2017-02-11 Legacy: Don't Fear the Reaper

(This RP Log is from a different timeline but contains important information about Rogue's backstory)

Thanks to Lorna, Bobby and finally the very welcome Jack Hawksmoor, the main building is at least structurally sound enough to not be in danger of collapsing at any moment. Most of the students though have gone home or are keeping to the intact dormitories while the school is temporarily closed. The staff however have mostly been keeping to the intact part of the base underground, where Charles is now. Erik is back in the hospital, which means Wanda's presence here is perhaps even more awkward, but her offer of help isn't one to be overlooked. Charles thinks it might be worthwhile to offer an olive branch, so he goes to find her.

Scarlet Witch is currently in the main hall of the school, or rather what's left of it after all the damage, though the overall structure is intact. She's in her 'work' outfit, a bit of a frown on her face as she looks around, shaking her head as she finally has the time to take a close look at everything that happened here.

Rachel came bursting moments later, her eyes were red and she was likely away somewhere soaking in melancholy when she had an epiphany. Dressed in that familiar green sweatshirt with a pair of jeans and sneakers the bright red haired girl was holding an old photo. "Okay Professor please don't get mad but I was sorta feeling like shit so I went in Anna's room to I dunno say goodbye or something and I felt a strong psychic connection to this." She said holding an old photo of a young rogue and her parents. "But the connection is active, trust me it's one of my 'things' I can sense mutants no matter how far away they might be if I have something to grasp onto and Rogues alive!"

Rachels expression dimmed slightly. "But.. It's weird because I couldn't find her, it's like I did find her but no one was home.. I think she might be trapped somewhere no quite dead but not alive like she's in a coma or something.. Maybe if we went looking for her in. "She gulped. "The Astral realm." She said knowing how dangerous it can be to traverse not to mention how vulnerable they were whilst on such a journey. "I think she somehow dug her feet in when her spirit was ripped away when she was killed.. But It wont last forever, we have to do something like now before she's gone!" She said desperately. She only just reconnected with her old 'auntie' who was now her age and twice the trouble maker but Rachel obviously had plenty of love. Though even with this revelation Rachel wasn't even sure how to start dealing with Jeans death.

Charles was just about to speak to Wanda when he located her by the front entrance, only for his head to turn blinking towards the doorless doorway just before Rachel comes tearing in. He listens intently, letting her finish her piece with growing astonishment. "Show me." he says intently, offering a mental connection like an offered hand, wanting to see for himself just what Rachel is sensing. If she's right…

Scarlet Witch blinks, and looks over at Charles, "It's not impossible… though this is hardly my area of expertise." She looks curiously at Rachel, tilting her head slightly as if noting a resemblance to someone.

Rachel knew Wanda even if the woman had never laid eyes on the teen from the future before as she took Charles hand and offered one to Wanda as well. They'd be taken to where Rachel was before an empty shell of a Rogue with no thoughts or feelings in some place dark and far away. No matter how they reached out she didn't respond but in the distance it felt like there was another 'beacon' of her existence though fading in another dimension that they'd have to cross. They got a taste of part of Rachels Telepathic power how she can sense X-Actives not through their minds but the subtle radiation they give off. "See?! She's there but she's not there, it feels like it's getting weaker professor even if we find her body it might not be Anna anymore!"

Charles is speaking with a firm haste that shows he fully agrees with the urgency of the situation, "She'd absorbed one of the most extreme healing abilities I've ever come across when we lost her.. if we can reconnect her mind with -any- trace of her body, there's at least a chance." he turns to look to Rachel, nodding his agreement the trip will have to be risked. His gaze then turns to Wanda. "I could bring you along Wanda, if you're willing. I know we haven't always been allies, but… considering the odds." he smiles wanly, "I would be very happy to have you."

Scarlet Witch gives Charles a wry look, "The possibility of saving her is worth it, to me. As is the possibility of saving any X-Active." She smiles a little at the mention of possibilities, "And perhaps I can help skew the odds a little more in our favor, at that." She looks back at Rachel, "Nice costume the other night, by the way." Perhaps not the best time to mention it, but it does let Rachel know where else she saw the Witch before.

Rachel offered a half smile to Wanda. "Yea, Anna was the first friend I made when I came here.. If i can save here I'm going to do it. I couldn't save her before but this time I have a chance." She said resolute as they likely retired to somewhere more secure. After all their bodies would be helpless while traveling in the Astral. "We should go right away Professor, lets find somewhere to lay down and do this."

