2019-03-17 - Centipeedal Surveillance Part 1


Unseen watchers crawl the walls around a section of the Disaster Zone. Where did they come from and what are their purpose?

Log Info:

Storyteller: Clockwork
Date: Sun Mar 17 22:09:59 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

Related Logs

The Disaster Zone

Theme Song



What is more fun on a Sunday afternoon than wandering around the cordoned-off section of the city known as the Disaster Zone? It's not that hard to get in. Even though there are patrols and whatnot, they are infrequent, and there are plenty of spots to climb over/under/or walk through fences, like one does.

In this particular section of the Zone, a narrow street remains mostly intact, as the buildings were lower, and built sturdier than some of the other sections. Most of the seem to be intact, though there are plenty of broken windows here and there, some of them boarded — perhaps before the whole area was evacuated, perhaps after. Though, if one looks closely there are subtle signs that the place may still be inhabited.

The dust around some of the steps is stirred up where others seem to have a layer of grime that has been undisturbed in years. Some of the doors look like they aren't falling off their hinges.

There are definite signs of recent movement in the area, though it is quiet now, still.

It's even easier to get into the disaster zone when you can convince the patrols that they just don't see you going in. Jean does usually try to avoid them, but she's prepared if she happens to run into them. For these little outings, she dons her uniform, including a simple domino mask that does at least something to help hide her identity. She's like a ghost here, a memory of the event itself creeping carefully through the streets.

It's not an uncommon trip for her - especially since she started coming to school here in the city, she tries to check in at least once a month to make sure there's no leftover Sentinel detritus to fall into the wrong hands. Giant killer robots are not a part of her past she wants to revisit.

At the moment, her steps crunch quietly on the dirt and dust still littering the streets, mind ranging out around herself for other minds and their intentions.

The Ray is in his usual patrol mode, meaning he floats above the city, just above the lips of the buildings. Light bends around him, keeping his presence masked from prying eyes. Much easier to spot things that shouldn't be happening when those doing them can't see you there, and there's a certain peace in being apart from the world for a while, an outside observer.

It's places like this that are forgotten where the real issues happen. And so this is where Ray is drawn to patrol. He drifts almost lazily above the narrow street, eyes slowly scanning the pavement below. He doesn't care about the signs of peope living here, people would always go where they could, but they needed someone to look after them, too.

Bobbi Morse had a bad day yesterday. It started off with going to drop off a care package to her ex-husband, and wound up with her using a coffee pot as a weapon. And then she drank. But today, post-chardonnay-hangover, she decided to check up on the guy she clocked with a kitchen appliance. Ok maybe she's spying on him. Either way, Mockingbird, in a long black trench coat to cover her costume, and a hat to cover her hair, has been tailing Jean-Pierre Bonaventure for a bit now, and has wound up here in the Disaster Zone.

JP is where he usually is: making his own entrance to get into places he just doesn't belong. It's like his mutant power is breaking and entering and having really good hair…and maybe doing stuff with machine. It's in his nature and the siren call of salvage sweetly sings a song of sixpence and hopefully more. Hey, one never knows and besides, there's a lot of great broken shit in here! Funny enough getting past locks is eacy when you pet them and they roll over like a puppy for ya. There ya go. If hoodlum is a supersuit? Sure, one could guess he had one.

It's the morning after a night full of nightmares, glimpses of her past, remembering days of hiding, hungry and cold. Rogue's hair is braided back tight, and she's in old jeans, scarred work boots, and a jean jacket over a deep green henley. Gloves are in her pocket, but she's feeling terribly confident in herself at the moment, her big army surplus backpack stuffed full of things, just in case.

It wouldn't be hard for Jean to sense them. There are people in those buildings, the ones that remain mostly whole. She can sense the presence of a number of minds, likely families, small clusters of people, in those buildings that show signs of entry/exit, and a few in those that don't show even subtle signs of inhabitation.

From his height, Ray might notice that there are some little shelters set up on the roofs of some of the buildings, obscuring doorways that lead inside, some covered in detritus to make it harder to see that they are there.

JP, Bobbi, and Rogue move through the streets themselves undisturbed but not unobserved, and they may even feel eyes watching them from time to time as they walk along, JP moreso perhaps than others, since he has a Mockingbird tailing him.

