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Moment of Awesome - Monica Rambeau/Spectrum: On her first X-Men mission, Monica encounters the local plant life.

"Let me go first - I can fly and it can't touch me at all." Nica had been practically vibrating on the spot, so eager was she to do something "useful". She shot off into the jungle, a blur of light that passed through the foliage without a rustle or hint of movement. Then there was a yelp and Nica reappeared, looking panicked. "So, um, I found it? Only, um, it saw me? Or my light at least, and it really started getting mad. I came right back, but..." She glanced over her shoulder. "I think it followed me."

Out of the jungle shuffled the monstrous plant. Or possibly plant-like monster. Either way, it was big, at least ten feet tall, vines waving angrily around it and three leg-like clumps of roots dragging it forward. In the middle was a large bulb-like structure, like an enormous flower bud. As they watched, it cracked open, revealing rows of spines that looked for all the world like teeth.

That thing was... unlike something she'd fought before in her years as an X-man. "Nica, if the damn thing liked you enough to follow you here, get it away from here. Now! I'll help you keep it busy. You three, whatever it is you were talking about, do it fast. And keep the jet in one piece as much as possible before you get Cyclops on your ass." Sooraya called out before shifting and diving forward.

She was just in time to stop another wave of vines creeping towards the jet, chopping them little pieces before lashing out as the bulb-like structure. Razor sharp tendrils of sand cut deep into the flesh of the thing and it let out a strange sound between a moan and a scream.

"Yes ma'am!" Nica dove at the monster plant, glad she was intangible at least even if it meant she couldn't do much to hurt it. Unfortunately, it seemed to have decided the other mutants made for good snacks and it ignored her. Nettled, Nica blasted it with one of her light beams - that got its attention. The plant reared up, pulling its vines from the Blackbird and surrounds to try and snag the teen X-Man who was glowing like a strobe light.

"Well that's not disturbing at all, the thing is obviously alive and feels pain, and now she wants us to kill it." Not that Sue had much of a compunction about killing someone who was threatening her and her friends, but this was meant to be a rescue mission and the X-men were meant to be the good guys. If this was what their missions were normally like, well she was glad team science wasn't called up more often. "Ok, so while they're playing tag, we'll need a way to extract the fuel to act as an explosive, and a way to direct it and detonate it. Reed, can you and Hank rig up something to get it where we need it to go and explode while I try not to leave us stranded here with a working jet with nothing to move it?"

Reed was already on it. He ignored what everyone was saying, his hands moving frantically alongside Hank. Having a shared lab space for several years had the two working in almost perfect synchronicity. Although only a few minutes had gone by, the two scientists weren't considered the top of their field for nothing -- soon, a working prototype of their flame cattle prod..whatever (Reed was never good with names) was complete. "It won't last long," he warned, pulling the trigger of what used to be a fire extinguisher. The irony wasn't lost on him. A blue flame leaped from the top, and Reed frowned. He could actually feel the charge, which again, probably not the safest but this wasn't going to take long. "Whoever is using this needs gloves."

Sooraya sheared of another tangle of vines heading to the jet before checking the status of the science crew. Seeing the flame she shot upwards, reforming crouching on a branch. "Nica, let's herd the damn thing towards the flame thrower. You guys be ready when we get it close enough." Dissolving once more she dove to the side, this time lashing out with a multitude of sharp whips. With a loud screech the creature changed course and slowly start moving towards where Reed was standing.

In true Reed fashion, he was working frantically on another device, finishing a type of long knife just in time to attack the vines at his feet. "Um, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but we really need someone to take this machine." He looked around and widened his eyes as a thought came to him. "Sue! Use your forcefields to protect your hands! It should absorb the electrical charge long enough to use this safely." Without waiting for an answer, he tossed the machine in Sue's direction. "Whaaa?" The young woman barely had time to throw something up juggling the device between her hands as forcefields flared between them "A little more warning next time!" Slowly, bounce by painful bounce she managed to stabilise her gloves until she could grip the extinguisher. The blonde could still feel the charge surging through her body as she hefted the device up into line with the plant monster, "Work it this way a little."

"Trying!" was Nica's somewhat harried reply. Even though it couldn't grab her while she was ghosting, it was still disconcerting to have all those vines flailing at her. Plus she had to make sure it didn't hit the Blackbird or any of the others as a result of the flailing. "C'mon, plant. you want light? I've got all the light for you..." she crooned, flashing her glow on and off as she tried to lead the monster towards Sue. "Ah, Dr. Hank? A little help here? I think it's working out it can't grab me..."

Today in XProject:

February 17

2004: Love Potion Number Nine: A love potion made for Doug goes awry, as Kwannon takes it and leaks it to the school. Logan threatens Doug in the hall, and in turn is threatened by Cain on the comms. Amanda is nearly expelled and sent back to Romany Wisdom.

