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Fabian Cortez

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Jul 11 2018, 03:46 AM
Tonight had been an event two months in the making. Ever since Roberto had spoiled him absolutely rotten for his own birthday, Calvin had been adamant about making something extra special out of his bonito's twenty-sixth birthday as well. As a billionaire who simply bought whatever caught his fancy, Berto was incredibly hard to shop for, so instead Calvin had focused on making it an experience instead of simply burying his love in material things bought with the man's own money. An experience paid for with Roberto's money still, of course, but Cal was going to run with it being the thought that counted. Besides, he still had an actual gift for his Betinho that he had made with his own two hands instead of buying it, so Cal felt like he pretty much had his bases covered.

The celebration of Roberto's birthday had pretty much begun days ago, when Calvin had surprised his love with a trip to the Italian countryside. Cal had originally intended for them to go there in the last week of April, but with the threat of the Brood looming over them he had decided to postpone it until after they were dealt with. The moment they were though, Calvin had their luggage ready and swept his boyfriend across the Atlantic to a beautiful villa in Lazio, at a reasonable distance from Rome. With what happened to Jean, Calvin had been hesitant to go still, but decided that sitting around for the end to come would do neither of them any good. With his little sister being the best teleporter around distance wasn't much of an issue anyway. Jean had since been spared of a fate worse than death, and Calvin had already been thinking about how great it would be for her to visit the villa as well once Cal and Beto had their time off together. The estate had a vineyard and a wine cellar, he was fairly sure his former mentor wouldn't need for anything else ever again.

But arranging for Jean to visit there was something he could figure out at a later time. Calvin had already managed to convince Berto that the property he had rented for their stay was a worthy investment, as real estate often was, though that had honestly not taken much effort at all. Cal had suggested it, Berto had considered it briefly, then decided that, yes, of course his boyfriend could have a multi-million dollar countryside estate in Italy. Once their stay there came to an end, they would make an offer to the property's owner and then see about arranging for renovations and redecoration to be done to make the home exactly to their liking.

Tonight though, Calvin's mind was not occupied with real estate. It was Roberto's birthday today, and Cal was currently sat waiting for his love to show up for the day's main (and admittedly, only) event. He had been a bit of a tease about it, wishing his boyfriend a happy birthday when they woke up, but aside from taking extra care to ensure his love had a wholly satisfying wakeup call had given no hints that anything else would be happening that day, playing coy to a point where he was sure Roberto had started to get a bit annoyed with him. It was no secret that Roberto da Costa was just a tiny bit spoiled, something that Calvin was usually prone to cater to instead of trying to stymie it, and the fact that his day did not appear to revolve around him possibly didn't sit too well with him. Yet Cal had persisted, even going so far as to excuse himself early in the afternoon to go into the city without any hints as to what he was doing other than telling Roberto he had some errands to run. Hopefully that did not mean that Calvin was now newly single, waiting in the private dining room he had reserved for them at Ristorante Crispi 19 for a man who wasn't going to show up.

By now though, Sunspot would undoubtedly know that something was up. He had received instructions to get himself ready to go out two hours ago, with directions to the Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke suit custom made to specifications Calvin had obtained from Berto's personal tailor weeks ago, secretly picked up from their Via Condotti boutique in Rome two days ago. By Cal's estimation his boyfriend could be arriving any minute now, taken from the estate to the cosy little restaurant in the heart of the city by a chauffeured car Cal had arranged for as well. The idea that Roberto would show up soon actually had Calvin feeling a bit nervous, the otherwise dormant butterflies in his stomach having a field day in anticipation of Berto's arrival. Taking a deep breath, Calvin made an effort to keep his cool, telling himself that what he had planned behind his boyfriend's back would go over well, and there was no reason for nerves.

When his boyfriend finally arrived at Crispi 19, Calvin's mutant ability picking up on the familiar presence before Roberto even set foot inside the restaurant, Cal rose from the table he had been sitting at and buttoned up his suit jacket again, making sure both it and the tie around his neck weren't creased so he'd look presentable the moment Roberto walked in. Calvin was looking quite unlike how he usually did, wearing a custom made Zegna suit of his own - the first time he had ever worn something this fancy, and only the second time since being with Roberto that he'd even worn a tie - and even his usually unruly, thick brown hair had been tamed by a local barber. It made him feel ever so slightly awkward, like he wasn't entirely himself, but the suit was comfortable and with what he had arranged for them it wouldn't have felt right to show up wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Calvin hoped that Berto could find some appreciation for the way he looked tonight.