Rogue is alert enough to know that she's probably being watched. Green eyes will watch the buildings, looking for anyone bold or brave enough to be seen. She could, of course, just drop the packages off at a likely spot. She knows well enough that blankets, food, and necessaries won't last long out in the open.

"Can't blame them, given the price of real estate in the city," Jean murmurs to herself, continuing along the street. She steps carefully, doing her best not to disturb the people who are here. She's sensed them before, even talked to a few of them on past trips, but for the most part she gives them their space and tries not to disturb them. Home is home, even if it doesn't seem like it should be one.

This part of the disaster zone is too well-kept for most of her targets though. She fixes her attention on an area a little deeper in, where ther may still be mysteries buried in the rubble.

Mockingbird keeps to the shadows of the buildings, sliding her special goggles on over her eyes once she's followed JP into the zone. She's quiet, her training as a SHIELD agent ensuring she can move mostly undetected, at least by those she's trying to hide from. She's not aware of those living here though.

The homes of the displaced hold little interest for Ray, other than they contain the people he's trying to help. That they all remain hidden bothers him a little, brings back memories he rather not think about. Instead he keeps his eyes on the street below, looking for signs of movement. If everyone's hiding, maybe there's other lurking around they're hiding from.

JP's on a mission: Stuff! Is he packing heat? Yeah, sure. Is it stashed? Hell yes. He doesn't need anyone getting hurt. That said he's heading out into the fucking badlands on his own and is not stupid. The important part here is that he's dancing through the disaster zone looking for something that looks like it might be of used ot him for, yes kids, looting. Scavengers, man.

Why are people hiding? It's daytime and the patrols mostly watch the perimeter, not anything this deep in save for with the helicopters at night. There's motion in one of the windows. A woman's face can be seen, looking out at those on the ground. She motions silently, pointing toward a doorway on the first floor frantically. She mouths, "GET OUT OF THE STREET" to any who might happen to notice her, and then vanishes, drawing the window closed behind her with the faintest sound of the latch clicking into place. But at the moment, the street remains silent and to most eyes, unoccupied.

It's not the motion that catches Jean's attention so much as the flare of panicked emotion that accompanies it. And while the woman's words might be silent, her mind is screaming them. She turns just in time to see the window latching closed again, brows furrowing at the message. Getting out of the street isn't quite her plan, but it's part of the process. Hands to her sides, she focuses enough to levitate herself about twenty feet off the ground, high enough to get a better view of the street and the surrounding area…even if it also exposes her to better view as well.

Mockingbird's head snaps towards the woman in the window. She squints at the motions. It doesn't take a genius to realize that was a warning. But she has to keep up with JP. Aw dammit. So much for staying hidden from her mark. She hustles up to the mutant and whispers, "Get off the street, dumbass!" before trying to tug him into a doorway.

Rogue doesn't see the woman with the frantic motions, looking upwards at the moment. There's a shift of her shoulders, trying to settle the weight of her bag more easily. She's looking for a likely enough doorway to leave her offerings, before she'll prowl about more to just reassure herself there's naught else she can do.

JP is tug-dragged, arms circling around and ready to fight. Oh yeah, adrenaline is running high now, but seeing it's… Bobbi? he squints, squished to a doorway. Quietly he asks wary, "First yous hit me with a coffee pot an' now you tryin to hit a buildin with me?" With a quiet dignity he corrects, "Also the French is Dumas." Oh he's a smart ass all the time. Terrific. Still his hand on on the door, and with a moment puts his will into the mechanisms to make it unlock and open pulling Bobbi inside with him to see if a- he hidey spot s safe, and two- what's going on that the coast ain't clear.

Ray can't see the woman from where he floats, but he alights on the edge of one of the buildings, crossing his arms over his chest as he keeps looking down into the street with a frown across his face. Something just feels off. Where are the people, it's like an itch in the back of his mind he can't quite scratch.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 18

|ROLL| Bobbi Morse +rolls 1d20 for: 19

|ROLL| Jean Grey +rolls 1d20 for: 4

|ROLL| JP +rolls 1d20 for: 20

|ROLL| Ray Terrill +rolls 1d20 for: 13

There's a shifting, along the walls of the buildings. Everyone but Jean notices it, because it happens in several places all at once, where what was once camouflaged against the walls suddenly moves, causing the camouflage to shift, and then reform. There seem to be several of something there. Jean is blisfully oblivious, perhaps because they do not have minds, strictly. There's something mechanical about their movement. They all shift at once, moving closer to those in the street, and then freezing once more, vanishing from sight.

