MoonWraith Casey Adventures

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MoonWraith Casey Adventures

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:02 pm

MoonWraith Casey Adventures

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Profile: http://www.simming.net/characters.php?id=7593

Welcome to the FSF site archive thread for MoonWraith's solo and joint posts. While the 'live' mission posts reside in a Yahoo group, I think that it's a good thing if our FSF folks can easily enjoy our adventures. This might result in a few duplicate posts, if other players follow suit. But hey, the scrollbar is your friend. In the absence of 'master mission threads' being repicated at this site, then this is next best option. - PSF
Last edited by Silas Blue on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:05 pm

1 - Hunt Within A Hunt
----------------------------

The beautiful Colorado Rockies were nothing short of a nightmare to one young teen boy. A mutant brought here in shackles, he had been released to run for his life from a twisted huntsman.

Preferring to enjoy a daylight hunt, the very well equipped team gave the lad several hours head start. His emerging mutant powers posed a sporting threat, but they weren't so far advanced as to be unmanageable. It was a rather pleasant day. The veteran team deployed dogs and trackers after breakfast. Not in any particular hurry, they soon plied their skills successfully and the chase began.

But something went awry. One can always expect losses during mutant hunts. That's what preserved the ultimate thrill in the experience. But this time was different. Systematically, one tracker after another fell out of contact. A couple reported that their dogs barked anxiously, but nothing was in sight. Their supporting base camp reviewed the body camera footage, but nothing looked wrong before the signals ceased. They called to the lead huntsman, "Infrared scans are clear! Nothing but a couple of deer and small animals!"

The angry huntsman wiped away sweat, "We were given bad data on what that boy can do!" He ordered, "Team! Tight formation! Pick pick up the pace!" Using the latest tech gear, the hunting party hastened towards the other blips on their topology maps. Then, within loose sight of each other, they pressed forward.

Not long after, one of them anxiously called, "There he is!" Gunfire erupted.

"Hah! I got a piece of him! I've got him in my-" The call was interrupted.

The huntsman called, "Charlie Two!" He looked off to his right. Through the trees he had seen the man only moments before. "Everyone converge on latest pip!"

"Boss! I found Charlie Two!"

"Show me!" A tracker's body camera passed video feed. It fallen body was definitely wearing their camos and gear, but the body was withering. A wispy smoke arose from it. Driven by a spark of panic, he charged forward. "Shoot on sight! No capture!" He then whispered, "Okay, kid. This is it." It wasn't long before he reached a body, but it wasn't the mutant. The same mummifying effect was happening here, too. He checked his wrist screen just in time to see the last tracker's signal disappear.

His base camp called, "Lead! Retreat! We'll pull you out."

Spotting a blood trail, the infuriated man dashed forward, "No way!" He then spotted the mutant. The boy had collapsed, bleeding and no longer able to run. Breathing heavily, he staggered forward, gun at the ready. "You see this?"

"Affirm, Lead. Finish him!"

Keeping weapon trained, the huntsman again wiped the sweat from his brow. "I don't know how the hell you did that, but you're never going to do it again!" As he raised his rifle to aim, a powerful grab seized him from behind. Not having time to call out, large fangs sank into his spine. Moments later, his eyes stared upwards in death.

The mutant boy saw the body tip forward and then crash to the ground. Through his pain, all he could see was a cloudy distortion in front of him. Then, a young girl dressed white stepped out of it. Her eyes looked cold, but her voice was reassuring, "I'm a friend."

"Who are... you!"

Rushing to kneel close by, she touched the side of her tech glasses, "Skywolf, do you see this?"

A voice radio'd to the earpiece, "Affirm. We're on our way!"

She gently laid her hand on him, "I don't know how to tend your wounds, but medics are on the way."

He shook his head, "No! I just want to be left alone! I'm not taking any sides!"

"You'll die without medical help. And you don't have to take sides."

"It's..." He winced with pain, "A lie... always a lie. You want something."

The girl gently took hold under his jaw. Again, her voice was gentle, "There are some good men in this world who just want to help."

Taken aback, the boy couldn't figure her out. Her appearance, she didn't look like a commando or military. "Who are you? You look... like a fashion socialite. What's your na- ame?"

There was only a faint trace of a smile. In the distance behind her, an advanced helicopter rose above the tree line. "Be still." To try and distract him, she obliged, "I am Moonwraith." She settled back for a moment, "I don't blame you for not trusting. In your place, I probably wouldn't either."

Soon after, the high tech chopper roared in and decelerated with powerful engines. No sooner did it hard down did three people jump out. Two of them tended to the boy while the leader ran to the girl.

She pleaded, "I'm sorry! I couldn't prevent his injuries!"

He nodded, wearing a flight helmet, "Hey, you did fine."

An urgent call crackled over his head phones, "Captain! Contact!"

Moonwrath searched his eyes, "What's wrong?"

"Go, pilot!"

"I've got Sentinel power up three clicks north! A big one!"

The leader ordered to the medics, pointing at the chopper, "Move it!" They slapped foam patches over his wounds an spliced in an IV while everyone helped carry. "How could we have not detected it?"

"Sir, It's in the river, must have been powered down and cooled off for days."

As they slid the boy into an evac medical bed, the leader, "This was a trap. This whole hunt wasn't about killing a mutant for sport. It was to bait other mutants into a rescue. And we walked right into it. Pilot! Any incoming?"

"Negative, Sir. No arty or missiles. But we can't lift off without becoming line of sight!"

As white sound negated much of the rotor and engine noise, Moonwraith could speak more in a normal voice. Fear welled up inside, "It's me they want, isn't it?"

"No. I doubt they know you even exist. They just wanted any mutant who takes up arms."

"Pilot! Do we have radio to base?"

"Negative! They're jamming us! Wait one... jamming has stopped. Inbound signal."

"Pass it."

"... to unidentified helicopter. Do not attempt to take off, or you will be shot down. You are under arrest for kidnapping and murder! Repeat... do not attempt to lift off, or you will be destroyed!"

The captain quietly surmised, "The blackmail begins. Pilot, status of the sentinel."

"Powered up and starting to move, Sir!"

Tortured by anxiety, Moonwraith glanced to the wounded boy, then to the captain. "They'll kill him to cover up. And if I don't surrender, they'll blame you!"

He sighed, "Get out of here, Moonwraith. I knew the risks. Go on, the sentinel can't detect you."

"No! There's got to be something we can do!"

The pilot anxiously looked back, "Sir? Jamming has resumed!"

The captain fought to concentrate. "If this is a capture, then someone must be passing orders to the sentinel. And if they're jamming signals, then they must watching from inside this zone. Otherwise, they wouldn't know when to stop jamming to transmit. Pilot! Give me stats on that broadcast!" Mere seconds later, a display appeared on his HUD. "Bingo. One source, no decoys or relays. He pointed to a panel map. "Moonwraith! Sentinel puppet masters are here! Can you take 'em out?"

She glanced to the distance, seeing the top of a giant figure moving towards them. "I don't think I can cross that distance in time!"

"Acknowledged. Okay, here's the drill. Pilot, we need to buy Moonwraith time. Go full evasive. Lift off! Moonwraith! Go!"

The pilot punched in command symbols to the helicopter's tactical computer. Topology maps displayed, countermeasures armed, and the engines roared to emergency power.

