoyin' the sights. How 'bout you?" it's not exactly a lie. Ocean blue eyes will flick toward Sinister as he waits for an answr. Sadly, there's not enought ime to apologize to rogue.
Rogue has posed:
Rogue squares her shoulders a bit and gives a little grin before looking between Logan and Sinister. Essex looking ever much the part of business man even though there is always something -more- beneath the surface of him. "I suppose that will depend on what sort of issue you think we have.." She offers this, side eyes Logan and then looks back to Sinister.

"Once again you ain't surrounded by your supposed fire and brimstone partner. I'm startin' to think the others were seein' things. Some sort of mind trick you played on them since I ain't ever met this Lucifer devil man..." Arms fold across her chest and she raises a single brow. It's likely very hard to tell who she's actually annoyed with. And truth be told - in some ways - it might be both of them.

They brought a cat to a dog fight. Which is never a smart idea.
Sinister has posed:
"I have a bridge to sell you, if you feel inclined," Sinister's reply is absolutely and utterly deadpan, looking at the Wolverine with narrowed eyes. "I'm here on adminstration business," the reply comes before the phenomenon of a pissed off Southern Belle encroaches on the picture. "Mind trick? I ass'..."

And then it all seems to be a mute button affair. Sinister's lips are moving but no sound seems to be coming out, though it's clear he's waffling and gesticulating like a professional. The voice comes like a very loud whisper in the mind. <<That isn't me.>> -- followed by the figure looking a bit stunned and shaking his head, confused. <<Do me a favour would you? Whilst he's stunned, could you relieve him of the contents of his right pocket? It would be bad if he used them.>>

The world arrives again in a rush, with sound returning like a scream and Sinister straightening up boldly. "What did you d'..." followed very swiftly with the most aggregiously bizarre but effective ballistic weapon of the year being rather obvious in Sinister's temple: There's a ball point pen that impacted his right temple about three inches deep, plainly enough to cause some serious strife to motor function.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan kind of likes having pissed off Rrogue here. It's like bing armed with a nuke. Sadly, that nuke can be aimed straight back at him.And he's going to say something. when everything goes on a pause.

Hearing that voice, he ties to look around. Seeing what's around him and why he sees that. Honestly, it's a ceepier than some of the spells Xavier did.

Then Logan sees that unconventional pen trick go awry. "The hell?" Logan grunts unsure how this all fits together. It's like staring at a series of puzzle pieces that are turned over. They go together, but no one knows how exactly they go together yet.
Rogue has posed:
Oh the brunt of the nuke is still aimed at you, Logan Howell. She's just being real kind to not go off in the middle of public. Instead, the world goes slow and she hears that voice, eyes darting to the man in front of them. She tilts her head, and then an eyebrow lofts just before she reaches forward and pulls whatever it is in the man's right pocket out and holds it close. Or whatever keeps it and her safe from the contents.

When the world rights itself again, the man is struck in the forehead with a ballpoint pen. "Stray clone or something more...bizarre?"
Sinister has posed:
What is in that pocket seems to be nothing so cruel and unusual as a laser pointer. Although, that doesn't seem to be the MOST diabolical of weapons ever devised, unless you're a cat. Best not to be the cat in a dog fight right now, maybe?

The insanity of the moment continues though as a dazed but rapidly recovering Sinister straightens up, the ball point pen popping out of his temple with the same alacrity as it would if it had hit Logan in the head. "Just what do you think you're playing at?"

The hand moving to the right hand pocket tells its own story, particular when it reaches and finds nothing there. Essex looks wide-eyed for a moment.

<<I suggest letting rip. I will strive to make sure that nobody sees what they should not. But it will be tying me up. Have fun, you deserve it. Pull my hairs out one by one, it will be appropos.>>
Wolverine has posed:
Logan is still trying to figure out what exactly is happening. Everything went from slow to fast, and he's trying to catch up. It feels like a few details weren't explained when the world slowed down.

He'll look to Rogue to see what she pockets. A second later Logan just strikes at the man in front of them. A masured strike, hoping to just be the first of two hits. Hopefully the second would be this guy hitting the ground. If not, Logan will go in for a few more swings trying to knock them out. He's trying to make this quick and quiet.

Everything's going pear-shaped and he's trying to course correct.
Rogue has posed:
Even Rogue is a bit confused, looking down at the laser pointer she's picked from one Sinister's pocket and then back to the Sinister in front of them. The pen is remove from the man's head and falls to the ground. (Gross) Then a voice in her head again - which she shakes because it seems legit before it begins to speak nonsense.

Then Logan's punching the man in front of them. So much for quick and quiet. While he distracts with fists, Rogue pulls her cellphone from her pocket. Scrolling through her contacts she finds the one where she labeled it 'Essex' and hits the call button before putting her phone up to her ear to let it ring.
Sinister has posed:
The dialtone rings on the cellphone call, but then it keeps ringing and ringing for a good five rings before a rather cheerful tone informs as the call connects. "You know you're making my life harder, calling me when I'm trying to make sure that nobody actually sees what you two are doing... is there something you need?"