No minds…or a very inconvenient time for one of those telepathic blocks to go on the fritz. Whichever it is, Jean doesn't notice the oddity in the streets below them. Maybe it's just that her mind is fixed outwards, eyes on the horizon and the streets further out than the streets directly below herself. At least she's…twenty feet off the streets?

Bobbi sweeps inside and she shrugs off the coat and removes the hat, revealing her more urban, less super hero-y costume. Blue and black instead of the far too easy to see black and white one she wore as an Avenger. She looks for a window or spot between boards to look outside. "What the hell are you doing here?" she whispers at JP. "It's illegal." And all that implies for Clint. She draws out her pair of battle staves off her back as she peers out. "One of the locals was trying to warn us," she points out.

As the camoflauged ''things'' begin to move, Bobbi grimaces. "Any idea what those are, Danny Ocean?" she asks JP. Because he's a thief.

Ray hovers off the edge of the building once he sees those things move under their camouflage. That's his trick, not fair. He sinks down a little between the buildings, staring at the walls where he was sure he saw some movement. He keeps himself hidden though, the ones he saw moved towards the street, so maybe they couldn't see him anymore than he can see them.

Rogue pauses, did she really see what she did? The walls of the buildings moved, or she could swear they did. She will stand in the middle of the once street, afraid to go too close until she either sees the movement again.

JP looks to Bobbi with a mock look of disappointment and disgust, "And here you is breakin the rules. Ya know, you are settin a bad example for me." tsk tsk. For real thought he question is valid and those whiskey brown eyes squint through the window. "Got camo of some sort. Move like… some sort of mechanical creepy crawlie but without gettin real close? I can' no tell. If they got joints and rivets though I can bring one down an' we can pop the hood on it. I'm a guess them ain' windup toys though." Good guess from the Bayou Badass. Looking around he murmurs, "Could be some sort of like… screen around em like they say the military use t'steal their planes or somethin." And then the sigh comes tapping the back of his fingers against Bobbi's sleeve pointing to Rogue, "Someone still out there." well at least he's got some sense of civic responsibilty.

Loki comes in from the east at a jog, which is a little odd, considering he's wearing a 3 piece suit. His nice shoes dance across the pavement as he follows the road. Something has tripped his powers sensing, and that something is easy to spot, hovering as she does in the air, with the red hair. He stops 10 feet from Rogue, his vision entirely set on the woman above, staring, while a dramatic breeze stirs his hair and the tails of his coat.

Rogue looks at the man in the three piece suit, brow arching. "I think you took a wrong turn at Albequerque, honey." She will drawl, before folloing his gaze up. "Oh, hey." She knows that redhead, she's pretty sure. There can't be that many that look like that, right? In that outfit? Nah. "Look, there's something going on, here."

Except that their trick isn't about bending light so much as it is about digitizing and projecting what the environment is around them. It's a little different, and much more mechanical. These things are not organic. Suddenly one slides down the wall and across the ground toward Rogue. When it moves, it moves like a centipeede. slithery and with way too many legs for anyone's comfort. And as it does move, the camouflage falters, making them more visible, though details are hard since they do still seem to projetc the background around them as they go.

"I'm a SHIELD agent. I came in here with probable cause following a civilian," Bobbi retorts back at JP. She has a badge, yo! Even if she was kinda stalking him. At the mention of someone being out there, she curses like no polite lady ever should. "I'm gonna have to go out there and get her. Stay inside and out of sight," she tells the thief. Damn responsibility. "If I get killed out there, tell Clint I said…" she looks at JP meaningfully, waiting that poignant moment… "it was your fault." She flashes a smirk before heading back for the door.

