|Moment of Awesome - The Stepford Cuckoos: Does taking down an evil alternate version of Topaz count as a family outing? For Fourteen, Emma Frost and Fourteen's 'daughters' Ruby and Garnet, apparently it does.
~Does this count as family bonding?~ Ruby and Garnet asked over their tight link to Emma and Fourteen. The pooled psychic potential of eight bodies thrummed under the surface of the link, white-hot and almost eager to be put to use. ~I mean, in a very literal sense...~
~When we survive this,~ 14 shot back, splitting her attention five different ways over the various groups and keeping one very dedicated eye on what the future Topaz was doing, ~I'm going to have to remember to smack you. Preferably with Phoebe. That was weapons-grade bad, and whoever has been teaching you should feel bad.~
It was an annoyingly good pun, and 14 was somewhat upset she hadn't thought of it first, truth be told. Her world had spun on its axis in the last few days, though, and even ignoring the whole 'cloned experimental kids from the future thing' (someone was very very dead, she just didn't know who yet), things were different. Emma knew, now, and probably so did everyone else. In some ways a relief, in others a very new, very scary and very dangerous new world.
Emma was talking to her now. Another new and unexpected turn. And Emma was apparently willing to at least try. A part of her screamed it was too little too late, but... the rest of her was annoyingly happy about the whole thing, and others were starting to... ew, god, notice. Something to deal with after the latest end of the world crisis.
So, bereft of familiar ground and thrown about without any of her previous walls or comforting defenses, 14 fell back to what she was best at: snark.
She was very good at the snark.
~It's a Frost family trait,~ Emma sent. ~Snark, terrible puns in times of danger and truly exquisite taste in shoes.~ She kept her attention turned mostly outwards, trusting the feel of the diamond-like net of telepathic connections between all of them. ~I haven't seen any sign of Topaz the second yet. Can any of you find a trace of her?~ She continued to send her consciousness questing through Avalon, trying to find a mind both familiar and unfamiliar.
Ruby and Garnet's thoughts were tinged with amusement, picking up on the faintest hint of curiosity coming off Emma. ~I had the both of you to teach me, of course I have a shoe collection that lesser people would die to have,~ they sent down the link as they observed the mental 'landscape' around them. ~I don't sense her, but there's...something odd. Can't quite figure it out.~ Their focus sharpened, and they paused, remembering what they knew about their mother. ~Sophie,~ they said, pulling at the single strand of the five-in-one. ~Are you seeing what we're seeing here?~
Sophie had always been the 'mom' that they wanted to deal with, after all.
There was a weird twinge at being addressed as Sophie when being looked at as a whole. Had she disassociated that much in the future? or was that just a quirk she allowed for her... daughters?
...there would be time enough to figure it out later, because she could absolutely see what Ruby and Garnet were getting at.
~Oh that is subtle,~ 14 said, impressed despite herself. ~Here, take a look at this, Emma.~ A split attention gently guided Emma's focus towards the anomaly that the future girls had been poking at.
~She's linked up to her creatures on an astral level, and every bit of combat they get in creates ripples through the astral plane. So far, so normal.~ She very carefully slipped a razor-thin probe into the fabric of their surroundings, teasing it until a dark purple strand of something poked out into existence. ~But she's using the disturbance to hide empath probes. Nearly completely impossible to detect, and more impossible to find.~ 14 grinned. ~Well, unless you're us. Obviously.~