And that's a punch swung, with adamantium behind it for some extra clobber. It doesn't do much all in all, considering -- other than making the er... 'imposter' reel slightly as his center of balance corrects. Garbled words come from him at that point, a word salad in fact which leads him to look confused. But that doesn't inhibit the knock-back arm fling that is shot in Logan's direction, with considerable kinetic force along with it. Blood trickles from the closing hole in the not-Sinister's head, but it is rapidly slowing and healing up, as fast as it would on Logan himself.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan starts to just continue punching at the man. "Go. Down!" he snarls a little bit. Strike after strike goes to that person's face. Again, he's trying to go for quick, but it's not turning intot hat. Ocean blue eyes narrow and he's trying hard not to stab anyone. He continues to strike at the man trying to just end this. Stilll, the reage is creeping in. This -was- supposed to be a simple mission. A simple recon.
Rogue has posed:
"What is it with men today. Did you all decide to wake up and be pricks? Right then." Rogue says that much and then disconects the call. The laser pointer is now in a pocket for safe keeping and she is just overly annoyed at the world. More annoyed at certain people in it. But the general distaste in her mouth is aimed at everything around her.

Even while Logan is still striking at the not-Sinister, Rogue just hard rolls her eyes, walks over, picks the Fake-ister up like a sack of potatoes and then flies into the air. Higher and Higer she climbs. "I know you're just a bunch of atoms jellified into somethin' resemblin' a human being. But me an' my boyfriend have real work to do. So pardon me while I make ya into an omelet on the sidewalk..." This and then she hurls the Fake-ister towards the ground. Hard.
Sinister has posed:
<<Oh, bollocks...>>

That thought can be heard quite clearly as anger builds, the sentiment intensifies when actual flying engagement occurs and Rogue takes to the skies with the not-sinister in arm.

The reason for this is quite obvious as he's thrown -- sure, down he goes for a dozen or so feet, before flying catches up with him and the figure rises up, now looking considerably angry. For a 'not-sinister' blob of fakery, the incoming concussive bolts fired rapidly from both hands and the manifesting ruby in his forehead sure look like they're the legitimate deal.

<<Well, there goes that then -->> appearing in the air a short ways behind the other Sin, the... 'real' slim shady of a geneticist drops any illusion he was making to hide his presence, darts forward in the air and slaps both hands on either side of his doppleganger's head, eyes flaring.

And a very great twisting, turning, struggling and angry ariel scuffle begins. It might be helpful to the world to just let that play out.
Wolverine has posed:
Rogue goes up in the air and it practically sloidifies his fears. Seeing her shoot up that high. "Crap," Logan says and he thinks whatever is about to happened can't be metnally explained away so, Logan tries to just head toward a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast. Basically any rental property that looks to be Sinister free. He wants to distance himself fromt his failed operation now. Something turned this up to an eleven and it's gone well beyond pear shaped.
Rogue has posed:
Rogue frowns, watching as Logan just ups and walks off, and Sinister battles himself in mid-air. She lowers herself down to the ground, slowly, landing lightly and then pulls out her phone and texts Logan. <<...Guess I'll just stay out of your way then...>> before looking around once more, shoves hands in her pockets and begins to wander away from the township to...wherever her feet are going to carry her.
Sinister has posed:
Hell hath no fury. That could be problematic all around, later.

Mind you, the battle above rapidly vanishes toward the horizon and deeper woods, mountainsides and a lack of people witnessing.

That mercy aside, the township seems not to have dragged out their cellphones to video the whole thing. Any of it. That's weird.

It's as if nothing ever happened. Mind, that box of vaccines remains on the sidewalk and there's that odd laser pointer thing Rogue has, so this is probably not a total write off?
Wolverine has posed:
Logan starts to text a message that reads, "I didn't expect you to go all Homelander on me," but his thumb just hovers over the send button. It goes to delete. To Logan what she just tossed is on par with a water melon, or a simplified robot. Just something made out of organic material. He figured the entity going splat against the pavement wouldn't be treated as it actually was. However, no "Splat!" "Scrunch!" or "Squish!" comes. This gives him pause and the eyes scan the skies for a few moments. He doesn't know that Sinister is getting involved physically.

Then he looks around and sees Rogue. Moving toward her, "The Hell was that about?" Logan asks thinking that might have been the bomb going off. However, it is the opposite of stealthy. "What's wrong?" Logan asks her, expecting that bomb to go off now.
Rogue has posed:
Rogue stops in her tracks when she hears Logan's voice behind her. "What's wrong?" Her back is still to him. "A few things...but also nothing. I'm fine. You go finish your...mission or whatever. I'll stay outta it. Go find something else to do." She starts walking again. "Not like you're gonna trust me with much anyway..."