Class had only been in session for a couple days at Xavier's. Labor Day had come and gone. There were more students on campus than in previous semesters. The buzz from first day jitters had settled down. Routines were starting to be picked up. It was currently the small span of time between the end of classes for the day and the beginning of after-school activities.

A mile from the main house, a very determined man wearing purple and dark blue was setting up. He took note of various things like the range to the target, wind direction, wind velocity, air density, elevation, and the Coriolis effect. As well as the effect the window he was going to shoot through would have on his very special bullet. He peered through his scope. This would be an extremely tricky shot, but the entire operation was waiting on him to start it. He needed to take out the biggest problem on that campus. The new construction getting into his way didn't help matters.

He eventually lined up a clear shot and waited. He caught a flash of red in the window. The target must have been sitting at her desk. The sniper grinned slightly to himself. He took in a breath, let it half out, and then squeezed the trigger.
The one-of-a-kind bullet made of non-magnetic material blasted out of the barrel of the sniper rifle. His aim was dead on. He quickly tapped the signal to have the first ones launch their attack.

The walls along Graymalkin Lane were breached explosively in multiple places. Most near security nodes to delay the time the security system roused. Men and women in black tabards with white crosses poured through the openings. They ran toward the buildings and any visible muties on the grounds. They all had been itching for some action since the debacle at Veridian Dynamics. Being underground for this long made the need for mutie blood strong among the Purifiers.
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 )
 There had been a time, back when she was in high school and her early days of college, when Brooke would come to Central Park, armed with a bag filled with a mix of cracked corn, barley, oats, and peas, and feed the ducks while losing herself in thought. It was something that she hadn't done in a very long while but found herself wanting to do that day.She was seated on her bench, legs crossed demurely, floral skirt spread out just so, painting what she was sure was quite the pretty picture. There was a warmth emanating from her, a contentment, that gently affected all who passed her. Even Sharona, Brooke's maid, who was sometimes exasperated by the demands Brooke made of her, was perfectly content to stand behind the empath, holding up a parasol so as to block Brooke from the sun.

On the bench next to her sat two fresh cups of coffee and a little sack filled with chocolate croissants from her favourite coffee shop. She'd invited Stephanie to meet her out here this morning, since they had a lot of catching up to do, including some news to share with her best friend. News that was best told in person and not uncovered over an announcement in the society pages. It wouldn't be proper. Besides, this wasn't the sort of news one could break over the phone. Not to their best friend. 

Brooke reached into the bag and drew out a handful of the feed, spreading it out in front of her. Watching the ducks feed, she smiled in contentment. 

Mrs. Brooke Aaron, she thought to herself. I love the sound of that!
Alexander had never had a relationship last this long. He'd never had a serious relationship before.

Brooke motivated him to strive for more, for better things in his life. The longer they were together, the greater his ambition and hunger became. He wanted bigger and better. He wanted more and more for himself and for her.

He wanted his tribute.

But he and Brooke needed to get on the same page before anything happened.

Are you free today? We need to talk...

There were a few principles Jerrard lived his life by and first among them was: Never give any anything for free. Every act of charity for a price, even if it was not readily apparent. It was all in the planning. That was the problem with the criminal element these days. No patience. It was all ostentatious displays and maniacal cackling. No respect for the long con.

Tonight's act of benevolence was an art display at the Brooklyn Museum. He'd made some... acquisitions back in 1874 when excavations were ongoing at the Abri de la Madeleine shelter and such things weren't readily missed. And if they were, a few coins cleared the problem right up.

Jerrard smoothed down the lapels of his suit as he circles the glass cased displays. They aren't even his favorite pieces in his vast and varied collection, but they make an impression and that was his goal. The museum had been overjoyed to be loaned the prehistoric carvings and weaponry. It had generated headlines and press, building up his name in precisely the way he wanted.

A waiter passed with a tray of champagne flutes and he took one, sipping idly and keeping watch over his assets.
It took a couple of days after her disastrous meeting with Athos for Brooke to set one up with Rachel. For one thing, she'd needed to calm her nerves down a little bit - the meeting had truly been difficult and Brooke had never felt so off of her game in her entire life. For another, there had been the clean-up to consider. The turtle had left quite the hideous mess for Brooke - scorch marks included! - and it had been hard work for the brunette to clean all that up. 

