15663/Late Night Investigations

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Late Night Investigations
Date of Scene: 02 October 2023
Location: Madison Park Apt., Central Harlem
Synopsis: Betsy and Scott investigate a lead on some dead mutants and nearly get blown up for their troubles.
Cast of Characters: Psylocke, Cyclops

Psylocke has posed:
It's late in the night when Scott receives a message from one Betsy Braddock.

/I know it's late. I also know you're probably awake. I could use someone to watch my back./

There's an address -- an apartment block in Central Harlem.

Of course, one can't merely hang around on the street waiting, so Psylocke -- dressed in the close-fitting ninja outfit she prefers -- is standing on the edge of a nearby rooftop. It's starting to get cold at night, but she doesn't bother to wear a coat. Her English blood prefers the cold.
Cyclops has posed:
Danger Room - Level 10.

Scott was fighting Sentinels. Trying new strategies, new locations and targets for his optic blasts. He ricochets a helluva beam through about 36 different surfaces before striking the titan-like robot in the back of the neck, blowing a hole through the throat that allowed the head to roll right off of it's massive body.


"DR, freeze program. Override code IL-NXT."

The entire mainframe seems to stop, the machines around him acting as though they were frozen in place. It allows Scott to check his messages, wiping sweat from his brow. A soft sigh touching his lips. "End simulation."

Psylocke is waiting at the edge of a nearby rooftop. Yet...even as she watches in the cold of night, she can feel a presence approaching her from behind. Cyclops's red visor ominously glared at her through the shadows as he approached, dressed in a more tactical version of his uniform: Black cargo pants with a dark T-shirt with a red 'X' logo over his heart, a utility belt of sorts, combat boots, and of course, his red visor. He's wearing gloves on his hands and his arms are left bare. "Psylocke. Sitrep."
Psylocke has posed:
Psylocke is utterly still, the only thing that moves being that ribbon that flutters in the breeze. A fanciful addition, and a dangerous and unnecessary one, so many people have told her over the years -- at least until they have seen her use it to choke or bind an opponent.

"You remember I told you about certain underground mutants going missing?" Betsy recognizes Scott's steps, and she greets him by answering his request, meeting his mood. "There were several leads as to where this man might have been conducting his experiments. I have scoped out all of the others. I believe this to be the likely location. It's an apartment block, and his is located on the first floor. I've seen no movement for over twenty-four hours, so I don't think he's there -- and possibly not coming back."

Still, there's a reason she asked for back up. A feeling maybe.
Cyclops has posed:
She's still.

She likely knows him by the sound of his footsteps by now. Hard thing to forget when you've known someone else for so long. Even still, Cyclops approached and knelt down beside her, looking at the street below. "I remember." Regarding the mutant experimentation. "Good work." He tells her when she reveals that she's tracked down his exact location. Scott Summers has no better operative than Psylocke.

"Could be a hidden compartment in the place. He's on hte first floor, could've gone underground."

He looks at Psylocke direct. "You did good contacting me. You holding up okay?" He asks Betsy, Cyclops the friend taking the place of Cyclops the commander for a moment.
Psylocke has posed:
"Maybe." Psylocke is not discounting anything. "But we had best be cautious. Other people are living here, and as far as I can tell they're civilians, completely unaware of what might have been going on."

When the commander becomes the friend, Scott gets a long look from Betsy. The question isn't out of pocket, but it's not a thing she's ready to answer right now, because it feels like a loaded question.

So she doesn't. Instead of answering, she says, "We should go."

And she leaps, silently, off the roof, to hit the ground below. There's faint street light but it's largely dark aside from a flickering overhead light at the apartment's entrance. However Psylocke leads them to the side, the fire-escape an easy leap for the athletically minded.

It will bring them to the first floor where they can get visibility through the window into the empty looking apartment. It isn't filled with the normal things one would expect of the living space in an apartment: instead, it's empty. The bedroom window is covered.
Cyclops has posed:
"Caution is my best friend. Don't tell any of our friends I said that." A little bit of humor goes a long way in a high-tense situation like this. Other people are living here and Cyclops's primary objective in every situation is the protection of civilian lives. "No unnecessary risks. Got it." He nods softly, though Betsy gives him a long look.

'We should go'.

"Lets." Scott will certainly receive an answer later. He watches as she leaps silently off the roof and though he doesn't take the long road, he uses a bit more parkour. He flips onto a lower rooftop below, then again and takes a bit of a slower route to the ground, landing in a crouch.

Fire escape? Perfect.

He takes it and gets to the first floor, looking through hte empty-looking apartment. "Hm." He lifts a hand up to his visor, looking at the lock and firing a small, narrow blast that barely makes any sound at all, hopefully blasting a hole straight through the locking mechanism.
Psylocke has posed:
"Our little secret," Betsy says. No humor in her voice, but then she's excellent at masking it when she wants.

Scott burns through the lock on the window, and it melts readily. Once the beam shuts off, Betsy nudges the window carefully up, waiting and listening: nothing. She eases inside, and Scott will be able to follow. There's a small kitchenette, and a small bathroom. The only other room is the bedroom.

The door feels heavy whenever it's opened, and the reason why is obvious. The door -- in fact all the walls, and the window -- is padded with sound proofing, to prevent any noise from within the room escaping. The reason for that is also apparent.

