Roberto Da Costa’s mansion…

The engine roared on Roberto Da Costa’s top of the line car. It was one of many, he had which ranged from sports cars to limos. This one was a slightly more modest number as it had been used to transport his friends around that day. He had still however wanted to show off .

The mansion looked out over Rio from the mountains above. There was nothing Roberto liked better than lying in the cool waters of his private swimming pool while looking out to his city and the giant statue which he considered to look over him.

He was the first out of the car and walked across the driveway quickly. They were a strange sight they were dressed in beach wear but had bruises dotted around their bodies and their expressions were not ones of fun in the sun.

Xi’an and Melissa were the two who were looking the worst as they had long red streaks down their cheeks from the tears they had been crying.

When at the beach a squad of Sentinels attacked the mutants. They launched into action to protect people as best they could and they succeeded. In the effort though Warpath, Wolfsbane and Magma had been dragged away as they combated a Sentinel. This was bad enough, losing three good friends and if this was just the case they would still be certain to launch a rescue attempt of some description but things were even worse.

Xi’an’s younger siblings Leong & Nga had been under Melissa’s supervision when the attack happened. The New Mutants were sure that they would be safe as they were both human, a species which Sentinels didn’t often have any feelings about. This time was different Sentinels landed in the crowd of people and forcibly dragged the two young Vietnamese nationals away.

The doors to Roberto’s palatial mansion opened as a figure appeared in the doorway. He was dressed in a smart suit and had his hair combed back neatly. They had met him earlier that day.

Jorge was Roberto’s second in command when it came to the DaCosta business interests. He was Roberto’s confidant and right hand man. “Roberto I saw what happened on the news and came right here. I’ve been fielding calls from the shareholders they’re worried…”

Roberto held up the palm of his hand to Jorge’s face as he walked past him into the lobby of the house. It was done with white marble and dotted tastefully with statues from styles throughout Brazils history. “Not now!” he instructed. He filed away the thought that he’d have to handle the situation but at the moment he had more important things to worry about.

“We were attacked and our people taken. Contact The Hellfire Club and petition their support on my next actions. Contact Stark Industries and call in a favour Tony owes me one for that venture I pulled out of the toilet in Argentina.” Roberto was in full flow, his brain was making connections and dragging up thoughts of way in which he could remedy this situation. It was an odd sight for his friends too see, he was one of their youngest and growing up he’d always been one of the most immature. They had known him as the boy and the teenager he had been and now they were seeing the man he had become. He was in control and in charge in the situation. “I want someone with clout from the US Army and Air force on my phone within 20 minutes. They must be monitoring the air in someway. I want someone from the government on the phone now! I also want Miguel up here with the accounts for our current deals with the government. Were going to have to pull some strings and I’ll need something to offer them do you think we can cut their costs by 15%?”

Jorge nodded along to all of the orders as he typed into an electronic device which were sending the message to various workers who would make the phone calls. “It’s…possible. I’m not sure about these moves for our business interests.”
“Do it now, discuss it when it’s happening.” Roberto shot Jorge a look. He couldn’t blame the man for trying to look after the business that’s what his job was and if he didn’t do it as an instinct he wouldn’t be working for Roberto but some things were more important.

The other mutants watched as Roberto padded up the stairs followed by Jorge. They listened to him giving orders and each one felt like they were in some sort of parallel universe.

“Wow…what the hell was that?” Tabby looked across the faces of the other mutants. Their expressions were not open for a slice of joviality.

“I’ll contact Justin, he might be able to do something. I’ll put a phone call in to the Initiative too, I still have some friends there.” Dani stopped and pulled Xi’an close to her again and kissed the temple of her head. “We’ll find them Xi’an.”

She pulled the phone from her shoulder bag and began to dial as she walked away from the group.

“Shan I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.” Melissa was still flooding with tears as she moved toward Xi’an. She had not stopped crying since the event. “I tried to stop them, I had hold of Leong as they had the tendrils wrapped around them and I was pulling….they were dragging me like I was nothing.” Melissa dropped her face into her hands and ran them up across her face and through her hair. “We were screaming for people to help us but they all just moved away and watched. I tried to stop them but they just yanked me into the air and I had to let go…then they were gone. I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

Xi’an turned her head. “I try to give only positive energy into the world so I am sorry for how this will sound to you but my brother and sister are missing. You cannot understand what it is like to loose the things your entire life revolves around and at this moment…” Xi’an cut herself off she knew it was not Melissa’s fault there was nothing she could have done to save her siblings but she wanted to blame someone. To turn the blame she had for herself onto someone else.

Xi’an simply walked away instead. She headed up the stairs silently and alone. Sam watched her, he wanted to go after her and try to comfort her and help her like he would have in the past.

It happens amongst good friends and people you grew up with after you are separated for a while when you get back together the chances are that you will revert to the people you were when you first met. Sam was always and still was to some extent a naturally empathic individual not to say he had powers like that of Empath but he could always sympathise with others feelings and seemed to always know what to do or say to make them feel better. He wanted to do that now, he wanted to make his friends pain and suffering go away.

Sam over the years however had changed. He’d been trained by and worked with the best. He was tactically up there with Cyclops, Xavier and Storm as leaders and tactically the best way he could help her at the moment was getting her siblings back. “I’m going to put a call or two in myself. The X-Men may have split up but they’re still out there and they stick together. We might be able to get some help.”

Tabby stood for a few seconds. She and Melissa were the last two left in the lobby like spare wheels while those more able to actively do something did so. She did have links, she could contact her old team mates at Nextwave but chances are they’d be too busy to help and could end up making things worse in the long run.

“I think someone could use a drink,” she sighed as she put her arm around Melissa’s shoulder and started to head into the lounge.

Xi’an’s room…

Xi’an closed the door behind her as she entered and crossed quickly to her suitcase she opened it with a click and pulled out a pair of cargo pants she had packed. She wasted no time in pulling on the pants over the top of her bathing costume and then pulling a pair of socks from the bottom of her case. She also grabbed a T-shirt vest with it and started to put both on.

She always packed clothes which she could use in a fight wherever she went. Years as a mutant had trained her that much. She slipped her feet into a pair of boots she had also brought along. Leong and Nga had questioned her on that point but now…Xi’an stopped. She dropped down onto her bed and looked across the room at the bunk beds she had insisted Roberto give them rather than separate rooms. She didn’t wish to impose on him or his staff more than needed.

She brought her hands up to her face as the tears seemed to appear from nowhere and roll down her face in huge fat droplets. She inhaled sharply before letting off a moan.

Leong and Nga were everything to her. They were her entire life and all that was left of her family. Family was important and she had lost all of hers, been left alone all but Leong & Nga.

They were her responsibility, her pride and her joy and now they were gone. They were gone because she had been to busy to guard them herself. She had left them in the care of a stranger she didn’t even know and they had paid the price for her stupidity.

Sentinels meant one thing and it was not good for her siblings. She wanted to be out there doing something to help them, to save them and bring them back to her but instead she was forced to sit here and do nothing.

She sniffed sharply and wiped the tears from her eyes as she leaned for the phone. Then she stopped. She was thinking of something she could do.

The last times she had lost her siblings she had went to the ends of the earth for them. She signed up to work as a worker for her uncle in Madripoor. Madripoor was a den of iniquity sporting the finest in villains and gangsters in the entire world, she had made contacts. Was she ready to call in those favours…or get into some debt of her own to get them back or would she first wait to see what her friends could do.