Any nerves Cal had felt before were swept away the moment Roberto stepped into the private room he was in, seeing his boyfriend all dressed up for the occasion filling him with a sense of contentedness he'd find impossible to translate into words to describe it. For a few seconds Calvin just remained stood where he was, a broad smile plastered onto his face. "Hi. Happy birthday, bonito," he spoke up once he'd managed to ground himself again instead of sitting atop the pink cloud the sight of his boyfriend had lifted him onto. Quickly closing the distance between them, Calvin wrapped his arms around Roberto and pressed a kiss against his love's beautiful, full lips before pulling away again without breaking up their embrace. "You're looking very handsome for someone who's officially over halfway towards turning thirty," he teased, leaning in again to steal another kiss. "I'm sorry for acting like your birthday was no big deal," he added, frowning lightly for a second before his expression brightened again. "I wanted to surprise you, and swear I only found a bit of amusement in it."

Stepping aside then so Berto could have a proper view of the room, Calvin gestured towards what had been meticulously set up for them, with a delicately embroidered white tablecloth covering the small round table, a few candles and various glasses and utensils that Cal already knew he'd mess up the purpose of set out on top of it. "I hope you're in the mood for some Italian excellence," Cal said, his eyebrows turning upwards with a slight, mischievous quirk as he spoke. "There's going to be a lot of that tonight."
Apr 6 2018, 01:30 PM
Rocinha, located on a steep hillside in Rio de Janeiro's South Side, was the largest favela in all of Brazil. Officially the area was classified as a neighbourhood, because compared to most favelas it had seen more urban development over the years and boasted superior infrastructure. Most houses in the area had basic sanitation, plumbing and electricity. There were hundreds of businesses there, it had its own bus route and people actually had cable television available to them. Apparently that was all that was required to be considered more than just your average slum. Enough that it was often called a favela bairro though, or a favela neighbourhood. Basically an urbanised slum. That living conditions were still nothing compared to some of the better parts of town didn't seem to matter, nor that crime still ran rampant there as it did in much of Rio.

It had been nearly thirteen years since the criminal organisation known as Amigos dos Amigos had basically taken control of the slum. Sure, they won their support through handouts, throwing parties and providing some basic services, but they were still a criminal gang, or else they wouldn't have a hand in so many of the key drug selling points in the North and West sections of the city. City officials seemed to be either unwilling or unable to do something about them, though, seemingly content that compared to several other parts of the city, Rocinha wasn't all that bad. Compared to other favelas it was even safe enough that it had developed a tourist industry of its own, despite the safety warnings from foreign governments and the local police advising against it.

Though they supposedly had it better than people living in any of the many other favelas found in Rio de Janeiro, there was still discontent amongst Rocinha's population. Most notably, and the reason why Roberto and Calvin were currently there, was a small band of supposed mutants who had rebelled against both the local government and Amigos dos Amigos. They felt like they deserved better, and had used their mutant abilities to cause all sorts of trouble around Rocinha. Robberies, extortion, murder, acts of what could only be described as domestic terrorism... the list went on and on, and the local police was struggling to do anything to contain them. Unlike most of the people living in the favela, they were very much capable of fighting back.

Calvin couldn't honestly blame them for acting out, for wanting a better life for themselves. The desire to defend mutant rights had been the reason why he had joined the Brotherhood, and although he had long since left that group he hadn't stopped caring about that part of their cause. It was the terrorism, the willingness to kill those who stood against them, human or mutant, that he'd taken issue with. That was the only reason he was out here with his love tonight; though he couldn't fault the group for being discontent with their lot in life, or even for acting out, they were taking things too far. And since the police couldn't handle them, the government was supposedly considering bringing in the army, which would turn this into a full blown conflict between mutants and humans. Mutant-human relations in Brazil were not as shaky as they were in the United States, mostly because there just seemed to be smaller or less apparent mutant minority in the country, but this was exactly the kind of thing that could change that.

Hopefully, as fellow mutants, Calvin and Roberto could talk some sense into these people. From their actions so far it seemed unlikely that they would be willing to have a civil discourse about what did or did not help the mutant cause - it wouldn't surprise Cal if they didn't have any actual fucks to give there - but neither of them just wanted to go in there guns blazing either. That did not mean that they wouldn't be prepared to fight though, far from it. Roberto had been able to use the resources he had available to him to narrow down the group's location to an area in the northern part of Rocinha, and from there Calvin had pinpointed exactly where they were holed up. They were currently standing atop a rooftop about a block away from the gang's impromptu headquarters, making sure they were properly prepared. Namely, Calvin was using the telepathy he borrowed from Jean combined with his own mutant ability of mimicry to discern what they were dealing with. He poked through their minds, picking up what little he could in as subtle a manner as possible to avoid detection, while cycling through each of their mutations to figure out what they could do.

