5063/Germination: To the Brink

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Germination: To the Brink
Date of Scene: 31 July 2018
Location: Mexico
Synopsis: Multiple heroes face off against a fungal-using telepath, and find something far more sinister.
Cast of Characters: Shadow King, Superman, Spider-Woman (Drew), Storm, Rogue, Gambit, White Queen




Shadow King has posed:
Clark Kent has a call, again. Another cheerful voicemail. It's his contact from Mexico. His most favorite guy, of course. It's Paulie.

"Hi Mr. Kent. I was thinking about that interview. And I thought why not go ahead and do that? I figure some of you will be in Mexico anyway. So let's get that in. Meet me where we first met, if you like. Bring the hottie with you, she can sit in my lap during the interview. See you then."

Superman has posed:
Clark rings Jessica and fills her in, then party lines the call to Paulie to set up a date and time for their interview. After Paulie hangs up, Clark tells Jessica that he probably should not go with her this time given how dangerous it was last time. He suggests it might be better if she used her contacts to find some people to go with her this time.

Shadow King has posed:
After some contact use by Spider-Woman, the arrangements are made: through the Avengers, the request for help, specifically with a telepath if one is available, goes to Rogue and Storm, via Tony. It also is extended through to the Justice League.

What is the message? A lead showed up in Mexico, related to the fungus there. Possibly a trap. Possibly useful. Tony himself is unable to chase this particular lead as he is meeting Titans for some kind of incredible weapon against the fungus, but one of the fungal guys in Mexico? That's worth sending a team, and then some. If it doesn't pan out, there is still the coordinates from Tony's little Mexico-portal trip to check over. Plenty to do.

Arrangements are made to meet at a resort where Paulie has arranged to chat. It's mid-afternoon, nearly dusk; the meeting is soon, but the heroes have some time to decide what to do... and to share who exactly they are meeting.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica has foregone the bikini this time. Instead, she's chosen a tasteful Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts with sandals, all of which screams "JUST A TOURIST!" Having assembled those who came to aid in a quiet, reserved conference room, she sits down at the head of the table to discuss.

"Thank you all for coming to help. I don't know where this is going, but we thought it best to have plenty of backup, just in case. I'm Jessica Drew, for those of you who don't know me. Which is....almost everyone, it seems. And I was invited down here to interview a telepath who seems to have some important information on who is behind this all...and possibly the end game...their ultimate goal. He will be down there...waiting..."

Superman has posed:
Kal makes his way to the resort after getting word from the Avengers about the meet. He is distinctly uneasy returning to meet with Paulie... There is no telling /what/ a telepath might try to take from one's mind, and he had secrets to keep. The wording of Paulie's call was... Unsettling. But there was work to be done.

He lands without fanfare some distance away on a rooftop with a view, at least for someone with his sense, of the pool area where he can listen in to what happens and intervene if necessary. He is early, but this was worth making the extra time for.

"Superman is here, I'll be watching from a distance," he says into his communicator on the frequencies they all agreed to use for this operation.

Storm has posed:
    "The X-Men are here to help where we can," Ororo offers confidently. She looks back to the small group of mutants that arrived to the resort close to an hour ago. They had their own debriefing in a suite not far from where they now stand. Dressed in casual attire, Ororo stands to the side, giving Emma Frost a better viewpoint. "We have a very powerful telepath on our side. I'm sure she would be of great use to this cause."

    "And, I believe you are familiar with Gambit and Rogue."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue stands just beside and behind Storm, she's got a pair of designer sunglasses on and a light black jacket unzipped down to chest level, a green tanktop beneath that and some black pants and shoes. She's got her hands in the pockets of her jacket and is just letting her two-toned hair blow gently in the breezes. Her sunshielded eyes are wandering here and there as this area is just... new and rather nice. But sadly they weren't here for a vacation.

Rogue looks forward when Storm starts to talk and a grin appears on her pink hued lips when Ororo mentions she and Gumbo by name.

Shadow King has posed:
For those that want to snoop, Paulie IS down by the pool at the resort, with four empty glasses next to him, with a variety of umbrellas in them. He's in his shorts and no shirt, with bright orange flip-flops. He's a balding, overweight guy, and is watching various women at the pool in a distant way, as if possibly even looking through them. He's just sitting there, if anyone does decide to check the area or scout, or anything of that nature.

