Title: Busting the iron bars of hell..
Zanra Dayo - June 5, 2008 02:29 AM (GMT)
Time of day: Mid-morning
Place in the time-line: A week after 'The first meeting'
Zanra paced angrily near the front gate, trying to figure out a way to get the hell out of this wretched place. The front gates themselves were closed and locked now, making sure that no student could get through. Zanra had spent hours trying to pick the lock, but that only resulted in very burnt hands, making what would normally be a calm young girl very cranky and upset, thinking about the mental punishment she would recieve for these acts, and the painful burn treatments she would endure yet again.
Angry at the world, Zanra sat down and started to tear up the grass, which gave her an idea. Going across the ground, she tore out patches, one by one, until the whole lawn had long brown strips, which all together, spelled out 'Save us.' Maybe then those on the outside would come in to help, before anyone died because of ShadowX. She was slowly losing faith in X-factor, after they didn't make it in time to save her best friend from having her mind wiped clean.
Then, Zanra looked at the fence, and smirked, remembering that she heard how most iron fences are coated in a sulfurous material in order to prevent rust. She grinned even wider, and stared at her hands, evil thoughts of freedom and the outside world filling her head.
This was gonna be fuuuuuun!
Havok - June 5, 2008 03:12 AM (GMT)
A hand fell on Zanra's shoulder, so intent was she on her unwise, uncontrolled and irrational behavior, that she hadn't noticed the dark clad man who had followed her from the school, watching her from the shadows of the trees. "Save us," yes, that was subtle, so very subtle. Did she really think this would work? Did she really think that anyone would come before that ridiculous SOS was found? Nonsense, absolute nonsense. Then there was her tampering with the locks on the gate. Had she known the key code, she could have simply punched it and gone out, gotten away, but ShadowX was way too savvy to have left the gate unguarded. With the heightened security around here lately, Zanra was so completely lucky that she had not already been mentally punished right where she stood. The cameras were enough to alert the leaders of this mutant training camp, even if they hadn't joined into an entity of the strongest telepathy mixed with perfected strategic knowledge.
Alex grabbed the girl and, looking quickly up at the camera at the top of the gate, leaned close and whispered, harshly, "You are either the most stupid girl I have ever met, or you're suicidal, and either way, you are going to destroy any chance any of us have to get the hell out of here with our brains intact."
He flung out his other hand and scorched the makeshift SOS out of the grass with a perfectly aimed blast of white hot plasma rings, but his other hand kept clamped on her shoulder. "Listen up, little girl, and listen up good. You think yourself a big rebel leader, you think yourself tough because somehow you're managing to resist the telepathic manipulations they're throwing out like a storm cloud? You need to grow up and realize what danger you are in. Now, get back to the school, now, and I will try to cover this up before it's discovered," His words were harsh and cold, delivered in a whisper that the cameras couldn't pick up.
He straightened up, not loosening his grip on her, and said, "Come on, before--"
Before what was a moot point though, because as they turned around, a shadow passed over the sky, and two figures landed on the pathway in front of the pair.
Scott and Jean Grey-Summers, dressed in their black uniforms, their stances identical, their faces wearing the same expression, though Scott's eyes shone with scarlet light contained without a visor, without glasses, his powers under his wife's control. ::Havok, Mshindo,:: they thought at the pair, their combined voice betraying no emotion, giving away nothing, ::What's going on here? Is there a problem?::
Meltdown - June 5, 2008 03:22 AM (GMT)
Animals in their raw and natural form are unique creatures. Natural instinct governs everything they do, down to the most minute activities. There is a certain rhythm to the way of life of a wild creature, and that tempo keeps their world tied down and understandable. But as it is commonly seen, throw a wrench into the gears of their way of life and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly the wild creature is a rabid beast, the once docile being a raging monster. Caging a wild animal will first set it off, this being the first stage to domestication. But soon it will submit, this being the second stage, giving into the supreme power that its captors hold. And finally, the third phase is the dependence the creature has on its master once it is broken.
In the confines of the Xavier institute, many of the students were now beginning to feel the struggle of captivity. As for Tabitha, she had run free, been caged, but sure as hell wasn’t broken. It would take more than a few fancy walls and a psycho headmaster to break her stride. She was punished for her disobedience just like an animal would be, in a way. The nightmares were awful but learned to be tolerated, the inexplicable feelings of depression and guilt were something else, and even the physical punishment pushed her limits. But Tabs wasn’t the kind of person to submit to anyone unwillingly, no matter what the repercussions. Call it blatant disregard for what was best for her, or simply stubborn stupidity. Either way, she wasn’t going to change.
