The fall of Sebastian Shaw did not change much of the societal face of the Hellfire Club; it was still where the people who mattered gathered, just with one less cranky meglomaniac. But the effect on the Inner Circle and the plans Shaw had for them quickly disintegrated. His loss of power left a vacuum that nature only allowed for a moment.

Selene had waited for years, if not decades, for the opportunity. She had a lifespan long enough that while her whims could seem mercurial, the patience for her machinations to unfold seemed boundless. Once Shaw was arrested for his unfortunate assault on an international businessman, the poisoned whispers she had been planting since he slaughtered her followers took hold. Shaw's name was worth nothing, and someone of prominence needed to take control. Selene did it with smooth efficiency.

All of Shaw's promises were quickly discarded.

She was named Lady Paramount with her promises of righting what Shaw had taken so wrong. She embodied the hedonistic past of the Inner Circle but her alliances showed how she could rehabilitate the Inner Circle from the path it had been set on. Her dark yet silken touch seemed a balm after the iron grip.

All other chapters of the Hellfire Club around the world were still subordinate to the power of the New York chapter. However, Selene reversed much of what Shaw ordered. All other chapters would reform their ranking to her wishes. Once the more classically game rankings were applied, they formally acknowledged the New York chapter was in charge. Then it was in the other Clubs' hands to impress her and reap rewards from doing so. Selene's proper feudalistic system was more palatable than what had been put in place previously.

For the young, rich blood of New York, invitations were sent out for some functions held at the Club. After a couple, Selene had more secret invitations to those of Hellfire lineage, like Worthingtons, Wyngardes, Braddocks, and Frosts, as well as to those newer to society that showed promise Selene was looking for.

Selene kept tabs on the recipients of those special invitations and what they had done in the time after her ascension. When she had all of the international business settled, invitations to the young blood of New York City went out. They would be allowed, one by one, into one of the inner sanctum parlors where the Lady Paramount and Black Queen of New York City sat casually on the lone chair in the room.

One of her slender fingers idly tapped the rim of the wine glass with a very deep red liquid in it. The gatekeeper to the Inner Circle was ready.
Since Aiden had been forced out from/quit his previous band and the requisite depressed waffling until his mother got him some session jobs as a drummer, his next band bore the brunt of his concentration and will to succeed. Not that they minded. All of them had been cast offs from other bands. Not bad, but not gelling well with the others. Since New Brunswick had a large live music scene, it was only a matter of time until Dire Rainbow pulled together.

They had practiced relentlessly. Sometimes Aiden barely got sleep between practices, New Mutants activities, time with Angel, teaching Zip, and working as a bartender. Thankfully, he needed less sleep than normal human-like people. But it was all about to be worth it, to his mind. They had entered a local contest and made the cut to perform.

They had a half-hour set-list to pull together. Aiden put in some cover songs along with a few songs he had written himself. (He hadn't told his parents about this facet yet. If the songs came out like crap and couldn't get the audience into it, he wouldn't have to claim them in front of a certified popstar and entertainment king.) Aiden had invited his teammates and anyone else he could think of to be at the show. He wanted some support, and possibly somebody to teleport if there were thrown beer bottles.

And they crammed as much rock into that thirty minutes as they possibly could. Thankfully, the lead singer did not wail like Banshee, so everyone still had their eardrums when she went after it. Aiden attacked his drums like he had everything to prove. Mostly because he did. His former band was in the contest as well.
With the opening of the school post-Labor Day fast approaching, it was time to open the dorms to the student populations. This was being done so most of the interior of the mansion (above the subbasements) could be remodeled and re-utilized for more academic means.

It was bright and early on that late August morning the headmaster of Xavier's had the students and staff gather for announcements. Things had to change at how parts of Xavier's were ran. Gone were the days of it being a home first and school second.

Rachel went to the front of the gathered crowd and used her telepathy to augment her voice so everyone could hear her.

"Good morning, everyone. Today, we officially open the two dorms to student living." She used one hand to gesture to the two large buildings behind the mansion and opposite each other across the width. "The students will spend the day moving out today from the mansion into the boys' and girls' dorms. Some of the roommate assignments have been updated and adjusted as needed. The assignments have been posted in both your current dorms and your new one. If you don't have a roommate at this moment, do not think you've lucked out. We have students returning and new ones enrolling after Labor Day."

She took a breath. "With this move to the dorms, comes a change in how this school proceeds. Under my predecessor, the school had more leeway and could be like a home before an educational institution. Now, with the watchful eyes hoping we fail, we have to move how we do things into a more proper school setting. With that in mind, more rules have been instituted to get us in line with those terms of existence."

