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Training the Untrainable?

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Age: 22
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Feb 20 2018, 04:50 PM
In a remote part of the City of the Sun, a bright pink portal appeared briefly, created by Blink to ferry a small number of people into the very heart of the city. Their destination lay below the surface, in a vast stretch of underground tunnels that made up the city's catacombs. Teleporting there directly would have been more convenient, but none had any real idea what lay below the streets, leaving their talented teleporter unable to get them any closer than she had. Being deposited as close as they had been to one of the entrances to the catacombs would have to do. With the distractions being created elsewhere in the City of the Sun, being out in the open for a bit wouldn't cause much of an issue.

"If you go blue, give me a heads up," Mimic told Hellfire as his skin turned from flesh to steel. ::I will be keeping us linked telepathically with what I mimicked from Jean, in case we get separated, and to keep this at least somewhat covert:: As he spoke to the others telepathically, Calvin dug his metallic fingers into the large stone door barring their entrance into the catacombs, ripping it away and tossing it back where it crashed into the side of a building. He paused for a moment as he let his gaze wander amongst his companions, from Trevor to Notion, then to Honeybear and Kingtide. ::What? I said somewhat.::

Moving through the now open doorway Calvin kept a sharp lookout, both for Merry as well as any potential trouble they might face on their way to find her. He had honestly expected more opposition, even down here, but aside from a few faint mental signals down far below them, he couldn't really make out much of anything. There was something strange in the air, making him feel as if his psychic power was being muffled somehow. He wasn't sure if it was because of the magic ritual Zaladane was performing far above them, or something else entirely.

"Something feels off," Calvin announced out loud, suddenly coming to a stop after the group had descended for roughly a minute. Turning back from steel to flesh to regain the full range of his enhanced senses, Calvin sniffed the air. "It smells like... death." Mulling on those words for a second, he looked back over his shoulder in case someone decided to sass him. "Yes, I get that we're in the catacombs, and I know that's where the dead go, it's just--wait." Whipping his head back around, Calvin narrowed his eyes, trying to pick up on anything from up ahead. Nothing stood out in his mind, his nose couldn't discern much beyond the smell of death. His hearing picked up on something though, the soft sound of shuffling feet and... a moan?

"Oh, come on." Calvin threw his hands up, apparently prioritising making it clear just how done he was with the entire Savage Land experience over cluing in his companions. "It's zombies," he sighed wearily. Because why not? With everything that they all had gone through, why wouldn't they be greeted by the undead while trying to find Merry? It was almost surprising it had even taken this long. "Or ghouls," he added, turning back to metal and popping his claws. "I don't think they're the sort who have a preference when it comes to terminology. Honestly, I don't either." It wasn't like they'd be having a discussion on the meaning of life with these things. "Merry is that way," Cal pointed forwards, "and then down." If that meant cutting their way through the army of the dead, then so be it.

As soon as the first of them came into view, Cal bolted forwards and lobbed off its head in one clean swing. Okay, so not having to even consider the morality of murder was a nice change of pace. He stabbed another one through the face right after, amost feeling like he was being greedy here, but from the sound of it there were plenty more where they'd come from.


((OOC: Current powers from Beast, Wolverine, Colossus, Marvel Girl and Speed))
Feb 20 2018, 11:21 AM
Calvin swallowed hard as he stepped onto the platform that Slate had created, standing alongside the others who had been involved with formulating the plans he was about to share with the others. He wasn't sure anymore if he had volunteered for this or had been volunteered for this, but despite the nervousness that was filling up his stomach, making him feel like he was about to throw up, he was determined to do this. It had somehow come to make sense to Calvin that he should be doing this. Aside from Trevor, Shane and Reece, no one else there had been in the Savage Land as long as he had. On top of that he was as close as they were going to get to a neutral party, belonging to neither Xavier's or the Brotherhood but being familiar with both, and some who aligned themselves with neither. He had experience with this sort of thing too; if he could talk about how he had been enslaved and tortured at an event televised by millions, he could tell a few dozen people how they could very well be fucked but would make an effort to prevent that. And as someone had pointed out to him earlier, he was both tall and kind of loud, which would be helpful.