It's Rogue's voice that draws Jean's attention back to street level, turning mid-air. "Rogue?" Her brows rise a bit as she starts to float down in her direction. "Hey, the people inside were worried about- Whoa!" For once, Loki isn't the source of startlement. I mean sure, she saw Loki, and sure, there was definitely some resulting confusion, but what really gets her attention is that odd skittering. "Thing!" It's not the best descriptor. Then again, long habit and training mean that in the instant she sees the "thing," Jean raises a hand to throw up a shield between it and Rogue, reaches out to link minds with the other woman, and shares the precise image of said "thing" through the link.

Oh! Well that's weird. Ray jolts back from the wall as one of those critters goes skittering, his invisibility dropping revealing his glow bug self hovering in the air above the street. "Look out!" He calls, his form shadowed in the nimbus of light around him except for the gold reflective patches out his outfit. There's not much time for thinking, instead firing off a blast towards the skittering mechanical monstrosity, the streak of light bursting from his raised hand.

JP looks just stricken at the updated info "Heh-" But she wasn't funnin and JP's eyes just go huge not certain weather to stay or run. "Wait are you serious??! Merde!" There' the look of a man completely out of the know. Her words though? Those bring a wince. She is a delightful pillar of salt, but also? Well she is right. A hand rubs his face. Is he doing this? yeeees. yes he is. Right and does he listen? Well he listens about as well as Bobbi does and reaches out trying to see if he can focus on tagging any one of these crawly bastards. Hey it's worth a try.

"That would be me." She will drawl up at Jean, a hint of a sarcastic smile showing on her face. "They were what?" Then she's looking around herself, seeing something surging towards her even as it blends with its surroundings. She will backup at a quick pace, green eyes wide. Rogue can see it, but if Jean links, there's that moment of something comparable to radio static, before she can fully connect.

Loki watches Jean descend, before finally glancing for the 'thing' so exclaimed. Forcefield? He steps back a few paces, lucky for him, so that Ray's bursts of attack don't come near him. An assessing mind is already at work. Mechanicals are a little harder to deceive than sentient beings, but…also…stupid.

As soon as Jean comes down and puts up that forcefield, the mechanical thing bounces off of it with a thud, and a mechanical sort of hiss, becoming wholly visible in that instant as a ripple goes through it. It's clearly entirely mechanical, and does very closely resemblee a centipede, both in movement and in form, with a segmented body and many many legs, a series of optical sensors, likely many of them along its body. There are indeed nuts and bolts and screws and all manner of mechanical and electrical fastenings to these things, but they don't seem to have teeth, claws, or fangs. Instead, they seem to be more surveillance, recording everything. Then *blam*, Ray hits it with a blast of his light beams and there's a sizzling sound. The thing promptly grows several smaller arms that slip from beneath the segments and goes to work on repairing itself even as it skitters back from the shield.

Others, however, are on the move now, swiftly approaching, four more, making for a total of five. One skitters up the building toward Ray, while another makes to test the edges of Jean's shields. For the moment, neither Bobbi nor Loki seem to be drawing much attention. JP manages to tag onto one of the ones on the ground, getting a sense for its mechanics.

Bobbi comes out from the doorway, clicking her staves together into a bo staff, and giving it an expert twirls. She comes to a stop and blinks at…the bookstore owner? "Loki?" she asks, because that's the name he gave her when he sold her that book. She moves into a defensive position closer to him and to Rogue. "You need to get out of here, it's not safe!" Duh. She grunts. "I was always pretty good at centipede in the arcade," she quips. She leaps at one and attempts to bring her staff down on what she is guessing is it's head.

"I'm guessing it had to do with those." Jean takes a moment as others enter the field, looking over first one shoulder and then the other. « All right folks, everybody brace! » Rogue at least can recognize it for telepathic contact. The others might feel as though they've suddenly been oddly looped in on comms. « Going to see if we can get some visibility but this may feel weird. » Dropping the shield for a moment, she sends out a wave of telepathic force in a circle out from herself - enough to raise a cloud of dust that should help reveal the creatures in the street.

Ray shakes his head as suddenly there's a voice in it. Oh, he does not like that. No sirree. He shakes his head, but focuses on the one centipede skittering after him. Floating back away from the wall and hopefully just outside of its reach. He sends a quick blast at it's head, not his strongest, he doesn't want to damage the building, not with people inside of it, but maybe if he aims it just right he can disable the thing. There has to be a processor somewhere.

