15673/Saving Private Kessler

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Saving Private Kessler
Date of Scene: 04 October 2023
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Synopsis: The X-Men rescue Tobias Kessler, a young mutant being attacked by the Friends of Humanity. They offer him a home at the Institute.
Cast of Characters: Cyclops, Psylocke, Zot, Boom-Boom

Cyclops has posed:
New Orleans.

About 10pm.


The voice of Michael Erickson, a leader in the Friends of Humanity. A trap had been sprung - designed to lure out mutants and preying on their need to help each other against the hatred of the angry mobs who believe mutants to be God's mistake, an abomination. They lunge at the mutant who tried to help: A young mutant named Tobias Kessler. Guns are raised in his direction.

Not wiwth the intention to kill. With the intention to *hurt*.

Death is too easy.

All the while, the Blackbird has just landed a few blocks away: couldn't have landed closer, it would've put danger to the buildings present and the civilians within them alike. Not everyone is their enemy. "Psylocke, your fastest, get a head start. Flank them and strike from behind. Make them afraid. Boom-Boom...make a loud distraction, something to get their attention off the kid. After that, flank the other side of them. Do what you do best. I'll take point and give him support direct. Move, people!"

and just like that, Cyclops is moving.

Tobias has choices...try and use his powers, or duck and run. There's about 17 of them. Friends of Humanity rarely do things half-assedly.
Psylocke has posed:
Psylocke is dressed for business: that is to say, she's in her shapely ninja outfit that leaves little to the imagination but also leaves little for any opponent to grab a hold of. She doesn't appear to be carrying a weapon, but that's never a certainty with the ninja.

Scott gives his orders. There's a fleeting smile from Psylocke, and she leaps forward into the shadows...

...and leaps out, closer to the group in question. /Make them afraid,/ is a standard operating procedure for a ninja. She reaches up behind her back, and a sharp-bladed, old katana is drawn forth. There's no light for it to glint from before it comes flying down, cleanly severing the hand of one of the Friends of Humanity mere seconds before he depresses the trigger on his gun.

"The odds are hardly /fair/," the purple-haired telepath says, before she leaps -- and vanishes back into the shadows -- only to reappear behind another figure, the blade flashing once more.

Scott wanted them afraid. Psylocke plans to deliver.
Zot has posed:
    Tobias has been on the run for four years. Ever since his own powers surfaced, he hit the ground running at 14. He knew his parents were more militant of the friends of humanity. He knew what happened when people were outted as mutants. While he did small things to help people, mutant or not, He reacted without thinking. He heard a person scream for help and he charged in without thinking, only to be revealed it was a trap. He mentally kicked himself, he remembers doing something similar when he was younger, being the bait for mutants trying to do good. He now knew what it was like to have it done to him.

    He reacted on instinct, ducking behind cover just as the guns was raised toward him. He was trapped, Pinned between the angry mob and the ocean. He knew electricity didnt handle well in Water, he had no idea with his new x gene, how he would handle the ocean water, the last time he went swimming was 9 years old, about 9 years ago. He took a deep breath and leaps into the water.

    It was his second mistake of the night. Considering his own bio electrical aura damped while in the ocean, he can feel the ocean becoming heavier and heavier. He was physically athletic but it was like he was swimming in tar. Hell Tar may be easier to handle with his new biology. He was draining and he had to get out.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Distraction. That's definitely in Tabitha's wheel house.

The Blackbird had touched down, and Boom-Boom gives her teammates a friendly little salute as the blonde just makes a move to walk.

Legs in black synthetic leather or latex of whatever it is the Shi'ar clothes replicators make uniforms out of stretch as she puts a deliberate hip swaying strut right towards the front entrance. Black and yellow top looking more like a cropped biker jacket keeping her upper half if not so much her midriff safe while she looks around with red tinted Ray Bans that she did not actually steal from Cyclops.

She has a prescription.

Still at the front, Tabby flashes a grin to the first goons she sees. There's likely side entrances and a back door for Scotty and Betsy.

"So how you boys like going bowling?" she asks and sweeps a hand as if she was rolling a strike.

A glowing orb the size of a basketball rolling along the ground as she flashes an almost wicked smile.


Loud, noisy and likely going to cause a need for rebuilding the whole entry way.
Cyclops has posed:
Tobias runs.

The wiser options, to be sure.

But he made an ill-informed decision: his powers don't mix well with water and even if nobody truly knows his abilities or the extent of them, it doesn't stop the Friends of Humanity from trying to pursue him. "You can't run forever mutie! We'll get you even-AH!" Any further disparaging remarks from the FoH thug has been cut short by Psylocke. His hand was cleanly removed from his body, eyes looking at the now-stub with shock...before a blood-curling scream leaves his lips. His hand unmoving on the ground.