Taking a brief moment to look over the gathered mutants, noting both those faces he was familiar with and those who he had not yet gotten to know, Calvin sucked in a breath of air and prepared to speak. His hazel eyes focused mostly on Sunspot, but seeing Notion and Reece, and knowing that Jean was standing right beside him helped give him strength as well. The main motivation however, was knowing that what he was about to do was absolutely necessary, that it could help those gathered to be at least somewhat prepared to deal with the threat looming over all of them.

"Everyone!" Calvin raised his voice to be heard over the commotion that came naturally with a gathering this large. "Thanks for... uh, your time." He'd almost thanked them all for being there, but considering they were trapped in a place as terrible as the Savage Land, that just felt tacky. "As you've all noticed, the Savage Land is not a hospitable place." An understatement if there ever was any, but Calvin wasn't there to highlight just how screwed they all were. Just to reassure them... and to tell them that even when taking into consideration what they all had been through already, things were somehow going to end up being worse.

"We want to assure everyone that Forge and Beast here are continuing their efforts to get us all out of here," he continued, giving a quick nod towards the two X-Men. "Unfortunately, if our associate here is right--" Calvin briefly gestured in the direction of the Black Knight, "--things are likely to get a lot worse before they can manage that." It was best to just get that out of the way first, like ripping off a bandaid. With that done, Calvin moved onto explaining just how things were about to get worse for them. "The High Priestess of the Sun People, Zaladane, whom some of you have had the misfortune of meeting already, is planning to summon an ancient deity of her people called Garokk. At this very moment, she appears to be moving her pieces into place to do just that."

After letting that information settle in for a moment, Calvin added in a clear and determined manner. "We are not sitting around to wait until she does. We're taking the fight to her."

Turning towards Forge, Calvin nodded to let him know he was ready for the man to activate the device he was holding, just a little something he had put together for this specific gathering. Calvin was still wrapping his mind around just how brilliant the X-Men's inventor was, how he could make something so advanced with the limited resources he had available to him. At the press of a button, a large digital map of the Savage Land appeared in front of Calvin. How it worked exactly, Cal had no idea, no longer possessing the X-Man's intuitive ability, but even if he did he'd still struggle to understand the science behind it. Forge had explained it well enough for Calvin to work with it, though.

Touching the map, Calvin zoomed in on a specific part of the Savage Land. "This is the Pyramid of the Sun," he explained for the majority of those gathered, who wouldn't be familiar with the structure shown on the display, "where we expect Zaladane to perform the ritual to summon forth her lord. It's located here--" Touching the display again, Calvin zoomed out until both the pyramid and its surrounding area were visible, "--in the City of the Sun." Those Sun People sure did like their Sun theme. "Until recently it was protected by a powerful barrier, but it has since dissipated. Convenient as that is for us, we believe that it means Zaladane is ready to make her final move." You didn't just give up the one thing protecting you from outside meddling unless you didn't think it would matter.

"Marvel Girl will lead a team here to take the fight directly to her." With the touch of a finger, the top of the Pyramid of the Sun was highlighted on the map. Calvin cast a brief look towards his mentor, trusting her to correct him through their telepathic link if he managed to fudge up any of the details, then continued. "While another team will make sure that her people are sufficiently occupied to cut her off from any backup." According to the much smarter, tactically inclined minds that had come up with the details of this plan, Zaladane alone could prove enough of a problem without any of her people getting involved. Hopefully those assigned to create a diversion would be able to prevent that from happening. "We would throw everything we have at the priestess, but there is more we need to concern ourselves with."

Swiping to the right, Calvin changed the screen to display two images of people that those from Xavier's and some of the Brotherhood would be familiar with. "Meriel Myles and Auri Delavigne have both been missing for nearly two weeks now" Calvin said, then gestured towards his mentor. "Jean has managed to narrow their location down to these two areas." Changing back to the map, Calvin highlighted two areas on it. One was the City of the Sun where Merry had been left behind, the other an area far East from their current location, beyond the ancient labyrinth where Auri had last been seen. "We intend to get them back." They hadn't endured all of these hardships, some of them for more than three years, to even consider leaving anyone behind. "Hellfire and I will be taking a small group to find Merry, who we believe to be located in the catacombs underneath the city." Calvin cast a look towards Trevor briefly, then turned his attention towards the girl he had met for the first time while strapped upside down and bleeding from his everywhere two weeks ago. "Laura, you and a few others will be going after Auri," he told X-23. "We're uncertain about his exact location, but that's where you come in." Like him, Laura had a mutation that would allow her to track people far more easily than others. She wasn't familiar with the Savage Land like those who had been trapped there for years, but that was why they'd be sending Shane with her.