Moonwraith vanished, fleeing the chopper. She didn't like it, but things were already in motion. Arguing about it could only court disaster. With everything she had, the phase-spider moonwraith bounded off to launch a desperate attack.

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:07 pm

2 - Slipping Away, Violently
----------------------------------

Tariana had known vicious, up close battles many times. But none of them compared to this situation. In order to attack whoever was commanding the Sentinel, she had to race directly past it in the opposite direction. As her Oberon rescue captain had pointed out, the monstrous construct wouldn't detect her. And because of that, she passed within a few meters of it.

Although she kept her purpose keenly in focus, she couldn't help but think, ~How can anyone fight such a thing?~ It was a lonely feeling, not being able to radio to them through all the jamming. Probably it was for the best, though. Even using burst mode, her transmissions would be detected.

Aboard the tactical support helicopter, everyone strapped in as best possible. The medics inflated cushions to protect their wounded patient. "Hang on, young man!"

The assault captain took the copilot's seat, "I don't care if you dig up turnips, keep this bird low!"

"Sir. Autopilot low-fly is engaged. I'm just pointing the way."

Now at full gate, the inbound Sentinel analyzed:
...CONDITION(TARGET EVADING)=TRUE...
...CONDITION INSTRUCTION=ATTACK...
...TARGET-TYPE=VTOL VEHICLE, CLASS=SKYWOLF...
...ASSEMBLE RESOURCES, WEAPON=INTERCEPT MISSILES, TYPE=SELF GUIDED...
...LAUNCH READY=TRUE...

Aboard the chopper, the pilot consulted his own onboard tactical computer.
...RECOMMEND ENABLE ACTIVE AUTO ECM...
...TOPOLOGICAL EVASION POINTS, CALCULATED...
...DIRECT EXPOSURE ESTIMATE=ZERO...
...ENGINE TURBO ENDURANCE NOW AT 3:29...

The captain fed the chopper's tac systems into his HUD. "Here it comes!"
...MISSILE LAUNCH DETECTED...

The Skywolf veered hard through valleys between small hills. As his Tac computer indicated, he made a hard slowdown, pressing into a rotor enforced landing on the steep slope. The incoming missiles, flying too fast to make the hard turn, flashed by and then exploded. Even the ones coming from overhead couldn't swing down sharply enough.
...NO DAMAGE...ARMOR & ROTORS INTACT...
The pilot then jerked hard at the controls to get moving again. They had bought some precious time before the Sentinel could design and manufacture the next attack.

The lumbering Sentinnel recalculated:
...WEAPON PURSUIT PARAMETERS, REDEFINED...
...OPTIMAL WEAPON TYPE=DRONE WITH HVAR...
...ALLOCATING MATERIALS...PROGRAMMING GUIDANCE...
...LAUNCH READY=TRUE...

The Skywolf's captain called out, "Here comes round two!" This time it was a two pronged attack. Missiles made a high arc into the sky. "If we slow down or stop, the bolts at angels twelve will nail us. If we maintain speed, the drones will be on our tail."

The pilot kept the ship streaking away. "Any chance we might keep this up until Sentinel runs out of weapon playdough?"

"Not likely. Yet, with all the missiles he's going to have to fire wide to keep turning us back..." This time around, the Skywolf boosted radar jamming to maximum and launched sensor blinding flares at the last second. Not being a pure gunship, however, they couldn't keep that up for long. The crew was aware that, in battle, mere seconds could feel endless. Yet, they silently hoped that somehow Moonwraith would come through.

Moonwraith Tariana made excellent time, however. She had never tracked distances like this before. Peering into normal space, she got her bearings. There it was, a large command vehicle camouflaged in a ravine.

Inside, a team of combat specialists sat in the glow of consoles under dim cabin lighting.
"I give their defences another thirty seconds to burnout."
"Order the Sentinel to use proximity fuses, next attack. If we can't take them alive, then I at least want bodies to autopsy. We need to know which mutants helped them."
"Affirm, proxity, Sir."
"I'm not sorry they killed off those perverse hunters."
"They served their purpose."

They were all stunned to hear their security guard cry out in pain. He then hurled across the cabin onto one of their consoles. They thought they saw something in the corner where he was standing, but then it was gone. "The leader hit the intercom button, "Intruder!" The perimeter guards outside immediately dashed towards the vehicle.

Then, on the other end of the cabin, a technician cried out and likewise flew out of her seat into the others. Lighting panels shattered almost at random. In short order, the cabin was illuminated by scores of console buttons. The air filled with the smell of electrial shorts.
"Send a distress!"
"We can't! We're jamming!"
"Who ARE you?"

When all but the obvious leader fell still, Tariana seized him in the near darkness. "If my friends die, YOU die!" Gun butts hammered at the hatchways outside. Nobody had unlocked them yet. It didn't seem to matter to this unseen assassin, though.

"I can't! Only the only technic-"

"-Wrong answer!"

He screamed in pain as something tore his flesh open. "All right! All right! The sequence... First I have to..." Bleeding profusely, he struggled over to a console. No sooner did he push the dead body out of the way did he get shoved through the air into another station.

"That's not the Sentinel control!" That was largely a guess on her part. She understood nothing about this technology. But she had seen him order a technician to command the Sentinel, and that technician had acknowledged. Once again, a painful non-human grip took hold, this time from behind. She whispered, "They die... you die."

He pressed several buttons and then vocalized, "Sentinel! Stand down! Override code Sigma Kelvin Nine!"

Tariana knew by the momentary clearing of her own radio that enemy jamming had paused momentarily. She looked at one of the few remaining intact screens. Indeed, the giant robot halted and its missiles went ballistic into the ground. She very much wanted to order him to turn off the radio jamming, but she was fearful of this man. That and her technical ignorance might give him a chance to gain the upper hand. Her words gave him a cold chill, "Thank you."

"No! Spare me and I'll help you!"

The wraith spider keeping him well pinned, she expressed her doubt, "What can YOU do? Nothing."

Very much sensing that he was about to die, he called out, "The CHILDREN!"

Her voice remained cold, "What children?"

"How do you think we've been finding young mutants?" There was a silence. "Let me give you the secret, then you spare me. That's a fair bargain!"

"You have until your goons come inside."

The Sentinel commander cursed to himself. His own troops would force her to kill and then flee. In this instance, stalling for time was not an option. "We compile a list. Everyone who goes to the doctor or hospital gets a blood test. Government has a secret regulation. All DNA gets registered." A main hatch began to manually release, and he began to panic, "The look for genetic markers! Possible mutants get put on a watch list! We have that list! I can get it for you!"

Flashlight beams pierced the smokey haze as commandos clamored in.

"I can get it for myself." Fangs momentarily sunk into the man.

Within a half hour, the widespread radio jamming fell silent. Tariana made a radio call to Skywolf circling in the distance. They landed near the enemy command post. It was littered with bodies. She stood waiting outside as the captain hastened out of the ship. "Are you all right?"

He sighed through a tense laugh, "That... was close! But yes. You did it!"

She held up a couple of grenades that she removed from fallen guards. "I was going to torch the place, but I figured you'd want to take a look at it."

"I wish we could." He ran to a hatchway and looked in.

"Sorry. I still trashed the place up."

The captain nodded, "I'm going to hate myself in the morning for doing this, but we've got to evac. Sentinel recovery forces are inbound like bats out of hell. If we don't leave now, we won't be able to."

She studied him, "Would you stay if they weren't coming?"

