electro_kinetic: (hat)
The stage itself is backed by a huge screen, big enough to nearly be an IMAX presentation, and the orchestra is in front, chairs empty. They're fashionably close to the starting time, because Noriko hates being late, and she didn't want to be too early: tucking her free hand in her coat pocket she walks with Hannibal, trying to keep her heels from clicking too loudly on the floor.

The seats printed on both tickets are quite good, being the center of the closest balcony, where the sound will blend and amplify without too much distortion, and a clear view to both the screen and the plalyers, but before they see any of that, there's the lobby to get through.

"Wow," Nori says, looking up at the starburst lights. "This place is pretty huge."
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electro_kinetic: (listening)
Noriko's room is much like the occupant--eclectic, though not quite to the point of 'chinoiserie a go-go', despite the varied japanese touches. (She figures it works for her, given she's actually from Japan, and hey, even she likes being around familiar things.)

She doesn't ditch the gauntlets first thing, but it's definitely on her mind.

Right next to 'this should be entertaining'. It feels a little strange to invite someone to her room after a solid couple of years wherein the only sexual activity was powered by batteries. But hey, it's like riding a bike, or so Noriko assumes.
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electro_kinetic: (calming breaths)
The feeling of being sick is something Noriko’s had for a while now.

She hasn’t yet noticed the way her gauntlets spark more than usual, or how things shake when Keller gets nervous--which is pretty much the only constant they’re both feeling, that hollow jittery bitter ball of nerves that settles in the pit of her stomach. They know exactly where they’re going.

The United Nations building has always been a landmark in the city; all that gleaming white, the colonnade of flags snapping in the breeze; it would be picturesque, patriotic even if no one knew what these two teenagers were about to do. Funny, because no one really does. The Leper Queen has her ideas, and Noriko and Keller have theirs, feverish as they might be.

The Virus has already taken hold of both of them, both are showing the lesions on their skin and have the pale sweaty color of someone that might have the flu. If the flu was particularly deadly to the infected, and anyone in their vicinity. From the moment they pass the doors, things are bad. Noriko’s gauntlets trip the metal detectors, and guards come out to the lobby like ants from a kicked nest, and it only serves to make Nori more nervous. Her electricity isn’t stable, and it’s hard to suck it back in once it starts gaining any sort of power, and her gauntlets are sparking, webbing over with the familiar blue-white--

It’s like being hit with a hammer, dead between the eyes, Noriko will remember that part pretty clearly. That much electrical force goes through a person and it’ll hurt; it stops her heart for a few nanoseconds, everything in her going rigid as she feels the current take over a heartbeat after all the lights go out. She doesn’t even close her eyes, though she feels them and her arms burning like they’ve been set on fire when the light blasts back on; it’s less a glow now and more like someone’s lit a bonfire all around her. Even her scalp burns--and she’d know why if she could see herself, a massive conduit with honest-to-god lightning licking away from every body part she has. But she can’t see herself; she can’t see Keller directing the energy blast away from the people surrounding them and up.

She can feel it shake the building, though. Her boots slip fractions of inches on the floor and she whimpers, though the noise is lost as the building fractures and crumbles around them with the sound of concrete cracking like gunshots. Noriko can feel something like a feedback loop almost form between her gauntlets and her arms, in the minute spaces between metal and skin, and just as she feels that she sees one of the doors change.

It looks like the Milliways door. She doesn’t want to bring this destruction there, and yet she desperately doesn’t want to be here, either--and the latter impulse wins out as she runs for the door.

The basketball-sized chunk of balcony concrete with carpet glued to it that glances off her head and shoulder breaks her arm when she falls, head knocking the door open just enough for her other arm and the top of a brightly-blue-dyed crop of hair to show through the opening. She can feel the bones snap. Maybe it’s her gauntlet that actually did it--one is crushed to her arm and has cut the skin up badly, she can faintly feel the blood. Nori doesn’t have a whole lot of time to contemplate it before she has the distinctly unpleasant sensation of her eyes crossing and the whole upside-down view of the bar going blurry and grey as if she was going to pass out.
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electro_kinetic: (frustrated)
Noriko is young; very young, considering how thoroughly she clings to a particular set of philosophies--to think of it as a game, with a winner and a loser and you must be that winner. She’s seen more than most teenagers her age have, still; being a superhero without really getting trained for that will do that to a person. But there’s no point in focusing on that depressing tidbit of information--she’s here in Mongolia (albeit a really fucked-up version of Mongolia that ought not exist in the present state) for a reason, she has a job.