2005: Jay and Kyle, spurred on by an argument and mutations, clash, and Alison and Haroun come to the rescue.

2006: Jay lets slip to Bobby that Terry may be pregnant. Marius issues a general invitation to go clubbing with him and Manuel.

2007: Kaiten: Medusa arrives in Tel Aviv with an army of clerks to assist with the recovery; Angelo posts that he is all right; Pietro reflects on Minister Barath and compares him to what his father might have been; Terry and Ororo discuss the bombings whilst watching the news feed. In the aftermath of the Kansas City operation, Scott discusses Pietro joining the X-Men when his probation is over.

2008: Twisted Sister: The Stepford mystery is resolved when it turns out the girls, unable to cope with the damage to the astral plane during The Shadow King (plot), created a fifth 'sister' to hold all their negative energy and thoughts; unfortunately, things didn't stay simple and Mindee developed a life of her own; Nathan confronts Mindee, while the other Stepfords fetch Tabitha and Jane for help; Charles Xavier helps the Stepfords with their issues and it is announced on the staff comm that the Stepfords will be needing to remain at the mansion for more intensive training. During the course of a journal thread, Jay and Kevin tease each other, but later in the suite things get more serious as Jay gets unhappy about Kevin keeping things from him. Jean-Phillipe and Scott powers train, and things get a little out of hand.

2009: Jean posts an update, letting people know Jay's had something of a breakthrough and will be released from medlab, but to be non-confrontational with him. Cammie meets Garrison and discovers his powers and skill make him a perfect defence teacher for her. Jean-Paul hits a nerve when the topic of parenthood comes up with Lil. Morgan talks to Nathan about retiring from mercenary work and winds up talking about his deeper issues instead. Manuel emails a number of people: Dani to ask her to come back, which she agrees to; Amanda to thank her for Valentia's papers; Laurie regarding the conversation with Charles about her powers and Valentia, which starts another sniping match; and Leonard, to seek help for Valentia. Kurt checks on how Cammie is adjusting to the mansion.

2010: Laurie teaches Megan how to meditate as part of her powers training and later runs into Jean-Paul eating Chinese take out in the kitchen and questions him about his non-cooking.

2011: Amara escapes work for a bit with Kevin in the pursuit of coffee and the two get to know one another a bit better. Warren & JPB have lunch after seeing a few more businesses in District X that could use monetary assistance and Warren makes a suggestion that sort of surprises Jean-Paul. Vanessa and Wade made their way back to their hotel after their ice climbing lesson. They relax in the room's jacuzzi and shower respectively and give one another a tour of their respective scars. Wade and Vanessa send Warren a variety of sms messages... some seem to involve tentacles (It's best not to ask.) Jean-Paul spots a familiar face while on his way back to his place in the city and decides to stop to say hello. Laura's 'friend' isn't really all that happy about the intrusion. Kevin investigates the scent of something burning in the kitchen and finds Nick, only Nick is now John and has no recollection of who he was. Some things, however, never change and the guy still can't cook to save his life. Operation: Louisiana Lowdown: Under cover of darkness, Jubilee cases the building that the Moseley Initiative has purchased. In the process of setting observation cameras, she has plenty of time to play advice columnist for Doug, who's on the other end of the line. Afterward, while the surveillance Jubilee set up does its work, Doug and Wanda do research back at the office into the movements of the Moseley Initiative personnel, their travels creates an alarming pattern. Doug posts to the X-Force comm with some dire news about the Moseley Initiative's possible intent, there is mention of hazmat suits and deadly chemicals. Vanessa sms's Warren about jealousy and Wade.