He gave her a kindly smile, "At the expense of that wounded boy in there? No." Even he would doubt his own words, so he added, "I'd stay behind and send Skywolf back, extract what ever secrets I could."

Tariana gave a satisfied nod, then started her way to the helicopter. "I think I have a secret for you."

Quickly afterwards, the battered tactical ship lifted off and pulled away from the command vehicle, now a raging inferno.

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:09 pm

3 - Elder Chat
-----------------

For almost a week following the Colorado rescue, Tariana spent much of her time doing something she disliked, waiting. The captain and pilot of the Skywolf, on the other hand, spend long days and evenings in debriefings. The flight medics had whisked the wounded mutant boy away to who knows where. Tariana was 'invited' to stay at an Oberon mansion in Sister City. Its furnishings were lavish, mostly European imported classics. Dressed in perfectly fitted elegance provided for her, she coursed the gardens, the terraces, and the libraries. Paintings, sculptures, dining ware fit for kings, this place would become an instant museum if left unoccupied. But enough was enough. She announced her intentions to depart.

That evening, she dined alone with a man whom she assumed to be an elder in the organization. He was somewhat elderly, highly distinguished in appearance and demeanor. After a patient, quiet meal, a staff waiter refilled cups and glasses. "I truly wish you would change your mind about leaving us."

Tariana swirled her cup lightly, "Mr. Williams, I don't fit in here. I'm sure that your good captain would agree with me."

The man glanced down with a light chuckle, "Hmh..." He then sat back, "His evaluation of you is, you're a keen, completly untrained predator. What you need is training."

"I'm not suited for fighting giant, herking robots or flying around with commando teams. Good sir, I already have a useful purpose in life, one that I can't do while hanging around here."

"Hunting down serial killers, kidnappers, human traffickers?"

"You've got it. I'm helping people who can't help themselves, who don't stand a chance otherwise."

"The problem is, Tariana, other people can take that role. Normals, they can be equipped. But there are desperate situations in this world that beg your unique abilities."

She shook her head, staring off, "Can we walk around?"

"Certainly!" The pair adjourned to an outside terrace. The moon shone brightly near three quarter phase.

"Mr. Williams... I don't know if my biological nature has colored my decision."

"If I may be honest, that is what I've wondered as well."

"I'm a solitary creature. Yes, I work with others, but it's always on my terms." She turned to him and slightly threw up her hands, "I'm not cut out to be a good little soldier who follows orders in battle. I follow my instincts, and lots of times that's different than people tell me."

"Understood."

"It's not always a bad thing. I don't mean to insult real soldiers."

"I know you don't. But practice and discipline are part of working with a team. You need to learn this. The world is changing rapidly. The day might come where you'll need to work with a team. But you won't know how and there won't be time to learn. At least consider training, even if you can't bring yourself to accept real missions."

Tariana asked with honest curiosity, "Where? With the Oberons?"

"We'd love to have you, I admit. You saved a rescue team that would have otherwise been lost. But, I must confess, we're really not suited to support mutant affairs."

She turned to him and folded her arms, "Do you mean to say that I'm too hot a potato to handle?"

He laughed, "That would be part of it. But you need to learn from those who can teach you best."

"Don't you dare mention the Xavierians! That would put a big, red Mangeto target right in the middle of my back! Nooo thank you... Sir."

He sighed, "Tariana, all I can tell you is, you've two choices. You can play it safe and hide from the world that needs you. Or, you can take the risk that comes with helping it."

She sat back against an ornate stone partition. After staring up at the heavens for a few moments, she blew out a deep sigh. Staring off, she slowly shook her head. "People are afraid of what they can't control. I can't trust them." She made eye contact, "And that's from experience, not fear. In the end..." She stood close in front of him, "Be honest with me, Sir. People like me... what are their downfalls?"

He nodded, gesturing for her to come take a seat. "It happens different ways. One, betrayal by those closest to you... people you could never believe capable of it. Two, the Tom Horn syndrome."

"Who?"

"The American old west. The lesson-legend about his life was, people were quite happy to see him eliminate the worst outlaws and threats of the day. But after they were gone, suddenly he was too much a political liability. He was framed for a crime and executed for it."

Tarian stared off, "When people are sure they could capture and hold me..."

"Or a third possibility, you've heard of Uriah the Hittite?"

She nodded, "King David sent him to die in the front lines of battle so he could steal his wife, Bathsheba. When the time came, the other soldiers backed away, leaving him to be slaughtered."

The Oberon nodded.

The girl was almost irked, "Geeze! Then why ask me to walk into that?

"Tariana, I would have you be aware of, and avoid those fates."

She challenged, "HOW?"

"Friends, real ones. They do exist, and they are out there."

She shook her head, "I don't buy the 'If you don't join a side, you'll die', or worse yet, 'If you don't join us you're our enemy'!"

"And that's why I think you'll make it. You're not the kind to blindly join political camps. Your wraith aspect seems to keep you from ever letting your guard down. And, you seem to pick your friends well." He took her hand, "Please consider Xavier's lot. Don't let your fears tempt you into prejudging them."

She sighed and stepped away. "I need to think about this." She looked back over her shoulder, "Fly me home?"

He gave a gentle nod, "Very well. But may I make a request? The mutant boy has been asking to see you. Would you mind paying him a visit?" She hesitated, something that he read well, "It could be under the dim light of a night sky, if you're afraid he'll learn your face too well."

"I admit to thinking that. I feel selfish and ashamed for it. His need is far more important than that."

"Here we are again, Tariana. Play it safe, or take the risk to help people in need."

"I'll see him."

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:10 pm

4 - The Tender Murderess
--------------------

Nothing makes the stay in a hospital more bearable than exchanging those ridiculous gowns for some fairly cool scrubs. Whether it was a planned bargain on the part of nurses to gain cooperation or not, the young mutant teen had accomplished it. He opened the curtains to let in the emerging moonlight, then he gingerly laid down on the bed.

Not long after he settled and closed his eyes, there was a soft knock at the door. "Hey, you up for a visitor?"

"Hey! It's you!" Ignoring his aches, the boy rushed out of bed to her. "Come in! Come in!"

Tariana gave a smile, "Well! You certainly are healing up quickly!"

"Yeah, I feel a lot better."

"Should you be up?"

"Oh heck, I'm checking out, tomorrow. They even unhooked me from that I-V."

Tariana folded her arms, "Did they have a choice?"

"Well... maybe I did demand it just a little." He settled a bit. "They wouldn't tell me very much. They told me that you were okay, but nothing more."

She guided him back to the bed, "Lay down." She then sat on the side of the bed. "We escaped. That's the important thing."

"How long have you been with these Oberon dudes?"

She chuckled, "Dudes...", then gave a shake of the head, "I'm not one of them. I was just doing them a favor."

"You're leaving, then?" He received a nod. "Maybe I could... is it some place I could come, too?"

One of the doctors had cautioned Tariana that he might have rebound emotions in this situation. "You won't want to be near me any time soon. I made some serious enemies because of what I did out there."

The boy quieted, "You killed that guy."

"My friend, I killed everyone. I slaughtered them all."

There was a pause, "Well... it was do or die. You had to!"

Tariana stared deeply into his eyes, "But it still was upsetting, wasn't it?" He didn't answer. She took the liberty of leaning across his chest, almost like a lover. "Maybe they all didn't have to die. Maybe some of them were pushed into what they were doing. And now it's too late. They'll never have a chance to change their hearts."