"It's also important to note that Zaladane is not without her allies," Calvin continued as he turned his attention back to the group as a whole. "They will have to be dealt with unless we want this island to be overrun, or for them to go running towards the City of the Sun the moment they figure out what we're up to." Again, Zaladane was enough of a problem on her own that they didn't need anyone else who had decided to support the madwoman's cause to come to her aid. "An army of rock elementals has been gathering in this area," he explained as he indicated an area to the West of their current location. It was towards the Endless Expanse, where Thistle, Wiccan and Chrome had first woken up. "We plan to reduce them to dust before they have a chance to attack." It would have been good to send Shane to deal with them, but the geokinetic had been assigned elsewhere. Not that it mattered: unless Calvin and the others were completely mistaken, Magma would quite literally be able to make those elementals shit bricks.

"Meanwhile," Calvin tapped at the display again, shifting the map towards the area to the East of the lake their little island was in, "we believe that the Savage Land Mutates have thrown in their lot with the Priestess as well. It was only a day ago that one of them was encountered off the Eastern shore of the lake. We're not waiting to see whether more will show up, or allow them to become an actual problem." With a quick tap on the map, one particular area towards the Eastern part of the Savage Land lit up. "That's where we hit them." And thanks to his amazing pink friend, they wouldn't even see them coming.

"The rest of you will remain here," Calvin announced then. "We have no way of knowing what will happen once we take the fight to Zaladane, but we have to be prepared for the worst." Gesturing towards his friend, he added "Blink will remain here to send reinforcements wherever they are needed, or to send people out to deal with whatever other threats might pop up." There was no way they had accounted for everything, especially not what Zaladane would resort to under pressure, but they had done just about the best they could do. The only thing left for them was to be prepared in case more trouble came their way.

"Thanks again for your time," he told all those who had gathered, having shared everything that they had come up with in the days leading up to today. "Go make sure you're properly prepared. Specific assignments will be handed out shortly. We start leaving in an hour." And with that, Calvin backed up and stepped off the platform, waiting for a moment until Jean did the same before moving in for a hug. He'd held it together well up there, but whether it was the adrenaline pumping through his body in anticipation of what was to come or just plain stress at giving a speech like that, but Cal felt tense. And a little nauseous. "Okay," he spoke quietly, his cheek resting against the side of Jean's head, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw up. We should not be hugging right now." But at the same time, Calvin wasn't keen on the idea of letting go.

Shadowcat Exodus Ion Nightmare Mercury Honeybear Plasma Alex Goya Pride Erebus Guari Vincent Wallflower Phantom

OOC: Feel free to respond here if you're so inclined. People have already been assigned to various groups, and threads for those will start going up in the coming days!
Feb 15 2018, 02:28 PM
It was still early in the morning as Calvin made his way into the master bedroom of the apartment he had been sharing with Sunspot for just over two weeks now. He had just finished having breakfast with Berto - or rather, Cal had breakfast while his love had his usual café de monhã that still made the Mimic wonder how anyone managed to make it until lunchtime on - and had suggested the other man go get ready to head out because there were plans. Plans that he had then acted very coy about, because what Cal had in mind was supposed to be a surprise. It was a visit to Rio de Janeiro, to enjoy a few days of its famous carnival, something he had plotted out behind his boyfriend's back with both Reece and Estevao, the head of household of the da Costa estate back in Rio. The former to arrange for transportation quick enough to make a trip of only four days viable, the latter to ensure that the estate and its staff would be prepared for them.

