What: Meet to plan for the Prime Sentinel Attack
Where: Cable's Safehouse, Switzerland
When: September 12, 2006
"Paige an' Angel are watchin' the kids, so we got some time" Liz said as she stepped into the kitchen where the rest of the adults were already gathered around the table. "They ain't real happy about it, but they're teenagers, they ain't happy 'bout nuthin."
She slid into the chair next to Neal, smiling at the alert two month old in her sister-in-law's lap, then glanced around the table at the strained look on everyone's faces. SHIELD had caught up with them a lot faster than she had expected, but if there was any good from the confrontation the others had had yesterday when they picked up Petra, it was that they would have some idea what they were up against.
Rachel knew her brother's defense systems were state of the art, beyond even what they had at the mansion in some respects, she had been over all of them again after they returned from picking up Petra. They're likely wasn't anyplace on Earth where they would be safer or more ready for an attack than right here. But none of that seemed to calm her nerves as she looked around the table. Not after seeing the papers Kitty had taken from SHIELD.
She frowned, wishing her father was here. He'd know just how to start this discussion, work through all the options to figure out what to do and make a concrete plan. Unfortunately, Nate seems to be the one like Dad, and he's not here either. Pushing her thoughts aside, she glanced at Kitty, and said, "I think our encounter with SHIELD may have slowed them down, but we only bought ourselves a couple days at the most. But this Prime Sentinel technology, it's beyond the security of the safehouse, and forget going in public. It sounds like they have all the capabilities of the most advanced giant sentinels, but they're still human, which means they could be hiding in any crowd."
She shuddered, hit once again with how close to the Hound Program these sentinels sounded. Except instead of using mutants, it seemed they had "enhanced" baseline humans.
Petra hated this place, and she wasn't sure how much longer she was going to be able to keep that a secret. It wasn't the noise, or the closed spaces that bothered her really, it was more the fact that everything around her was unfamiliar.
She saw two girls, who looked to be just a few years younger than herself sitting at a table. One of them had a child in their lap, and Petra couldn't help but wonder if the child belonged to her.
Crossing the table, Petra wasn't sure whether to just walk past unobserved, or to strike up a spontaneous, but still awkward conversation. She decided on a small wave and a smile - knowing both gestures were rather non-committal.
Amara smiled, gesturing to one of the few empty chairs around the table. "Join us, please, you're part of the team. We're just trying to come up with a plan," she offered, then glanced down as Lucia lit her blue and yellow plushie on fire, shaking it around to get attention.
She absorbed the fire into her skin, and handed the restored toy back to the infant, who stuffed an ear into her mouth and gurgled as if she was telling them what to do.
Glancing back up, Amara looked around the table. "So how do we do it? Stop nine super-cyborgs, without killing them because they're still mostly human, and protect eight kids while we do it. The older ones aren't anywhere near mission ready, even to leave the little ones with them is too much of a risk. And if we succeed, where do we go next? SHIELD was only days behind us this time."
The scene outside the window of the Swiss chalet looked peaceful, like something from an Alpine travel brochure, Neal shook his head, hating the thought of the placid calm of the scene being disturbed by Sentinels. He turned back to the room and gave Amara an easy smile, "That's bloody awesome, but I bet she's gonna be a hella scary two year old."
He smiled at Petra, "I'm Neal Sharra, wish we were meeting under better circumstances, but well" He let his voice trail off.
"Well, one advantage we do have is that we know they're coming. It seems like we should be able to set up a few surprises for them? Maybe some non-lethal traps that would at least slow them down so some of us could hold them off while a second group takes off with the bratpack?"
"That's a good idea," Piotr nodded. "Much depends on how much they know about which of us are here and how fast they can adapt to fight specific powers if they don't, just like with the robots. It is probably best to assume that they are fully equipped to deal with every known X-Man's powers."
He blew out a frustrated breath. "Petra might be able to get a clean hit or two on them before they add her to their collective database. Do you think they can be short-circuited like you would a computer?"
Sam felt heat creep up his face, realizing that it was registration that made these databases so easy and convenient for the government to create. He'd never imagined that he'd now be in this position- having to fight an enemy who would be using information that he would have voluntarily given up to them, but that was what registration meant, and this is what it had brought them to. He put his hands on Amara's shoulders, looking down at the Lucy, "Seems like Miss Petra's firs' job should be t' help get the younguns t' safety. Who else is gonna' handle that? Ah think we need that clear right off the bat."
Liz looked up at her brother. "Don't get all riled up, Sammy, Ah know you're worried 'bout Lucy and the rest of the little 'uns, but we can't be runnin' forever, so we gotta fight smart, an' at least buy ourselves more than a couple weeks at the next place, wherever it is. So, way Ah see it, we put the kids t'work."
She paused, pulling her hair back. "Not the teenagers, they ain't got a lick a' sense between the four of 'em. But, Rachel could stay in touch with Artie, if'n we need to communicate, and as long as we keep Leech close to little Miss Thang here, that frees up ya'll from havin' t'make sure she don't burn whoever's with her up. And anything that group would need Colossus for, Ah'm thinkin' Junior can already handle a lot of, even at his age. Ah know we don't like t'do it, but there ain't enough of us to shelter 'em that much at this point, 'cuz Ah don't know how many adults we can send with the kids. There's gonna be nine of them an' only eight of us even without splittin' up."
Kitty wondered when, if ever they could simply take the kids and go home. She leaned into Piotr and said quietly, "We can afford to send two. Petra and Amara. That's it. It's going to take all the rest of us just to hold them off long enougth to give those two have a shot of tunneling from here to the hanger. Once they get there they need to fly the hell out of here as fast as they can. The rest of us..." She trailed off for a moment thinking about the schematics she'd read over and over, "We'll meet you when we can."
As Lockheed wrapped his tail around her neck, she smiled at the small dragon, "You're gonna go with Amara, buddy. I need you to watch over Pete." He chirped quietly, but seemed to understand.
She looked around the room, "Impossible odds, hopeless fight? This is right up our alley." Kitty sighed and leaned her head on Piotr's shoulder.
Rachel looked down at the plans in front of her, knowing that they still didn't have the kind of information that would make this anything but a bloody battle. She shook her head, hoping the x-men back home weren't in as deep as they were.
"Okay, luckily we didn't unpack too much from the Blackbird, so this is what we'll do. You two... three," she corrected at an indignant chirp from the dragon peering over Kitty's shoulder, "will take the kids and supplies, and fly to...."
She paused, trying to think of someplace safe. "Gram-- Charles still has that villa on Kirinos right? So we meet in Greece, it should be easy to hide for a while there with all the islands in the Mediterranean. We won't be able to stay there long though," She turned to Neal. "How fast do you think we could get that little toy boat of yours down there to meet us? That'll keep us moving at least, without having to get settled in new locations."
Neal leaned back in his chair, thinking about the Sentinels project and trying to keep his voice calm as he replied, "I can call Seamus and have him leave tonight. I'm sure he'll be there soon."
He gazed between Kitty and Rachel and then took Liz's hand, "The Greek Islands sound like the perfect place to hide. We'll lay in the sun and relax after kicking the asses of these Sentinels." He tried to tell himself it would be just that easy, but remembering the Primes..... he knew it wouldn't be.