Gambit has posed:
Remy hasn't been overly X-present the past few months but it hasn't stopped him from circling the school, rumors and X-apps like a hawk, a very sleek and attractive one. A smile from behind Ororo and the man's unlit cigarette hops from one side of his face to the other, "Bonjour, mes amis."
The lean thief of an X-Man dressed in a casual jacket thats not trench length full on more suit of black with a maroon undershirt, black tie and vest. A pair of rounded glossy shades covering crimson on void black eyes. Lighter attire, weather suited of course, though still darks.

White Queen has posed:
Emma looks.. bored. It might all be a facade (she's certainly not admitting it one way or another), but she certainly looks bored. And while she *could* peek in on Paulie.. why give him advance warning that she's with the group? It's one of those things that makes her feel slightly smug, and settles a cool smile upon her lips. She already knows Paulie shouldn't be a challenge to her, but still, why let him control the playing field anymore than he already does.

Storm's introduction has her nodding to Jessica.

She, herself, is dressed all in white - so white it borders on silver. And while she doesn't wear a mask, she is unrecognizeable. Or, more to the point, it's nearly impossible to pin down exactly how or why she's familiar, or even that she is familiar. Any attempts to identify her just seem to slip past her, taking their owner's mind away to other things.

"Don't worry, I'll play nice. With our own."

She makes no such promises for Paulie.

Superman has posed:
The sun is welcome, even if the mission is not. Warmer and stronger than in Metropolis, it leaves Kal feeling more refreshed than usual.

"Our friend is on the pool deck by himself. Four drinks in, it looks like," Kal updates through his communicator. "Balding, overweight, shorts and orange flipflops. East side of the deck."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"It's a pleasure to meet you all, and thank you so much for coming." Jessica moves to peer out the window of the conference room, down to the pool below. "There sits our "Paulie," enjoying his drinks and watching the girls. But he's not watching anything, really. I'd wager he's controlling something, or someone."

"It's the same way he looked the first time I was here. And at that time, he was keeping everyone in the resort from seeing the mushroom on the tennis courts. And keeping the mushroom from attacking anyone. He's agreed to talk to me, but I think it'd be best if you guys were....down there. Doing your thing. Before I ever arrive to meet him. What do you think?"

Storm has posed:
    "He sounds delightful," Ororo replies to Kal-El, reaching up to her ear to activate the communication unit placed inside. "And it sounds like we have work to do. Emma, you are with me. We're going swimming."

    "Rogue and Gambit, we will need you as muscle just in case anything happens with the controlled mushroom, or in case the weasel tries to get away." Ororo picks up a large sunhat and places it on her head, reforming the Mohawk on her head. She also picks up a pair of sunglasses.

    "Ear pieces in, my friends," Ororo says, starting for the door. She grabs two towels before exiting, making her way through the crowd towards the pool. "Emma, can you hear me?"

White Queen has posed:
Emma shrugs, and considers, "I'm certain there's a seat nearby. Who knows, he might even want to buy me a drink."

Storm's comment that he sounds delightful gets a look of distaste from Emma. "If by delightful you mean a poolside walrus." She nods to the woman, though. "Loud and clear." Even if she could bypass that little device. That quaint little device.

"Any objections if I go and make myself.. available?"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue glance sover to Gambit and gives him a little grin before her eyes go then to Emma and then roam yet further around, observing the person with the drinks which gets a light sigh from the 19 year old who desperately wanted a drink now. 'With a little paper umbrella.' she described her imaginary drink on the jet ride down here.

When Storm gives she and Remy some direction on their role here though, Rogue reaches over to Gambit's bicep and gives it a little squeeze. "Muscle." Rogue says up to the man, showing a grin, then using her other hand to adjust her dark sunglasses on her small nose. "You'll get there some day." She teases him before exhaling softly again. "Why don't I eve'ah get swimming as my role? Oh -yeah- cause I'm like the candy bar from caddyshack." She reaches a gloved hand up and slaps it against her own forehead, messing around, as per her normal.

Gambit has posed:
"Will be a pleasure, chere. Perhaps." Remy says to the British woman who is greeting them, a quick flash of teeth and hes settling in to attentive team player, reserving himself for quiet though on Ororo's words about delightful, "So very delightful, one would say a 'fun-guy'." All this mushroom talk LeBeau cannot help but beat the dead horse.