"There's more of them?! That's it, kill 'em all! Leave nothing for the Purifiers!" Michael cries as he directs his gunmen to look around, only for the FoH thug immediately next to Michael gets blasted in the chest with a red beam of energy, launching him into the air until he hits a car, slumping to the ground in an unconscious heap. Bullets immediately fly after the X-Men Captain, but he's too quick, using parkour to leap across parked cars and even people before he's jumping into the water after Tobias!

This might suck.

Tabitha? Now *Tabitha* is causing mayhem. That basketball-sized orb is rolling around the ground and it stops at the ground of two of the FoH members. "What the fu-"


The entrance to this area is nearly completely destroyed, sending rubble and smoke in every direction. It does wonder for concealing the presence of hte X-Men from the eyes, even as guns are firing off into random directions, because that's what FEAR does. All while Tabitha still has full range of vision.

14 men remaining.

"SHOOT THEM! KILL THEM! Where's that boy?!" Calls Michael, rage in his voice.
Psylocke has posed:
Tabitha's explosion creates a flash of light that makes it impossible for Psylocke to leap back into the shadows this time. But that hardly slows her -- she spins, that ribbon fluttering around her -- aiming for the next figure with a gun. In the brighter light, she's her own kind of distraction: there's no denying that the former model is something stunning indeed, and her outfit serves another purpose other than making it difficult for her to be captured. The poor guy that gapes at her -- oggles at her -- might live to regret it, since the slam of her feet into his chest, into a low, tucked tumble, probably cracks a rib or two. Then again, maybe he'd think it's worth it.

You know, if she weren't a filthy mutant and all.

Some part of her wants to kill. To make this clean. It would make their lives easier... but also harder. PR on bodies on the ground is a nightmare, so she settles for taking off limbs. They can be reattached... if they're quick about it. The longer they fight the X-Men, the less chance they have. Betsy probably considers it a good trade off.

One of the men reaches out with his big, meaty hand and manages to snag hold of Psylocke's swordarm. She smiles, and it must be unsettling for the man before purple flares around her hand and she jabs it towards his forehead.

There are some things worse than death. And Psylocke can make the man relive all of it, in the span of a few seconds. Maybe he'll learn not to grab a woman without consent.
Zot has posed:
    Tobias struggled to swim. He felt weaker and weaker and the water around him was electrically charged, though the electricity was getting weaker so it was more static electricity as the x-men captain got closer to him. Tobias was aware of everything around him and a person coming for him but he was losing energy fast and soon he will go into a coma.

    No....A single thought comes through his head as he splashes towards the edge of the dock, trying to grip the wood as he tries to pull himself out of the water. He slips and falls back into the ocean, floating almost lifelessly as his body tries to restore his bio electric aura to function. He tried to go back to the dog but now he was drained and cold to the point he was becoming blue from lack of oxygen and energy.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Boom-Boom just swishes some smoke and dust away from her with a slight cough. "Knock knock!" she greets as she swivels her head and with her eyes shielded by glasses, and maybe a little more breathing room. Tabby picks out her targets.

"LOL, blind fire behind cover when I knocked down walls." she jokes loudly while she herself finds a good spot to start, rushing one goon shooting in the opposite direction from her.

This goon is about to have an even worse day.

Tabby learned how to get messy in CQC. A knee to the kidney that might just leave the man peeing blood and on a fast track to future dialysis, then shoved head first hard into the chunk of wall that was mean to be his cover.

A stop on a shoulder with a hefty crack leaving him down while Tabby takes another peek to see how well her distractions are going.

And start streaming finger thin blasts of plasma at any 'Friend' she can see.

As if a flamethrower and a shotgun had an adorable kid that can change direction mid flight.
Cyclops has posed:
The water feels like tar. The water feels terrifyingly stiff to Tobias. He's losing energy fast, the water draining him like he can drain electricity from other objects. He's slowing down...he managed to grab the edge of hte dock, but the water was too strong for his body's new functions to resist. He's starting to be pulled under... when a hand suddenly darts out and grabs Tobias, hoisting him out of the water and setting him onto his back on the docks. Cyclops meets his eyes with that glowing red visor. "Breathe kid, come on-" He encourages him. "You alright? Ignore the screams."

The screams that Psylocke and Tabitha are doing wonders in causing.

Betsy is a surgeon with that sword. Regardless if there's anyone aiming at her, a thug is caught oogling at her. "Wow...you're the most beautiful woman I've ever-" There's a foot pressed against his chest that launches him onto his upper back. A few broken ribs guaranteed, and maybe a few bones in his neck. He's breathing, but it's a long wheeze from having hte air knocked out of him. Psylocke had no mercy.

