X-Men Mission: Repent Harlequin, Said the Tick-Tock Man
|Repent Harlequin, Said the Tick-Tock Man|
|Dates run:||January 13-14, 2017|
|Read the logs:||Repent Harlequin, Said the Tick-Tock Man|
"See, I've an idea. A hand for a hand, Lowie. How about it?" The stage floor beneath Lowenstein began to shift and a metal contraption hooked itself to the man's legs, holding him in place. "Or how about you tell the crowd what really happened? How you betrayed me? When I... was your friend."
An attack against Jacob Lowenstein brings hope to Julian Keller in the wake of his devastating injury.
The new Excelsior Tech Center had finally opened its doors in Manhattan. A massive new building, it is considered to be the most technologically advanced building in NYC and houses over two hundred different technology labs, research companies and assembly/testing facilities. The building is the culmination of three years of building and negotiation by Jacob Lowenstein. While best known for his casinos and entertainment properties, Lowenstein recently decided to step back from active control and focus on the research and design aspect of his business. While parts of the building have been operational for months, the morning's ribbon cutting marks the first minutes of all systems active and one hundred percent occupancy.
However, as Lowenstein hosted a collection of VIPs on the top floor, including Warren and Miles, the top six floors of the building suddenly changed. A bizarre host of clockwork apperati begins to unfold and take over systems. Within minutes, the top six floors were isolated from the rest of the building, and those in the reception started to hear the screams coming up from the floors below them. The remainder of the floors had been turned into a maze of death traps, all powered and controlled through the intricate clockwork devices. Their captor introduces himself as Lester Verde. Verde is a mutant, although unconsciously so. His skill at designing and assembling clockwork mechanisms is so highly developed that he almost approaches the level of nanotechnology in terms of his constructions.
Verde was a former partner of Lowenstein, involved in the early construction of Murderworld. During it, his hand was badly mangled in the construction and was amputated. Lowenstein used Lester's convalescence to seize his contributions and froze him out. Verde was left broke and shunned. He moved to New York and supported himself working on both legal and illegal alarm systems and internal security measures. His business became well enough known that it was selected to provide certain systems in the top floors of the building. Verde has worked tirelessly to augment the building systems so he could take control. Verde is demanding $100M in bearer bonds and the immediate prosecution of Lowenstein as a criminal. He also informs them that any rescue attempt will be responded to with executions. One of the labs in the building is a SHIELD lab, through which he is tracking the movements of the Avengers.
With the Avengers isolated, SHIELD made a quiet request of the X-Men, who were already prepped to go with the alarm from Miles. The first team needed to navigate the six floors below the penthouse, each filled with an array of deathtraps that could have killed any of them instantly. Through a combination of powers use and luck, they were able to reach the power boxes that keep the penthouse and roof invulnerable and switch them off. The second team of X-Men hit the building from above, neutralizing the remaining forces while the first team smashed its way into the penthouse to rescue the hostages.
Trivia and Meta
After the mission, Garrison gave Julian a pair of clockwork hands salvaged from the site.
The title of this plot is from the Harlan Ellison short story about time and the perils of regimentation.