She took a small breath. "The cafeteria kitchen is now off-limits to students. Only those with prior permission and reason to be there will be allowed in. It is up to Ms. Blaire's and my discretion on whom that is. Food in the cafeteria will be supplied on a 24 hour basis, but do not expect hot food once the kitchen has been closed down for the night. The cafeteria will start serving hot food at 6 AM and will close down the hot food portion at 8 PM.

"The horses in the stables are not to be fed junk food under any circumstances. Ms. Moonstar informs me the next person who slips them one of those deep fried fruit pies will be cleaning out the stalls with a bucket, a sponge, and no powers. And I agree with her.

"The Shi'ar mainframe in this school needs to have its resources used responsibly. Mr. Ramsey will disable your access to the internet if he catches anyone trying to host things like Warcraft sessions on it."

Roommate Assignments )
Remy finished his cigarette before he pulled up to the mansion, knowing that Brianna would kill him if she saw him smoking. He'd quit a while ago but they took the edge off from time to time. Still, his little girl was big on fitness and staying healthy, so much like her mother. He always saw more of Betsy than himself in her look, but Brianna was much more like her old man in temperament.

He pulled out the lockbox and looked it over once more. This ought to keep her busy long enough for him to handle this.

Read more... )


 It was a beautiful August afternoon. Almost disgustingly gorgeous, actually. The humidity had finally fallen to an acceptable level and it was showing up as a very lovely 80 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius to Kayla, it would always be 27 Celsius). It was beautiful and safe ... it'd probably be awhile before Kayla felt like going camping again. Nobody had been hurt too badly, but it'd still been an awful mess, and Rose hadn't really been the same after it. 

It was perfect weather for a dip in the lake. Not too hot, not too cold, no real wind. And it was also an absolutely perfect opportunity to take her new swimsuit on a trial run. 

Kayla had always loved water, since she was a little kid. She remembered her father always joking that she should have been born a dolphin or something. She'd never have made a swim team in any significant way, but swimming had come naturally to her- but even more so, just the feeling of being in cool water, floating, treading water, even just standing in it. 

If other people joined her, that was awesome, but she didn't mind being alone either. Like a complete goon, she started running down the pier and jumped into the water.

 The first secret to successful camping was figuring out how to pack all the stuff they needed and wanted into one little car. There would need to be at least some food brought in- fishing and berrying could supplement, but not entirely replace their own supplies, and hunting was probably not going to be happening (Kayla imagined Bobbi would despise them all if they did), along with a canoe, paddles, all of their gear, and stuff for their tent. Of course, they'd all be leaving behind all of their beloved technological gadgets (save for a GPS and a singular satellite phone for emergencies only) and most of their personal possessions (though General Tuskers and some of Bobbi's penguins were enforced bunkmates in the car's trunk). A great, great amount of very potent bug spray was brought. Sure, the mosquitoes couldn't actually pierce Kayla's skin, but the others were not so lucky, and in any case, they were incredibly annoying. 

It was a long day's drive up to the site of the cabin, which was a twenty minute or so drive from anything resembling civilization (a small railroad town on the Canadian National Railway), just big enough to have it's own LCBO depot, at which Kayla, Rose and Brianna could acquire the missing portion of their camping supplies. Said finishing supplies put in the cooler, they were ready for the final drive up to the isolated area in which they would be camping for the next week. 

Once reaching there, it was a quick matter of setting up the tent and scoping out the immediate site. They were nearby a lovely lake, which would hopefully have large amounts of fish in them- Kayla had her eyes set on walleye (the most edible), but she wondered if Rose was hoping to find a muskie or some big pike for more of a fishing challenge. Not that the two girls didn't both have more than sufficient strength to reel in anything they'd find in a lake. 

They'd also be more than capable of dealing with any of the bears or wolves that might be around the camp. Though they'd have to be careful to keep their food safe from the raccoons. 

With all the essentials taken care of, it was time to decide what they were going to do for the day. 

Halifax, Nova Scotia wasn't home. Home was two whole time zones away, and about as far away from a sea as any place on Earth could be. It, was, however, Canada, and that meant something. People who understood all her ridiculous Canadianisms- the radio stations had started playing Sam Roberts and the Hip and Billy Talent. This also probably meant her girlfriend had to put up with a lot of carseat karaoke, because there was no way that Kayla wasn't singing along to the familiar songs on the radio. 

