Mutants and Molotovs
|Mutants and Molotova|
|Dates run:||October 31, 2005 - November 2, 2005|
|Read the logs:||Mutants and Molotovs|
You know, either this is going to be a fabulous education in global political culture for the kids, or this is going to be a monumental clusterfuck for everyone. I'm hoping for the former, but I'm not a natural optimist.
A field trip to the G8 summit in Seattle is planned when the 'mutant question' is put on the agenda, but when the city explodes in rioting the X-Men are called in to try and help contain the situation.
Discovering that mutant issues were going to be on the agenda at the G8 summit, Nathan and Jean decided to organize a field trip for both current students and some of the resident graduates, making use of their contacts in the political and NGO spheres to arrange for attendance at a variety of workshops, meetings, and lectures. Upon arriving at the Seattle airport the night before the summit was due to begin, however, the students and staff quickly discovered that tensions were running high. Jennie exchanged words with an anti-mutant religious extremist, while Jubilee and Forge observed that the number of chaperones was probably a preventative measure in case of trouble. Nathan, profoundly disturbed by the mix of political groups he was seeing in the airport, consulted with Wanda on getting to the hotel as quickly as possibly, and was further alarmed when Marie-Ange informed him she'd had some sort of vague precognitive moment that made her think trouble was on its way.
That night, they stuck mostly to the hotel and the immediate area. Nathan brought a morose Jennie a cupcake to celebrate her birthday, and checked on Manuel, who was still suffering the aftereffects of his broken link with Amanda. Angelo and Rahne watched the news and discovered that what they saw at the airport was being reflected elsewhere in the city. Doug attempted to help Marie-Ange narrow down what she was sensing, but they were unable to make sense of the tarot's symbology beyond's Doug's guess at 'Odysseus'. Nathan's severely dysfunctional precognition picked up a few vague images when he tried to meditate, but nothing helpful. Jean, on the phone with Scott, discovered that her husband had a bad feeling about the situation as well, and promised to be careful.
The next morning, Wanda and Forge took a look at the city from the balcony of the hotel, and Wanda discovered an alarming view via her powers - countless chaos strings about to break. On the streets, Jean and Nathan, trying to get a sense of the mood before taking the students to any of their scheduled meetings, saw the Friends of Humanity start a small riot at one of the summit sites. They retreated to the hotel to call the school, fearing that the rioting would spread. Their worst fears soon came to pass, and by that evening, close to forty thousand people, an unknown number of mutants among them, were on the streets of Seattle.
The X-Men's assistance was requested by the President, and the team leaders agreed that all team members and trainees were going to be needed for this job. They immediately took the Blackbird to Seattle, arranging to meet the X-Men and trainees already in the city. Back at the hotel, Nathan reassured an anxious Jubilee that she'd do just fine in the work to come that night, then spoke to several of the students before leaving to meet the X-Men at the airfield: Angelo, to leave him in charge; Manuel, to help him by keeping an empathic eye on the students; and Marius, to make sure that the boy was not going to find himself at the mercy of his appetite at any point that night.
At the airfield, Nathan also reassured a Seattle police captain that the X-Men were used to cooperating with the authorities. The X-Men landed and were given their specific assignments (and police surcoats so as to not draw undue attention to themselves), and Scott and Jean stole a quiet moment together before they headed out into the chaos.
Nearly twenty-four straight hours of riot-control work followed for the team. Sam and Shiro talked down a group of angry mutants, while Doug and Marie-Ange helped the riot police disperse an impromptu rally peacefully with the help of Doug's linguistic skills. Bobby had a somewhat distressing encounter with a concussed and rampaging young hydrokinetic who reminded him strongly of John, but managed to stop him and get him to medical attention. Kurt and Warren were attacked by rioters who focused on them as visual mutants, but managed to get the injured they had been helping to safety, as well as themselves. Scott and Jean discouraged looters, including one who was very sensibly frightened off by a show of telekinesis. Nathan and Wanda found themselves facing off against a number of mutants in a crowd of rioters, including a very aggressive plasma projector. Scott and Jean helped the fire department subdue a pyrokinetic, while Jubilee was rescued from rioters by a couple of fellow young mutants where the riot team she was working with was overrun. At the summit site, Cain and Alison found themselves holding the line, and Alison rediscovered a powers trick that allowed her to produce a calming lightshow that encouraged the crowd to disperse peacefully.
Stuck back at the hotel, the students amused themselves in a variety of ways. Forge, Marius and Jennie got into the mini-bar and discussed the political situation. Others, like Clarice, helped out at the triage centers. In general, the students recognized the severity of the situation and wisely chose not to venture out into the streets.
Late the follow evening, the monorail was being used to transport evacuees out of the city core. Unbeknownst to anyone, the track had been damaged earlier in the day. When the train reached the damaged section, it began to collapse. Bobby, the closest to the scene, called for help and tried to bridge the gap with ice and catch the train. Nathan, not far away, arrived at speed, adding his telekinesis to the effort. They were both so exhausted that it was not until Marie-Ange arrived and managed to reach a new level with her powers, projecting a substitute for the damaged piece of track, that the train was stabilized for long enough for the other X-Men to start evacuating the passengers. Rioters, seeing mutants using their powers openly, advanced on the scene, forcing some of the team to concentrate on holding them back rather than evacuating. As he assisted in translating for the non-English speaking evacuees as they were taken off the train, Doug saw Marie-Ange hit by a precognitive moment, and when she was able to mutter 'Polyphemus', he realized what the vision back at the beginning of the trip had meant. He yelled out a warning to Scott, but was too late; Scott, trying desperately to coordinate the X-Men's efforts from the middle of the rioters, was attacked by a rioter who flung a Molotov cocktail at his head. Scott saw it too late, and although he managed to blast it, it exploded too close, shattering his visor. Jean reacted instantly, flying over to support him and lend him her eyes for long enough to let him give the orders necessary to let the X-Men push back the rioters so that the evacuation could continue. As the National Guard arrived, the X-Men got the last of the people off the train and Nathan pushed it off the track, shielding the crowd from the debris. Cain and Alison arrived in time to see Scott being loaded into an ambulance, and Alison took over where he left off, directing the X-Men in clean-up efforts.
Soon afterwards, the rioting died down. Shiro re-encountered the young mutant woman he and Sam had talked down the previous day and they had a contemplative moment about their experiences. Back at the hangar, the X-Men returned to the Blackbird to collapse, and the Secret Service brought the students to join them for a faster ride home. Elsewhere in Seattle, Alex arrived at the hospital to which Scott had been taken, to hear from Jean that his brother was still in surgery.
Trivia and Meta
Terry and Manuel spent some of the time during the riot getting drunk and playing strip poker, which led to Terry and Bobby breaking up for a period of time. Again.
The plot as a whole was of course inspired by the WTO riots in Seattle, but the scene at the monorail was loosely inspired by the monorail scene in Batman Begins.