2012: Times They Are A-Changin': Terry and Garrison share some coffee while watching the protestors; Jean-Phillipe helps Angelo and Juanita set up their stall; Yvette catches up with Tangerine at her stall and meets an interesting boy named Ty; Korvus, Megan and Meggan take a break from the legal stalls to go and visit the Arts and Crafts section; Matt, Molly and Artie examine the specialized goods for sale before Molly goes to find something to eat; Layla, Sarah and Maddie enjoy cookies and brownies in the refreshment area and Layla goes to see if she can find a real bathroom in the church; Scott, Haller and Wade try to keep an eye on the protestors and students they're chaperoning; as Molly leaves the bathroom she is inadvertently attacked by a FOH member who is caught in the throes of manifestation; Haller and Wade try to locate the students as the church blows up and split up to find the missing kids; Wade locates Molly's assailant who rams into the already damaged church; as Layla leaves the church she is caught up in the crowd and runs into a lost kid who she drags with her looking for safety; Garrison Scott and Terry make plans to contain the situation and evacuate the crowd; Yvette tries to free a woman from the embrace of a protester who had become an expanding mass of flesh; Scott notices Matt trapped by the fire and sends Haller to rescue him leaving the boy safely with Garrison; Sarah and Maddie decide to go and see if they can rescue Layla from the collapsing church; Angelo and Artie work together to distract a FoH member who had manifested a fiery aura away from the crowd before they are attacked by flying debris; Jean-Phillipe arrives and manages to save Yvette and the woman from the mass of flesh before Scott has him running to deal with an electricity manipulator; as Scott is directing the X-Men and trying to contain a gas leak he notices debris being sent flying through the air; as Yvette tries to administer first aid to the woman she and Jean-Phillipe had saved from the flesh Ty arrives and together they perform an emergency tracheotomy; Wade attempts to subdue Nick, the Molly's giant assailant with no luck; Scott and Angelo locate the telekinetic, as Scott asks Haller to restrain him he realizes there is a malevolent presence in the dust attacking emergency personnel; Korvus and Meggan help Haller down from the roof before going to investigate a flash of light coming from an alley; Sarah and Maddie return a toddler to the daycare lady, who Maddie is forced to calm down using her telepathy, before hurrying off to activate the sprinklers; Artie and Megan work to save a girl trapped under a wooden beam unaware that a FoH member has appeared behind them; Haller tries to calm down the telekinetic who attacks him instead; Layla tries to stay out of any fighting along with her charge; Jean-Phillipe manages to talk down the electricity manipulator until his powers inadvertently start a positive feedback loop which knocks him unconscious; Meggan and Korvus step and attempt to ground the electricity manipulator; Layla realizes the kid she'd been protecting had been killed by a bolt of lighting and desperately tries to use her powers to revive him; Terry arrives at the scene where Scott is trying to survive against the mist and manages to push it clear of the other X-Man; Molly comes to the church and escorts a group of geriatrics outside where Wade asks for her help against Nick; Sarah activates the sprinkler system to help Maddie who was trying to calm down the crowd; Megan and Artie manage to free the trapped girl with help from the mystery FoH member and Megan leaves to help fight the giant; Meggan and Korvus use Nandaki as a lightning rod to contain the electricity manipulator and carry Jean-Phillipe to safety; Wade, Megan and Molly manage to bring down the giant thanks to some clever teamwork; Garrison arrives and manages to knock out the telekinetic while she's busy fighting Haller; Terry forces the mist into a water-filled trench Scott had blasted into the ground dissolving the gas and containing the threat; Matt and Angelo decide to help Terry deal with requests for information by following the smell of a lost boy; Megan and Yvette manage to calm down a FoH member whose new mutation threatens to kill him; Sarah and Garrison try to determine the identity of the expanding pool of flesh by using phones in the area to gather information when Agent Brand shows up and Garrison rushes to get Sarah away from her; Angelo, Terry and Matt find the lost boy who had developed a mutation and help the family deal with the repercussions for themselves and blowback from their fellow FoH members; Jim finds Layla who is near unconscious after bringing the little boy back to life; Scott talks to Jean-Phillipe in the aftermath and decides it's time he was promoted to full team; Marie-Ange visits Jean-Phillipe in the medlab and is almost concerned about him. Artie realises it's his birthday and isn't sure if he wishes Annalee was there or not. Vanessa and Adrienne make plans to have a night in at Vanessa's.

2013: Tropic of Capricorn: Garrison and Adrienne sit down to dinner in the Avalon camp where the main topic of conversation is Magneto's plan for a peaceful mutant haven.

2014: Matt and Topaz spend the afternoon browsing a bookstore in the city.

2015: Matt emails Warren to tell him that he will be taking up the mansion's offer and moving in there. While at the country club Jessica and Warren run into one another and retire to a private room for an adult play-date. Rogue posts about a cat shelter she has found and intends to volunteer at. Warren is bored and asks Miles to come and entertain him. Scott meets Monet at the entrance hall to give the new arrival a tour of the mansion. Into The Fog: Jennie visits Wade in the medlab and something he says leads to a revelation. Monet meets Roxy and is intrigued by her mutation.

2016: Hope emails Doug and Wade, asking them to teach her some pickpocketing skills. Miles and Maya talk about the Slendermen at the former site of the Askew World portal.

2017: Gabriel emails X-Force to let them know he’ll be away for a time and to ask them to feed the X-Force fish, which confuses everyone, since they didn’t know there was an office fish.

2018: Kurt drops in on Topaz, and it’s somehow less successful than his first visit; later, a very drunk Topaz tries to text Tandy for a ride, but ends up with Ty instead.

XProject Announcements and News:

Finals: June 12-20.

Last Day of School: June 20.

New School Year Starts: September 5.

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