"Valentim Cabrera, twenty-one years old and the leader of their little gang," Calvin informed his boyfriend, his hazel eyes focused in the direction of where the group was holed up. "He's a shape-changer, he can turn into various objects or... well, shapes. Not people. He is incredibly flexible and possesses increased durability and strength too, but those aren't at a superhuman level from what I can tell." Briefly, he changed his hand into the shape of a mallet to show his boyfriend, then dropped the ability again and moved on to the next one.

"Inacio Bianchi is the youngest of the lot at sixteen years old," he started, the air seemingly heating up around Cal as he spoke. Sunspot might have been able to pick up on that with his own thermokinetic powers before Calvin actually set himself on fire. It was a good thing Jean had gotten him a uniform made out of unstable molecules for his birthday, or the Mimic would have gone into this particular situation as naked as the day he was born. "He's a pyrokinetic, but he's not very familiar with how his powers work yet. Mostly he just knows how to light parts of himself on fire and project it where he wants." He paused briefly, turning his gaze towards his boyfriend. "A pyrokinetic named Inacio? I wonder if this is what his parents had in mind when they called him that." He imagined not. The kind of life Inacio had found himself caught up in wasn't the life any parent would wish for their children.

Extinguishing his flames, Calvin released Inacio's pyrokinesis and mimicked the next mutant he picked up on. "Then there's Atília Gutiérrez, seventeen years old. He can shift himself into a gem-like substance, like Shane does." Calvin turned into a brilliant, dark purple crystalline form then, his body characterised by various sharp ridges and spikes. His unstable molecule uniform was once again coming in handy there. "No geokinetic powers, though he's likely more durable and strong than Shane is." Not quite on Piotr's level, but honestly as soon as you got even close to that strength range, every added tonne you could lift was just the proverbial icing on the cake. Even with the power that the two of them possessed, Calvin expected Atília to be problematic if this group refused to stand down.

"Finally there's Ivone Suárez," Calvin continued. "A nineteen year old photokinetic. She can likely do more than she's aware of, but she's mostly adapt at creating hard light structures. Kind of like the Danger Room does at Xavier's, but Ivone is limited to much simpler shapes that are nowhere as realistic looking. She can create basic force fields and turn herself invisible too." Holding up his hands, Calvin created a semi-transparent sphere of light, glowing a soft golden colour not dissimilar to the corona that surrounded Roberto when he was powered up. "If things go badly, and I really hope they don't, she's probably the one we should be most concerned about," he informed his boyfriend. The potential for both offence and defence that Ivone had could make for a very dangerous combination.

"I still don't feel good about this," Calvin admitted to his partner. He had his doubts before, and those doubts had only grown stronger now that he knew they were dealing with a group consisting mostly of teenagers. "Like... they're just kids. They probably just got caught up in the hopelessness of their situation, things escalated... and now they're just victims of their own circumstance." It was something that, in a way, felt very familiar to Calvin. It wasn't an excuse for what he had done before though, and it probably didn't apply to these kids either. A line had been crossed several times over, and they needed to be pulled back over that or simply be stopped. And yet... "I feel like we should be fighting Amigos dos Amigos, or do something about the way the city has neglected this favela," he added, though he knew he was arguing for something a lot more complicated than dealing with these kids, and it wasn't like tackling the bigger problem meant that a smaller one like this could just be left unattended. Cal was really just dragging his feet a little, despite knowing deep down that what they were doing was right. It seemed exactly like the sort of thing Roberto had fought for when he was an X-Man, and although Calvin had never worn the X before, he would stand by the man he loved, especially when it came to preventing something that could negatively affect human-mutant relations for an entire nation - one of the largest in the world.
Mar 16 2018, 03:20 PM
It was nearly four o'clock in the afternoon by the time Calvin returned to the apartment following his lunch with Jean. He had meant to be home earlier, but he had gotten caught up in conversations with Jean, and coupled with the good food and more than a couple of glasses of sparkling Italian wine, he had simply lost track of time. If it wasn't for the healing factor and advanced metabolism he possessed, Calvin would no doubt have been just a little bit drunk. It wouldn't have mattered though, nor did it matter that he arrived home later than he had intended, because when he got there Sunspot wasn't there.

Calvin knew before he had even reached the door that his love wasn't present. He had come to form a rather intimate telepathic connection with the man, and even without that his enhanced senses or ability to detect mutants would have informed him of his boyfriend's absence. His stomach had tied into an uncomfortable knot at the realisation that Roberto wasn't there. Calvin knew that he had screwed up today, going to meet Jean for lunch after telling his boyfriend that he would rather just spend his birthday at home only a day ago. He did not regret having lunch with Jean, but he felt bad about how it had come about. How he could have handled the situation better, Cal wasn't sure, he just knew that he had done so poorly.