The bicep squeeze gets a low chuckle, "There plenty of muscle in the important places." The Cajun defends himself but is ready to comply, teamed up and ready to play enforcer is a role he can understand. "You can count on us." He says, fighting impulse to light that cigarette. Idle hands and Devilry, its a thing.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
At the suggestion that Emma is taking over, Jessica lingers at the bar downstairs, ordering something fruity and non-alcoholic, and seating herself to enjoy her drink.

Shadow King has posed:
Paulie's ordered drink number five. He squishes to lean forward and pick at a raw spot on one of his toenails distractedly. He's not really interesting to watch otherwise. In fact, that was a lot of crack on display when he bent forward.

Storm has posed:
    "After Jessica meets with the man, possibly," Ororo offers, considering the option in case something goes wrong. Focusing on Plan A, though, Ororo turns right before she makes it to the edge of the pool and tosses the second towel at Emma to catch. "But if you must."

    The Kenyan woman offers Emma a brief smile as she turns back around and begins to disrobe, revealing a bikini exposing her mocha curves. "Don't linger too long, Emma. We don't want him to get too distracted." Stepping into the pool, the water's gentle touch gives her goosebumps as she settles midway.

White Queen has posed:
Emma quite happily heads poolside, managing to finangle herself a seat right by Paulie. "I hate these places," she tells him. "So crowded. And there's never enough alcohol in the drinks. And me who burns at the mention of sun."

He gets a smile.

"You wouldn't happen to have sunscreen and an extra pair of hands, would you?"

Distration mode: Engaged.

It's up to the others to get in place and figure out what they're doing next. She's sizing up the opposition.

Superman has posed:
"A woman who would not likely be interested in him is flirting with our friend... Basic chit chat," Kal says into the communicator. "One of ours?"

Shadow King has posed:
"I /do/," Paulie says, orienting immediately on Emma. Some force, some telepathic force, goes into the sudden follow up command: "Spread it on me first." The command is skilled and easy, expecting, of course, to not find any resistance from the lovely Emma. He expects her to just do what he says, like most arrogant telepaths of his breed. He digs down next to him for the tube. It's old, and mushy, and has crusted tanning lotion around the cap. He sits up, scooching on his lawn chair, and looks around slowly, as if hunting for someone in particular. He checks the time. "My future wife is /late/," he laments. "Too bad for her, right?"

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Our telepath," replies Jessica, taking a sip of her virgin Mai-Tai and bouncing her foot lightly to "Girl from Ipanema."

Storm has posed:
    "Yes," Ororo replies over the intercom. "And hopefully, she is sizing up his abilities while she's at it. Spider-Woman, feel free to interrupt at any time." When a beach ball falls in her direction, Ororo hits it back to the gathering of bodies towards the center of the pool. Her sunhat continues to settle in place. Distraction, distraction.

White Queen has posed:
Emma, of course, is better than he is. Shame that. Well, a shame for him, that is. All it really means is that Paulie gets a very amusing interlude of beleving that Emma is spreading sunscreen on his back, and totally succumbing to his suggestion.

She even adds a vapish titter to go along with the lingering touches he believes she's delivering.

Really, it's his own fault. If you're going to force people to fawn over you and do such things, you have to expect that things like this might happen.

All the while sipping on her drink (passing waitress; gotta love these places) and regarding the man.

~He's a maggot~ Storm gets an earful of Emma's thoughts on this. ~Want I should lead him on some more, or are we all happy enough to move along to phase the second? Our girl Friday really deserves a medal for putting up with this Hutt.~

While she's got him in her clutches, she teases at the edges of his abilities, using his own reaching out to her to piggyback and get a general idea of just how good he is.. or isn't and what she should expect when they go in for the crux of this meeting.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"I'm going in," Jessica replies into the comm, standing with her drink, and making her way out toward Jabba the Dud. When she arrives, she stops short, covering her mouth with her hand. "Ooh I'm sorry, am I interrupting? I could come back later. I didn't know you'd have company...."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue steps out from behind a shrubbery with a tall glass of dark red icey liquid and two paper umbrellas in it. She glances back behind the bush and her eyes go wide for a second and then she grins and starts to walk back toward where she assumes they're performing guard duty. After a sip of her drink she moves one of the paper umbrellas a little and then looks about... cause uh, 'the muscle' security, right?