Although a bit flustered by her closeness, he still balked, "Change their hearts? They can't! They're normals!"

She tipped her head, still speaking softy, "Oh yeah? That Skywolf pilot, you saw him?"

"Sure! He was awesome!"

"Years ago, he piloted a military gunship. He was in a firefight with insurgents... insurgents using innocent human shields."

"He fired?"

"Freely." She let her reply sink in. "It haunted him, tormented him. If he had been gunned down because he 'deserved it', then he wouldn't be around today rescuing people like you." She placed her hand atop his chest, "People... can... change. And then there are those like me out there. I am part monster. In battle, I kill on reflex, no emotion about it."

"You're no monster! Everything about you is beautiful!"

"Is it?" For a moment, a large ghostly creature manifested over the bed. Startled and alarmed, the boy tried to move away, but she took hold of him. "Still think I'm so beautiful?" The apparition faded away and she stared into his eyes until he calmed. She then eased her hold.

Breathing hard, the boy collected his wits, "I wasn't expecting that!" He studied her eyes. "Okay. That still doesn't mean you're wrong!"

"Killers sew the seeds of their own destruction. I don't understand how that works, but history seems prove that to be true. If I am going to keep my humanity, then I must conquer the killing tendency within."

"Did the Oberons tell you that?"

"As a matter of fact, they did. So have others whom I trust and respect."

"You really feel like you're some murderer?"

"No. I don't. And that's what truly frightens me. I should."

"So what are you gonna do?"

She relaxed in a tired sigh, "I don't know."

"The Oberons want some mentor to teach me how to live as a mutant."

"What's the matter? That solution makes too much sense?"

Duly teased, the boy squinted, "And what about you? Did they offer the same thing?"

Tariana groaned lightly, "They want me to enroll in a Xavier school."

And you don't want to? The boy became animated, "Hey! If you don't have to go to school, then I don't have to have a mentor!"

Caught in her hypocrisy, she grit her teeth and gave him a playful shove, "You! Ohhh!" The two wrestled laughingly for a few moments and then shared honest eye contact. Tariana knew that it was a critical moment for him. "If I give the Xavier school a try, will you give a mentor a try?"

He squinted distrustfully, holding up a hand, "Shake on it!"

With a growling smile, she took his hand, "You... are spunky, bucko!"

The two shared a little more of the evening. But eventually, they had to part. Surprisingly, the lad seemed to understand by instinct that he couldn't cling to her.

Before leaving the hospital, she asked for a call. Over a secure line she announced, "Mr. Williams... I've had that change of heart. How do I contact the Xavier group?"

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:11 pm

5 - The Enemy Analyzes
-----------------------------

Deep within the bowels of Sentinel Strategic Command, a team of forensic experts presented their findings to their director. He asked, "First question, who hit us?"

"Sir, we're certain that the vehicle was an Oberon Skywolf. Based on the Sentinel's sensor recordings, we even suspect who the combat pilot was. Very experienced... very talented... aggressive flying style."

"No. That doesn't add up, according to your report. Both we and the bait hunting party suffered one hundred percent fatalities. Oberons don't go for the complete kill. Neither do the X-Men."

"A mutant force, Sir. We suspect that they partnered with external mutants. Our spies find no trace of mutants with that ability within Oberon membership."

"Who, then?"

There were tired sighs around the room. "We don't know. Possibly new players."

"Elaborate."

"Sir, our sentinel detected nothing. Whatever seized control of our mobile command did so without using any significant external firepower."

Another analyst added, "We have no transmitted sensor warnings because we were jamming signals. The enemy incinerated the mobile before leaving, so there are no A-V recordings. We know one thing. The enemy had no time to extract tech."

The director shook his head, "There is no way... no WAY X-Men or Oberons would pass up the opportunity to grab our secrets. And the Sentinel. It was wide open, and they didn't take so much as a potshot at it!"

"We surprised them, Sir. They weren't ready."

"Obviously, they were ready enough to annihilate an entire team of advanced controllers and their escorts! How could you have been so stupid as to leave them vulnerable?"

"Sir, the Sentinel was to be their defence. If it could have detected the enemy mutants, then our field command would have come to no harm."

"Are there any forensics, anything at all to help us identify the mutants?"

One tech had been quiet up to this point. "There was only one mutant."

Surprised looks came his way. "And how can you confidently conclude this?"

"From data recorded before jamming started. Hunter radio signals, Sir. Their team was wiped out one member at a time. By their positions, the attacker usually chose the nearest target from the last one." There was a pause. "Whatever it was, it has the following characteristics. It is either stealthed or invisible. It's moderately fast moving. And..." He looked to the director, "It is one hundred percent lethal."

"And just how did the Oberons know about the hunt?"

"Sir, that was our own doing. Our very purpose in sponsoring the hunt was to lure rescuing mutants into a trap. If mutants heard about it, then so would the Oberons. The simple truth is, Sir, whoever showed up outmaneuvered us. True, they didn't damage the Sentinel or salvage any tech secrets from us. But they did accomplish their rescue and annihilate a sophisticated, highly trained field unit."

The Sentinel director thought for a few moments. "I cannot believe that the X-Men wouldn't detect or search out such a mutant!"

"Sir, 'mutant' is a very broad and general term. This one might not share the usual searchable characteristics."

"This makes no sense! Why waste that kind of threat on a hunter group when they could cause far greater damage to us elsewhere?" He then ordered, "All right, we're reallocating our intelligence resources. Find out who and what that mutant is. Ignore the small fries for now."

"That's probably a good thing, Sir. We shouldn't sponsor more hunts. The enemy will be ready for us, next time."

"This team assignment is now designated 'Predator 217'.

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:13 pm

6 - No Secrets In A Small Town Planet
---------------------------------

Magneto's forces might have been down, but they certainly weren't out. One group established an improvised base inside a largely defunct cement plant. The mutant leader known as Argolon methodically tinkered with equipment. The entire floor was strewn with parts, crates, and raw materials.

A visitor climbed and squeezed his way towards the center to speak with him. "Uhm, Sir? Are you busy?"

"Would you like to ask me a more intelligent question?"

The visitor arrived with a frustrated sigh, "I mean... can I have your undivided attention for a few minutes."

"No."

"It's kind of important."

"Give me two more minutes to finish this battletroid." He continued systematically plugging plexene-encased circuits into the mechanism.

The visitor surveyed the surroundings in disbelief. The veritable lake of wreckage was in no way, shape, or form nearing completion. "Before Christmas would be nice, Sir."

Argolon finally showed signs of emotion. He managed a brief chuckle, "You don't believe me?"

"Well, let's just say that I'm unconvinced."

"Understandable. Be patient." At the end of those two minutes, the mechanism activated with lights and a hum. It then then rolled off, disappearing into the maze of parts. "That... is a damage control nodule. It will now construct the remainder of the new battletroid's damage control system. In turn, that system will complete construction without need of technician intervention." The tired man sighed, folding his arms. "As soon as the warheads arrive, our prototype will be ready for testing. We'll be one step closer to turning Sentinels into the hunted!"

The visitor's tone was kindly, "You look tired."

"I am."

"I need your approval."

Argolon rubbed his eyes, "What have you got?"

"Guess what television news helicopters found out in Colorado?" A small video showed circling flight around a stationary Sentinel.

"Speak of the devil. Why is it not moving? What happened to it?"