And that job is essentially to be a distraction and support force. One that doesn’t get herself killed, hopefully doesn’t let anybody else get killed, and takes out anything not on the Resistance side of this conflict. She’s okay with that; Noriko is not a resistance force leader, nor is she a Marine, or a scientist-turned-paramilitary-figurehead, or a uniformed soldier recognized by any country on the face of her earth or any other. But she knows how to fight and how to do it well, so she’s going to. At first it’s easy; the ambient electricity in the air charges her up for a good blast of shocking blue-white flashes. The loud and bright krrrkk-fzzzzzt her very real lightning makes is satisfying, especially when it results in two or three or seven of the creatures she isn’t thinking enough about to get names for dropping to the ground without even twitching. A quick jolt like that can do some interestingly major damage to both circuitry and residual organs, she knows. Luckily, it does precisely jack to her. The frog- and crab-monstrosities, however, do a lot more.

The metal of her gauntlets starts to heat up as she keeps applying current to it, and one of the conducting plates burns her arm a little, but other than that and being hellaciously messy, Noriko escaped more or less unharmed. There were some scratches, none very deep and one on her shoulder didn’t want to stop bleeding, but she did what she agreed she’d do. The manhacks were the nastiest parts for her, because even in borrowed clothing from the bar that covered a lot more of her skin than her uniform top, and was also sewn of spidersilk, there was a lot of her that wasn’t really armored. It’s only when the little drones start falling out of the goddamned sky that things go kind of to shit, but Nori keeps herself covered by hiding under a conveniently now-dead...something that used to be human. Once. Maybe. The more she looks at it to wait out the falling things for a minute, the more she isn’t sure she knows anymore, and isn’t sure she really wants to.

God this was a fucked up world.

---

Nori had heard Alyx’s speech in person before the fight, and she liked the words, listened to them with all the seriousness any other girl might take dating advice from a best friend. She couldn’t ignore the resonance with some of her own past, the idea of endurance and being the most stubborn thing on the damn field, at the risk of losing everything if you weren’t. But knowing the people around her were in the same spot, if not one more desperate because they don’t have a Milliways to escape to or another world to live in, helped.

On reflection, it’d been like Alyx said: that kind of special nature, that ability to dig one’s heels in and give your overlords a nice big fuck you, that’s why they’d win. If you could consider it winning, and if it happened at all.
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electro_kinetic: (ticked off)
Following talking to Adrian, and a few other people, Nori figured it was time to head back to her own world. It's been a while, and she's not entirely sure she's ready to, but if she doesn't actually open the door she knows she probably won't ever. The idea of her world being stuck in limbo is more unnerving than relieving, actually, however much she would have thought it'd be a nice reprieve.

But so many things happen while she's away that she didn't even look for a door; they find more information on the infant they've been looking for, and Nori organizes them as best she can to infiltrate a Purifier church. It backfires horribly, and though they all survive the encounter with the Reavers and Deathstrike, Nori knows it's not because of her. It's because of Pixie and her quick thinking to teleport them all out. The school is attacked by the O.N.E Sentinels, and they don't lose anyone--Nori almost thinks thank god, but she can't bring herself to believe there is one to thank anymore.

Or not one worthy of it, anyway. As much as she hates Keller sometimes, she can't stand the idea that he was hurt because of her, but there's next to nothing she can do about it after the fact. Emma tells her the important thing is that they're surviving: Noriko wonders, just for a second, if it's worth it to survive when the cost is so high.