I'm never taking Sharona for granted again, Brooke mused as she knocked on the door of Rachel's office. Such a hearty constitution when it comes to hard manual labor like that

She smoothed down the skirt of her dress and glanced again at the clutch she'd discovered while shopping that weekend. It was meant to look like the cover of one of Brooke's favourite books, L'Arrache-cœur. It was a French novel about a psychoanalyst who moved to a village where absurd things occurred. Not quite like the Institute, really, though thematically, it fits in some ways, she thought wryly. 

She took a seat outside of the office, flashing back to many of the other meetings she'd had with Rachel here since her arrival at the Institute not so long ago. And really, who knows how this one will end?
 Rachel had warned her that the fourth of the turtles would be the hardest of all of them. That was precisely why she hadn't set to track him down. He was, after all, a ninja. He'd be good at hiding from her. So, instead, she had decided to draw him out. She had holed herself up in the library, wearing one of her simplest outfits, with a full afternoon tea spread out in front of her. It wasn't a whole Japanese tea thing, no. Brooke didn't know too much about that, and the last thing she wanted was to insult the turtle any. So, she'd kept it simple, and done tea the way she knew how. 

A well-worn copy of The Tale of Genji sat next to her, untouched. Was it there for decorative reasons? No. Brooke was honestly intrigued by the idea of a Japanese noblewoman from way back when having written such a large, classic tomb. But she didn't want to seem too occupied. She wanted - she needed - to seem welcoming. 

Gingerly, Brooke scooped some sugar into a delicate china cup and mixed it in with the tea and milk. The delicate scent of the Assam tea wafted up and Brooke sighed a small sigh of contentment. She really did enjoy this process of afternoon tea, but she usually took it in her room, where no one could disturb her. 

Today, though, she fully expected to be disturbed.

She took a delicate, dainty sip, and she waited.

Please, let this work.

The Scientists at the Future Foundation decided that Alisa could go out on a little day trip. She had to be back before dark, and they gave her a little bit of homework for her trip. She had to come back with an item she purchased that she liked. No one could recommend anything to her, and she could not let others tell her what to buy. She had to decide for herself on ONE item, and then report how she felt about it from start to finish.

Read more... )
The American Museum of Natural History was set ablaze with lights and the mingling scents of exotic flowers perfumed the cool evening air. Brooke Wyngarde had put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into arranging for this soirée, and she was going to be damned if anyone was going to ruin it for her. After all, this was to welcome Stephanie Shaw da Silva and Marcelo Alencar da Silva back to Manhattan and, most importantly, receive them as a newly wedded couple.

Thus, Brooke had pulled out all the stops. Everyone who was anyone who knew the Shaws or the da Silvas had been invited (though Brooke had also dutifully chopped some of the more unsavory names off of her list). The food was a delightful blend of American-Brazilian-Spanish fusion. The cocktails were some of the most popular ones from Brazil, and only the finest Spanish wines were served. The music was live, big band-style stuff, because this was not some hideous high school Kiss on the Lips party. 

Brooke herself, being the hostess of the event, may have gone just a tad bit overglam when it came to her look for the night, but then she was certain that she was going to be gracing many a society page the next morning.

She needed to look great, and she certainly did as she stood next to the entrance of the Arthur Ross Terrace, receiving guests for the cocktail hour which would precede that night's dinner, directing them towards the guest sign-in book, the gift table, and everything else. 

She hoped, she prayed, that everything that night went off without a hitch.

After all, the supervillains only crash the weddings of the A-List superheroes, right? 
 Anybody who happened across Brooke Wyngarde would find her in a very warm, friendly, and gracious mood indeed. In fact, the hellacious little empath was giving off vibes of contentment like it was on clearance at Neiman-Marcus. For anyone who knew her well, this was probably an incredibly weird, off-setting thing for them to feel from her. But there it was. Brooke, actually happy and not snapping at anyone, or trying to tear anyone down. 

Granted, that could change at any moment.

At the moment, Brooke was seated in one of the Mansion's many common areas, a pitcher of strawberry and basil iced tea at her side, along with a small platter of cucumber sandwiches. Her iPad was carefully nestled in her hand and she was trying to read that day's issue of Women's Wear Daily but instead kept on flashing back to her night with Alexander. 