== A late afternoon sky in the middle of the United States, a distant thunderstorm to the south, dark clouds and flashes of lightning against the underside of said ominous clouds. To the north was clear weather and the sun shining brightly as it made its descent into the western horizon. The smell of distant rain was thick in the air, mixed in with that of wild flowers and freshly cut grass.

A small farmhouse, one-story, wrap-around porch circling its perimeter. A young woman emerged from the doorway carrying a basket of laundry, her dark brown hair blowing behind her in the late summer breeze when she emerged. "Anna-Marie Elizabeth D'Ancanto! You come up here now or so help me I will skin your hide!" The woman called out in a thick southern accented voice, as she stepped off the porch into the softgrass of the backyard.

"Go easy on her, love. She's out at the creek, playing with Jenks." A full bearded man said, his right arm behind his head as he laid there in a hammock strung up between two old oak trees. Beside his hammock was a wooden table, atop it a classic styled radio which was dialed on and a stern voice was broadcasting the World Series, baseball terminology gettting thrown about out of its old speakers.

"She's six years old, you should be down there with her!" The woman angrily stated back to her husband.

But no sooner later did the burst of dog barking erupt as a young yellow lab pup sprung from the tall grass between trees, charging toward the farm house with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth and right behind him emerged a little girl in a white flower-marked dress, her brown hair was crazy and unkempt like that of a Lion's mane. She was carrying a giant sunflower and a smile larger than that of the state of Mississippi itself. "Jenkies, wait!" The little Anna-Marie shouted after her faithful friend, chasing him back toward where her parents were. ==

Following Rachel's tenuous connection to the lost Marie, it's almost a shock how clearly the mind scape snaps into being once they finally get a hold on it. Charles appears looking much like himself, stepping out from behind one of the trees supporting the hammock. "Thank goodness you're still here." he breathes in some relief.

Wanda Maximoff is actually no longer looking like the Scarlet Witch, costume gone since this is the astral plane. Fitting in with the overall mindscape, she looks over at Charles, then at the little girl chasing the dog, "Yes, this… is not what I had expected." She then looks around for Rachel, just to confirm that everything's right.

Rachel smiled slightly as they managed to find their way to her. It had been fought with danger along the way but they managed to arrive at her 'home' in the Astral Space. Here Rachel seemed to constantly have a silver phoenix symbol under one of her eyes that she couldn't get rid of a brand of sorts she was unable to hide in the Astral Realm. "Anna, do you remember us?" She asked with a nervous smile. Having no idea what sorta state her spirit was in. After all Anna's thoughts were like a fraying rope slowly coming undone." Giving a nod to Wanda and hoping the brand she wore didn't raise too many questions right now.

== The young mother carried her wicker basket of laundry to the clothes line and she at it down on a table beside it. She started to unfurl sheets from within the basket and pin them to the line. "This thunderstorm better stay to the south…" She worriedly commented before glancing over her shoulder and smilingly brightly at the sight of her daughter charging up to the house.

Anna-Marie rushed the hammock and she unceremoninously leapt into it and right into the arms of her waiting father. He burst into sudden and shocked laughter, grabbing the girl with the giant sunflower he lifted her up into the air as the hammock rocked back and forth after being leapt upon. Marie shook in her father's arms, laughing madly as the yellow lab pup ran around the hammock giving off little anxious barks, half-jumping, almost like he was on the verge of jumping into the hammock himself!

As little Anna-Marie was lowered down by her father, to lay against his chest, she reached up with a free hand and began to tug on his thick full beard while he himself, reached over to the old radio and he adjusted the station away from the baseball game. "They're losing anyway…" He muttered as he turned it to another station. 'Don't Fear The Reaper' began to pipe out of the old speakers.

Anna-Marie continued to tug lightly on her father's big bushy beard while laughing, she looked over to the 'new people' and she smiled at them, wildly and as crazy as any child ever has. "You're from the Academy." The little girl said matter-of-factly to them, like she had every concept of who they, in fact, were… but she didn't seem to care as she appeared to be as happy as anyone could possibly be. ==

Charles nods, walking up with his hands in his pockets, relief still showing on his face. "Yes, that's right." he agrees. "I know you're having a very fine time Marie, but we'd like to help you back there, and I'm afraid there isn't much time."

Wanda Maximoff nods slightly, not saying anything just yet as she concentrates on manipulating the probability fields… it's so much different here than in the physical plane, but there's still something Wanda can sense and tweak, to try and optimize their chances for success.