Speaking of which, the next victim has a hand pressed into his head. Few things are preferable to pain, and this was one of them. He's serious for a moment, as if wondering what she's doing, starting to aim his weapon before he's suddenly screaming from the psionic shock to his system! His eyes roll into the back of his head and he lands on the ground with a thud.

Tabitha knows how to get /mean/. "FUCK YOU!" calls back one of hte thugs, and when Tabby starts getting close, he starts opening fire...in the opposite direction. It lets her get close, even lets her speak in text! "What the-" She gets mean. She knees him in the kidney, easily hard enough to cause a rupture for bloody piss. His head is shoved into a wall hard enough to crack it, sending blood trickling down his nose as he slumnps to the ground.

Fingerblasts for the win! Beams of plasma strike at two more, burning the guns out of their hands. "Fuck man, lets get out of here!" and they start to book it like crazy!

"No no no! We don't run, we kill mutants!" Shouts Michael, hands dug into his scalp as if pulling out his own hair, trying to figure out what to do.
Psylocke has posed:
Psylocke is a woman who knows death, intimately and familiarly.

Not just how to deal it how, but how it feels to die. How it feels when someone else is dying. And she feels that, now.

<<I have you.>> Psylocke's mental voice is surprisingly warm and reassuring inside Tobias' mind, and it comes a second before Tobias feels a lift from below, like a giant, invisible hand is pushing him out of the water, right as Scott grabs a hold of him.

The change in focus requires a moment of inattention, one that one of the Friends takes advantage of. Apparently they didn't learn their lesson about not touching: one wrenches the katana from her hands and shoves her to the ground while another pins her with a knee in her back. It's a shame they don't realize how utterly flexible -- and utterly ruthless -- Betsy Braddock can be.

Her foot lashes upwards, slamming into the nose of the man pinning her. He instantly screams and reels away, and she leaps to her feet, just as the others start to run. "Oh no you don't," she stretches... and the katana rips out of the fleeing man's hand, returning to her.

Poor Michael's going to be all alone soon. Psylocke merely smiles at him, her gaze going to Tabitha.
Zot has posed:
    Tobias went under the water. He was practically in a coma when he feels the hand pulls him out of the docks. He coughs up a shot glass worth of Sea water as he turns over onto his chest as he coughs. He looks to the nearby lights and raises a hand. The light shatters and electricity flies from the socket to his hand and wraps around his body and as more electricity rushes into him and he starts to gain color once again. "Who..." He says as he tries to get up and away from scott.
Boom-Boom has posed:
The ones that run, they clearly have the smart idea.

Alas that just puts them right where Boom-Boom can hit them at center mass. The ones not running like the unfortunately stupid Erickson aren't safe behind any protective cover.

There's a ninja coming after them from one direction, and a Black Ops trained walking explosion coming from another.

And Tabitha is humming some old seventies rock.

"And here you are, stuck in the middle of us!" she sings. Not anywhere near Dazzler's ability but she can hold a tune for an extremely old oldie.

The telekinetic yank of the sword gets a chuckle. Then gets punctuated by a flick of her fingers.

And the sound of a 'POP' between his legs.

Detonation right between the thighs. Whether anything is attached or even functional. Tabby isn't too worried. "I don't know about you my dear. But I could do with a drink." she offers playfully.

"After we level the place first. They can kiss their security bond goodbye along with their racist asses."
Cyclops has posed:
<<Thanks for the assist, Betsy.>>

Scott thinks. He assumes Betsy is listening in on the conversation, but as soon as he has the kid up and Tobias is coughing water, Scott smiles and pats the boy on the head. "Thrre you go. Almost lost you for a second." Tobias tries to get away and Scott lifts his hands up. "Easy, not here to hurt you. I'm Cyclops. What's your name?"

Ignore the screams he said!

Betsy is kind for a moment, but like a sour patch, she's sweet and then she's sour. Her in attention costs ger weapon, but a scorpion kick freed her from being pinned to the ground, the poor thug in the ground holding his broken nose. Her telekinetic prowess summons her blade back to her...and the body that was holding into it. "Shiiiiii-" THUD! The weapon was ripped from his hands, but momentum is a cruel and heartless wench.

Then there's Tabby.

Sweet, innocent Tabby.

Casually blowing a grown man's balls off. He crumpled to the ground in pain, uncertain of what's attached and what isn't.

Michael bolted in the chaos, growling and muttering under his breath that he'll be back for revenge against the mutant abominations.

There's silence in the courtyard, just the soothing wind of New Orleans.
Psylocke has posed:
"You always want to level everything. You're singlehandedly lowering the real estate propery values in any given city you're in." The amusement in Psylocke's gaze suggests she's not that worried. Her family's investments are mainly focused in Europe, with the occasional property in the eastern seaboard.

"Besides, you can bet these guys never bothered with a security deposit."