And once they'd stowed the car away safely at the hotel, well, the city was their oyster. The sun was shining (thankfully the fickle Maritime weather had chosen to be kind to them), the sea was sending a gentle breeze over, there were all sorts of quirky little shops down the main strip and better yet, legal age was 19, so Kayla could get a beer with her fish and chips like a civilized person if she chose. The vibe was a lot more chill than New York, people were more relaxed and seemed to be out mostly to have a good time. 

Kayla felt like a completely different person than she had a few weeks ago. She still had a few odd quirks- she hit that candy store a few blocks down pretty hard (Bobbi) and every once in awhile she'd end up sounding like Brianna when she spoke. She'd gone from having absolutely no motivation for anything right back to being the ball of restless energy she usually was. 

"So we've got that concert tonight, starts at 8 pm, goes on till like midnight, but we've got a free hand until then." She grinned, looking around at all the people going about. "So what do you want to do? We could go tromping up to the Citadel, or go on one of those brewery tours, or check out the harbour." She grinned. "I'm good for everything." 
WHO: Kayla Connors, Illyana Rasputin
WHEN: Approximately a week after the incident in the kitchen
WHERE: X-Mansion Infirmary
WHAT: Illyana is brought in to help Kayla in dire straits

After the dramatic moments in the kitchen, Kayla's depression and lassitude had crumbled into what was virtually a waking coma. Her life force wasn't quite low enough to kill her outright, but her life force did not burn brightly enough to sustain anything like ordinary life. They had to summon Magik, the sorceress best known to the X-Men, in hopes that she would find a solution to their problems. Eventually, something of a solution had been found- but it required a rather complicated spell and the donation of accumulated life force from several people in order to patch up Kayla's own. 

There would be consequences from this spell. The people involved wouldn't feel quite right for a few days afterwards- nothing like Kayla's extreme case, but some fatigue and mild depression were likely. Diluted elements of their personalities could be reflected in Kayla for some time thereafter. After such a prolonged period of lassitude and depression, it was likely that Kayla would manifest, after a rather long sleep, a significant manic phase.

Right now, the girl had been placed into a full magical coma, looking just as serene as a modern day Sleeping Beauty. It would be time for the magic to work its course. 
WHO: Kayla, other peeps
WHAT: Kayla is not herself.
WHERE: The Mansion
WHEN: About a week after the Hellfire Club soiree

It had been understandable enough that Kayla had been tired after the party, even though it didn't seem right that the girl who normally got by fine on five hours of sleep in the night almost slept through her lunch shift. She'd got up just in time to help prepare that, and then had a nap before it was time to help with dinner. Then she'd gone right to bed. Not too many people had thought too much of it. Until that had become the shape of Kayla's day almost in its entirety.

From sleeping maybe five or six hours in a night and being full of energy, she'd gone to sleeping at least twice that amount of time and never seeming to have much energy for anything. She'd never lost her pallor and somewhere around day three or four, she'd mostly stopped eating, only consuming something when she noticed people were watching. She just didn't feel hungry.

From being a strong performer in her Danger Room lessons, she'd slipped enormously. From being fiery and passionate about all things great and small, she'd become strangely apathetic. She'd offer people little tired smiles, but she wasn't nearly as quick with giant grins or nearly crushing hugs as normally. It was good that she'd pretty much finished her schoolwork before the party had happened, because while she'd been physically present at her last few classes, she seemed a million miles away.

They'd tested for mono- a reasonable enough guess, but it'd come back negative. There was no real explanation for the seeming lack of motivation, spark and life in Kayla. It was as if something vital to her had been drained away. She had no memory of anything strange happeneing at the party, but she was pretty sure it'd happened there. Whether she'd caught something or it had gone out of incubation yet, she didn't know.

When she wasn't sleeping, or doing things that she was absolutely required to, she mostly just sat at the window, looking outside at nothing in particular. It didn't feel bad. There was a strange serenity about it, really. Sometimes she got a really distracted smile on her face, her eyes focused on nothing at all.

She was doing that right now, looking out the window at the landscape. It all seemed pretty enough, but it was like it was a million miles away. It never occurred to her that she could actually go outside and do things. More and more, she was content to just sit and observe.



"...where the living are easily lost. And the dead stick around to play." said the long-haired man directing the street tours of the French Quarter.

Brianna rolled her eyes even as she led Kayla down the street behind the obvious tourists of the city. She held Kayla's hand smiled as she looked up and down the streets at the French-influenced architecture and the people that milled about the area. A portion of her heritage came from this place and sometimes it was still hard for her to believe. She'd been raised in the luxury and class of England but her father, the mutant thief extraordinaire known as Gambit, was determined that his little girl would not grow up not knowing how to survive when the money ran out or she wasn't able to live as high on the hog as her mother taught her. Granted, her mother also never allowed her live without defenses but her father taught her to thieve, to con and to take what others weren't watching and use it for her benefit.