God, but that night had been perfect in ways she hadn't ever thought it could be. It had been everything she'd expected, and more still. She'd never felt as worshipped, or as loved, before. Feeling another flash of heat passing over her, Brooke reached out and took another drink of her iced tea. It did nothing to cool her down. 

Is the first time like this for everyone, Brooke wondered, or is this a special case?

Shaking her head, she tried to refocus on her paper but found that she couldn't. Brooke closed the Kate Spade iPad case and set the device down next to her. Oh who cares. I'm just going to revel in this.
It was silly, she knew, but Brooke was nervous. She was seeing Alexander after what seemed to be far too long, but was in actuality only a few weeks. A few weeks during which much had happened. Nothing terribly significant - apart from the wedding of her best friend - but many things, nonetheless.

Brooke stepped out of her Town Car in front of The House and requested the driver to grab a meal for himself. After all, a hungry driver was a bad driver, and it wasn’t as though Brooke was going to be out of the restaurant in fifteen minutes. She checked herself one last time in the mirror of her compact, snapped it shut, and slid it into her clutch. She’d opted for a dress that was less ladylike than her usual style tonight; a body skimming red dress that was equal parts sexy and demure, without looking as though it belonged in Alexander’s sister’s closet.

She exhaled softly through her nose and nodded. She was always nervous before seeing Alexander. Always. There was no good reason for it (except for where he was a demigod and he had that absolutely piercing gaze). She breathed in deeply and reached out with her powers. There, across the way, was someone waiting, calmly, for their check. Brooke pulled on that and used it to calm her nerves, even was the person whose emotions she was pulling from started to get a little agitated.

That was okay. That wasn’t her problem.

Putting on her warmest smile - she had long since learned that being rude to the help wasn’t always in her favor - she walked up to the hostess and asked for the table reserved under her name.
"Hrrk!" Brooke Wyngarde groaned as she took a hit to her sternum and stumbled back, falling on her bottom quite ungracefully. She glared up at the masked Friends of Humanity thugs that the Danger Room had generated for her to fight and rose to her feet again. This wasn't easy. Or fun. For years, Brooke had been content to simply use her mutant powers when danger arose, but she'd been told time and again by Rachel that she needed to do more, that she needed to be able to take care of herself in case something ever happened to her powers - mutant power dampeners, or a reality warper going crazy and trying to wipe all mutants from reality.

So, here she was, dressed in one of the standard navy blue and gold X-Men uniforms, her hair pulled up in a ponytail, failing miserably against hard-light holograms masquerading as humans.

And they were programmed to completely ignore her powers, so Brooke had no choice but to fight like some sort of heathen ninja.

This is why they funnel the souls of us delicate society roses into hardened Asian bodies, Brooke surmised. They were meant to yank out two swords and go to town on villains. It's in all of their movies.

Still, Brooke scrambled to her feet and took up what she assumed was a defensive posture. It was, technically. If one was defending oneself from a game of dodgeball.

One of the Friends - hilarious in this context, that - made a move for Brooke before she could do anything more, and two of his comrades moved behind her and grabbed her by each arm. She was, for all intents and purposes, captured. The one heading towards her pulled out a taser gun, and Brooke's eyes widened. These were hard-light holograms, yes, but that was going to hurt like hell. Frantically, she tried to recall maneuvers she'd seen Psylocke, Elektra, and Kitty Pryde perform in the videos that Rachel had forced her to watch. All that came to mind were poor choices in costume and Psylocke continuously rambling on about the focused totality of her telepathic power or something.

In short, nothing helpful.

Closing her eyes, Brooke took in a deep breath and lashed out with a kick, coming up short.

Funny how that happened when you didn't have four inches of designer shoe strapped to your foot.

The taser shot out and Brooke held in a scream but...nothing happened.

Suddenly, there was nothing holding on to her arms and Brooke fell again.

She opened her eyes. The holograms were gone. The program had been shut down.

She scrambled to her feet and looked up expectantly at the monitoring room. Her teacher for the day, Brooke was sure, would have tons to say about her poor performance today.