Rachel however seemed to be losing her resolve a little she looked around the farm at Anna and who Rachel felt was her parents as she leaned over and dragged her fingers through the grass a moment. "Professor, if we… If we concentrated hard enough could be stabilize this place you think?" Maybe it was sentiment but she wondered if Anna had earned this. "Maybe this is her 'heaven'. Should we give her a choice?" She asked unsure of if it was even right to do. "Anna has everything I've ever dreamed of here, I.. I dunno if I can take that from her. I want it to be her choice." She said pained. "Anna can you take a walk with us? Talk about the Academy and everything outside? I promise we'll get her back in time for dinner."

== The thunderclouds to the south continued to rumble in the far off distance, flashes of lighting licking along the dark underbellys of the puffy grey clouds.

Rogue's mother finished hanging her sheets and linens and she emerged from behind one of them, her dark brown hair wafting about her head as she smiled at the sight of her husband and daughter playing in the hammock, she walked toward them, her right hand going up to grab hold of her hair and sweep it back over her head in the late evening breezes.

It seemed like a dream here, the edges of everything were blurred and laced with a 'bloom' that made all the light sources almost blurry and reflective against the surfaces of one another. The distant setting sun cast a yellowy-orange hue across the yard, the house, and everyone who occupied it.

Anna-Marie laughed at the words from the Visitors. "I can't go with you." She said in an overly childish way, almost like she was accusing them of being stupid. "I have to go to the festival tonight!" She added with a defiance to her voice, continuing to tug on her father's big dark brown beard while he, himself, laughed at his daughter's action, grabbing her wrist to try to stop her in a show of futility.

From the direction of the dark storm, headlights appeared on the gravel-driveway, three black cars approaching the farmhouse, casting billows of white dusty smoke trails in their wakes as they drew nearer to the farm.

Anna-Marie's mother stood to the side of the hammock, her hand going up to shield her eyes from the evening sun as she looked to the driveway. "Looks like they're here." She said to her husband. "That 'Prophet' fellow and his people. We best get ready and head to the fairground."

The sound of rolling thunder could be heard behind the vehicles driving up toward the farm house.

"I have company!" Anna-Marie shouted gleefully as she leapt out of the hammock. "I need t'put on my fanciest dress!" She said with great cheer! ==

"I understand your intention Rachel, but I'm not certain that we can…" Charles replies seriously, eyeing that distant storm. Rogue is slipping away, and even their combined powers aren't enough to fix it down indefinitely, not without some physical form to anchor it to.

And then the cars drive up, and Charles catches distinctly the bitter undercurrent of dread from Rogue's subconscious. He may not be in tune with her as much as Rachel, may not know fully what these cars and people represent, but he does know it's not good. "And I'm not certain that leaving her here would be any mercy, even if we could." But perhaps Rachel who knows Rogue better might be able to reach her faster..

Wanda Maximoff frowns, sensing something happening with the mindscape… where Rachel and Charles might pick up on things through telepathy, Wanda senses things through probability, and she comments softly, "Things are spiking here… I'm sensing our chances are lowering considerably."

Rachel furrowed her brow. "What is she not even allowed to die peacefully?!" She said to no one in particular. That phoenix brand below her eye flashing slightly as was filled with frustration. She used her astral ability to form objects and constructs as she suddenly created a wall around the house that as the approaching figures walked towards it they just hovered beyond reach likely staring at them stoically waiting for Rachels constructs to fail. She walked towards Anna pain upon her face as she chased the girl into the house as she went to put on her dress.

"Anna! I.. I'm sorry, the fair's cancelled. "She hiccuped fighting back the urge to cry. "Anna you know we don't get this, this happy world. We get the outside where there are no parents but we have a family, people that care about us right? My mom may have just died but I know right now I can save you and you can maybe even save me." She offered a hand. "Touch me it'll hurt me a lot but it'll give you some part of me, it'll allow you to find your way back. There's not much time."

== At this stage, things seemed to escalate and push forward in time further. The sun outside had now gone entirely and the storm was upon them. The farmhouse's interior lights were the dominant sources of light in the area, aside from the peroidical bursts of lightning shooting out of the stormclouds above.

Anna-Marie ran past Wanda, laughing at the woman who was much taller than she. "You talk funny." The little girl chided the Scarlet Witch, headed for her home. She paused on the porch, her parents ahead of her, both of them walking into the house, hand-in-hand with Jenkies running behind them carrying a brightly colored doggie chew-toy.