Gambit has posed:
As the others take a serious tone Remy plucks up a small umbrella aiming it at Rogue, "Do you think? Nah... " He smirks then flicks it at her, though he is joking hes paying a keen ear on the others. It is just right now, to appear as unassuming muscle.
"You are all the muscle they gon' need if it come to it. I'm just here to add some panache." Though as jokingly as he is at the moment, hes of course paying well a mind to everything, Remy LeBeau has made a good life being keenly observant to his surroundings.

Shadow King has posed:
The illusion seems to work just fine. The man is.... seeing what he wanted to see, anyway. "Good girl," the man says to Emma during the illusion, and adjusts the let her get another spot. "Now go away," he orders, abruptly, once he believes that she's finished helping him. He just spotted Jessica, too. "Hi agaiiiiin," he grins at her. "Come sit." There's no force behind it, not yet.

His mind is strange to Emma's investigation, there's something looming like a weird root in his mind, that's actually messing with his ability to be aware. It is as if he is under some kind of influence, a psychic connection, as if a part of him were off in the astral plane somehow, yet here he is, in front of Emma and conscious. He is focused: he is maintaining an illusion on a mushroom down on the golf course -- but otherwise he seems to be thinking about what he's going to say when his new toy arrives. And he has some concerns about if he's going remember all of it, for some reason.

White Queen has posed:
Emma's lower lip quivers in an act worthy of every petulant debutante ever trying to get her way. "But I did what you asked," she tells the man, sounding reluctant, even as her body seems to 'obey' the man.

The tidbit about the 'root'edness is both a surprise and not one. She'd already suspected something of the sort, if not quite exactly that. The mushroom on the gold course is a known entity, so no worries there. She's more interested in how the other fits in with their plans.

Again she reaches out, though this time to Storm and Jessica both. ~He may be being watched. He's certainly not entirely in control of himself. That, or who you'll be talking to won't be him. I'm keeping a peripheral watch, but the question is, when do you want me to step in?~ Jessica, in particular, is vulnerable, interacting directly with the slug of a man.

Rogue has posed:
Meanwhile, the Security.

Rogue turns around and is hit in the forehead by the paper umbrella from the cajun and she winces and laughs a little. "Stop that. I don't wanna lose an eye t'a toothpick. It works for Thor, but I'd look like some kinda cheap movie villain if I started sportin' an eye patch."

Rogue walks past a group of kids who give her and Remy a look and she glares back at them. "Move along, ya little punks." She says to them, then kicks one of their pool rafts thats shaped like a duck.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica seats herself in the newly vacated chair, watching Emma go, with no way to answer her. "I hope y'know....I didn't mess anything up for ya. Clark said you'd be willing to...talk about what's going on? He couldn't make it, of course...But I'm all ears if you feel like talking..."

Storm has posed:
    Hearing Emma's words in her head, Ororo considers the options afforded to them. "Is it possible that he's being controlled similarly to the victim that opened the rift in space?" Ororo wonders.

    "Superman, what ever happened to that gentleman? If he still in the hospital?" Ororo asks, remembering the last mission she was on.

Shadow King has posed:
"Yes. You know, I was thinking about our last meeting. And how I got thrown onto a roof. And then SHIELD. So fun. So here's the question. If I /squeeze/ you again, will I get big friends to zoom in? Inquiring minds want to know," Paul says, sliding along his lawn chair towards her, with a 'skreeeeee' of metal. "Or is it just us," he adds, voice lower. "If it's just us, you can sit in my lap, but I still am going to squeeze your head."

Emma will sense, easily, that he's being influenced. This guy wasn't always like this, isn't usually like this. It's as if a gun is on his head, though he's not entirely unwilling, either. He trusts the thing with the gun.

Superman has posed:
"I haven't had time to check on him. He is probably still sedated," Kal says in the communicator, making a mental note to actually follow up on that. Who knows how long the hospital staff might keep the man in a coma for. "Wait... He is saying he is going to use his abilities on Spider-Woman. He is trying to find out if she is alone." Kal says urgently

White Queen has posed:
Had Jessica thought a little harder about her reply, Emma would have picked it up. Really, that's what she does. But it occurs that the woman might not know that. ~Ignore the comms, Jessica. They're obvious and loud. I am not. Just think at me if you need to communicate.~

All the while making like a rejected fangirl (hey, he put the suggestion in someone who looks like hers mind to rub lotion on someone who looks like him voluntarily.. that's fangirl territory), Emma finds a nearby seat and sits that she might regard the pair. Totally in the guise of one trying to figure out what he sees in *her* and not Emma.