Rogue can't help the fact she cringes, as if she could do something against the telepathic feel once she let Jean in. She will turn and look at the woman with the bo staff, an arch of a brow. "You don't say." The drawl is dry, as she casts her gaze about. She has an extendable baton, since she isn't so dumb to come out here with just her skin and hand to hand for defense. But she doesn't bring it out, not yet.

Loki suddenly lights up with delight at spotting Bobbi. Ohhhh, he knew there was something special about that woman! He feigns alarm and backs off, darting to the other side of the street, but though one image appears to go inside, his true form stays nearby, just invisible to the naked eye, so he can watch this Bobbi in action. A glance again to Jean. Hidden fingers reach for a small and slender dagger that rides his calf.

JP reaches out with a hand letting his fingers hover in the air arresting one of the creatures. he can't make it change programming but he can battle it for control of it's limbs and see what it has to move to operate. There's the look of confusion as he tries to figure out what the hell these things are. Next, he walks it over with a curious expression, "Heeere, kitty kitty." And works on making one fight the next one he can find. "Just like them bit damn robots…"

As Jean lets loose her spray of dust, all five of the robotic centipedes come into view, their sensors clogged with dust and unable to properly replicate the background around them, making them mottled flickering mechanical bugs. Bobbi's stick comes down hard on one of their heads with a crunch, and suddenly little arms spring out from between the segments, quickly working to try and repair the damage even as it tries to skitter back and away.

JP manages to get control of one, finding that there is an enormous number of moving parts within, but none that are particularly good for fighting, per se. So he aims one at one of the other and it basically just tackles it, unless he controls it to do something else. Ray manages to zorch the one after him in the head, and it too skitters back, attempting to repair its damaged head for the moment, rather than go after him.

Centipede 1 is near Jean and Rogue, Centipede 2 is near Bobbi attempting to repair its head. Centipede 3 and 4 are suddenly wrestling each other. Centipede 5 is up the building attempting to fix its own head.

Bobbi lands expertly (Super hero landing) and holds her bo staff out to one side. She frowns as the centipede robot doesn't go down, and starts repairs. But it's definitely not trying to fight her. "Anyone have any idea what these things are doing? They don't look like combat models!" For Mockingbird the words in her head just sound like someone tapped into her SHIELD comm, and she doesn't freak out. Much. She does look around with a frown to see who's talking at her and relaxes just a tiny smidge when the bookstore owner appears to get to safety.

Ray zips above the centipede on the wall, leaving a glowing trail behind him as he flits around. "They still don't look friendly!" He shouts back to whoever is asking the question. He fires another of his bolts of light directly down on the centipede from above, giving this one a bit more force to hopefully knock it free and back down to the ground.

"I've never seen them here," Jean shakes her head to Bobbi's question, the words echoing to receptive minds. Pulling off one of her own gloves, she offers a hand over to Rogue. "You need a boost?" She has no weapon in hand, but the fact that she doesn't seem to be worried about that probably suggests something to those observing. That might be borne out when she raises a hand toward the centipede approaching her and Rogue, starting to lift its many feet off the ground.

There's 'Shhhhkt' sound, before Rogue is swinging that extended baton at the hopefully more easily damaged underside of the one Jean is starting to pick up. "Let's not risk that, all right?" Meaning the touching. Bringing Jean down now would be very, very bad.

JP does a quick assessment: Guy ina 3-piece suit he might be able to nick a wallet off of with some good pay out (er, Loki. Sure. That plan would go great!), Bobbi kicking some serious ass eliciting the comment, "How the hell you two meet anyways? At gunpoint!?" That answer may have to wait. There are, oh hey, mutant ladies he might remember from walking through teh school before but introductions are elluding him. Oh yeah and a guy flying! "Man e'eryone get t'do flyin byut me. Ain't fair, I tell ya." Eh, hell with it. He pulls the pistol from the back of his belt and lets the pistol disengage teh safety on its own. Easier to shoot a target when you can see from teh barrel at least. Maybe he can help take nimber 4 apart. "Too many electric parts. Can no' tell what they used for. Scaryin the public is my guess."

Loki darts across to the other side of the road, and bends down to pick up any of the broken bits of tech that have been left behind. He's trying to work out where the creatures might be from…which informs him on their purpose. And yes…his image is totally robbable over in that alleyway…its the best way to make new friends!