This afternoon Tabs found herself wandering the grounds like usual, thankfully without that horrible uniform they made them wear now. Yeah right, she’d be caught dead before putting that awful garbage dump of an outfit on. Her eyes scanned the large lawn, settling on the fence. Escape was so close, yet so damn far away. How she’d love to blast a hole in that wall, how easy it would be to climb through and book out of there! But even the hot headed Boom Boom knew better than to try something like that against the forces she was up against without a solid plan. The problem with that was that they were constantly watching… Someone was constantly listening. Nothing, not even thoughts were sacred anymore.
At first Tabitha passed the girl’s form over, but finally realized that someone was at the front gate. Her pace was casual as she strode over across the large expanse of grass to the young teen, eyeing her over. She was attempting to pick at the locks, or at least get some sort of SOS out. Tabs wanted to tell her nothing of that sort had worked out for her already, but a familiar face got to it first. Before her eyes strode Alex Summers, the self pronounced savior of this school. He seemed like one of the only people whose brain wasn’t completely mush now. Just as she made it to the group, she barely had enough time to open her mouth before two more figures showed up. Tabs wasn’t as excited to see these two.
What Tabitha did next she hardly believed herself. Jogging up to the small group with a small time bomb in her hand, she tossed it with a pop at the young girl’s feet. Something about letting a girl who was only just a child take the blame for something like this didn’t feel right. Looking up at Havok, then to the Summers, she spoke with a grin and a hidden feeling that she’d just done something she’d regret, saying to the girl, “I told you you couldn’t get it open. Next time I give you a dare you should at least go through with it.” Her attempt to divert the blame from the youngin’ to herself would hopefully go noticed by the watchful eyes of the school. Tabs already knew what they had in store for people who tried to get out… and it wasn’t much fun. She couldn’t imagine a tween experiencing it. “Just goes to show you, never give a little girl a big girl’s idea.” She added with a grin.
Oh, this was going to suck later. This kid better bake her cookies or something for the bullet she was biting in her defense…
Zanra Dayo - June 6, 2008 09:27 PM (GMT)
Zanra was much too absorbed in her thoughts to notice the other people in the yard until somebody clamped their hand harshly on her shoulder. The harsh whispering that followed made her tremble, and made her face go pale, unaware until then that what she was doing could lead to the harm of other people, not just herself. She whimpered, her eyes tearing up a bit when Havok told her off harshly about the idiocy of what she had just done, and she could only nod in agreement. Everything he said, and everything in her mind, told her to just give in to the rule. It would make things so much easier.
She was starting to comply with those thoughts, when ShadowX themselves walked up, looking dark and stolid, as normal now-a-days. Zanra could only remember how they used to look and act, and now compare it to the image in front of her. It was stunning how much had changed, not only in school life, but in herself as well.
Her attention snapped to Meltdown when she not only spoke, but defended Zanra, willing to face punishment for actions that were only described as intolerable. Zanra got up, and tugged on her arm, a harsh shake of her head signaling her feelings about what she had just said. Zanra had been through enough of the punishments in order to deal with one more. She wasn't going to let Meltdown deal with it for her.
ShadowX - June 7, 2008 02:53 AM (GMT)
Meltdown attempted to cover up for Mshindo which was absolutely foolish. Did she not know that they were telepaths? Did she not understand that her lies were as bold as if they were printed in glowing orange text above her head? ShadowX didn't have to discuss her punishment, they never had to discuss anything. The thought that they may disagree, that they may not see eye to eye.... well, that seemed as unfathomable as the idea that they might be wrong about what they are doing. There was no question that they were of one mind about their actions. They were the perfect embodiment of unity, and they would soon unite the whole of the world beneath their ideals. These children would understand it soon enough.
But, until then, they must have their resistance broken down, and they must be taught that they cannot encourage rebellion, that the Dream was meant to keep them safe and an action against the Dream was a betrayal to the whole of mutantkind. They must be taught that disobedience was not to be worn like a badge of honor. Anyone who fought them, anyone who hurt the safety of the school was selfish and negligent. And, anyone who aided them in their malcontent would share in their punishment.
The pair looked at Meltdown, and there wasn't even a change in their expressions as they pushed out with their powers and slammed into Meltdown's psyche, bringing her worst fears into the fore of her mind. She would be overwhelmed with guilt at the thought of the dangers she was putting her friends and her people in. Guilt and shame and misery falling over her like a tidal wave. How could she encourage such reckless? How could she support disobedience? How could she go against a dream meant to protect them all? What kind of person was she?
ShadowX turned their glare on Mshindo, their brother still holding her arm, ::Havok, you were tending to this matter?::
"Yes," Havok said, "I was explaining to Mshindo the necessity of what we're doing."