~Oh, he's being influenced,~ Emma informs Storm. ~Someone better than he is. He's a low level lackey as far as these things go. Annoying, but hardly worth a lot of effort. What worries me is what has him in its grip, considering there were six other minds in that link, plus the one left a gibbering idiot. That's me territory.~

And Charles'. And Jean's.

In other words: nasty.

Gambit has posed:
Remy chuckles at the curious throng she just shooed away, "They jus' wanna peek at the pretty girl. No harm." He coos while his shoulder comes up against hers and he reclines his weight, making sure his attention is still fixed upon their team in case they're required to intervene.
The lazy stretch alongside Rogue largely harmless as he busies himself with playing eyes and ears. "You already an Avenger, an eyepatch take you one step to being a superspy. Bond girl maybe?" At the moment, the two of them fit the bill of some corner creeping couple at this resort. No threat, no sore thumb to stare at just out of sight, out of mind and in perfect positioning to be the contingency clause if required.

The screech of that moving lawn chair does get him following the source. Staring openly past those rounded shades. "Maybe we best consider paying a lil more attention."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is just sipping her fruity drink that Gambit had found for her somewhere, its melty though, so she's had to remove one of her gloves. "I know a gaggle'a nare-do-wells when I see one. They were about to do a whole bunch of drugs right here. I just stopped'em is all." She says back toward Remy, sparing him a grin.

Her own shades-covered eyes glance in the direction that Remy is looking... but she doesn't see anything out of the normal. "What is it, boy?" She says then, sounding mockingly serious. "Do ya smell somethin'?" She then raises her drink up for another sip and grins over at the Cajun. "People in eyepatches are always evil. You should know this stuff, Miste'ah."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica hears it all, every hint and suggestion from the telepath. And it makes her feel dirty. Someone is in her head. No one that is in her head can be trusted. She saw where that got her last time. Her trust is wearing thin. "I'm here, not even Clark could come. I don't have his contact network. I just wanted to see if, y'know...." Jessica seats herself on Paulie's lap. "Maybe we could come to an agreement. You and me. What do you want? And what's in it for me?"

Shadow King has posed:
Paul yawns a little, and drops his illusion on the mushroom in the mini-golf course. Which, to everyone other than Emma (who had seen through it), a mushroom stalk, bigger than the windmill it is next to, is suddenly present on the resort. There's screaming, there's running, there are minions of the mushroom suddenly active and trying to orient on some children nearby. Amidst the chaos, that's when Paul moves.

He doesn't slide at her physically, although he does try to put his arms around her. Then, he does stare at her and say, in a flat, hard tone. A whisper, really, covered well by the distraction he just made.

"You are a loose end, so alone."

"/DIE/."

The mental pressure escalates to a feverish pressure, aware of having seen her willpower before, as the harsh order is sent with very considerable mental force. He is good at issuing commands, and squeezing hard.

Superman has posed:
Kal reacts immediately at the word. There is a rush of air and a boom and Kal is there, reaching to rip Paulie out from underneath Jessica. "Stop it, NOW!" he barks at Paulie, face contorted.

White Queen has posed:
Whether or not Paulie has been dealt with physically, Emma is more worried about the mentally. She knows what she can do, and just how many autonomic systems there are in the brain. How abused and hacked that mind was in the astral plane was a fair indication of what this thing could do to Paulie's mind.. or perhaps another if it got to it. NOt knowing the source of the control, she had to assume the thing could be nearby (or not), but more importantly, that it might be interested in her.

Interested enough to be diverted and distracted from Paulie.

To which she lets her presense blaze forth in Paulie's mind, seeking to grab the thing's attention. ~Oh, really? There are much more interesting targets about. Care to play with someone your own size?~

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica convulses in Paulie's grasp. There is a commotion, a thrashing maybe, around her, but she cannot acknowledge it. She cannot reply. She can't stop hearing that word burning in her brain.

"/DIE./"

And in that instant, she knew that she would. Her heart palpitates so that she loses her senses. She grasps subconsciously at her chest, and her breath hastens and falters. Every nerve in her body is ablaze. So...this is how it feels to die.

Storm has posed:
    While Emma relays information telepathically, Ororo plays close attention to the situation before them, all the while floating on the surface of the pool. Before the screams and the running, Ororo say the illusion fade and reveal more fungus.

