cutting_edgex23: (Default)
X is outside, seated cross-legged on a rock by the lake.

She is very still, breathing in, then out, then in again, and watching everything.

It is not meditation. But it is still nice.
cutting_edgex23: X-23 in her All-New Wolverine costume (All-New Wolverine)
A weekend trip to visit the petrified forest seemed like just the thing, though unfortunately one is often obliged to take pit stops during a road trip.

This is perhaps not the fanciest gas station and shopping complex in the area, but it's close and the people in it seem happy.

X will take it.

Hopefully Thor also does not mind.
cutting_edgex23: ([XF] running through hell)
. . . a cloudless sky, every star clear as crystal, sharp-edged and shining and singing a glorious descant over barren black sands . . .

. . . running blood-hot and joyous through a wine-dark morning, tree branches hung with lianas dense and thick overhead, while behind runs a pack of creatures made of claws and teeth and fur and the beauty of the chase, the hunt, the kill . . .

. . . a city of ragged stone spires, air bone-dry and cold, six-legged beings prowling the streets and building elaborate structures of iron up and around the spires, the last decaying remnants of an old, old empire . . .

. . . wings beating and beating and beating overhead in a living jewel-bright tapestry, a ceremony honoring what is, what was, and what may yet be . . .

. . . a stone bench in a garden full of flowers many-petaled and many-dimensioned, vibrant and heavily scented, air still and only a little damp . . .

. . . a blasted plain . . .

. . . a mountain range covered in fire . . .

. . . people made of stars and stones and trees and grass and crystal and and and . . .

But like nightmares and dreams and sleep and life --

All vacations must end.
cutting_edgex23: ([older] calm bandage)
X stops in front of a vast, dark cave mouth, head tilting as she studies it for a second.

Then she turns to Brienne and Harry.

"This is where we go in."

Beat.

"You are ready?"
cutting_edgex23: ([TX] resolute)
X, Security badge pinned to her belt, is settled comfortably at a corner table, contentedly munching her way through a sandwich.

She may be on her second root beer float.

And, of course, she is keeping an ear -- and a nose -- out for anyone who might be approaching her.

It is only polite.
cutting_edgex23: ([fighting] peerless tracker)
It is best to have a plan, X thinks, when bringing Deadpool home for a visit.

Introducing him to the Cactus With No Name seems safe enough.

For now.

And then they will go to the ocean.

Undead hordes might attack from there at any time.

Plus it is occasionally very entertaining to annoy Namor.

(Shh.)

But first, cactus!
cutting_edgex23: ([fighting] TX bendy mcflip)
It's a cool day, and a little damp, but not cold.

Even if it were, that would not prevent X from going through her exercises. Currently she's working on different springing passes, fighting an invisible and imaginary opponent of some stripe.

She does a lot of bouncing between rocks. And flips.

This is punctuated by short, brutal striking patterns, designed for maximum efficiency.

Or so one would suppose.
cutting_edgex23: (Default)
Fisherman's Wharf is a nice place. Crowded, but nice. There are a lot of people, and it is a good place to pretend to be normal.

To practice blending in, as it were.

And also, at this particular moment, to go see the Musée Mécanique. Because 19th century penny arcade games are great.

And X has been told it is fun.

Daemon AU

Jul. 18th, 2015 08:57 pm
cutting_edgex23: ([XF] uniform)
X's daemon is a Great Grey Shrike named Invictus. He's judgy as hell, and will clearly let you know it. He also likes sitting in the curve between X's neck and shoulder. He is the master of terrible, sarcastic jokes. Before eight years ago he was silent. They were separated by the Facility. For multiple reasons.

Everything else about her life is the same.
cutting_edgex23: ([XF] sunrise watching braid)
Some days a woman just gets bored with the same old, same old.

Some days this happens in the middle of sparring with Thor.

Some days, like this day, it results in two people who should probably know better but don't care heading off into the Labyrinth.

A change is as good as a rest, right?

And new things are fun.
cutting_edgex23: (Default)
X is in no way lurking in the forest.

Not at all.






Okay, fine. She is practicing her stalking skills on demon rabbits.

They have sensitive hearing.

It is useful.

(Shut up.)
cutting_edgex23: ([TX] solemn)
X, after a long Security shift, has finally settled at a booth near the back of the bar.

She's got sandwiches in front of her, several glasses of milk, and --

Is that a beer?

(Maybe.)

Possibly she's waiting for someone.

Go figure.
cutting_edgex23: ([older] serious pretty)
X doesn't leave any notes.

She takes Thor to Greymalkin Industries, acknowledging the mutants they pass with a quick flickering gaze, then moving quickly on.

It's the walk of an X-23 with business to attend to. They've all seen it before. Only half of them manage to ignore the Asgardian that accompanies her.

Once they've made it to the garage, X fishes out helmets for both of them, then checks two motorcycles (her usual and one other) for full gas tanks and decent repair.

That done, they're ready to go.

It's going to be a long, travel-filled week. And at the end --

Well.

They'll find out when they get there.
cutting_edgex23: ([older] calm bandage)
Once she catches Charles' scent in the air, it takes X only a few moments to do the rest of the work of tracking him down.

Some things should be done as quickly as possible.

Especially when they involve people being trapped in Milliways, however self-inflicted.