They looked at him silently for a moment, then as one their heads turned to the scorched patch of grass. Havok didn't dare think of what had been there, what the girl had been trying to do. He pointedly ignored Meltdown in the throes of whatever was being done to her, purposely making it seem as if he agreed with it. It was the hardest thing he had to do.
It worked though, apparently, since ShadowX were far too confident in their abilities to believe that Havok could go against them. ::Take the little rabble rouser to one of the holding cells for the night. Nullify her and let her think about the error of her ways.::
"Nullify her?" Havok frowned, "Are you certain? Her powers are--"
::Worthless if she uses them against us and the mutant cause,:: ShadowX snapped, ::She's a threat to what we are doing here, and until she is capable of understanding that and issues an apology to the students she has endangered, we can't let her do further harm to herself or others. You realize how ill she is, don't you, Little Brother?::
Havok looked at the teenager and then nodded, "It's for her own good."
Identical smiles crossed ShadowX's faces and they said, with their slick mental caresses, ::You make us very proud, Havok. You've taken the position of Security Head and done everything that must be done to keep the Dream alive.::
"I'm trying to do my best," Havok said, and for the first time, he was speaking the honest truth, "I want us all to be safe." Pulling Zanra along, he lead her back to the mansion.
ShadowX stayed were they were for a moment, and then reached out over the school, and tightened their hold, just that much tighter. They looked at Meltdown and waited for her recovery, waited for her to admit her wrongdoing.
Zanra Dayo - June 9, 2008 01:35 AM (GMT)
((Sorry this took so long. Things have been a bit crazy at home, so I haven't really been focused enough to give a good reply. Sorry!))
Zanra whimpered an immediatly ran to Meltdown's side the second she noticed that her facial expression began to change. A look of horror was spread across her face. She didn't want this for anyone but herself, and now someone close to her was getting hurt for her stupid mistakes. ShadowX was right; she didn't deserve powers if she couldn't use them to benefit all mutant-kind. That's why, with a heart full of grief and dread, she allowed Havok to pull her off.
Her mind was dragged down with darkness and dread. All of her thoughs seemed to be surrounded in a black aura. Even as she stumbled along wtih Havok, she seemed to be dragged down by a black cloud. There was only one thing she knew that could brighten her up just a bit.
Zanra held her hands in front of her, and practiced a new trick she had just learned: She could sustain a fireball now. Of course, it wasn't that big at all, but it was something, and it mada a small light flicker back into her eyes, echoing into her mind and heart as well. As she started to gently manipulate the shape with her powers, she shaped it into a heart, than into an X. An X for the Dream. And X for loyalty. Loyalty she no longer had.
Havok - June 9, 2008 03:25 AM (GMT)
Havok lead the girl off and as they left ShadowX's sight, their physical visual field, the little girl began to form something in her hands, a ball of flames that became a heart, and then an X. He felt something clench in his chest, and he put out his hand, clenching his fist over the X, not able to absorb flames but immune to their effect because of his own heat producing powers. "Don't," he said, "It'll attract their attention."
He closed his hand over hers and stepped in front of her. He was a tall man, though he was not as tall as his brother, and she was much smaller than him, but he didn't give her the indignity of crouching to look at at her. He stood tall, dressed in his black uniform, his bearded face grim and tired. "You're not going to be nulled, ok?" he said, softly, "I'm not going to let that happen. I'm going to get you out."
He lead her, hurriedly, through the school, to the lower levels, his long legs striding so quickly that it might be difficult for her to catch up. As they got into the lower level elevator, he pried open his suit's chest monitor. Built into the back was a small compartment. He removed a small stick circle from it, and said, "This will reflect their telepathic wave back at them. It'll give them a psychic echo that makes them read you as one of theirs. Always wear it, ok? Always, right on your skin. They can't tell the difference. Jean's powerful, but she's growing arrogant and arrogance makes people careless. From now on, you belong to them, or so they think. Obey. Do what they tell you. Be a good citizen, a good mutant, and you'll slide under their radar."
Once she took the reflector, he pulled out another device-- a chip, it appeared to be, but he didn't explain the purpose. Closing his monitor just in time, Havok took her hand again as the doors slid open. Without another word, he took her to the holding cells, taking one of the nullification cuffs out of the electronics cabinet as they went. Cracking it open, he inserted the chip, just as Jeffries had shown him, inserting the chip he had into the main systems. "Give me your wrist, Zanra," he said, quiet and solemn, his use of her name not her code a telling sign. "You've been sentenced to nullification as a danger to the Dream, to the welfare of mutantkind. This is done for your own good," he recited the sentencing formally, making sure it is done properly. He leaned close, and said, "Don't use your powers, not even a flicker until you are at X-Factor Headquarters. I've modified your cuff. Like the reflector, you'll read nulled. Keep up the illusion until I can get you out."