    "Rogue and Gambit, the civilians! No one dies on our watch," Ororo says, not bothering to dry off as she steps closer to a fallen Jessica Drew. Not sure what is actually happening to the woman, Ororo observes her movements for a brief second before returning a gaze to Emma.

    "Emma! What is he doing to her?"

Shadow King has posed:
Fear spikes, choking and horrified, at Emma's arrival in his head. He is beyond scared of her presence. His mental composure falls to pieces. He has scars in his mind, his psyche. Her intrusion made him freak out. Screams echo behind Paulie's thoughts, somebody else's. Screams Emma has heard before on another plane:

~DO NOT TOUCH DO NOT TOUCH NOT MINE NOT MINE GET AWAY I WON'T TOUCH.~

The fear is Paulie's. He contorts, pulled and manhandled by Superman, eyes glossy. He releases a weird little gagging noise from his throat. Emma asked for something else to come, and she'll feel the presence coming. It's not directly to Paulie, it's as if it's coming from the fungus. The mental link widens. The mushroom is a conduit. A black gate was knocked on. It is opening, and Paulie is fighting it. Even Paulie knows better. Physically he will rag doll however Superman wants, appearing to grin like a terrified, vacant fool.

Gambit has posed:
"When you ever care about that kinda thing, ma cherie? Dem Avengers making you in to a girl scout."

"It the depth perception, it make 'em cranky. You give it a try for a while an' see how fast you turn to the Dark Side."
At Rogue's comment and being called 'boy' like hes the family dog shes about to get a smack on that shapely backside when his hand skips past to jut a finger out towards the mushroom and the commotion, "This a themed night out or you slip something in my drink?" Then, there is Superman? In flash of color and abrupt violence.
Remy is no longer reclined next to Rogue and looking casual, hes forward with legs spaced and fingers fishing in to the cuffs of his jacket sleeves,his eyes taking account of all of his team and companions, waiting for the signal which could be just about anything. "Lookin' like we maybe gonna get to dance after all."
"Dis way you peasants, come to us. Run for this here pretty light and the prettier girl beside me. It safe, come on! " He shouts loudly at the scared civilians. "Over here! Come on!" A card appears in hand, it glows a brilliant purple and pink, crackling with illumination of it's own. Pure kinetic force charged in t suc a small object.

Rogue has posed:
A heavy sigh escapes the southern girl's lips when she sees her security companion rush off to go help the fleeing civilians. "Why can't we just enjoy our lives, ever? Whys it always gotta be Shroms that want us dead, or like... guys that casue us all to have Asthma attacks. Why can't we just enjoy Mexico's finest fruity beverages."

She sets her drink down on a table... then reluctantly picks up a pretzel out of a bowl, and then charges after Remy. She appears beside him when he's got a card all lit up like a guiding light. "These things have been fightin' and eatin' up parks all across the globe, Cajun." She tells him, figuring he's not even realized any of this has been going on. "I haven't been able t'help out a lot, I've been havin' t'deal with normal villainy that is takin' all'a this as a chance t'rise up. So if that makes me a girl scout? Then where the hell are all my boxes'a thin mints?"

White Queen has posed:
"What it's doing," Emma hisses, "Is trying to kill Jessica. Or more to the point, convince her she's dying, and leave her in that perpetual state. I'm trying to get it's attention. Paulie here is a puppet."

And for that matter, he's a puppet who is also being tortured. Only Emma needs him for just One. More. Thing. Namely... to backtrace where the overmind is.

"Stupid idiot was probably playing on the astral plane and touched something he shouldn't have."

Yes, Emma is livid. She's still searching for the location of the overmind. And once she has it, she's going to shut Paulie down. Not kill him, but take him out of the mental misery of what he's tangled with here and on the astral plane. They can worry about 'saving' him properly later. Dead is dead. Out of commission is a fixable sin.

As for the shroom on the court? Not. Her. Concern.

Jessica, however, Emma can deal with. It's not a huge taxing bit upon her skill to tend to while doing the other. Especially given her particular wonts and bents as a telepath. It's really a small matter to undo the suggestion that has Jessica locked in the belief that she is dying, and returning to what can only be considered rather more normal and likely most useful given the ensuing chaos of the appearing shroom.

Paulie, however, Emma plans on taking out. He's a liability best dealt with in an innert state at the moment.