Grabbing the two bags he had already prepared the day before from the back of their spacious walk-in closet, Calvin made his way back into the living room and flopped down on the couch to wait for his love, the bags set down on the floor. When Berto came into the room again, freshly showered and dressed, his gaze dropping to the bags briefly before coming up to meet his own again, Calvin shrugged lightly and flashed his love a smile. "I'm still not telling you what we're doing." He paused for a few seconds then, brow furrowing slightly as he worked out something he wanted to add in Beto's native tongue. It was a lot harder now that he no longer had his telepathy to cheat with, but that didn't really matter to his love. Any attempt at Portuguese seemed to score a perfect ten. "É um segredo," he said cheekily after his moment of consideration, giving Berto a little wink. It really was a secret, one that Calvin could barely stand to keep, but after managing for several days now he wasn't going to cave just short of the finish line.

The necessity for secrecy was almost at its end when a flash of pink signalled Reece's arrival to Berto's apartment. Impatient as he was to get to the actual reveal of what he had been planning for them, Calvin wasted no time grabbing the bags off the floor and rising to his feet. "Thanks so much for agreeing to help out, Reece," Cal told his friend as he reached out to take the hand of his love. "Come on, amorzinho," he said, smiling broadly, "you're going to love this." Of that, Calvin had no doubt. As the large pink portal appeared in front of them, Calvin gave Berto's hand a soft squeeze and stepped forward, nodding appreciatively towards Reece before disappearing.


Stepping out on the other side of the portal, Calvin blinked rapidly a few times as his eyes adjusted to the brightness of the sunlight at their location. There was no doubt in his mind that Berto would immediately recognise where they were; it was, after all, the place he had grown up in. A sprawling estate on its own little island just off the coast of Brazil, the splendour of just what little he could see of it from their point of arrival far exceeding Cal's expectations. He'd seen some photos, but Christ... the home itself was enormous, he wasn't sure if what they had teleported in near to was a pool or a lake, and the view of the azure blue ocean was spectacular. "Wow" didn't even begin to cover it, but that was all that Calvin managed before getting his bearings back together and turning to look at his love.

"Bem vindo ao Brasil," Calvin smiled at him, moving a little so he could take hold of Beto's other hand as well. "You always come alive in the most wonderful way when you speak of your home," he started to explain, wanting Beto to know why he had decided to take him there. Not that his love likely needed an explanation, but Calvin carried on with it anyway. "I thought it would do you good to come here, to hasten your recovery." Going back to where he came from seemed like an excellent way to help Berto get back to who he had been before his decision to take the Kick had messed up his life. And of course, another important reason that shouldn't be forgotten... "Besides, carnival starts tomorrow. I figured we could experience at least a few days of that together, after how you made it sound like something that's absolutely not to be missed."
Feb 1 2018, 03:06 PM
Out of all the various tribes that were scattered across the Savage Land, there was one that for countless years had been far fewer in number than the others. They were not a people skilled at scavenging or hunting, and although their knowledge of the various trees and plants native to these primitive lands were vast, it was only ever enough to survive, not prosper. Their culture was a different ones, highly ritualistic, focused on their own people's lore and the customs that came with it, chiefly built around practices that others would describe as magic. Limited trade with other tribes had been all that maintained them at all for the past few decades, but in recent times interactions with them had diminished. Out of misunderstanding of their tribal customs, one unfamiliar with these lands could assume, or simply because others feared the unknown.

Or maybe they were just dicks.

The tribe was known by many names throughout the Savage Land, the name they referred to themselves by spoken in a language none outside of the tribe could understand. One common name was "Sangresi", a bastardisation of a name given to them decades ago by a Chilean team of explorers who had found themselves trapped in these lands. Derived from the Spanish word "Sangre", meaning blood, it was a fitting name considering the blood red shade their garments were generally dyed in.

Oh, and because of all of the gruesome blood rituals they practiced. There was that too.

