Operation: Take A Bow
|Operation: Take a Bow|
|Dates run:||March 26 - April 1, 2008|
|Read the logs:||Take A Bow|
Still coughing dust out of her lungs, Wanda looked up from where she was pulling Jubilee to her feet and did a quick head count. She frowned in concern and worry, turning to the others. "Where is Mark?" she asked roughly.
"Mark's gone," said Emma coldly. "He's not anywhere."
Warwolves, Trooper David McLellen
With the magical restructuring of the Astral Plane, the barriers between dimensions are unusually weak. Discovering this weakness, the demons known as Warwolves have managed to breach the gates and return to Earth. They were drawn to New York City, sensing a "taint" on the half-dozen members of X-Force who went to Tennessee to fight them over a year ago. Powerful and cunning, they began to stalk Doug, Mark, Marie-Ange, Sarah, Amanda, and Wanda to eventually kill them. But X-Force is just as good as the Warwolves, and the six of them intuited that they were being followed. When they learned of some brutal murders following the same MO as those in Tennessee, they concluded that it must be the Warwolves.
But the question is, how can the Warwolves be returned to their home dimension when there's apparently no summoning ritual keeping them anchored on Earth? While Amanda looked into spells that would expel the demons, Remy proposed that the six "tainted" gather together at a magically significant site, to lure the demons will attack them. Their ace are those members of X-Force who are not "tainted:" Remy, Jubilee, Bishop, and Emma. They planned to ambush the Warwolves and distract them long enough for Amanda to cast the spell to banish them.
They set up at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery. The Warwolves attacked as predicted and X-Force launched their ambush. But they quickly lost their upper hand as more demons ambushed their ambush, and the fight soon grew desperate. Mark found himself in the thick of things and cut off from the rest of the team. When one Warwolf dug its claws into Mark and readied a killing blow, he panicked and triggered an explosion with his powers that brought down the church on top of him. Amanda finished the spell, and when the dust cleared, they realized that there was no sign of Mark. They quickly fled the scene to avoid witnesses, but Bishop and Jubilee returned later to help with the rescue effort.
While at first some found it hard to believe that Mark was killed, many of their suspicions were confirmed when Sofia sneaked into the investigation of the church's destruction and learned that human remains and Mark's iPod were found at the scene. Amanda and Pete alerted the mansion of Mark's death, and Marie-Ange took it upon herself to tell Jean-Phillipe personally.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 1st, both the mundane and magical alarms at the Brownstone went off at once. Amanda and Wanda rushed down to the lobby guns a-blazin', but stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Mark, viciously injured, freezing, starving, and near death. He only managed a quip before he collapsed. He was quickly taken to a hospital, and Emma provided a cover story to explain his predicament to the doctors. Doug joyously related the news to the mansion.
Trivia and Meta
Since Mark's iPod was irreparably damaged, Amanda asked everyone in X-Force to donate a few dollars to buy him a new one. Doug took it a step further, and asked to buy an iPhone (which Mark had previously expressed interest in), and with Forge's help pimped it out to hold more memory and be more physically resilient. Mark named it Esther.
The escapade was the first mission for Bishop and Emma as part of X-Force.
This plot originated from an idle thought on the plotrunner's personal LJ: "I think it would be fun to have Mark not return from a mission and everyone (including - nay, especially non-participating players) think him dead." The players of X-Force and the mods agreed to keep Mark's death a secret from the other players to make it an elaborate April Fools gag.
The plot name and cut tag text comes from the song Take A Bow by Madonna.