Storm has posed:
    Three mushroom minions begin their steady approach towards the small gathering heroes. As she helps to steady Jessica while Emma helps to free her from the suggestions, Ororo extends a hand and a gust of wind forces all three into the sky. With a precise thought, the clouds swirl briefly before delivering three lightning strikes strong enough to cause combustion.

    "Jessica..." She asks while gently tapping the side of the woman's face. "Jessica Drew, you must wake up," Ororo says. Concern can be deciphered through her caring tone of voice. "Jessica!"

Shadow King has posed:
The large mushroom in the mini-golf course is sending out minions all over the place. Tourists are doing a mix of fleeing and taking pictures of it all. A large mushroom creature enters the pool with a huge splash, trying to grab for someone that didn't hear the screaming due to very very loud earphones, starting to drag the person towards the stalk.

Three minions of the mushroom were blown back, struck by electrical energy. They do, of course, expand massively, absorbing the extreme levels of electricity with feverish intensity. They were smaller, they are now bigger than cars. Which will surely give Rogue, at least, something to punch.

Paulie? He isn't there anymore mentally. That inner screaming and fear is suppressed to nothing. Whatever was looking in on Paulie fills the space between his ears, behind his eyes. The grin drops away into a more placid expression, and he rolls his eyes to look from Superman to Emma. His eyes widen with a little twitch of eyebrows at her. There's a telepathic press.

"White Queen. So lovely, dearheart. Hello," says the thing inside Paulie. It somehow is a lot worse than Paulie was. "And /Superman/. We really care about this girl, don't we. So afraid of losing her?" His gaze starts to move to Storm.

There is a massive connection open telepathically, the mushroom nearby is virtually holding a mental road open and solid. Someone is very cleverly using the mushrooms as a psychic conduit. It isn't hard to follow. It blazes like a beacon, lighting up strands of the web. Into the heart of Mexico itself. And under the ground...

Gambit has posed:
"Sugah, it is play time." Rogue says with her usual whisky smooth tone before she dashes past Remy and scoops up not one but two of the civilians, "At least for y'all. I'll take care of them. You cover me, Cajun."

"Such a tease... " Remy says quietly, following the queue of Storm with her lightning discharge as that glowy card whips out and impacts with the ground by the headphone wearing individual, between it and the mushroom monster. A loud pop krakoom of kinetic force discharging while Remy readies himself to watch over Rogue's rescue effort and keep a wall up for the others, not that hes the wall but he's got fast hands and a several full playing decks up his sleeves.

"This is insane... " He says in awed observation.

Superman has posed:
Kal's lips are pressed into a thin line. "We will see you /very/ soon," he promises to whatever is in Paulie. He sets the man's body down on the deck and shoots a concerned look at Jessica, and another, more clouded look at Emma.
    hen he takes in all the others in danger. In a blur of colour, Kal moves to hover over the stalk. He breathes out frigid air, trying to freeze the base of the thing solid, then drops on it with a hammerfist in an attempt to shatter it. Then if nobody has moved to help the person being hauled out of the pool, Kal grabs, freezes and smashes the squiddling attacking that person.

White Queen has posed:
"Oh, how quaint. We think we're special, do we? Fair eough. You have a name. You can't use it. And in a moment you won't be able to use him anymore."

She has what she wants now, and all that remains is severing Paulie from his powers. Easily eough done. A nasty bit of business, but kinder than the lobotomy she first considered - and still will use should the first not be enough.

"Go on," she tells Superman. "Help them deal with the mess."

Adding psychically to him and Storm, ~I know where it is. We can regroup and attack it where it lives.~

With luck, the thing won't know that was why she was stalling... and they can a force quickly enough that it won't be able to hide before they get to it.

Shadow King has posed:
Paulie blinks. The thing inside of it resists Emma's pressure on the powers, but Paulie isn't strong enough. In complete wrath, the thing in his head shreds Paulie mentally, with a verbal forced snarl and laugh, from Paulie's face: "Come, then. Come and suffer."

Paulie passes out fully, mentally left mostly vegetable by the hatred of the thing as it pulls away, ditching Paulie like a used kleenex.

The mushroom, frozen, has a difficult time fighting something like Superman and the other heroes, and they will be able to take it apart with the combined efforts.

If Jessica or Paulie will be okay, or ever the same? Another matter entirely.