It was miraculous that the name Sangresi had survived, given that none of the Chilean team of explorers could say the same. Some had been lucky enough to be killed straight away, drained of their blood and relieved of the tastier of their organs. The women of the tribe made an especially delectable dish from the pancreas, and you needed it fresh to really get the most out of it. Both of the organ, and of the lovely song its original owner sang as it was removed from their still living body. You know, if you were into that sort of musical entertainment. Even some of the Sangresi would have preferred the blood curdling sounds of a live Britney Spears concert, but sadly for them the pop starlet never deemed the frozen wasteland of Antarctica worth visiting. The less fortunate members of the Chilean exploration party had been kept alive for weeks, thanks to the tribe's impressive knowledge of remedial medicine, their blood used for the tribe's various ritual customs.

Suffice to say, the Sangresi were not very popular with the other natives.

For many years now, the Sangresi had been in decline. The other tribes of the Savage Land had grown wary of them, avoided them as best they could, and refused to trade with them. With time, likely sooner rather than later, the Sangresi would simply have gone extinct, but fortune finally smiled their way when the X-Men arrived in the Savage Land. Located closer to the stone fortress the X-Men had made for themselves to serve as their home, they had been one of the first people to come in contact with them. Specifically, it had been Meriel Myles who had visited their tribe, bargaining valuable resources in exchange for knowledge. Though not able to keep all of their less than pleasant customs hidden from her, the tribal elders had played it smart and lulled the good natured young woman - who above all, wanted to ensure her own people would remain safe - into thinking they weren't completely horrible.

Just mostly.

Their initial exchange had lead to a sort of trade relations between the X-Men and the Sangresi, various goods and tools in exchange for more medicinal knowledge and supplies, with Merry nearly always serving as the sole connection between the two groups. She knew that there were dangers involved in her contact with the Sangresi, and by serving as the X-Men's emissary she was keeping the others safe. Or at least that was the plan. But while for three long years no harm came to any of them, the Sangresi were learning. They knew Meriel was special, making the Savage Land her home in ways that few could, and that there were others like her. They even learned some English words and phrases by interacting with her, such as "Hello", "Goodbye", "Plant", "Medicine", "What the hell?", "I'm out" and a clear tribal favourite, "Jesus, fuck this creepy shit". Of course they were under the impression the latter was a way of saying goodbye, having no idea what the actual "Goodbye" meant. Meriel hadn't been quite as educated in return, the guttural way the Sangresi spoke, sort of sounding like they were gurgling actual blood, not quite agreeing with her.

Most importantly, the Sangresi learned about the others. Realised what potential they could have, what they could mean for their tribe if they simply bided their time until the moment was right. Their god had spoken to them, their wisest elder had observed the strange people from afar. They knew that Merry wasn't the only one who held an unusual strength inside of her, the others did as well, each unique in their own way. One was of particular note to them, the strength that coursed through his veins apparent to the snooping elder even from afar, hinting at a regenerative ability that could finally turn the tides for the Sangresi tribe for good.


Hazel eyes blinked open slowly. Calvin Rankin had no clue where he was, or how he had ended up there. He remembered heading out at some point to replenish some of the supplies for their pack of stranded mutants, but not much beyond that. He had been out in a clearing when he'd suddenly been overcome by what felt like the mother of all migraines, blacked out and now here he was. Upside down, his vision blurry, the metallic taste of blood in his mouth, and his entire body burning with an intense pain. Cal could only guess at the cause of that, unaware that his entire torso was basically one big laceration. Blood was slowly dripping down his now red-tinted stomach, chest, neck and face before finally dropping onto the ground where it was filling up a deep sigil that had been carved into the ground. Several feet away from him, he could only just make out a robed figure, chanting in a tongue that he couldn't understand.

Calvin struggled to free himself, trying to break the strange bonds with which he was fastened to a large stone obelisk, but he couldn't muster the strength. His healing factor was keeping him alive, despite the strange magic preventing his wounds from closing, but too weak for anything else. Worse, with the way either the loss of blood or whatever weird ritual the robed figure was invoking was addling his mind, Calvin found himself unable to use any of his abilities that required him to consciously activate. No organic steel body and no geokinesis, and with how sluggish he was, speed wasn't really an option either. Not that being fast really would have been of much use in that moment.