"This..." Another video feed showed the burning ground vehicle.

"Dragonhound command transport." He adjusted the zoom controls. "It's burning, but I don't see any impact points. You've done tactical analysis on the site?"

"As much as we could, Sir. CIA cordoned off the zone, but we were able to slip in for a look."

"Just the facts."

"Well, the CIA had to clean up bodies with a dust pan, but there were no flame or acid residues. The dragonhound troops shot wildly in all directions."

"Unseen enemy."

"The Sentinel had been tossing missiles all over the place, trying to hit something evading in the distance. But they didn't get it."

"How do you know?"

"No wreckage. You can see the terrain and blast points on the hills. And, the dragonhound was given a good shot of something flammable to burn like that."

"Helicopter, tactical or combat... They jettisoned fuel into it."

"Okay, why? What would attract full Sentinel force into Colorado wilderness?"

"Intel believes The Hunt was holding a sporting event. Somebody... intervened. Mr. Sentinel then appeared. It had to have been shut down and cold."

"That river..." Argolon turned off the projection and folded his arms in thought.

"Sir, we had heard about the hunt in advance. We tried to get someone there to save the mutants, but there we had problems."

"For once, it was a good thing that we failed. That was a trap set for us!" He paced around a bit, "But somebody else did intervene."

"The question is, did they succeed? Did the rescue the mutants, or did they only themselves escape?"

Argolon squinted in thought, "The intervener must have won. Somehow... they got past the Sentinel and took out the dragonhound." He turned, "No... more than that. Blowing up the command vehicle wouldn't have stopped the Sentinel. They would have had to taken control of it!"

"Or taken over the crew running it. That's why I'm here, Sir. The only way this could have happened was with mutant help. It's not one of ours, that's for sure. It's not CIA high tech. They wouldn't attack their Sentinel allies. Even if they did, the way they scoured the battle zone indicates they don't know what happened."

Argolon nodded, "And none of this matches any known X-Men or their methods. You want to track the intervener."

"Yes, Sir."

"Whoever it is seems rather ruthless. I don't want to sacrifice anybody."

"Battletroid available or not, I'd rather find out now than have that mystery force show up here, someday."

The tired Argolon sighed, "Agreed. Very well. Don't be reckless about it."

"Utmost caution, Sir."

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:14 pm

7 - Tea for our mutant guests?
--------------------------------------

A cool, yet sunny autumn morning found the Oberon mansion in Sister City nervously at alert. The normally settled and calm staff suppressed their anxiety as they escorted two mutant visitors into the main parlor. After passing introductions, they hastily departed to allow private discussion. They were reasonably sure that this wasn't a case of telepaths coming to pump or implant information.

Of the two mutants, the man was immediately recognizable as a tech soldier. Armed and armored to the teeth, he seemed to be bodyguard for the woman with him. In contrast to him, she was dressed in rather stylish feminine attire.

"Please, sit down."

"Thank you, Mr. Williams." Although gracious in mannerism, her eyes gave a unsettling, piercing stare.

"I must confess, with all due apologies. Your arrival comes as a great surprise! I had expected our first contact with Magneto to blast through our front door, not politely knock on it."

"As is true with all people groups, not everybody is a violent fanatic. You know why we're here?"

"Well Miss, it's a pretty easy shortlist. The recent disturbance in Colorado, I assume?" He received a nod from her. "We could spend the morning stalking each other with probing questions. Or, we could cut to the chase."

She smiled lightly, "Hmh, the chase..."

Her accompanying soldier laid it out, "There was a hunt. You intervened, and an awaiting Sentinel surprised you. Somehow, and most likely with mutant help, turned a trick of the tail and won."

The girl squinted playfully at her companion, "And no, you may not slap him upside the head for not destroying the Sentinel."

Williams gave her the reaction that she was testing for. He made a short chuckle. "Thank you."

The solder calmly announced, "Your turn."

"You are entirely correct, Sir. It happened exactly as you said. There was one mutant being hunted, a boy. He was seriously wounded, but is recovering remarkably well. And... we did have mutant help against the Sentinel force."

Distrustfully blunt, the soldier asked, "Why? What powers does the boy have that are so important for you to secure?"

Williams looked down and shook his head, "Why is it that you cannot believe that some people help others simply because it is the right thing to do?" He resumed eye contact, "Believe it or not, I honestly don't know what the boy can 'do', mutant-wise."

The girl coldly asked, "Who was the mutant who helped you?" She then added, "There was only one."

Williams didn't confirm her statement. "Whoever was helping us adamantly desires to avoid getting caught up in your wars. This rescue was purely an humanitarian act."

She gave a shake of the head, "If you truly believe that 'your ally' made a freewill decision, then you would have no fear of us having a talk."

The soldier was polite, but blunt. "We're not asking for your permission. We're asking for your cooperation. We need to know who and what helped you."

There was a pause as Williams nodded in thought. "So did the CIA when they came knocking. So did Sentinel force. You weren't the first ones to come knocking about this matter, and you probably won't be the last." He sat back more comfortably, "It's always the same. 'We come as friends' gives way to philosophical arguments. When those carrots fail to produce desired results, then come the stick of threats."

"We don't want to resort to force."

Williams shook his head confidently, "And you won't. The last thing you want to do is enrage the very mutant whom you seek to befriend."

The girl smiled with raised brows to her friend, "He's got us there. Well said!"

The Oberon leaned forward and appealed with tone of friendship, "I will not interfere with your efforts to contact my ally. But the one you seek has already left us... and is not inclined to leave forwarding addresses." The two guests exchanged eye contact for a moment. He added, "I can also share this with you. All the conspiracy articles we've been published for years are true. The government has been collecting DNA samples from all healthcare providers into a central database. That database is being searched for suspicious anomalies. That's how this one young mutant was located."

The nodded soberly. The girl quietly said without expression, "Thank you." She then took in a deep breath, looked to her companion, and gave a nod. Their departure was quiet, no social flattery or witty banter.

Once outside, the soldier asked without looking, "You have a trail?"

"A strong one."

Inside, the staff congregated around Williams. "Any ID on them, yet?"

"We believe so, Sir. We believe the man to be ChronoSword. He has some sort of precognitive temporal awareness, especially in combat."

"The perfect body guard! And the girl?"

"She might be the one known as Black Rose. Little is known about her origins, but it is said that she possesses an unnatural ability to track people."

Williams closed his eyes and sighed, "Wonderful... which means they'll catch up to her."

"Do we send a warning to her new school?"

He stared off into the distance. "No. I don't think that'll be necessary. Moonwraith is too cautious. She isn't likely to show herself if the visit wasn't her idea."

--
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:29 pm

8 - “Enrolling in Summer School”
Summer's Academy
Present, October, 2019
(Joint post: Sovereign & MoonWraith)
-----------------------------------------

Contacting people who don't wish to be found is usually difficult. But in this world of few secrets, friends or friends of friends tend to know people who know other people. In due course, the Oberon group was passed a number to call in order to reach the X-Men. Phone calls like that can be awkward at the start. Yet, having gone through this a few times made it easier.

"My name Williams, and I was referred to you concerning a young lady who very much could use your school's help."

David nodded, knowing the man on the other line couldent actually see him. "Hello, Mr Williams, I'm David Forrester, Administrator here at Summers Academy. What kind of problem does she have and how can we
help?"

"You... heard about the Colorado affair, the spoiled mutant hunt and the Sentinel?"