Making his way towards their living room, Calvin pulled his phone from his pocket and let himself drop onto the couch, heaving a sigh as he did so. The present Jean had given him was deposited next to him. He tried calling Berto first, but when he went to voicemail instead of his boyfriend answering his phone, Cal sent him a text to let him know he was home instead. Everything else he had to say to him, including how sorry he was for ditching him in favour of Jean, he decided he would tell him when they spoke face to face later.

Grabbing the television remote, Calvin settled onto the couch properly and turned on the TV. His mood was lifted immediately when he realised that she show he'd stumbled upon was one of Berto's favourite telenovellas, then dipped just as quickly when it dawned on him that his boyfriend wasn't there to enjoy it with him. Resting his head on the pillow, Calvin considered trying to call Roberto again, but decided that wherever the man was, he'd let him have his space until he was ready to talk. Until then Calvin would just watch this telenovela by himself, or as it turned out a few minutes later, fall asleep and miss most of it. After three years lacking in comfort, it seemed like any surface that actually was comfortable worked wonders to put him to sleep.

--

Calvin wasn't sure how long he had been asleep, or when Roberto had actually returned, but a sudden loud noise startled him from his slumber. He was on his feet immediately, skin turned to steel and his claws popped. Another consequence of three years in the Savage Land, where despite the relative safety of the fortress they had built for themselves, he'd never really had the sense of security needed to get a proper night's rest. When his mind caught up to where he was though, Calvin instantly relaxed and sheathed his claws again, skin turning back from steel to flesh.

"Bonito." he sighed with relief. "Sorry, you startled me. I must have dozed off..." Cal's eyes briefly shifted to the couch before levelling with Roberto's again. Drawing in a deep breath, Calvin held it for a moment as he looked at his love and then released it again. "I'm sorry for today, Beto," he started off, figuring he might as well begin with the apology that his boyfriend was due. "I should not have told you I didn't want to do anything today, then run off to have lunch with Jean." He wanted to say more, to tell Berto why he had done it, or add more to his apology, but he wasn't sure what else to say. It was probably best to gauge just how upset Beto still was with him first anyway, so he'd actually have some idea of how he'd best handle the mess he'd created.
Feb 25 2018, 04:09 PM
Boom.

Boom.

Boom.

Again and again, Calvin slammed straight into the barrier that had been erected over the City of the Sun. He'd tried punching it, that didn't work, so then he'd taken a running start and just smashed into it at Mach 4. Despite his efforts though, the shield wasn't budging, while Cal was starting to feel the result of his efforts despite the invulnerability that his organic steel skin provided. Every time his body made impact with the barrier there was a ripple, but that was that. This wasn't really getting them anywhere.

Leaning with one hand against the barrier, Calvin shifted back from metal to flesh and turned his gaze towards Hellfire. "This is where the others said she was left behind." Trevor knew as much, but Calvin needed to actually say it out loud again for himself. Maybe as an excuse for having run into a wall at over three thousand miles per hour. Repeatedly. "She's got to still be in there somewhere," he sighed, placing his other hand against the shimmering barrier too. "I wish we had a way of knowing what's happening on the inside." All they knew, from what the people Merry had been with had been able to tell them was that some High Priestess named Zaladane was planning to summon forth some ancient deity of her people. That was good intel, but knowing how she was progressing on that, and more importantly how Merry was doing after being left behind, would be even more useful.

Closing his eyes briefly, Calvin's brow furrowed as he attempted to reach beyond the barrier with his mind again, getting as far as he had before. Meaning nowhere at all. "It's like there's a wall here," he said as he opened his eyes again, taking a step back and turning towards Trevor. He gave those words a moment of consideration then and shook his head. "Right. Actual barrier right there." That had come out sounding stupid, but it was how it felt. Reaching out at the barrier again, Calvin patted his hand against it. "I mean I can't see past this." His eyes could do so just fine, even if everything was harder to make out due to the slight opacity of the barrier, but his telepathy wasn't picking up on anything.

"Sorry for dragging you out here for nothing," he apologised. "You know, other than watching me repeatedly slam into an impenetrable wall." Somehow that didn't seem like it would be nearly enough for Trevor to make up for not being able to get to the woman he loved, knowing that whatever was going on in there was almost certainly not pleasant for Merry. "Kitty is still out there somewhere, right? Once she gets to the island, we'll try again. Maybe she can just walk us straight through this." Given the unusual nature of the barrier, Cal wasn't sure if that would work, but just as they had when it came to getting out of the Savage Land one day, they needed to hold out hope. They'd spent three years in this damned place, they weren't about to lose someone when their collective resources had increased to a point where they might actually find a way out.

Menagerie for mentions
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.

Menagerie

((OOC: Current powers from Beast, Wolverine, Colossus, Marvel Girl and Speed))
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