Centipede #1 is lifted up off of the ground and all of its little legs suddenly go rigid, and it begins to try to wriggle and twist in mid air, attempting to "right" itself like a turtle flipped onto its back with little effect. Rogue smacks it with a stick on the underside and it does crunch a bit, but again the little arms jut out to try and perform repairs mid-air.

Centipede #2 completes its repairs while Bobbi is busy trying to figure out what's going on in her head, and darts between her legs making a break for the end of the alley, as though attempting an escape. Centipede #3 and #4 continue to be completely entangled with one another. JP manages to shoot Centipede #4 which puts a hole in it, or two, and more little limbs shoot out to try and mend the holes.

On the roof, Ray zorches his in the head again, though this time with more force, causing a chunk of the head to fall off, and the entire creature to slide down the side of the building, where it tries to find its own head, little tools reaching out to try and get it back on.

Meanwhile, Loki is able to pick up a few stray parts that have fallen to the ground. None of them seem out of this world, seeming to be all made from military grade compounds, possibly U.S. military.

"I thought I told you to stay inside, Oliver Twist!" is Bobbi's retort to JP. She frowns and resorts to trying to whallop the headless centipede Ray just knocked down, in the same spot. Her scientist brain wants to test if the repair function can be overloaded and shut the thing down. Her acrobatic display is entertaining at the very least, as she leaps and flips about, whacking the thing in the head as she can.

"Just so you know I trust you if you need to," Jean smirks faintly back at Rogue's comment, leaving her glove clutched in her hand rather than putting it back on. The wiggling centipede requires a little more concentration than the average killer robot with just two legs and two arms, but as it tries to twist, she wraps her mind's grip around it fully. "I've got it right now, Rogue," she calls to the other mutant. "Want to see if there's an off button or something?" The other bugs seem to be…marginally out of control. At least maybe they can accomplish something other than breaking it.

  • marginally UNDER control

"Oh come on! Stop moving already!" Ray frowns down at the collapsed centipede beneath him. He raises both his hands and fires a double fisted beam down at the stupid machine. Cranking it up even more now that it's off the building and the risk of damaging the scenery is less. He doesn't want to wreck the homes of the people living here, but he needs to get at least one of these to stop moving.

JP gestures with 9mm and free hand to the robot centepedes battling one another. "I'm helpin! Jes… don' hit me withthe stick." Looking back to teh robot things battling he whistles, "Ey, Sprockket, you wanna stop fighting and come home?" Oh yeah he'll have number three stop fighting number four a moment. "THey on a directive to self repair. ANyone got somethin to short em out?"

Loki comes up near JP and Bobbi, then says, in a decadent purr, as if there were a roaring fireplace nearby, and someone had accidentally felll out of their clothing, "These seem like military surveillance to meeeee…I would demonstrate your skills with…/discretion/."

"Oh sure make me get close to it." Rogue sasses at Jean, bashing at it again and again, a little wildly. But even then, she's inching in closer to try and get a better look at the thing. "This many legs on something creeps me out." She mutters. "If it tries to steal me, you better get me up in the air, Red."

Between Ray's blasts and Bobbi's beating on it, Centipede #5 eventually ceases to wiggle, something in it finally fried as it goes dead and silent, and a dull grey now that it no longer projects anything, scenery or dust, or otherwise.

Centipede #2 has vanished entirely, having taken off for somewhere other than here.

Centipede #1 writhes in the air as Rogue continues to beat on it. There's no apparent "off" switch on it, but the more its beaten on, the harder it seems to be able to keep up with the repairs.

Centipede #3 stops fighting when JP makes it stop, and Centipede #4 makes a break for it, attempting to escape as well, in the same direction that #2 went.

"Not any military surveillance I'm aware of," Bobbi snarls at Loki. She taps her comm link. "Agent 19 requesting verbal update on any government surveillance by automatons in the Disaster Zone," she requests, giving her coordinates. If SHIELD knows about it, maybe they can tell her how to shut it off. "Keep hitting them in the same spot, overload the repair routines," she tells the rest.