"I did, just recently, was that something she was responsible for?" he asked, trepidatiously, "What can you tell me about her history?"

Williams cleared his throat. It wasn't so much a reluctance on his part to share. It was more a personal dread facing the reality of it. "Her name is Tariana, known as MoonWraith. She and a dimensional phase spider are... essentially, one." He paused for a few moments.

"Dimensional spider?" David asked 'That's a first,' he thought to himself.

"Tariana is in serious need of mentorship. She is... best described as a vengeful vigilante. Part of this stems from her wraith aspect, part comes from being a crime victim. I would like to say this, though, in her behalf. Deep down, very deep down, she still has a tender heart."


"Would you consider her a danger to others?" he asked simply, "I'm sure some of the people here can handle it, but I dont want to risk anyone who cant protect themselves, you understand?" David stood and walked over to the window, which seemed to be a new trend, "Im sure we have people who can help her and Im more than willing to try, either way."

"Mr. Forrester, I find one overriding characteristic in Tariana's personality. She is fiercely protective of the innocent and the vulnerable. You needn't worry about her being a chaotic threat to bystanders.

"I appreciate your honesty," David responded, "Then by all means, shes welcome to come, how much education does she have? Would she actually be enrolling in the school or just staying here for a form of training?"

"I would say that she needs both. She was torn from normal life and didn't have the opportunity to graduate from high school. I very much appreciate your willingness. Perhaps it's fondness on my part, but I do believe that she will in time turn from burden into an asset. Although, that road might be a rough one."

"Then we will be waiting for her arrival, Ill have a room set up for her and everything by the time she arrives. And trust me when I say that we have our share of tough cases here. Its been difficult for Mutant's and Human's alike."

Within moments, David and Maximus had set up her room and prepared a package of clothes, books and information for her. David stood in the foyer waiting.

Tariana arrived in Seattle via helicopter. It wasn't a heavy tactical ship this time, rather a light OH-6 Loach. The nervous girl sat beside the pilot whispering, "I should not be here, I should not be doing this!"

The pilot could hear her over the headphones and chuckled, "Got the willies, do you? Don't worry, whatever you're doing, I'm sure you'll be fine!"

"Sir, land me down there, please. I'll make my way from there."

"You sure? There's nothing down there!" He didn't receive a reply. "Oookay. They said to take you wherever you wanted." He didn't like the idea of dropping a girl in what looked like nowhere, but he complied.

As soon as the chopper lifted off and was on its way, Tariana got her bearings and made haste towards the school. Phased out, she followed the directions that she was given, arriving at the rather ornate entrance. "Why am I doing this? This is crazy!" She then took a deep, calming breath. "No it's not... yes it is... no it's not." She growled with frustration. She couldn't believe that she hadn't outgrown first day of school terrors. At length, however, she closed her eyes and phased in. There was the intercom call button, right in front of her. Yep, there it was. And she stared at it.

David saw her at the gate, looking a little confused. Opening the door he walked with a deliberate stride. Smiling at her, he shook his head and stopped a few feet away. "It works better if you actually press the button." he said with a chuckle, then used his powers to open the gate, "My name is David, you
hungry?" David gestured to the main doors at the curve of the driveway, "Its okay, you're safe, here."

The girl of European heritage gave a slight, traditional courtsey, "Tariana..." Inside she cringed, ~Great... smooth move, T. Great first impression, there. I'm standing out here like an idiot staring at the gate!~ "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sir. Um, hungry... I... yes, I... could use some food. Thank you." She cinched up her sash bag and accompanied him.

"Great, when I heard you were coming we prepped some things for you, including a room. For the time being you're the only student staying in there so enjoy your freedom." David gestured for her to join him and started walking towards the doors, "The school is a sanctuary for people like us, and from what I understand you've had a pretty rough go with things. You're welcome to go anywhere you like on the property, I only ask you stay on the school property for the time being. We just opened our doors a few days ago and, while things are better, there are still people out there who dislike mutants." As they entered the main entrance, David smiled, "That hallway there is Monroe Hall, its the dorm's, girls are on the second floor. Down those middle doorways and steps is the main gathering hall and kitchen, its open all the time, your welcome to help yourself to anything you like at any time. It's kept stocked." He pointed to the left, "That is the learning hallway, classrooms and a gym." David looked at the girl and saw her carrying the bags, "Want to go to your room first? Drop those bags off?"

Still taking it all in, Tariana half nodded, "Dorms... kitchen... learning... Oh! Yes, might as well see the room." The request to stay on campus brought back memories. She remembered the junior high lock downs, the tracking ID badges, the armed guards, and backpack searches. His request was quite understandable, though, given recent events. Hiding away didn't seem at all burdensome, at the moment. "The only student?" She smiled at him, "No newbie stresses, I like that!"

David lifted one her bag, hovering it just off the floor with his hand raised slightly, "If youll follow me," He said simply, walking up the stairs and putting her bag down on the bed in room four, "The rooms are set up to have two students in them, but for the time being, your it in here. There are others here already and I want to have an assembly tomorrow. You have the choice, so...get your stuff stowed, there's a welcome package in the footlocker with clothes and supplies for school and if you need anything, you can contact any of the teachers and Max, he's sort of the butler but he cant cook worth damn." David chuckled, "Tariana, I just want you to know, you have no enemies here. We are all your friends, I see you looking around, hoping to find an escape or your just taking it all in. Either way, for as long as you need, this is your home. Ill meet you downstairs in the kitchen whenever your ready and I can show you around the property after you get cleaned ujp and fed." He smiled at her, now knowing what the Professor felt like when he welcomed a student.

Tariana stared with wide eyes at the magically hovering bag. Catching herself with mouth agape, she collected her wits. "Right... Um, yes Sir! I... look forward to it. I'll... be down in a little bit." She managed a sheepish smile. As he was departing, she sank onto the bed and whispered to herself, "Wow... Dorothy, you're not in Kansas any more!"

Stepping into the hallway, David closed the door to her room and smiled to himself, "And so it begins."

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:32 pm

9 - Dreamhunt
-------------------

It wasn't uncommon for Tariana to ignore her human needs. It was too easy to do. That didn't change the fact, however, that it was hard on her. Settling into her dorm room went easily enough, but after nice hot shower, sleepiness tugged hard at her. She wrapped up and plopped down on the bed, "... just for a few minutes..." Within moments, she was asleep.

Tariana found herself in a vivid dream, and a very strange one at that. She was in woodlands. As she looked about, a whisper echoed through her mind, "Who are you?"

Startled, she cautiously hurried for a higher, yet covered position. Through the leaves in the distance, she saw a young woman in what looked like neo-victorian dress. The stranger walked slowly searching left and right. Suddenly, Tariana noticed a man standing about fifty feet away. She recognized him, someone she had killed. The man slowly raised an arm and pointed at her. It wasn't out of condemnation, there was no anger. It was simply a betrayal of her location.

Without looking, Tariana bolted. She ran as fast as she could through the woodlands. Not once did she even think about wraithform. What she did notice, however, was the silence. Dark, rustling leaves made no sound. Her own footsteps likewise went completely unheard. Again, the whisper touched her, "Who are you?"

Once again, she took a concealed position to look back. And once again, the strange young woman patiently walked her direction. Another man whom Tariana had slain stood near. He also raised an arm to point her location to the woman. She slipped in as close as she dared to study the man. It felt like he wasn't really there, merely a reflection.

