Lost and Found
Part 5 of the Go Tell The Spartans Arc.
|Lost and Found|
|Dates run:||February 8, 2005|
|Read the logs:||Lost and Found|
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
they will never sound in slavery!
When MacInnis and his team crash in northern Canada while rescuing a group of children from Mistra, the X-Men ride to the rescue. They find themselves fighting a team of Mistra's best operatives, and two choices - one conscious, one not - will change the battle against Mistra forever.
NPCs: Colin MacInnis, Timothy Morgan, Ian Piers, Chris Cole, Isabel Matsuda, Gavin Nash, Jackie Valeri, Melina Konstantakis, Jason Elliot, Neil Bourne, Mark Nolan, Laura Carey, Richard Malcolm, Ellen Pulaski, Ben Dyson, Greg Forrester, John Lense
Sitting coms watch, Nathan received a call from MacInnis, who told him that his helicopter had crashed in Northern Canada on the way back from rescuing a group of children being taken as candidates by Mistra. They had been pursued, and their aircraft had taken a hit and gone down in rough terrain. Nathan took down his coordinates and informed his team leaders, who immediately prepared a rescue mission.
While the X-Men were on their way, Jason Elliot, MacInnis's telepath, contacted Nathan to warn him that a Mistra team was racing them to the crash site. More alarmingly, the team was entirely comprised of first-generation operatives, Mistra's best. Many of them had been worked with Nathan for years; some were old friends. Recognizing that this was a team unlike anything Mistra had fielded in the last dozen years, Nathan warned his own teammates and they proceeded to the crash site as quickly as possible.
On the Mistra helicopter, events were transpiring that would dictate the course of the confrontation. One of MacInnis's team, Richard Malcolm, a former second-generation operative and weather-manipulator, was whipping up a blizzard, interfering with communications both for the X-Men and for the Mistra team. Morgan, leading the Mistra team on this operation as well, took advantage. Using the excuse of the storm, he cut communications entirely with home base before they could issue specific orders as to what to do with the X-Men. Though some of his teammates protested, others recognized that this gave them a level of flexibility to circumvent their obedience imperatives and perhaps allow the children to be rescued after all.
The X-Men were forced to land the Blackbird a couple of kilometers from the crash site and hike the rest of the way, due to the storm. Getting closer, they realized that the Mistra team had beaten them there. They rushed to intercept, and battle was quickly joined. Haroun was the first to encounter one of the operatives - Lense, a gravity manipulator, who injured him prior to being knocked out himself. Kylun encountered Forrester, who was able to shift his density from intangible to super-hard, and was the first to realize that the Mistra operatives were not as committed to their orders as expected. Kurt faced Jaeger, a shapeshifter, who fled into the snow to sow further confusion among the X-Men.
Madelyn and Hank made for the downed helicopter to provide medical assistance, but were attacked almost immediately by Piers, a feral. Despite his own injuries, Nolan, one of MacInnis's team, came out from behind the Darkforce shield being generated by Bourne, one of his other teammates, to assist Hank, and Madelyn made her way safely inside the shield. There, she found the children mostly unhurt, but several of MacInnis's ex-operatives were suffering from severe, even critical injuries. Outside the shield, Piers was fighting his conditioning as well, hating the prospect of taking the children back, and managed to beg Hank to knock him out. Hank obliged him.
Elsewhere in the storm, Alison encountered Nash, who after a brief confrontation, made use of the loophole Morgan had provided and retreated into the snow to find his teammates. Nathan confronted Konstantakis, a short-term precog, who was aware of his EM weakness and used a grenade to daze him while she moved in for the kill. Alison soon discovered that having talked Nash down was not the end of the day for her; Morgan, following the demands of his tactical imperatives, attempted to take her and Haroun out of the fight and thus disrupt the X-Men's command structure. Haroun attempted to move in on the Mistra team's helicopter and Morgan swatted him out of the air, injuring him further. He proceeded on the ground, and Morgan was distracted by Alison, who tried to summon Nathan to face off against his fellow telekinetic. There was no answer.
At the Mistra helicopter, Haroun found himself facing two operatives, Cole and Valeri. He tried to take them out from the air, but when he made physical contact with Cole, discovered that the other man had a touch-based neural disruption ability. He managed to free himself, hand-to-hand, but the injured Valeri, a microwave generator, grabbed him, adding burns to Haroun's tally of injuries on the day.
Hank, attempting to make his way to the helicopter, was confronted by two more Mistra operatives - Pulaski, who generated neural shockwaves, and Dyson, who had an invention-based ability similar to that of Forge. Pulaski offered him a chance to flee, warning him not to get between them and a priority target. But when she realized Madelyn was on the helicopter and Hank wasn't going to back off, she attacked the Darkforce shield, cracking it despite Bourne's best efforts to hold. When the shield finally shattered, Madelyn, Hank, and MacInnis tried to cover the wounded and the children, but the injured Bourne managed to get up and engage Pulaski, requiring Hank to go out after him.
Elsewhere, Kurt had a brief encounter with Matsuda, whose chameleon-ability let her blend into the storm, but she was called away to find her injured teammates before the fight could be concluded. Nathan finally heard Alison's call for help and for the first time, triggered a telekinetic exoskeleton in the shape of a firebird to escape from the beating Konstantakis was giving him. A massive duel between the two telekinetics ensued, tearing up the forest as Alison tricked Konstantakis's precog, knocking her out, and Hank and Madelyn continued to try and defend the wounded and the children. At the Mistra helicopter, Haroun finally incapacitated Valeri, only to be tricked by Jaeger, who approached him in Nathan's form.
Facing Morgan, Nathan discovered that the Trojan Horse was still active in his mind after all as it lashed out, shattering the Mistra field leader's conditioning. The feedback from that and the fight turned a substantial swath of the forest into a glass crater and left Morgan unconscious, Nathan incoherent, and both of them close to burnout. Alison ordered the team to regroup and get their injured and Morgan aboard the Blackbird. Nash did the same for the Mistra operatives, all of whom had clearly been affected by the Trojan Horse as well.
On the Blackbird on the way back to Westchester, Elliot established that it had indeed been the Trojan Horse, somehow retained in Nathan's mind, and that Morgan's mind was entirely free of conditioning. Madelyn was forced to sedate Nathan, who was delirious with psionic shock, and an injured Haroun was forced to fly the Blackbird, being the only pilot available. They touched down safely, and the rest of the medical staff swung into action to tend to the wounded.
Trivia and Meta
After the events in Canada, Nathan and Morgan departed for Galicia to join MacInnis and his team of freed second-generation operatives - Morgan permanently, Nathan for just long enough to make sure that Morgan would be all right. While he was there, Nathan discovered from MacInnis that he had unintentionally caused the death of a number of trainees who had been left locked in their rooms when he had stormed the Mistra home facility in New Mexico ten years ago.
Talia Lewis, one of the rescued children, stayed at the mansion when it was discovered that her foster parents had been killed by Mistra.