Anna, herseld, paused on the porch and looked to Charles, then to Rachel. "The guests are here, they're here to make our world a bette'ah place." She told Rachel, Charles and Wanda in an obnoxiously cute southern accented childish voice. "Mamma says that we're going to have everything we could eve'ah want!" She smiled at the three Visitors, smiled then and raised up her left hand to Rachel for a high-five!

"Anna-Marie! Come inside! Its time to get ready for the festival!" Her mother's voice called. The barrier around the farmhouse seemed to hold, there were dark figures all standing around it now, staring inside of it as the headlights from their now parked cars sent spotlights of bright white light contrasted against the now dark night time horizon beyond. ==

"Marie.." Charles says, stepping up beside Rachel as the little girl holds up her hand. "I think part of you knows why Rachel is so worried…what's happening here. You -do- have a choice. You could stay here until what's left of this world has run it's course. But you also have people who care for you, people who are waiting for you to come back." he puts a hand on Rachel's shoulder, lending his mental support for what's to come if Marie takes her hand— if she chooses life. "It's not too late to make that your choice.""

Wanda Maximoff quietly murmurs, "I'll try to help things, but this is a bit beyond my ken, Charles." She closes her eyes, concentrating on the probability patterns, pulling and tugging certain strings to try and ensure the best odds of success… something that she's not quite used to, normally it's the opposite she's looking for.

The raised hand in all it's childish innocence. It made Rachel smile, she saw it was a sign of some part of Rogue accepting. "I'm sorry Anna." She said softly, she didn't want to share the world she came from with her. She hesitated even to tell Charles about it but as their hands clapped together in a high five it seemed to echo into a ceaseless oblivion.

Anna saw it all from Rachels eyes, the young girl with her parents Jean and Scoot. Even herself older and wiser playing with the young Rachel, then she saw the worst of it. The hell that came after in the crescendo of nuclear fire and war. The future Rachel had escaped, where she lost so many loved one rushed through Anna's mind as well as a certain level of psychic awareness as she tapped into the omega level psyhics power hopefully enough to bring her closer to the surface. To give them a chance to go home even as Rachel fell back against Charles, weakened.

== The lightning seemed to grow in frequency, the thunder grew in intensity and volume… the men standing outside of the forcefield took steps forward and their shadowy-forms passed THROUGH the barrier's, they stepped forward into the farmhouse's yard, one by one… their central figuring reaching up to adjust his large brimmed hat as he grinned and his large teeth appeared within his mouth, glowing brightly with sinister intention.

When Anna-Marie's hand touched Rachel's she had a huge smile on her face to make this fun gesture with her young friend. Marie's parents appeared in the softly illuminated doorway, side by side, they held one another's hands and peered out of the door, Jenkies was between their legs. They stared out onto the porch at their daughter and the three Visitors. Anna-Marie's mother reached, grabbed the door and she slammed it shut.

All around the farmhouse, bright purple-white oval-shaped portals began to rip their way into existence, casting eerie glowing light upon the yard and the farmhouse itself!

Marie's eyes clamped shut, she clenched her tiny fingers intertwined with that of Rachel's!

Suddenly, somewhere on the coastline of New York's harbor to the Atlantic Ocean, Rogue's eyes flashed opened! A loud gasp was inahedl as a rushing wave of cold ocean water poured over her naked, pale body. ==

Charles catches Rachel as she falls back, a projected reflection of how his mind does it's best to bolster her in her effort to reconnect Marie with the world, even as the phantoms and portals erode away the last vestiges of the peaceful countryside they'd first entered— he sends to the others, now adrift again in the Astral plane. There was a sense of snapping back to…somewhere, of a breath being indrawn, not the smothered absence that might follow a death. <We can find out as soon as we get back ourselves, keep together—> and this is where Charles' talents shine. Since he first learnt of the Astral plane from Jean, he's learned to walk it confidently, leading them all back to their own bodies again.

Wanda Maximoff just hangs on for the moment, being the only non-psychic here after all. Though she looks back at the image of the dog, and quietly ponders something to herself as she flows along with Charles and Rachel through the astral plane, back to reality.

Rachel woke up with a gasp sitting up before falling back down onto her back weakened after Charles guided her weakened form out. She'd used her power to help shove Rogue back into her body and ripping somewhere through Space and time and back 'alive' was more then a little taxing for the young psychic still clutching the photo of Rogue and family a she slowly lifted it with a shaky hand and a half smile as she gazed to it. "I'm Sorry Anna.. I wish it could've been that way." She said exhausted but relieved.

< END >

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