No matter where she went, no matter how fast she ran or how far, the same thing happened over and over again. Finally, Tariana wakened from her ordeal. "NO!" Drenched with perspiration and breathing heavily, she slumped and whispered to herself, "This is the second time this has happened!"

Trying to understand the experience, Tariana went to the window. It was a typical cloudy Seattle day. She squinted in thought, "Someone's out there... and coming..." With a heavy sigh, she folded her arms and turned, resting her back against the wall by the window. "They'd never believe me. They'll think I'm crazy!" She clearly remembered being asked to not leave the grounds. But if this 'something' was indeed following her, then she would not have her or 'it' find this place.

Tariana brushed her fingers back into her hair and anxiously whispered, "Already, it's my first day and I'm blowing it!" Tears streamed down her cheeks, "I have to go... I have to go..." Her instincts burned like fire, compelling her attack. Yet the voice of reason screamed at her, "TELL someone!" Torn by the opposites, Tariana roared with anguish. She dropped to her knees and pounded her fists onto the bed. She wasn't worried about anyone hearing her. After all, she was told that she was the only one there.

Finally settling down, she decided , "I'll do both." Wiping away her tears, she grabbed a pen and wrote a note.
"David, somebody is following me. I don't know who it is or how they're doing it, but I can't let them find this school. I'm going out to confront them. Please forgive me. I'm so sorry! If I know it's safe, I'll come back if you'll still accept me. I'll understand if you won't. - T"

Carefully setting it on the desk, Tariana stared at it for a few moments. She whispered to herself, "This is probably the first time anyone's been expelled from this school on the first day." Leaving the note gave her some peace of mind. She dressed and looked out the window. As non-human integrated with human, her the whites of her eyes turned black. Her voice echoed unnaturally, "All right, here we go."

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:33 pm

10 - "A Rose by any other name... is still a stalker."
---------------------------------------------

Well clear of the Summers estate, Tariana wasn't sure which direction she should go. But then she realized, "It doesn't matter! They're coming to me." Still, she wanted to put more distance between herself and the school. The nearest public roadway was obliging. A nice slow-down curve in the middle of Washington's beautiful woodlands was all she needed to surreptitiously hitch a ride. Largely phased out, she would remain unseen.

More by whim than calculation, Tariana ended her road trip when she was many miles away. The beauty of nature, especially around here, had an impact on her mood. Somehow, the situation at hand didn't feel so pressing. After watching her unknowing taxi drive off into the distance, she headed uphill to a spot that had caught her eye. "Ah, nice. Good distance visibility... good cover." Upon arrival, she settled on a small rock outcropping. It then occurred to her that she could be waiting there a very long time. "No matter." She'd use the time to think. Besides, a spider-wraith is among the more patient of predators.

As the tracked above the clouds, she nodded, "They must have found my note by now", she sighed. "I hope they're not angry." Tariana was glad that she left them behind, no need to put any of them at risk.

Afternoon gave way to night, but she didn't sleep. Night gave way to morning. Sunrise was followed by a high pitched whirr in the distance. It was coming from up the same road by which she herself had come. But it wasn't on the road, it was above it. "There!" It was one of those futuristic air cars which had found its way into the present.

Not in any hurry, it passed by on the road below. In fact, it overshot where she had left her ride. But then it slowed down and reversed. Carefully peering out of pocket space, Tariana nodded with surprise, "You're not locked onto me... you're tracking where I've been!" It was a curious revelation which she would put to the test.

Landing in a thicket of trees, a man and a woman exited the small craft. The vehicle didn't look like it had any weapons, but he sure did. ~Tech soldier...~, she thought to herself. The woman was unmistakable. ~It's YOU!~ The woman pursuing her in those dreams, here she was. Slowly, the moonwraith tracked an unseen circle around them.

And sure enough, the woman followed her trail. "The one we're looking for is here. I know it!"

Not too worried, the soldier clicked through all of his different scope spectrums. "Negative... not even a sonar image."

"No. She's here."

"SHE?"

Surprised at the realization, she smiled at him, "Yes, I sense it!"

He cinched up his weapon with a smile, "Well!"

The woman rolled her eyes, "Oh, please!" In a complete change of tone, she spoke more loudly, "Don't pay attention to him! He's a hopeless skirt chaser!"

Tariana simply watched them carefully, still creeping laterally to their movements.

The solder shouldered his weapon. "I'll understand if you don't believe me, but we're not here to hurt you!"

The woman added, "Indeed, we owe you thanks. You rescued one of our brothers... one of your brothers!" Still there was silence. "All right, I'll make the first gesture. I am Black Rose. This is ChronoSword. We are of the Magneto."

At hearing that, Tariana squinted and became defencively tense.

ChronoSword turned a slow circle, "I don't know what you've been told, but the truth is, we're on the same side."

Silence prevailed. Black Rose stopped trying to track. "Look. You need to cut me a break, here. Yes, ChronoSword is packing guns to the teeth, but he's my bodyguard. I've seen your handiwork, my friend! You might not trust me, but I have just as much reason to be cautious about you!"

Tariana felt a frustration. Her stalker sounded so reasonable. But she still didn't dare respond.

The soldier looked to his partner, "Not working." He then called out, "Look, uh, tactically you're doing everything perfectly. Not exposing yourself, keeping secret... I applaud you. But I'm asking you to take a little bit of a risk here." He laid down his weapons. "People like you... make just about every covert group on this planet nervous. I don't care about them. But us, we need to know if you are friend or foe."

Rose added, "Please, you can't blame us."

Tariana closed her human eyes for a moment and sighed. Her voice strangely echoed around them, "I am not your enemy."

ChronoSword broke into a big smile, "Yes! You are a girl! Rosie is right!" Rose rolled her eyes as he carried on, "Why, with a voice that sweet, I bet you are just as cute - as - a - bug!"

Tariana the spider-wraith chuckled to herself, ~Bug... You have no idea.~ This charismatic young man might have an impact upon her emotions, but the wraith spider enshrouding her wasn't moved in the slightest. "Please stop following me." Not sensing any favorable reaction, she added, "I'm aware of it when you do."

ChronoSword looked to Black Rose, who gave him slight nods, "I believe that she can." She then called, out, "Congratulations! You're one of the few who can. Are you able to let us see you?"

"Yes."

There was a long wait, to which Rose smiled, "WILL you let us see you?"

"Give me a reason to."

The young man guessed, "By not pursuing you."

Tariana's voice was quiet, almost tranquil. "Correct."

Black Rose pressed, "You promise to talk with us sometime?"

Her companion looked to her in protest. They had orders to come away with the mutant, not a promise.

Black Rose gave him, however, a sharp look. Maintaining fierce eye contact with him, she called out to the unseen, "Work with us, please."

Tariana's instincts still held her back.

"Can you at least give us a name to call you. 'Hey you' isn't going to work."

Again, there was silence, but Rose prevailed. "Moonwraith." At seeing the solder looked puzzled, she added, "I am a moonwraith."

Black Rose assumed a relaxed poise of refined etiquette, "It is our pleasure, Moonwraith. Please don't wait too long."

ChronoSword wasn't so easily satisfied. "Moonwraith."

"Yes?"

"Xavier's people... they won't want you associating with us."

"Then you'll have to give THEM a reason to."

Black Rose broke into laughter, "Checkmate, ChronoSword!"

He cleared his throat and made his way to their air car, "I'm outnumbered, here."