Well. Some people simply weren't meant for physical altercation.
It had been a very long yet oddly quick week since Stephanie finally came home. They got the paperwork squared away, Sancho to the vet, and a few last patrols done. Well, he did the patrolling to keep his nerves steady. Marcelo's father sent a private jet to pick up his son, his soon-to-be daughter-in-law, their growing kitten and Brooke to bring them to São Paulo.

Marcelo had packed his wedding attire and a few toiletries for the most part. Also, a few things for the wedding night. Other than those, he still had belongings in Brazil he could still use. And whatever else he needed, he could buy. Thus, the cargo in the jet was left to the ladies.

He had not mentioned it was winter in Brazil until they landed. Once they all deplaned, it was a nice 65 F outside. There was a couple days to settle in. Brooke was set up in a five star hotel while Marcelo and Stephanie had the family's northern mansion to settle into. The back of the mansion's grounds nestled up to a national park with a lush bit of rain forest.

The day of the wedding, Marcelo couldn't stop pacing. Even with his father assuring him everything would be fine. The rooftop of the Hotel Unique was rented out for privacy so the vows could be said looking out over Ibirapuera Park. The civil servant was on time. Marcelo was decked out in his HUGO 'Amaoro Hill' Trim Fit Chintz Wool Suit, David Donahue Blue Dress Shirt, tie, belt, mercury dime cuff links, purple polka dot pocket square, and To Boot New York 'Winston' Oxfords.

Marcelo swallowed and tugged a bit on his Robert Talbot Lilac Woven Silk Tie. Per tradition for good luck, he hadn't seen Stephanie this morning. He wasn't completely sure she would show up. Mostly sure, but then her father might kidnap her or she changed her mind or karma would come back and bite him for leaving Helena before they married.

His father, as steady as ever and filling in as best man, readjusted his son's tie back properly and told him it would be fine. Also, Marcelinho needed to get ready. Stephanie would be there shortly.
Two turtles down, two more to go. Brooke was beginning to get convinced that Pete wasn't going to show up until she'd had a go with each of the turtles.

The first time, there had been the horrible failure of a pizza. The second time had gone considerably better, if somewhat cryptic.

Third time was the charm, right? At least, Brooke hoped it was. Rachel was going to kill her if she didn't follow through with this, and the last thing that Brooke wanted was to be incinerated by whatever spark of the Phoenix it was that Rachel possessed.

So, here Brooke was, this time armed with a picnic basket - really, food was the only way that Brooke could figure out a way to connect with a teenage mutant - and a smile on her face.

Once more, she knocked on Pete's door and waited. 

Here we go. Round two! Brooke Wyngarde stood outside Pete Eastman's room, dressed in something decidedly more casual than last time. Well, as casual as Brooke could get, anyway. There was also an entire tray of nachos, tacos, and burritos in her hands, and a cooler bag filled with soda.

Best way to a teenage boy's personality...

Carefully balancing the tray, Brooke knocked on the door.

This time? This time she was going to wear the turtles down and get through to Pete Eastman, no matter what.

She grinned brightly as the door opened.
Alisa's head was still killing her after that Soiree. It pretty much confirmed she did not want ANYTHING to do with the Hellfire Club what so ever. Sebastian made sure she got the message by having Tessa play with her mind like a violin. Because of her own stubbornness, Alisa realized she could have died playing such a game. And for what? To keep some clients? It just was not worth it.

That being said, she did keep her word with Ryan. She got all the paperwork to enroll herself in the continuing education program at the Xavier Institute. She paid for her tuition in full (it was just a drop in the bucket for her), and now she was going to the Institute to drop everything off and perhaps meet with Rachel about what she was hoping to gain from this.

She pulled up to the Institute in her Cobra, careful with how she parked it, and obeying the speed limit. Alisa stepped out of the car, not dressed like the first time she came here. No, she reverted back to her white business shirt, red tie, suspenders, black and grey pinstripe skirt, and... well... her black prosthetic. No more pretending to be someone else. This was who she was, take it or leave it.

Alisa marched up the steps to the Institute and then gave the door a good knock to announce she had arrived.
WHEN: One week after the Hellfire Club soiree
WHAT: Stephanie is a complete mess, guys.
WHO: Could be a variety of folks, honestly. This is just laying the fields of awful.
WHERE: The Mansion.

Cut for angst! )


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The Next Generation of Marvel Heroes

Current Game Date

June, 2013


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