The katana's blade is darkened in places with blood, and Psylocke uses the ribbon to clean the length of it in one long stroke, before she sheathes it at her back. The moment anyone looks away and back towards her... it's like it's gone completely.

Even Psylocke has to admire the cruelty of Tabitha's final explosion. "Remind me not to get on your bad side," she says, as she sways her way towards Scott, a gentle touch to his shoulder both telling him she's present and she heard his words. Her voice isn't quite as soft as her mental one, but right now, it's just as warm as she smiles at Tobias. She always had a soft spot for kids, and to her, that's exactly what he is. "I'm Betsy. Do you need somewhere to stay? Somewhere you will be safe?" The warmth after all that casual violence is something the X-Men are used to, but definitely jarring for the uninitiated.
Zot has posed:
    Tobias pulls more electricity from the dock causing a black out but electricity was flowing around his body as he keeps a hand raised incase these people tried to do something to him. He looked terrified. "I dont want any trouble..." He says, looking more terrified then he was with the friends.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Technically it's a Darwin Award for the erstwhile leader of this group of 'Friends'. Tabby watches the man running away. "You know I can't remember if I left a bomb where that dude is hauling off to." she may or may not. Probably didn't though.

"Girl, you only ever have good sides. Boss wanted loud so, hey. It's civic improvement!" Tabby says with a wink while she hoofs it to catch up with Cyclops and leave anyone with an FoH patch to explain things to the cops about they're attempted murder.

And the grievous bodily harm then ended up with as a backfire against them.

Tobias getting a grin. "Boom-Boom, or Tabby. But nobody calls me that. Hi. We got safe space a plenty. And no troubs. We'd have straight wrecked things harder maybe if you weren't here. It was a good work out!" she states and grins while flexing black clad arms.
Cyclops has posed:
The touch on his shoulder, Scott knows exactly who it is without missing a single beat. There's appreciation for Betsy being subtle but he rises to his full height. As one by one his companions join him, Scott extends his arms to the side. "We're the X-Men. We're here to help."

Small pause.

Police sirens are heard in the distance and Scott doesn't move a muscle. "You've been running for a long time, Tobias. But...we believe we can give you a place to belong. Where you can learn to use your abilities among people like you without fear of persecution." He smiles as Tabby and Betsy both agree with what he's said and extend offers of their own.
Psylocke has posed:
Tabitha's words get a delighted laugh from Betsy. She's in a good mood, wholly Betsy for now, but... oh dear. All this terror just won't do. It blocks the mind, and makes Tobias wholly resistant to anything they're going to say. Of course, Psylocke's first inclination is to just... fix it. But there are moralities to think of. At least when she's being an X-Men. It's why she looks at Scott, silently.

Asking him the question.

Getting her answer.

Betsy doesn't need to touch Tobias for her powers to work. She doesn't even need to look at him: she can feel the terror of his mind, like a loud pulse in the air. All she has to do is siphon away that emotion. Not entirely -- but just enough to take away that frantic edge, to allow Tobias to think clearly and more calmly.

The woman smiles warmly. "No trouble, I promise. You can come with us, and we can give you food, and safety. You can leave any time you like. If not," her head tilts. "You'd best get going before the authorities get here."
Zot has posed:
    Tobias feels the terror leave his mind, and he raises a hand nearly causing a surge of electricity to fly out towards the ninja which he redirects almost instantly to miss her. "Don't" He says as he nods. "Alright I will go with you. Cant be worse then the mob." He says thanks to a combination of psylocke removing his terror and him convinced if needed he can fight his way out of anywhere he can be taken too. So he goes with them.
Boom-Boom has posed:
While Betsy's attempts at calming Tobias leans into the telepathic. Tabitha heads for more verbal reassurances. "We can even show you how to handle those assholes. Though it'll be suggested that nutshots should be delivered via hands and feet direct. Humans can be sooo squishy." she states with a chuckle.

With the offer accepted the blonde in black and yellow nods her head. "Now the fun part. Private jet. We might even have some peanuts stashed. No movie though. And if ya need to pee now's the time!" she suggests and chuckles.

Tabby clearly relaxed after the personal and property damage she just caused.
Psylocke has posed:
The surge of electricity Tobias releases gets to close to Psylocke that it makes some of her violet hair shift and stand up, charged with electricity. Her gaze remains steady on him. "Terror clouds the mind; leads to irrational choices. You should never make decisions out of fear, but of certainty."

It's not an apology, but her voice remains surprisingly soft for all that Tobias just tried to kill her.

When Tobias agrees to go with them, Betsy's smile brightens. "What's your name?" He might not even need to voice it. Knowing the telepath, she probably just plucked it out of his mind as she asked the question. She still pretends, however, as they head for the safety of the Blackbird, and Xavier's Mansion.