Black Rose followed, "Farewell, unseen Moonwraith! Until we meet again!" She wasn't thrilled with this outcome, but this was a meaningful start.

Their vehicle lifted off and accelerated to the south. Tariana made it a point to walk away from the area. At some distance, she settled to think. She whispered to herself, "How... am I going to explain this?" She sighed with resignation, "I'm toast. I just got myself expelled from school."

---
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:36 pm

11 - A Subdued Debriefing
---------------------------------

"And just what was she doing up in the great northwest?" Argolon didn't expect an answer as much as speculation.

Black Rose gave a tense, puzzled shake of the head, "It was out in the middle of nowhere. Her trail crisscrossed a couple of times. I tracked the strongest, most recent path."

ChronoSword leaned comfortably to the side in his chair. "Moonwraith knew that she was being followed. It makes sense, leading us into nowhere."

The Magneto officer looked to him, "And you couldn't pin down her location?"

"Sir, I ran my scopes through the entire spectrum, sound, light... nothing."

"Hmm, that would suggest she was phased out or something."

"What are you suggesting, here? We're dealing with Kitty Pryde's little sister or something?"

"... Or something."

Rose appealed, "Argolon, she makes me nervous. Please don't ask me to track Moonwraith unless it's an emergency. She can sense when I'm after her." She glanced her companion, "No offense, but this is one mutant whom I don't want to corner."

The soldier nodded, "You know what worries me about her? Her extreme caution... no boldness, no arrogance. I'd much rather someone like that come right out and get in our faces."

The leader nodded, "Cautious and deadly. It's always the quiet ones."

Black Rose hesitated. "Argolon... Are we going to report this?"

He studied her eyes for a few moments. Those 'crystal blues' didn't convey fear as much as they did hope. "I know how you feel about the Magneto dogma."

The reached to rest her hand on his, "I understand how he got that way, but somehow we lost the meaning. We were a brotherhood of mutants who turned into a draconian brotherhood... a tyrannical one. Absolute obedience in the name of loyalty. The normals do that."

Argolon looked to ChronoSword, "Does it unsettle you, hearing her say things like that?"

"Yeah. I know a few of our 'brethren' who'd call her out as a traitor." He looked to her worried eyes. "I don't disagree with you."

The leader nodded, "And that, my young friends, is why you were exiled to my humble care." He took a deep sigh, deciding. "I'm going to report that the Oberons rescued a young mutant. They had mutant help, possibly from the Xaviers." He folded his arms, "We don't have the intel resources to get the details. We're here to build a battletroid."

Black Rose searched his eyes, "But Moonwraith..."

"Like you, I'd like nothing better than to have her as a friend... or at least a neutral. Look for any opportunity that you can find to make that happen."

ChronoSword asked, "What do you know about these 'moonwraiths'? She said that she was 'a' moonwraith."

Argolon shook his head, "Very little."

Rose warned, "If you start making queries, computer or otherwise, you'll be noticed."

"True." He squinted slightly in thought and slightly shook a finger, "The Oberons seem to know. When you're not out tracking down murderers, could you investigate them?"

She smiled, "It'll be a pleasure." Rose gave her companion a light, playful push, "Better get out your Phillip Marlowe threads!"

Not missing a step, he gestured a thumb towards her and told Argolon, "Dames..."

---
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Silas Blue
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Re: Archive Thread - MoonWraith

Postby Silas Blue » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:38 pm

12 - Long Walk Home
--------------------------

Tariana had never liked confrontations. And even though this one ended peacefully, she still trembled. Suddenly, the short trip out here now turned into a long journey back again. Too shaken to be in a hurry, the 100% human part of her walked in normal space along the side of the road.

It wasn't long before the first car came along. College boys were on their way back from Thanksgiving break.
"Damsel in distress! Damsel in distress! Slow down! Slow down!"
"Oooo! Nice! Babe alert."
"Any of you guys see a broken down car? I didn't."

Windows rolled down on the aging used car and invitations were extended.
"Hey, you okay?"
"You have a break down?"
"We can give you a lift."

Somehow, the sight of normal boys palling around was refreshing. In lady-like poise, she stepped closer, "Thank you, gentlemen. I'm all right."

"Oh come on, it's not good to be out on a wilderness road all alone!"
"Yeah, some psycho could come along and-"
Awkward silence was followed by numerous swats delivered by his cohorts.
"You moron!"

Tariana couldn't help but break out in laughter, a welcomed encouragement to them.
"Don't listen to him."
"Hey, we're safe. We're students. Look! Here's our ID badges!"

Tariana leaned a little and tipped her head, "Okay, now I AM worried!"

The lads burst out into laughter and opened the back door.
"Come on!"

Playing timid, she hesitated for a moment and then got in amidst cheers.
"Where are you going?"

"Not far." Wanting to avoid questions, she bantered, "You know, taking risks could go both ways! I could be some killer, luring cars into picking me up and then shooting them with my thirty eight!"

There was utter silence in the car. The boys sat frozen, staring forward.

At length, Tariana had mercy. She leaned forward, "Just kidding about the thirty eight. Do I look like I have a place to hide one?"

The boys exploded with a long bout of laughter.
"Hey, you hungry?"

"Actually, yes. I am... and thirsty."

Breakfast bars, potato chips, gatorade, and an apple were passed her way. She fought off a grin and accepted them gratefully.

One of them scooched closer in the seat, "Hey, are you married?"

The others except the driver raised hands with intention to swat. They held back, though, not wanting to panic the girl. All of them were worried that she might now be afraid.

Tariana redeemed the moment, however. She took a handful of potato chips and gently crumbled them into the rather forward boy's face. The others laughed until they were beet red in the face.

Very entertaining miles quickly passed. For a few moments, Tariana could forget all about hunts and stalkers. But eventually, she recognized her stopping point. She rested her hand on the driver's shoulder. "Please slow down. I must get out up ahead."

"What?"
"We're still out in the middle of nowhere!"
"What's wrong?"

"Nothing is wrong, my friends. You've been so very kind to me, but I must leave now. I have no choice." Tariana couldn't understand what made her do it, but she disappeared.
"She's gone!"
"Stop the car! Stop the car!"

Almost swerving out of control at the shock, the driver hit the brakes. Doors flew open and boys poured out to search the area.
"Oh, man!"
"A ghost! She must have been some kind of ghost!"
"You're crazy. There's no such thing!"
"We should go back! If she can't leave this area, maybe she's back there!"

They actually started to drive back, but one of them soberly told them, "No. She wanted to go. We'll come back. If she's a ghost, then she'll still be here." After a long pause, they all piled in again.
"I didn't know ghosts ate breakfast bars."

As the driver put it in gear and slowly drove away, they once again saw Tariana a head of them. She blew them a kiss and then faded from sight.
"Did you get a picture of her?"
"Did anybody get pictures of her?"
"Uh, no, I... didn't think of it."
"Not even ONE SELFIE!" The driver gripped hard at the wheel, "You morons!"

Tariana stood there unseen with a warm smile on her face. "Thank you, Lord." She made her way off road again northward. Finally, she appeared at the edge of Sommers estate. Now anchoring in reality once again, she made the long walk to the front gates. There that intercom call button was. Yep, it sure was. And she stared at it. "This is harder than the first time!"

Once again, someone, somewhere opened the gates for her. She exhaled a hard whisper, "Ohhh! I dread this!"

---
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