Blinking rapidly to try and keep his eyes clear from the blood that was trickling into it, Calvin tried to focus enough to take a look around the tribal village he was being held in. Being drained of his blood and only barely kept alive by his mutant healing factor made observation harder than it normally was, but he managed to make out a few things. There were at least a dozen tribesmen around, most of them focused on the ritual being performed. It was the ones who weren't paying attention to him that stood out the most to Calvin though, a few of them knelt down around what looked like some kind of debris? Another plane crash, perhaps? The thought made Calvin's stomach churn, which was quite something considering how fucked up his current predicament had already made him feel. It brought back memories of a particular plane crash, now almost two years ago, and those were memories he'd rather forego...

The sudden murmuring that erupted amongst the various crimson-clad tribesmen drew Calvin's attention away from the tech that some of them had been inspecting and towards the arrival of two more tribesmen to the village. They were both dragging something behind them, though on a second look Cal realised that they were both dragging someone behind them. Two teenagers, neither of whom he recognised, but both immediately registered as mutants to Calvin's innate mutant ability. Seeing them and quickly realising that they might be subjected to the same fate as him, Calvin resumed his struggle, the fact that it had already proven to be futile not mattering to him in that moment.

The two teenagers in question were X-23 and Forge, the pair being unlucky enough to land not far from the village after the jet carrying them into the Savage Land had come apart. Like all others, they had lost consciousness at some point and they had yet to regain it. With any luck they would do so before they were strung up and cut to pieces, forced to serve a part in whatever sick ritual these people were performing. Laura seemed the most likely of the two to undergo the same treatment as Calvin, her arrival drawing the immediate attention of one of the tribe's elders. She did, after all, possess the same mutant healing ability that Calvin possessed, but twice as strong. Without that same apparent strength in him, Forge was simply discarded near the debris the villagers had stumbled upon, two of the female villagers kneeling down next to him to prepare him for... something. What that exact something was, Calvin didn't even want to guess at. If he had though, it wasn't likely that his mind would have landed on the truth: Forge would be the centerpiece for tonight's celebratory feast.

And perhaps, if anyone fancied, an afternoon snack.

At the direction of the elder, Laura was dragged towards the same large obelisk Calvin was hanging on at the elder's behest. The one who had been standing next to it, chanting in his unfamiliar tongue, did not break his ominous sounding recitation, but did nod in approval towards the other elder. The girl would make a worthy addition to the ritual. The other young mutant was given another look, which actually seemed to give the man pause, as if there was something not quite right there. For a brief moment he interrupted his chant to shout an unintelligible order that saw Forge quickly dragged away to be tied to a wooden post. Apparently whatever the lead cultist had sensed in him meant that he wouldn't be dinner after all, or at least not yet.

"Don't..." Calvin managed weakly, finding his voice now that the brief interruption in the elder's ritual had given his body the briefest window of respite to repair itself. "Please, wake up," he pleaded with the girl, hoping that whatever she was capable of would mean she could avoid sharing the same fate as him. There was something oddly... familiar about her, but Cal couldn't quite place his finger on it. It didn't matter to him in that moment anyway, figuring out what struck him as familiar wasn't going to do them any good. "Hey--" Calvin started next, but before he could get another word out the elder resumed his chanting, ripping open the wounds on his body before they had been able to fully close, and all that Calvin could do was scream.

Jan 29 2018, 04:38 PM
There hadn't really been a set destination in Calvin's mind when he departed the loft he had been spent much of his time at over the past week or so. All that had thought of the moment he left was that he needed to be elsewhere, away from the place where something so terrible had happened. He had done this exact same thing before, when he had decided to leave Xavier's because he felt his presence there had become too toxic and wanted to remove that influence from a place he cared about. Back then he had ended up in Japan, and to this day he didn't know exactly why he'd ended up there. With no destination in mind, the ability he'd mimicked off of Reece had just dropped him off wherever, and at the time wherever had apparently been the Miyagi region of Japan.

It could have gone similarly this time, but despite not consciously picking a destination, Calvin's subconscious seemed to have a very clear idea of where he wanted to go. One moment Cal had been in the loft Chuck had allowed him to stay at, with Anna and Reece, the next he blinked into existence in a darkened bedroom that was instantly familiar despite how hard it was to see in there even with his enhanced eyesight. There was a presence there that was unmistakable to Cal, from both their mental and mutant signatures to the soothing scent that he had come to know so well. Needing somewhere to go where his distraught mind could be set at ease, Calvin had teleported straight to Roberto da Costa.