There's what looks like a surgical table, with hefty looking straps to hold whomever is lying on it down. The scent of old, stale blood is in the air even before the inspection of the table reveals traces of it there and on the carpet underfoot.

Betsy exhales, all at once. "This is how I saw it." Her voice is neutral: no horror, no alarm. She already felt those emotions, and she merely drifts forward, looking for anything of value. There's small cabinets and drawers scattered throughout the room.
Cyclops has posed:
A safe nod.

Scott honestly doesn't really care what his 'rep' among the other X-Men. The only opinions he cares about? Only a handful. Betsy happens to be one of them. Even still, the lock manages to melt, a mixutre of concussive force and heat rendering it quickly inert. Psylocke cracks the window open and Scott smoothly follows after her, careful to close the window behind them in case anyone who might know this place spots the mess.

No intruders, preferably today.

His eyes look around and he witnesses the horrors that happened here. A surgical table with hefty straps to hold people down. Stale blood in the air, by the scent of iron. Even on the carpet...this man wasn't careful. He wasn't smart.

He shakes his head. "Understood. See if you can find any clues, anywhere he may have gone...anything that looks like it's been moved recently."

His eyes search the place, even checking the ceiling for a camera of some kind.
Psylocke has posed:
Most of the cabinets prove to be empty. However Betsy finds two things: a small vial, and a book of scrawled notes. A quick flip through it suggests it's either coded or just incomprehensible scrawl.

Cyclops' instincts are on point: even when he's looking for it it's almost impossible to see, just a tiny dot in the very corner of the room, sandwiched in between some of the sound-dampening material.

He'll see something else, too, way more alarming than the camera: a wire leading to a block of what can only be explosives.
Cyclops has posed:

Cyclops spots it. It's a tiny little thing, but few things rarely escape Scott's notice. He manages to see that tin dot in the very corner of the room. Whomever is watching from the other side knows they're here. Even more alarming? His eyes follow the wire quickly to explosives.

Burner room.

Scott doesn't waste time. Their presence in this room is going to be very limited, but Scott is suddenly springing forth, running straight for Psylocke as he tries to grab her and outright leap out the window they came in from!

It'll be close.

But hopefully that's a slow trigger finger for the remote explosives!
Psylocke has posed:
There's no warning for Psylocke: one moment she's examing the vial, the next Scott is grabbing her around the waist and hauling her out. She drops the vial in the process, but gets the message pretty readily: get out! She speeds up ahead of him, leaping for the window.

One benefit of all that sound-proofing: it serves to direct the explosion inwardly, mostly -- but the door Scott hauls them out funnels the heat that way, too. They can feel it at their backs, and chasing them as they leap through the window, singing hair and skin as it surges around them, and then retreats.

They land on the fire escape, with Psylocke hand slightly red as if burned and the notebook she was holding still smoldering. She covers it with her fingers to extinguish it, expression tight. She glances over Scott to make sure he's okay, though his costume is way more protected than hers.

Inside, a low, dull alarm begins going off, warning the residents that there's a fire.

"At least I got this," Betsy lifts the slightly charred journal. "Thank you." Without another word, she leaps down from the fire escape. She clearly doesn't plan to be around when the authorities come!
Cyclops has posed:
Out! Now!

Cyclops can feel his heart pumping. If they did here..who would know what they died for? Would their fellow X-Men find them? Bury what remained? The choice was clear: they need to get out now. Scott is not moving fast enough to not notice he made her drop a vial, but the notes are more important, Thankfully she got the hint and they both SPRINT for the exit!

Shattered glass surrounds Scott as he feels fire lick at his back. Thankfully, he's wearing extreme resistant material to help protect him from such. Unlike other mutants, Scott has no means of raw durability.

But for now? They're alive and well. Scott groans as he gets up from where he landed on the fire escape. The alarm rings in his ears as he looks at Psylocke, who was already recovered and ensuring their prize was untarnished! "Are you okay?" He asks her before he follows her off of the fire escape!

"My pleasure." His feet hit pavement and he tumbled immediately to his feet, they can't be here when authorities arrive!

"What is it?" He gestures to the notes.
Psylocke has posed:
"A little singed, but I'll live." Psylocke is exceptional at hiding any discomfort, and the redness of the burns are too new to classify as anything too bad. Regardless, she seems to have no issue with keeping a steady pace as they jog away from the scene of the crime.

"Gibberish," she says, of the journal. "But maybe Essex can decode it. I'm sure he speaks scientific gibberish."

Betsy's aware that's not his favorite name. But he also said not to tip toe around the subject, either. "If I find out anything, I'll let you know?"
Cyclops has posed:
"Good." Scott declares Whej Psylocke gives him a sitrep of her status. He's wearing better gear and she's wearing what is essentially a sleek bodysuit. Even as they run, Scott doesn't look back.

"He knows we're coming for him now. He'll be ready. The next investigation will need to be done carefully. No more major risks." Scott informs her, yet as Essex's name is mentioned, he seems to noticeably frown.

"His involvement with us is getting too frequent. Be careful who you put your trust in." Scott reminds her once again. But for now, they at least have a clue.

It's better than nothing.