The next thing Nori remembers clearly is being faced with a beast she can't even identify, but one that's huge and has more teeth and claws than she wants to think about. She ordered the rest of the kids away without thinking, yelling at them to move before she lost her temper, already trying to focus the predator's attention on her alone. It worked, at least, though only for a while. And it didn't help that they got it away from the noncombatant children when they were all teleported to Muir Island in the middle of a bigger fight there. It took a lot to kill the animal--if you could really call it an animal. She recalls that much. But the thing that overshadows all of that, that overshadows everything, is the fight between Sinister, Exodus and the Marauders and the X-Men.

It could have gone worse, she supposes--no one's dead on her roster, anyway. She's hurt, and she's got scratches and blood and god only knows what else all over her, and the gauntlet on her right arm is dinged up pretty badly, but she's alive. She's alive to hear Cyclops say there are no more X-Men, and in hindsight that's a shock she's completely unequipped to deal with. Nori's devoted her life since she came to the Institute to being an X-Man, to fighting the good fight and making sure that the kids younger than her will have a future that isn't being pushed to the fringes of society. And now all that was gone too. It was like being kicked out of her home all over again.

But she makes it to Colorado with Dani, the only person she could think to trust long enough to stay with. She supposes the rest will be peaceful; she hopes it will be. Dani's got a lot to teach her, Nori knows that, she's just not sure if any of it will be any good to her. Whens he discovers the door to the linen closet leads to Milliways, it takes her less than a second to decide to step through. She feels bone tired, and while she's clean (moderately) of all the mess that was on her only a few hours ago from her perspective, from Muir Island, she's still taking care of the injuries. She finds a table only a few steps from the door, and drops onto it.
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electro_kinetic: (Default)
They had orders. Orders to stay inside the Institute--and Scott had said they were 'in no danger', which was complete bullshit, and Nori knew it. When the distress call from Forge had come, it didn't even occur to her to think about staying; the X-Men did what they had to, and she'd be damned if they weren't X-Men after watching what her team had done in the Purifier attack. When she told the others to mount up and get to the jet, it wasn't a request, and the team all knew it.

The infiltration went easy. Taking advantage of the fact they were kids was even easier; nobody expected them to get far or do much.

When the Nimrod unit-influenced discard prototype turned to attack them, Nori didn't hesitate to rip into one with a blast powerful enough to melt the internal electrical works, making a satisfying thud on the concrete workshop floor when the robot crumpled and hit the ground; but there were others, and the fight was in full swing before she thought about it. The bitch came when the Nimrod unit rebooted and joined the fray, switching over to the destroy protocol when they hit it--how were they supposed to know it wasn't an enemy right then?

They hadn't been told shit about it until it was too late and then, it was a problem. It took some quick thought to come up with the idea to overload it, because Nori didn't have the energy to spare--until Laura tore it open and she absorbed enough to have her gauntlets pop and crackle. She tossed them off and waited for Cessily to hold the gaps open, doing her best to ignore the yell as she was halfway electrified--Laura had been hit dead-center of the chest with a blast from the Nimrod unit and Nori couldn't turn around to see how she was.

She couldn't stop thinking or stop the fight to check on her team, having to trust that some of the others would take care of them. Santo was in pieces, rock and rubble all over the place and Cessily was screaming for him to reassemble; Laura was on the ground, burnt--she could smell the charred and acrid stink of burning skin. Noriko discharged everything she had, everything in her and was...surprised--to say the least--when instead of melting the electronic circuits there was a massive pink glow... And the thing was just gone.

"Jesus," Nori panted, suddenly exhausted--she'd never expended all her energy before--buckling as her knees gave out underneath her. "Get out," she snapped at her teammates, watching them turn for the door as she got up after them, because the end of a fight was never this easy.
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electro_kinetic: (shocking behavior)
"Your concern should be your teammates."

It's a phrase that rings in her head incessantly after hearing Colossus say it, not even affected by her blast; no, he'd used it against her own team and would have killed them with that if they hadn't been in the Danger Room. All of their attacks, the things they'd been supposedly trained to do, backfired horribly. And the words are only accompanied by Emma's counter once they're all back on their feet, unhurt as the program turns off.

