|Dates run:||April 19-26, 2007|
|Read the logs:||Turf War|
The young man's posture was slumped, almost desolate. Jim knew it well. It was the kind that came from conflicting loyalties -- and more, that special pull of the life you were trying to live now and the one you had finally given up trying to reconcile and had settled on hoping would just remain the hell behind you.
Angelo and Amanda go back to his old stomping grounds in LA to help the sister of an old 'friend' and gather information on a Kick lab.
It all began, for Angelo, on an otherwise normal day at work when he got a phone call from someone he'd never expected to hear from again - Miguel Torres, one of his former friends from LA. In a further shock, it turned out Miguel was calling to ask for help, not for himself but for his younger sister Alejandra, now a mutant and a Kick addict, and part of a gang on the edge of outright war with Miguel's own.
Seeing no other real choice in the circumstances, Angelo agreed to go, though not without misgivings. After a sleepless night, partly spent talking to Haller about the problems and then watching movies with him as a distraction, he was ready to leave. But not alone - the problem was in choosing someone else he could trust who would fit in in the area. The obvious choice was Amanda, wearing an image inducer borrowed from her brother and calling herself 'Domenica'.
On arrival in LA, the two of them met up with Miguel in a nightclub and heard a little more about the situation they'd be dealing with, making a firmer plan of action. It was also agreed that they'd try to do something to head off the approaching turf war if they could, though not if it involved taking unnecessary risks. The following day, they headed out in search of the Kick gang and found them, successfully getting themselves recruited. After a few days with the gang, they took a night off on pretext of visiting Angelo's mother to regroup and discuss what they'd learned - also agreeing to call in the team for help, as well as the LAPD via the team.
Finally, a week after their arrival in the city, it was time for the showdown. There were a couple of unexpected complications - first Miguel, disliking the plan as it stood, insisted on staying with his boys close to the Kick gang's hideout. Angelo managed to talk him into staying out unless it was obvious things were going wrong, but nobody was happy with the situation. The other unforeseen twist was that Alejandra had recognised Angelo, despite his deliberately-slackened grey skin, on catching sight of his old gang scar, and told her boyfriend/gang leader, Ricardo. They weren't best pleased with the deception, especially when Amanda slipped up and spoke in her real accent, and things turned quite literally explosive very quickly.
On seeing the fireball - stopped by Amanda raising a hasty shield - Miguel brought his gang into the fray, and it degenerated into an all-out brawl, with guns on one side and energy-based powers on the other. Ricardo tried to blast Amanda, but Angelo knocked him off balance before he could, leading him to grab Alejandra instead and threaten to burn her. However, Angelo saw a weak spot and was able to knock Ricardo back with his powers, freeing Alejandra. Immediately afterwards, he got a gun from Miguel and held it to Ricardo's head. It was unclear for a short time - even to Angelo himself - which way he'd go, but in the end he pistol-whipped the man unconscious rather than shoot him, and walked away. Elsewhere, Alejandra confronted Miguel and came close to blasting him with her power, but couldn't make herself do it.
It was at that point that the LAPD and the X-Men arrived to end the remainder of the fight. Amanda slipped Miguel and Alejandra safely out of the back door, meeting Nathan on the way but allowed to pass when he sensed who she was. They later chose to come to New York on the jet, as Alejandra's mutant status and Miguel's having been seen to give a gun to an obvious mutant meant they were no longer safe in LA.
Trivia and Meta
It was revealed at the end of the plot that the Kick gang's supplier had links to the Mysterious Bossman from Believing Is Seeing.
Alejandra Torres was a reworking of the Gen X canon character Torres. Her brother Miguel was entirely invented for game purposes.