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From one disconcerting guest to the next. Unfortunately, I don't quite have the, eh, weight to call this one out on it. Doctor Otto Octavius. I'd have said welcome home, but I've never been so sure I did not miss the sound of those tentacles on my Tunnel floor.

I might have taken my anger out on Hopper and Emmett, afterward. Not incredibly fair, but perhaps it's time they came to learn life's not all rosy coloured and sunshine splattered. That was too much of a close call and Octavius knew it. He knew it so bloody well I might as well be grateful just to get it over with.

Not that that will happen, heh. Not in a million years.

Collar's off. And I'm off to a pub.


------------------------

It's somewhere midway afternoon on a Saturday, and the Morlock tunnel 'leader' has achieved as much as he usually has by this hour! ... Near nothing, really. The lack of sleep that comes with the lack of having a host is starting to get to him, and he's refrained from speaking to people the last couple of days. There's a few bent paperclips, a damaged hedge clipper and dulled saw lying next to where he's sitting on the floor. His arms are crossed over his chest and he's been sitting quite motionlessly for a few hours now. The collar that was almost undoubtedly the victim of the tools next to him still sits happily around his neck, unscathed and unmarked. Hissss.

Ever since Zachery had his firey visit from Sunset, Emmett hadn't been around the tunnels, opting to stay with his 'other families' instead. Today, for whatever reason, enough time passing perhaps, but he's back and climbs down into the tunnel. His tail flicks twitchingly behind him as he looks over to Zachery there. "Oh. Hey Zach."

If Zach was any normal person, there's a chance Chloe could cheer him up. But, Zach is not a normal person, and it's hard to say if Chloe has ever done anything other than annoy and exasperate the gelatin skeleton. Either way, he is getting glomps! Glomps, he is getting them. "Zaaaaachery!" Zooming into the room in her normal manner, the grasshopper girl hops onto the couch next to Zach, arms thrown around him. "I finally told my roommate to go to H-E-double hockey sticks! Basically." Except not. "Hi Emmett! Want a hug?"

A year's absence is not long enough to forget the secrets of the unused tunnels underneath New York, not when one has made use of those tunnels for at least a decade. The figure that pauses just outside the entrance of the Morlock tunnels is cloaked chin to ankles in a long, oil-slick black coat, while gleaming metal tentacles undulate around him. A razor-sharp claw catches on stone. Skikt. Scrape. For Zachery, at least, it's a very familiar sound, albeit one not heard recently.

Zachery looks up when Emmett says his name, eyeing the youngster with curiosity that seeps into his voice, as well. "You've been gone. Where've you bee-NNGH." Far too absentminded to be hearing Chloe coming, the bodysnatcher is caught completely by surprise when she wraps her arms around him. Likewise he is left in the dark as to what she's spelling. There's no doubt he wouldn't be at least a little proud of her if he /did/ understand. Even then he likely wouldn't show it, because his attention is soon turned to the Tunnels' entrance. And stays there, while a tentative hiss flares up. "Both of you, Crash Room."

Emmett smiles to Chloe as he takes a few steps toward the couch. "Hey guys. I've uh-" When Zach's warning interupts, he lifts his brows and glances over to the enterance as well. "Huh? Why..who is it?" He asks, of course, not running off anywhere and instead tucking a hand into his pocket, looking for something.

"Nngh yourself!" Hopper grins, sticking her tongue out at Zach and still not letting go of him. As always. Blinking curiously at the hiss, it's the command that cathes her attention more than anything. "Why? I thought that room was only for like... emergencies, and junk." Glancing over at the Tunnel entrance, the girl shrugs. "Probably just another Morlock or someone, Possum. S'no biggie."

Another 'skkrt' of adamantium against stone, and then he's there, large as life and twice as (un)natural, expression enigmatic, eyes hidden behind lenses as black as the eyes of a shark. The thick metal limbs curl around him, two of them going low, the other two rearing up, jointed claws flexing. His natural arms are folded behind his back. "I most certainly am /not/ a Morlock," says Dr. Octavius.

Zachery gets to his feet, pressing both of his damp hands to Chloe's shoulders to shove her away. Perhaps a bit more violently than necessary, but he seems to deem it apt. He sends both Chloe and Emmett a glare when they don't do as they're told to, but then- he only half expected them to listen. Otto's arrival is met with a sceptical tilt of the bodysnatcher's skull, and he steps forward to at least try and put himself inconspicuously between Otto and the other two Morlocks. To the other man's statement, he replies, "Oh, if only you would have shown a /little/ more potential, you might have been. Hello, Doctor."

Em's eyes widen as the doc makes his full appearance. "Cool! It's Doc Ock!" The 10 year old announces eagerly. He pulls out one of his arsenal, a toy gun, the black plastic kind designed to look realistic but that's only supposed to shoot a squirt of water, from his pocket. His fingers curled around it and poised on the trigger, but he still keeps it at his side rather than taking any aim just yet.