"Your team would all be dead."





The first fight was harder than Nori had imagined it would be. Against the Purifiers, people wanting to kill them all, Tavi's words come back to her as she finds her head goes blank but for the instinct to fight and to protect the others. You've got a war of attrition coming. The bullets fly like lethal rain and she remembers Tavi beating the crap out of her by never staying still for more than two seconds. Now would seem like a really good time to adopt that strategy, and Nori is all fluid motion until she's hit with two of those bullets--it hurts like a bitch, and it burns more than she'd have given a piece of metal credit for.

The shot sounds oddly loud in her ears the second time the metal projectiles hit her, but she keeps going, not giving them another chance if she can help it, but the second the turns around to sweep their legs out, X is there and is poetry in motion with those claws, splattering blood and brain matter over Nori's face as she jams one long bone-claw through the back of the nearest human's head.

She can't hear herself screaming at people, to get out of the way, or to just die, depending on who they are, mutant or human or Purifier. Her electricity is sent in short bursts--does less damage, but it will surprise them more, and that's just as useful. The bullets in her back hurt, and they refuse to be blocked out as she moves, acutely aware of how much she's using that muscle every time it throbs with the bloodflow that's soaking through the back of her shirt and jeans as she keeps ducking, rolling, hitting people hard enough to feel the shock jar her arms. She knocks the other students out of the way, not caring if she pushes them into doors or anything else as long as it's away from the fight; their enemies she hits as hard as she can, and takes a header down the stairs with one, remembering the cracked rib she got from Milliways on the receiving end of that. There's a nasty crack that she figures is either her collarbone and shoulder shifting or his ribs breaking, but Nori doesn't care as she uses her legs to push at him as hard as she can.

And it's over as soon as it begins, the fighting falls away and so does she, tripping over her own legs as the adrenaline rush subsides. That bullet to the back caught up with her pretty fast, but longer than Nori thought; being shot did nasty things to people on the street, she remembers that much. But the bullet didn't tear up too much of her back, despite her continually moving not helping it any. She's bloody, from herself and others, and there's bits of bone and brain fragment in her hair, on her face; the two bullets are the worst of her injuries, though her shoulder's going to hurt for a while after being rammed into someone's side.

She'll recuperate. Even if she has to spend a month in Milliways.
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electro_kinetic: (scared big eyes)
There's a toll on a child when they see death. When something so final and irreversible enters their world, it changes them, and almost never for the better. Noriko had already seen death, the dying, the nasty blood-soaked ends of people who were too slow to stay on top, and got trampled by the ones who replaced them on the street.

But it was different when she'd joined the Institute and seen it. Been the one doing it.

The first fights she'd gotten into were nothing but bareknuckles brawls, either to scrap and pass the time or to scratch out a pecking order in the dirt in those back alleys. Since she'd been accepted and slotted into this school with so many other kids like her, she'd started to loosen up, to forget what it was like to have to be hard enough to win any fight whenever it happened.

Then there was...her. Noriko wasn't told the full extent of what Wanda had done, and if she was honest with herself she really didn't want to. But it certainly had fucked the world up, that. Ninety percent of the mutant population dead? Ninety goddamned percent?

That was jut shit, all around, no matter what way you looked at it. But the worst part was that more than half the school--more than half the people who'd become her family, her friends, the world around her--were depowered, half of those dead. The others had to be sent home, to protect them. They couldn't stay at a school for mutants, if they were now effectively human; it would have been dangerous for them and a liability for the rest.

And the bomb that had gone off on that bus. It was a bus full of kids, of the ones going home to finally see their families and their parents, who didn't have anything to hide anymore--Stryker killed them, and without a single regret. Nori had been right beside it when it blew.


[ooc: I know, this is a horribly short and overall horrible gloss for the House of M series in Marvel. But, I don't want to have to subject myself to the torture that is reconciling all the mismatched details that come with floating timelines and retcons, and this serves the purpose of moving Noriko into canon, from whence she can go places. So don't hate me, 'kay?]
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electro_kinetic: (Default)
Noriko Ashida

April 2017

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