She'd never had the chance to really use her skills but she was glad to be here with someone she cared about. Brianna didn't think about the added benefit that this kept her from discussing her relationship with Kayla with her mother and father. She had no idea how they'd take it and, right now, she didn't want to know.

"Are you having any fun yet?" Brianna asked Kayla.
Who: Kayla, Open to others
When: 7:00 am Sunday morning
What: Kayla discovers something horrifying
Warning: Oblique descriptions of graphic violence. Might get more graphic as it unfolds. Some language too.

Keep in mind that two players in the game have characters on that list ... )
WHO: Totally open, yo
WHERE: The Mansion Kitchen
WHAT: Kayla's cooking, and this time it's not for her Highly Finicky Patient
WHEN: Mid-afternoon, a few days after Steph's arrival at the Mansion

Kayla + Bacon = OTP )

Rachel Grey-Ramsey pulled into Xavier's fast enough to almost clip the sides of her car on the opening gates. She didn't bother parking in the garage, abandoning her vehicle somewhere on the drive way before the house.

The Professor himself was coming back from his conference. They need to do an assessment of what went wrong and how they were going to react to it.

So far, Rachel was reacting by telekinetically flying over the front lawn while helping her cousin keep Animus under wraps.
Mrs. Mary MacNeilly had made the hour trip out to a private school in Westchester county. She was the person assigned from the State Education Department's Office of Nonpublic School Services to perform a surprise inspection of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. It had been some time since an in-person inspection of this learning facility had been conducted. It had fallen to Mrs. MacNeilly to go and assess how the school fit the understaffed Office of Accountability's educational parameters.

She drove her midsized sedan up to the gates. She announced herself on the intercomm as "Mary MacNeilly from the New York State Education Department for a compliance inspection."

She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as she waited for some administrator to allow her on the grounds.
There was always a feeling of warmth and camaraderie that exuded from the Xavier Institute. It wasn't that it felt like home, because home was with her dad, who was probably the most awesome dad in the history of dadhood, but the Institute - and the mansion that housed it - always felt like a warm, safe place for Margaret Jacqueline Murdock. Possibly because that's where she'd spent her summers, learning to hone her mutant powers, and making friends who could understand what it was that she was going through.

Though she didn't visit the school much during the school year - Mags attended a boarding school up in Connecticut - she sometimes tried to stop by for a day or so during their week-long spring break. often spending the others with her father, usually operating as Daredevil's trusty sidekick, Acrobat.

Once the gates let her in, she parked her barely-used yellow Vespa and skipped up the steps to the Institute, a friendly smile gracing her pretty features. She wasn't sure if any of the X-Men were around, or if there was trouble brewing somewhere, but given that her dad was busy with some case or another, Mags had decided to pay them a visit. After all, when he got involved in a case that had nothing to do with being Daredevil, there was every chance that he wasn't liable to suit up for an adventure, and Mags still wasn't allowed to go out in costume on her own.

And so here she was, ringing the doorbell.

Kayla wasn't known for being sad or depressed.

On the contrary, she spent most of a given day with a big grin on her face and an air of energetic exuberance. Whether she was inimitably trying to sing some of her musical favorites or enthusiastically attacking her training in the Danger Room, or cooking for her friends (it was easy to fall into that role, as she actually enjoyed it ...) , she usually seemed happy, well-adjusted and carefree. But over the last few days, that'd faded a little and she'd become more and more quiet. At first, she'd managed to cover up by pleading a cold, but it was pretty clear by yesterday that something was bothering her.

She'd kept an online subscription to the Winnipeg Free Press, so she could keep track of things that had happened back home, partly just out of interest, but in a desire, a hope, to keep track of her family somehow. The people she couldn't help but love. It'd been through the paper that she'd heard that her brother had died. No one in her family would bother telling her, because as far as they were concerned, she was dead, singled out for damnation, a demon in human form. An affliction which they had nursed in their family for far too many years. It was hard, hard as Hell to face that, but she'd found a precarious sort of peace here. And friends, and maybe even a purpose. She'd accepted the likelihood that she'd never speak to any of them ever again.

But hearing that Michael had died, she'd tried to contact them. She had to try. She was prepared to be yelled at, to be hung up on angrily, but the click had come gently, coldly, instantaneously. It would have seemed more like Kayla to rage, yell, scream, smash things. But instead she simply put the phone down, sat on the bed, put her head in her hands and started to quietly weep.


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The Next Generation of Marvel Heroes

Current Game Date

June, 2013


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