Letting out a surprised cry as she's pushed away, Hopper barely keeps herself from falling off the couch, wide black eyes glued to the Doctor. "...Eep." Scrambling off the couch after a moment, she grabs Emmett by the shirt collar, pulling him behind her, trying her damned best to look brave. Something that she's quite certain would work much better if she hadn't felt the blood drain from her face, or if she could stop her hands from trembling.

Otto's lip-curling sneer can just be seen over the coat's high collar. "Hello, Zachery." He tilts his head toward Emmett and Chloe, staring flatly at them both for a moment before focusing his attention back on the bodysnacher. His brow furrows as he notes the device around Zach's neck. "What is this?" he demands, as a tentacle flicks out to grab at said device. He knows what it is, of course. Or thinks he knows.

"Fashion statement." Zachery deadpans, voice completely free of humor or, for that matter, any sort of affinity for Otto. Quite the opposite, in fact. He cranes his neck to let Otto have a better look, as though showing the oh-so-very-hated collar off. "Do you like it?"
Emmett ooffs as he's dragged back behind Hopper by his shirt. "Hey!" He peers out from behind the scared girl, giving her a brother-to-sisterly shove in return for the dragging. But then his attention is on the collar, which he didn't previously have the time to notice. Curious now, he listens intently to the conversation.

"Emmett. For once in your life, quit being a brat, and listen to what somebody tells you." Chloe hisses, not taking her eyes off Zach and Otto. "Go. Wait. In the Crash Room." The collar was also something she didn't notice... Something she probably /should/ have, and she's kicking herself for it right now. No clue what it is, other than the fact that it is /not/ a fashion statement - because, ew, tacky - and /not/ something Zach would wear. Ever.

"Of course not," Octavius says brusquely, walking forward to take a closer look. He frowns, then brings up another tentacle. From within the hollow at the center of the three claws, another trio of tiny manipulators extends with minute clicking noises. The exterior claws take hold while the smaller devices skitter like spider-footprints (spiders wearing tapshoes, tck-tck-tck) along it. "Who put this on you?"

Zachery briefly glances back toward Emmett and Chloe, but he can't afford to pay attention to them for too long. He can only hope Chloe manages to keep 'Possum Boy' back. When he turns back to Otto & co, there's unmistakable discomfort written all over him, through body language. He might be snarky, but he still doesn't like those tentacles much at all. "Flatscans. Cop." He'd like to lie and come up with something witty, but the unadulterated hate for said human keeps him from it.

Emmett hisses right back at Chloe, "He told /you/ to go too. Besides, /I'm/ not scared of him and I'm Zach's partner, in case he needs me." His voice lowers even more for impact, "And, I'm trying to listen!" He goes back to eyeing what's going on between Otto and Zachery and the curious collar.

"If you're not scared of him, then you're not near as smart as you act." Hopper lowly replies. "I don't care who's partner you are. I'm older than you, I'm stronger than you, and I've saved your life too many damn times for you to not listen to me right now. Now go wait in the damn Crash Room." Oh, yes, she's seriously. She actually using swear words.

Otto ignores the byplay between Chloe and Emmett; he's /concentrating/. "Hnn." He leans forward slightly, rubbing his chin with thick fingers. "...Ah." The spider-tapshoes stop, small hooks finding a thread-thin seam. A minute panel opens up with a click. The other tentacle shifts along to the opposite side of the collar, getting a new purchase. "Do not move," he tells Zachery, and then there's another click and a 'pfft' of ozone. The collar snaps open.

Zachery doesn't at all appear to trust Otto, and pulls back slightly as his collar is examined. Not moving from his spot, but glancing askance into the other Morlocks' direction, he mutters sarcastically, "Hopper, Emmett, your ability to listen astounds me." Of course, when the collar unexpectedly snaps open while he's still leaning away from Otto and the grabbity tentacle, the bodysnatcher nearly topples over, leaving the collar right where it was. Lifting a hand to feel at his neck (despite him not actually having a sense of touch, old habits die hard), he notes somewhat bitterly, "Well. Aren't you resourceful as always."

Eeeeeet! Hear that? That's the sound of the wrong-way-to-make-Em-do-anything buzzer. The boy pushes his hair back from his face in a defiant manner, giving Chloe a glare before he pushes his way to step in front of her to stomp his way right up next to Zach just as the collar is opened. "You did it! Cool. So what is that thing anyway Zach?" He asks, plugging himself right into the adult conversation.

Letting out a mix of a groan and a whine, Chloe slaps a hand over her face. Fine! Get impaled or whatever Doc Ock does to annoying kids! See if she cares! Brat.