"Charles."
cutting_edgex23: ([solo] ninja mask)
As X and Elle make their way out of Milliways' front door and into the elevator X left a few months ago, X's hand in Elle's isn't sweaty -- yet. Her grip, however, is just this side of too-tight.

Some things are worse than Hell, even with practice. Even with respirators, in fact, because neither Elle nor X are stupid enough to try this without them.

The intercom clicks off into silence as the elevator doors slide open.

ping

Chaos greets them, aerosolized trigger scent filling the air just ahead of the sudden snarls from men, women, and children overtaken by the chemical mixture.

Their eyes all glow red -- and they pounce. On each other.

Soon there will undoubtedly be blood.

"Jubilee!"

X's voice rings out over the shrieking throng.

"Logan! Stop them from hurting each other!"

It isn't as if either of the other X-men need such commands, but -- it is important for them to know she is okay.

And she is okay. For now.

In the meantime, she and Elle put their plan to work. X keeps the enraged civilians from attacking Elle as they move toward first the air purification systems -- the better to turn them off and prevent the trigger scent from reaching street level -- then the fire suppression system. Electromagnetic powers makes turning rusted valves and stalling whirring fanblades into a significantly easier exercise than trying to find the relevant scaffolding.

Washing the trigger scent into the sewers might mean bad things for the rats, but it is unlikely to be re-aerosolized. It could be worse.

X will be relieved.

Later.

In the meantime, there are a great many injured and frightened people to provide for. There is also evidence to obtain.

X will find the person who did this.

And she will kill them.

It is a promise.

Elle will not let her do anything less.
cutting_edgex23: ([TX] concerned inward)
Norman agrees to take X, Elle, and Bruce up to the mountains, though he does sniff disdainfully when Thor decides to fly himself.

The trip itself is cold and breezy, because it is made in dragon claws, and they do not offer all that much protection against the elements. Still, it is not raining. That would make this even more difficult than it will be already.

Norman -- in consultation with the others -- eventually sets them down on a flattish outcropping of stones, then takes himself and Bruce to perch on a separate, nearby rock.

It gives them the best view.

X, in the meantime, gives Elle a small bottle of trigger scent, then goes to stand by Thor and wait.

She is tense as piano wire.

The scent of fear is heavy in the air.
cutting_edgex23: ([trigger] red eyes stationary)
She only has time to grab her Security badge, thinking desperately of Milliways -- there are people who can stop her there -- before the elevator floods with trigger scent and the doors open.

Into the bar.

X has a flickering second to focus on running toward the back door and away.

Then her vision goes red, and there is nothing left but the urge to kill.
cutting_edgex23: ([TX] bloody glass)
The phone call from Gambit is a surprise. But he has been in Madripoor, recently, visiting an old friend named Tyger.

She had information for him. About an arms deal. One of the parties was Colcord.

He sold something called a 'trigger scent' to a woman. None of Tyger's sources know the woman's name.

But they do know the port of call for the shipment. Paris.

X calls Warren. For this, he is willing to lend her Worthington Industries' jet.

She makes good use of it.

******

Tracking down the shipment is more time consuming than X would like. Even with Gambit and Jubilee helping, and Pixie relaying information from Cypher --

If she were not so afraid, X would be better at waiting.

******

The information breaks eventually, and X and her chosen teammates stage a raid on the labs where the testing is taking place.

There is blood everywhere. Most of it is not their fault.

Several potential clients were witnesses to a staged testing scenario. Humans rounded up from the street and doused with the trigger scent ripped each other apart with absolutely no hesitation.

X could not save any of them.

As for the clients --

Maybe it would be better to leave them for the authorities. But some of them liked what they saw. So much. Too much.

And messages are important.

Many people will not miss the point of this one. She will make sure of it.

As for the surviving victims and test subjects -- those not used for the demonstration --

X leaves Gambit and Jubilee to call the police. And deal with them.

She wants to be alone.

******

She's riding the elevator down to the platform at Cité, seeking to blend into the crowd and disappear for a while, when a voice comes over the intercom system.

X stiffens.

"Laura Kinney."

The voice sounds amused. And familiar. There should be some comfort in the fact that the speaker is using the wrong name, that she doesn't know her anymore. But it's too late for comfort now.

"You remember my voice, don't you? My . . . scent? I suppose you also realize, now, that your old trigger scent has been modified. It will send anyone into a killing rage now. But your rages, Laura . . . they've always been particularly spectacular."

X's pulse picks up. Her breathing rate does, too. This is what it means to be afraid.

No.

This is what it means to be terrified.
cutting_edgex23: ([TX] serious smile)
It's a lovely, sunny afternoon in the Forest of Faraway, which is why X and Bruce have brought the Princess Royal out for a picnic.

The blanket was carefully chosen by Susan, as was the basket containing the food.

The food itself is a product of the castle kitchens. They know all of Susan's favorites. It seemed easiest.

There may also be some apple pastries, just in case Norman stops by. It is best to be prepared.
cutting_edgex23: ([fighting] death can be quick)
Stepping from Milliways into Madripoor is like moving from silence into chaos. The riots are still raging, and everywhere seems full of smoke, fire, the press of frantic bodies, and the sharp prickle of too many eyes watching.

"He has a meet scheduled nearby. Colcord. With a man in a mask."

Beat.

"We will need to immobilize them both."
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