"Hold on with the whacking, Rogue," Jean says in direct opposition with Bobbi's suggestion. "It's getting better at repairing itself when you do that." She squints, taking a few steps closer. "I mean, I did offer to let you hold it first," she adds with a smirk to the other mutant, stepping closer to get a better look at the parts making repairs. "Every time you hit it, it repairs itself faster. We're just…teaching it to be better." She looks up toward Ray, words echoed in telepathic stereo as well. "We need to take them down the same way they've already been taken down before they pick up any new tricks." Someone's been spending too much time sharing thoughts with Scott Summers lately.

"Oh no you don't!" Ray zips off after the one that's now trying to make a break for it. He flies low to the ground, raising clouds of dirt and dust in his wake as he tries to catch up then fire one of his stronger light beams right up the centipede's rear at near point blank range as he tries to pass above and get in front of it. Intending to come around for another fly by.

JP looks to Bobbi nearby and - oh hey there's Loki right there. Yeah okay the man in the fancy suit gets the look over but right now is not the time to play Capitol One and see what's in his wallet. That said he puts the pistol away. Snapping his fingers Centepede #3 comes over to him and for now just lets everyone else deal with, well, the others. FUrrowing his brow he tries to reason out what moving pieces it has, if it's conjoined nanites, tiny arms, or if it's got internal mechanisms he can make move…

"I mean, I did offer to let you hold it first," Jean smirks slightly at Rogue when she protests going closer. "I'd just like that on the record." Bobbi's call out to SHIELD gets a sideways glance and an oddly sheepish look as she checks for actual comms. The dangers of attempting psychic contact with new people are many. Having to explain it to SHIELD is not on the top of her list of fun ones.

"Yeah, some great choice options there, Red!" Rogue will call out to her once and again fellow X-man. She will just keep trying to beat it until it stop trying to fix itself. "Anyone got a hammer? Or a blowtorch?" She's more comfortable with those tools, after all.

Loki leans over when JP brings one in closer to them, in a seemingly calm manner. "Oh…how interesting. You can…control this one?" He arches a brow at the man and grins crookedly. Bobbi calling herself Agent 19 gets his attention again and he wets his lips. "I suppose I should be useful…" then lifts his voice. "Hammers are a ridiculous weapon! Use a car!" He is surely suggesting smooshing one, right, and not physically using the car as the weapon….? Its really hard to tell.

Within Bobbi's comms she hears the response: "Two tactical teams active in NYC Disaster Zones performing routine surveillance. Remote controled drones authorized for use by Tac Team Alpha. Tac Team Beta making use of mounted cameras along perimeter only. No autonomous surveillance units authorized at this time."

Centipede #4 is chased down by Ray and those blasts are enough to stop it in its tracks, both blasts seeming to hit it hard enough that its ability to repair itself is overwhelmed, and it too goes down.

Centipede #3 is under JP's control and just stands next to him, occasionally making strange whirring and grinding noises as though attempting to move and unable to.

Eventually Centipede #1 gives in to Rogue's beatings, and goes still as well.

As JP brings the working one over with a gesture, Bobbi arches a brow. "How the hell…?" then shakes her head. "Nevermind, I don't want to know." She and Clint were always the normies on a team of supers. Some days it really, really sucks to just be a skillful human rather than a powered or tech-covered one. She looks at Loki with a frown. "What the hell are YOU doing here? I mean him," she jerks a thumb at JP, "I get." Thief! But a bookstore owner? The answer comes over the comm and she shakes her head at Jean. "Not our military at least. I'm gonna bring one of the disabled ones back to SHIELD to look at."

Jean nods slowly to Bobbi, letting the centipede fall once Rogue's dispatched it. "See, you had it handled," she winks, teasing, before she gets a better look at the other people on the street. "Awful lot of us here for a restricted area," she drawls. "Guess it's a good thing, given what was going on, right?" Translation: All's well that ends well, right?

Ray Terrill comes to a halt by the one he most recently downed, touching down and letting the light around him wink out turning him from living silhouette to guy dressed in a white and gold suit with a black jacket hanging open, his helment stil in place on his head. He scans the wreckage, looking for something that looks like a hard drive or black box. Something that might have some clues where these things came from. His eyes dart down the street to the others with a shake of his head before resuming his search.