"And your capacity for gratitude continues to underwhelm." Octavius takes the opened and deactivated collar in hand and turns it over, studying it for a moment before tossing it lightly to the bodysnatcher.

Zachery manages a chuckle at Otto's remark, catching the collar only to pass it on to Emmett. There you go, have some high tech deactivated device to play with. "It nullifies your powers. I had one on me just like it--" his words trail off as he realises a mistake, eyes flitting briefly over to Chloe before he stares intently at the collar again. "... before." It certainly doesn't sound like he was going to end the sentence with that, originally. But 'when I was at Ryker's' might evoke questions.

Emmett takes the collar, looking it over curiously. "Nullifies your powers?" he echos rhetorically with a sneer. "And a cop put it on you...why?"

Glancing up at Zach, brow furrowing in confusion, Hopper focuses on another subject. "Before? What'd you do to get one before? I thought they only put these on like... maximum security dangerous people?" She asks, confused. "And you're scared of /Rene./ How the heck did you earn one?"

For the first time since arriving, Otto smiles. It's a thin, unpleasant, humorless expression. "Been keeping things from your minions, Zachery? Indeed, isn't this... what? The /third/ time I have rescued you from a forced abstinence from host-taking?"

Zachery flinches, though continues to stare at Otto. And nowhere else, for the time being. It's too much to ask from the man to stop bringing up any more details, but Zachery can at least make clear he is Not Pleased(tm). "I've annoyed a couple of cops before. They hand those things out like sweets." He quickly replies, coldly, in more of a hiss than anything else.

Emmett glances over to Chloe at her words, a little surprised, since he's never seen or heard of the use of those collars before. Hmmm. He turns the collar over in his hands again. "Why would the cops want to nullify your powers, Zach?" After all, what harm can being blue and see-through-y do?

Minion? Oh, /please./ However, her common sense and survival skills keeps Chloe from correcting Otto. Instead, she blinks up at Zach, expression curious, innocent, and painfullynaive. Yeah, Zach, what'd you do to earn one?

Otto stares back at Zachery for a moment, holding the knowledge over him like the sword of Damocles. Then he utters a coughing chuckle and turns the sharks-eye goggles down toward Emmett; one of the lower tentacles slinks forward to arc loosely around the boy. "He's different. For the sheep above, there is no better reason. Surely you know that already, boy."
Zachery would breathe a sigh of relief if he was physically allowed. Fortunately he is rather lacking the lungs and so appears largely opinionless at Otto's answer. That's right. Sheep. That's just it. He has nothing more to add on the matter. His lidless eyes trail away from the other man's face and over to the end of the tentacle that's nearest to the boy beside him, and a translucent blue hand is slid silently on one of Emmett's shoulders. Just in case.

Emmett glances at his shoulder where the tentacle arches and then looks up at Otto with a nod. He stands a bit straighter, attempting to not seem so child-like. It becoming more apparent how important it is to him that he impresses the Doc. "Well, yeah, of course I know that." He turns to Zach, giving his head a sad shake. "Those sheep. That totally sucks Zach."

Instinctively stepping closer to the other three at the sight of the tentacle looping around Emmett, Hopper glances between all three of the males. She really should have stayed at the Mansion this weekend. Let's see. How does one get Otto's attention focused only on one's self in order to possibly save a friend? They do not teach this in History class!

Otto drinks in their nervousness, their agitation, their tension, and smiles inwardly. For a man who measures himself by the fear he instills in others, there's nothing better for a bad mood. "Good lad." This to Emmett. To Zachery, he says, "I suggest you take the opportunity to study that collar in detail. I may not /always/ be around to rescue you from yourself. Good day." Metal claws >snikt< shut as he briefly studies Hopper. "Madame."
And with that, His Octopusness turns and leaves, coat flowing about his boots.

Zachery barely even moves, failing to respond to Emmett. It's only when he's aboslutely sure that Otto is out of earshot that he promptly turns 'round to glare at both Emmett and Chloe, giving the first a little shove with the hand that was already on his shoulder. "What were you two thinking?! That's Doctor bloody Octopus! I /told/ you to get out!" Close calls make for an unhappy Zach. Anger that would otherwise be directed at Otto is now otherwise released. Arr.

Emmett smiles to Otto at the compliment and then he watches the man leave, tucking his toy gun back into his pocket. He is then shoved and turns to stare disbelivingly at Zach's anger. "Yeah but...he didn't do anything bad. he helped you get that collar off. So..what's teh big deal?"

Moving to sink back onto the couch, Hopper shoots Emmett her own glare. Hers, however, is nowhere near fierce, face pale and the grasshopper girl trembling. "The big deal is that he's killed innocent people, Emmett! He's on friggin' Magneto level of bad! