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"Fuck." The brunette mumbled into her cupped hands and the cigarette jumped at the words, a meager attempt to curb the frantic firing from one neuron to another, reminding her of the edge she felt. All of them felt it. That was what the cigarette was for. When the lighter finally lit up and the cigarette started to smoke, she inhaled deeply and clicked the lighter closer. Anne closed her eyes and for a moment she held the smoke in her lungs before she breathed it out towards the clear sky. "Are we ready?" One of her men walked up to her, hand placed above the weapon on his hip, a bulletproof vest over a green jacket. Anne, held up a hand, took another deep drag of the cigarette before pulling the ski-mask down and then gave the signal to approach the door.
From the outside, it looked like any ground-floor apartment. From where they were standing they could see inside, the family snugged down into the couch watching a documentary. The father had his arms around his two children and what Anne knew to be his wife. Except, she wasn't just a wife, she was a mutant too. When her men kicked the door in, Anne checked her watch and tapped the cigarette midair to rid it off the superfluous ash. By the time they were dragging Jenna Gonzales over the doorstep by her long, auburn locks, Anne had finished her smoke and flicked the remnants of it down the street.
"Playground." Anne released a small scoff when the mother of two managed to land a kind right in the groin of one of the other Purifiers. Clearly there was nothing wrong with her fighting spirit. Good, Anne thought. It was great exercise, pinning someone down that was fighting for their life wasn't easy. Anne knew. This wasn't her first time. In the gaping door, the father stood pleading and howling at gun point, his two children in the back, little hands clinging to his pants and undoubtedly crying. "Hurry up," she snapped to the crew of three that had gotten as far as hanging mrs Gonzales up in the swing set, wrists tied to the top bar. "Why are you doing this?!"
Anne scowled, met the eyes of Mr Gonzales briefly and then turned eyes back towards the playground just across the street. Jenna was kicking and trashing enough to make the swing set rattle, but she couldn't scream because of the gag in her mouth. The answer was right before them then, the words MUTANT sprayed across her PJs. Clarke shook the spray-can and smoothed out the N some, before stepping away with a nod. In a quick motion, Anne pulled the silenced pistol from her holster at the hip and fired once. Someone screamed as a thin, scarlet trickle made its way down the forehead of Jenna Gonzales.
"Do you think...?" One of her men by the door--Smith--motioned with his gun towards opening. "The kids? Oh yeah, scan them."
"I believe that with the right tools, your mutation will feel less like a burden and more like a gift. While I can't provide everything you need, I like to consider myself one of those that can provide you with the resources. I can't say that I understand each and every one of your struggles Ms. Evans, but I know a few who will be willing to help. You shouldn't see this as an ending, but a new beginning,"
Kate Evans. Twenty years old, brown hair, green eyes, and one of the most recent mutants that Dr. MacTaggert had encountered. The poor girl had recently just started coming into her gifts and it absolutely scared her out of her mind. Thankfully Moira had been there the moment it happened. She could recognize the X-gene from a mile away. Had she been a guest speaker at another university that day, who knows what had happened. While it was completely unorthodox for Moira to accompany someone back to their apartment, she knew she was currently the only comfort to her in that moment.
"You can continue to use the breathing techniques I taught you, but it seems that you might need more. Your gifts have a strong connection to your levels of anxiety. It's a vicious cycle but you aren't alone in this. I can help you and I know others that can help you even more than I can."
What could have been passed off as old rattling pipes by anyone else, Moira recognized what was going on the moment it started during the last few minutes of her lecture. There was the hope that the poor girl could control things just long enough so that no eyebrows would be raised and matters would be made worse. Somehow, Moira made it throw her lecture just in time to take in the applause and steal Kate off to the side. A few deep breaths later, the rattling had stopped and Moira own suspicions were confirmed. That was when she asked if she could have a word in private. Of course, being asked this Nobel prize winner made the aspiring doctor nervous in and of itself, but she agreed.
"I just want to be normal. I don't want this." There was a soft rattle of pipes and Moira could see the tips of the girl's fingers accumulating with water, as though she had just dipped her fingers into a bowl of it. Moira reached out, taking her hand, not missing a beat."We never always ask for the things we are given, and as far as I am concerned, no one, even those without the X-gene, can be considered normal."
There was screaming from outside across the street. Moira jerked from her seat. "Stay here," she muttered. Her worse fears were met when she began to process the scene before her from the window. She turned back to the frightened girl. "You need to leave, take your things and go out the back, be as quiet as you can, but go as quickly as you can. Remember deep breaths?! Go to the nearest police station. I will find you there." her voice shock but she trying to remain calm. All she wanted was Kate as far away from her apartment as she could get. "You need to run the moment you get out the door. Promise me that."
Moira turned back to the window the moment she heard Kate scramble for the back door and was gone. It would be impossible for Moira to save anyone, much less stop what was happening."If there is a God, I hope he will be with you more than ever," Slowly she made her way to the front door, her hand dialing 9-1-1 and trying to keep her eyes on what was happening.
Anne resisted the urge to snap at Smith when he shoved a hard elbow into the face of the weeping father. He stumbled backwards to the panicked shouts of his two children, nose bleeding profusely. His hands reached forward to try and reached the kids, which were at this point just crying silently and clinging to one another. "Get on with it, we don't have all day," she finally snarled towards the soldier by the door as he had been about to lift his arm again. "Just scan them, for God's sake," she said as she let her pistol settle back into her hip. The brunette took a deep drag of her cigarette, unaware that they were being watched. The only audience she thought for them to have was the stars in the sky and the moon that was settled behind a thick, grey cloud.
A surprised scream tore through the silence and looking behind her, Anne saw two of her men being throw across the street, in two different directions and landing in two different directions. Her eyes squinted towards the blonde who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. "What the actual fuck..." she muttered, now with the pistol in her hand. She spat out the still glowing butt of the cigarette and took a small step towards Sue. "Great, another mutant. Lining up, I see." She fired a warning shot a yard in front of the swing set. "Who the fuck are you? You got five seconds before you end up like your friend there."
As Anne payed little attention to media and news, especially the kinds that involved supers, she didn't recognize Sue, for her it was only target she could take out, another freak to be put into the ground. She raised the pistol a little higher, closing one eye briefly to double-check her aim. Clarke and the other man was getting back to their feet, one of them bleeding from the head. Smith was doing another reasonable thing, which was grabbing one of the kids and placing a pistol to the small temple.
Suddenly there was another shift. A woman whom Moira vaguely recognized, but was in no state of mind to put two and two together, was now their newest target. She felt her stomach churn as she hung up the phone.
There was no way anyone would get there on time and she couldn't just stand there and watch from the windows as others were murdered, but she knew throwing herself at danger would likely only make matters worse.Yet she did it anyway. It was far better than living with the fact she didn't try to stop things. Moira was running out of time.
The front door of the apartment swung open and she rushed down the stairs. There was no plan. The whole thing was stupid and reckless and already she was feeling sick the moment she realized there was no going back. Her eyes landed on the poor child that was being held at gunpoint.
What did she hope to achieve?! Perhaps she could buy some time, perhaps there was more help on the way...but with each step she took forward, making her presence known, she
"The police have been called. I suggest you drop your weapons before ye rack up more inhumane charges." Her voice carried a braveness that she wished she felt.
Moira regretted not at least carrying something with her. What did she expect to do, dodge out of the path of bullets that would surely be directed in her direction now? There wasn't anything she could really do and she was only about to make her life worse. Part of her hoped if she came out of this alive that they wouldn't recognize her, but her Scottish brogue wasn't exactly helping her to blend in.
@PURIFIERS @SUE STORM
The sound of a gun being cocked was immediately heard as another door further down the street swung open. The apartment produced a brown haired woman, who seemed either brave or foolish enough to interfere with the ongoing operation. It was enough for Anne to grit her teeth together and shoot Moira a look of annoyance. She had just been about to count down for the blonde woman, but was now distracted with the scientist. "The only thing that's not human here, are the mutants." For a second, Anne squinted her eyes towards Moira--she did recognize her. While not attuned to superhero shenanigans, she'd been taught to keep a level of interest on the scientific side of things.
She had been about to shift her attention back to the blonde, but with a blink she discovered that she was gone, even though she could've sworn she had been there a second ago. She scanned the area around the playground, gaze flickered back and forth for a potential escape route, but as it soon turned out, Sue had not an away from them but the exact opposite, appearing out of seemingly nowhere and acting with quick instincts more than reason, Anne had whipped around and fired. She was unable to see whether or not she'd been able to hit, before the protective bubble had been thrown up.
Her backup? All decked out. Typical. For a moment a steely silence settled between the three, at the center an empty space that Anne wanted to see littered with someone's blood and preferably not hers. She didn't think either of the women flanking her had it in them. A wind passed, rattling the chains on the playground but Anne's eyes did not waver. The barrel of the gun then shifted to Moira, something she wouldn't have done if it hadn't been for the small crest between Sue's brow that indicated focus. Was it good enough to shield both herself and the other woman? She assumed not.
"Okay, fine." She sidestepped quickly towards Moira, gun held steadily and then gestured with her head down the street. "You can keep those, I'll take this one instead. If I see you following, I'll blow her head off." A smile and then the way her eyes moved told Moira that she wanted her to proceed down the street and into the nearest alley.
Powers normally were vastly fascinating to her but research and questions were far beyond her mind in that moment.
To say she was surprised to be the newest target would have been a lie. Moira's hands were already up and her body seemed to almost half expect to be ripped through by a bullet. The one thing she could be proud of was that her attempt at being a distraction had worked and suddenly the focus had shifted from those she was trying to save, to herself. While Moira certainly didn't have a death wish, she preferred to take the bullet over the others. Walking away from them meant more time could tick by which would allow for more help. She had no other choice but to follow the orders and insist that she was fine.
"I'll be fine. Don't worry about me, just keep them safe...please just keep them safe." Moira turned and slowly began to walk away and towards the first alley that she could. Part of her realized that these could very well be some of her last breaths, and while it scared her, Moira was starting to become more and more comfortable with dying.
When she reached the alley, she walked to one of the walls and pressed her back up against it, turning slowly so to now appear as thoughts he was making any sudden movements. "As much as I love havin' conversations at gunpoint, I'd prefer a more comfortable settin' all things considered." Choosing to focus on her anger rather than her fear, she gave a bit of a glare at Anne. "I'd like to think there is something more beyond such blind and destructive hate."
She lowered her eyes, trying to not focus on the gun pointed at her, her knees were starting to feel weak and she bit her tongue to prevent herself from saying anything more that might guarantee she would get shot sooner rather than later.
@PURIFIERS @SUE STORM
Anne thought to have seen it all when it came to these kind of situations. As a former US Marine and then a mercenary, she'd been put in plenty situations with people like this and they all reacted differently. Some yelled and screamed, others were just quiet or just cried. The brunette was doing the one thing that never stopped to appear foolish to her. False reassurance. There was a raise of a brow and crystal-clear contempt for what had been said, before she waved Moira along and into the alley.
When the woman turned and pressed against the wall, Anne easily lifted her gun again and undid the safety, aiming with a steely resolve, that promised that she wasn't afraid to compromise if needed, despite the fact that Moira appeared terribly human. "Of course there's more. It's just none of your business." The gun was lowered a little bit and a row of white teeth gleamed in a smirk.
She had more to say but then, by an invisible force she was pushed sideways and into the wall. She connected with a grunt and heard the clatter of the gun getting to the ground. The push was hard enough to dislocate her left shoulder. She bit down on the pain and while Sue was distracted, she rolled forward onto her good shoulder, grabbed the gun and with one knee to the ground, she steadied herself and fire at the blonde where she knew it would make enough damage to keep them both distracted.
With that, Anne then took down the hallway.
It was hard to process everything that was happening, but Moira did her best to try and not think too much about it. One moment she was fearing for her life and then the next was up on the rooftop trying to catch her breath and processing everything that had happened.
Had the woman been flung into the wall? Were there others there. It took a moment for Moira to realize that she was being spoken to and when she looked at Sue, her eyes widened a bit. "Yes, yes...I'm fine. Just, thank you. You aren't one of them, are you? I am so sorry. I wasn't aware things were this bad, I mean...I knew it was bad but..."
Moira was stumbling over her words. The emotions that she was experiencing seemed a mix of shock and disgust. "Are the others okay?! Have the police gotten here?! What more can we do? I just...I don't understand why no one came." Moira tried to slow down, but the string of questions kept coming. Realizing that everything was starting to hit her at once she knelt down and drew in a few breaths. "Just...give me a moment. I'm fine...I'm just...shaken I guess."
It was then Moira realized she was crying, as replayed everything up until that moment she was starting to feel a deep feeling of helplessness, as though she could have done more to stop how things played out. Moira wanted to be so much stronger. All that bravery she had showed moments before seemed to come crashing down. But Moira knew courage never was the absence of fear.
@PURIFIERS @SUE STORM
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