Shallow, quick breathing settled into a steadier pattern at the realisation where he was at. Or rather, who he was with. Over the past week Calvin had given Sunspot a bit of space... well, occasionally at least. He had of course visited both to make sure that the man was still doing okay after everything that had happened and to fulfill his selfish need to be around him, but it hadn't been as much as he would have liked (because that would have been all the time). Still, it had been over a day since he had last seen his lover, which only added to the sudden onset of positive feelings that, while they couldn't possibly drown out the sense of guilt and sorrow he felt at Alexei's death, at least helped ease his emotional state somewhat.

To avoid startling Beto with an appearance the man wouldn't be familiar with, Calvin once again let go of Clarice's mutation as he quietly made his way over to the bed and climbed onto it. He considered waking Berto up, so he could talk to him about what had happened and get some of the load that weighed so heavily on him off his chest, but Cal didn't want to disturb his slumber. So instead he just edged a bit closer, until he could properly wrap one of his arms around the sleeping Brazilian's frame. It wasn't exactly what he needed, but it would do for now, offering him at least some of the comfort that he yearned for.

Calvin was, however, not as subtle as he liked to think he was. Two hundred and forty pounds of him had shifted the bed enough to stir Berto from his sleep, and if that hadn't been enough to inform him he wasn't alone in the bed anymore, the arm that had wrapped itself around him certainly did the trick. Upon realising that he'd accomplished exactly what he had been trying to avoid, Calvin immediately felt bad. If he'd just gone and stayed on the couch until morning came instead of selfishly needing to hold Berto close to him, this wouldn't have happened.

"Hey," he spoke up quietly. "Sorry for waking you. And for just showing up unannounced." Though honestly, the latter had not been a problem for Berto before, so Calvin wondered why he'd even apologised for it the second the words came out of his mouth. "Do you mind if I turn on a light?" he wondered then, not wanting to talk to his boyfriend in the dark, reaching for the lamp on the nightstand when Berto didn't object. Resting his head back on the pillow, Cal offered Beto a small smile, but just seeing the damage that had been done to his beautiful face was enough to make that falter. Remembering the reason for those bruises was not something that Calvin enjoyed. He couldn't help but reach out and caress Berto's still swollen cheek, letting out a quivering sigh as he worked to get himself sorted out well enough mentally to vocalise what had happened.

"Something terrible has happened," he began hesitantly, his throat suddenly feeling very dry as he set the tone for what would not be a pleasant conversation. "I ran into Alexei earlier, he was--" Well, he was seventeen years old, but that was something he couldn't even begin to explain, so he'd leave out mentioning that. "--he'd gotten into a fight, he was hurt, so I took him to the loft to patch him up." It sounded like the right thing to do, and it had felt that way at the time, but looking back now Calvin knew that it had been a mistake. "There was..." Cal paused to take in a deep breath, needing a moment to collect himself before carrying on. "There was an attack. Soldiers, or mercenaries, I'm not sure which." Perhaps he could have gotten more information out of the soldier he'd scanned mentally, but his mind had not been in the right state to make the best use of his telepathy. All he knew for sure was that Goliath was behind the attack, which left no doubt in Calvin's mind who they were there for.

"They killed him," Calvin blurted out next, going from a slow build up to what had occurred to just putting it out there. "I tried to protect him," he added, his voice growing shakier, "I told him to run, I took out most of those men, but... one of them got to him." Alexei had taken care of that one himself, but it had been too late. One simple bullet was all that it had taken to snuff out his life. "I failed. I tried to do the right thing and everything went to hell." As he spoke, Calvin rolled onto his back, blinking rapidly to get rid of the tears that had started to form in his eyes. "Alexei is dead because of me," he said then, voicing a conclusion he had already come to earlier. He hadn't fired the bullet that killed him, but Alexei wouldn't even have been at the loft if Cal hadn't brought him there, and wouldn't have been shot by that man if he hadn't come for Calvin in the first place.
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