JP protests to Bobbi, "I dunno I told it to come over it did." Here comes his earnest defense, "I can no help I'm likable!" Looking to the centipede he says, "Sprocket, sit." It crouches lower. He gives it a pat. "Ahhh, am proud of you, tres manufique!." A shrug follows looking to Bobbi, "That guy got the plan a'ight." Wreckage! Yas! Looking to Loki he wonders, "What are you doin here?" And he takes a step back while Bobbi's attention is o the man in the suit, and another, Centipede with him. He starts looking for discrete salvage from these things. Eeeh if nothing else he was pretty certain he and the electrician could take this one apart, or he's have a buddy to play Mario Kart with.

Rogue will sigh, giving Jean a not-really-glare. She will push the button and collapse the baton again. She will move towards the centipede, kicking it with a booted toe to make sure it's 'dead' before she will poke at it and examine it with more of a curiousity, wondering if she could take it apart some, see how it worked.

Loki lifts his hands and takes a step back. "Whoever said that finding rare books was safe…and apparently the people I am selling them to are no safer. Also, my dear SHIELD agent…this one is trying to steal this one…" He rats JP out /cooooldly/.

\Uh-huh," is the deadpan response to JP. Bobbi works on gathering up one of the defunct things into a pile of its broken bits. She taps her comm again. "Base, send out a recovery team to my location to pick up the remains of unauthorized tech to bring back to the lab. This thing had automation, camouflage, and self-repair abilities. None of it is in line with known tech in the zone. It seems to be disabled but I can't really confirm that, so advise to use extreme caution. At least one of them is still mobile in the area." At Loki's words she snaps fingers at JP. "Stay!"

As Bobbi focuses on JP and the remains of the centipede, Jean tips her head to Rogue, gesturing down the street. It's their opportunity to take one of the things back for examination themselves. Without saying anything, she starts cloaking Rogue, herself, and their centipede from the others. Nothing to see here. These are not the droids you're looking for.

There's a glance up at Jean, then over her shoulder. « You're going to have to carry it, you know. There's no why I can lug this thing and not drag it along and make a ton of noise."

Loki slides himself in the general way of retreat for poor JP. "She seems angry…I would not take that. Its not worth SHIELD being in your business…"

Ray Terrill shakes his head, listening idly to the chatter a bit up the road as he crouches by his centipede and digs out a few computer components that look promising. He doesn't want the whole thing, only the stuff with glorious data on it. He gathers together his loot, holding some of it up to the light as he picks through it. Especially checking for anything that looks like a GPS.

JP looks to Loki with a shake of his head, "No honour among thieves, man." If only he really knew the weight of that entire implication and how far reaching it is. He calls back, "Is no theft if it follows you home. You know how many people would be doin time for Grand Theft Kitten?" Picking through scraps he goes. And then- he just blinks pointing to himself confused. Did she… just tell him to stay?! "I didn't make that rule an number two you did no say 'Simon say please.'" Backing up he says with that tone of shame on all of you, "Besides, this is a restricted zone. We should leave before someone gets hurt. Is responsible."

Bobbi rolls her eyes at JP and waves him off. She knows where he lives. It's how he got punched in the face with the coffee pot yesterday. "Get out of here. I'll round your ass up if I have any questions, or see any of that tech on the market," she threatens, only half-heartedly. She shoos Loki as well. "You too, get out of here before the SHIELD team shows up. Unless you want to be stuck giving statements all day. You owe me a sandwich at that shop next to your store," she tells him.

« Oh sure, make me do the heavy lifting, » Jean teases Rogue, pausing a moment to set one hand to her temple as she focuses enough to lift and carry the centipede while holding up the psychic shield. Time to get this thing somewhere the X-Men can get a look at it. Without introducing it to the school.

"Well…." replies Loki when she lets the other fellow go. "I have learned a great deal today." He makes a flourish with his hand, bows, then walks off, trying to see where JP lives since…she may know, but he does not!

Ray Terrill pockets his salvage and stands up. He takes one last look over the rest of the group, and then just sort of.. disappears.

JP levels with Bobbi in that sincere way of his putting the bs aside, "I ain't lookin to have any trouble wit' SHIELD, ok?" Yeah he won't be heading back to Brooklyn tonight. Merde. What he is going to do is call his electrician and get this powered down and stripped for parts.

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