He sat her down inside the holding cell and he said, "Think about your apology, Mshindo. You'll need to make one. Give me time, kid. What's happening here is so much bigger than anyone knows."
Zanra Dayo - June 9, 2008 05:53 PM (GMT)
Zanra gazed up at Havok with sullen eyes as he crushed the form of her X in his hand. She could feel him stiffen up right before, like what she was doing triggered a bad memory, something that had happened to her many times before. When his large hand enveloped her tiny one, and he moved in front of her, she gazed up at him with her burgundy eyes, an innocent look on her face.
He stood tall, dressed in his black uniform, his bearded face grim and tired. "You're not going to be nulled, ok?" he said, softly, "I'm not going to let that happen. I'm going to get you out."
Zanra's eyes went wide, and she bore a small smile after hearing him reassure her. It took everything she had not to jump around and hug him. With a bit more of a jump in her step, she happily followed Havok, keeping pace with his long strides. Once they were in the elevator, she leaned against the wall, panting slightly.
"This will reflect their telepathic wave back at them. It'll give them a psychic echo that makes them read you as one of theirs. Always wear it, ok? Always, right on your skin. They can't tell the difference. Jean's powerful, but she's growing arrogant and arrogance makes people careless. From now on, you belong to them, or so they think. Obey. Do what they tell you. Be a good citizen, a good mutant, and you'll slide under their radar."
Zanra simply nodded, and took the small sticker from his hand. She still was a bit unsure of how a little sticker would protect her from one of the strongest forces on Earth, but she wasn't going to complain. When they had gotten all the way down, and Havok gently took her wrist in his hand, she couldn't help but be a little nervous in these unfamiliar surroundings.
He sat her down inside the holding cell and he said, "Think about your apology, Mshindo. You'll need to make one. Give me time, kid. What's happening here is so much bigger than anyone knows."
Listening carefully to his words, Zanra nodded, and shyly wrapped her little arms around him for a hug, her best way of saying 'thank you.' Besides, at the moment, no words really seemed to be enough to convey how much he had just done for her.
Havok - June 10, 2008 06:50 PM (GMT)
Zanra hugged him and Alex was taken aback. He hugged the little girl back and his hand stroked her hair, gently, "It's all right, Zanra, ok? I promise you. This is going to end." He sighed, "Something's wrong with them, this isn't who they are, it isn't what they feel, what they believe, how they act. It's... I dunno, Zanra. But, we'll figure it out. I promise."
He looked around the cell and said, "Zanra, when I first came here, I was a monster... well, not really, but that's how I felt. I'd been a mutant for less than two months, and in that time I had blown up a mall because I was having a temper tantrum, I had allowed Magneto to convince me that humanity was something to destroy, and I had lead my brother into an ambush that got him tortured and nearly killed. When I came here, I was angry and depressed. I hated Scott, I hated myself... everyone hated me because I was responsible for almost getting Scott killed. But something happened here. Because of who these people are, who Scott and Jean were, I got over myself, mostly, learned responsibility, found a direction to take my life that will hopefully do some good for the mutant people. That's who Scott and Jean are. They're the good guys, Zanra, and the fact that something's made them something else... well, we're going to figure it out. We're going to get them back."
He ran his hand over her hair and around to her face, gripping her chin, lightly, looking into her eyes. "This isn't going to last, Mshindo, this isn't going to last."
And with that, he stepped out of the cell, and using the key code he'd been given, he raised the electronic bars that locked her in.
Zanra Dayo - June 10, 2008 07:22 PM (GMT)
Hugging Havok like that was definitely spurr of the moment, and after feeling him flinch ever so slightly, Zanra considered letting go, but when he wrapped his arms around her and started to stroke her hair, she almost went limp in his grasp, her arms trembling, tears threatening to spill over. With a few deep breaths, and more comforting words, she controlled herself, not letting her emotions get out of hand.
He slowly started to explain his past, and Zanra's heart went out to him. Of course, nothing like that had happened to her, but she had been through enough to know what it was like to find people as caring as Jean and Scott once were. They had one of the best gifts that man and mutant alike could ever ask for, and having somebody take advantage of that was just...cruel.
|He ran his hand over her hair and around to her face, gripping her chin, lightly, looking into her eyes. "This isn't going to last, Mshindo, this isn't going to last."|
Zanra nodded in agreement, her eyes starting to close, the comfort that she wouldn't be haunted in her sleep anymore made her quite drowzy. But still, although it was more of a reflex than a concious movement, she reached out weakly for him when he walked away, but the second the doors were shut, she curled up on the bed and fell asleep for the first time in about a week or two.
That rest was peaceful...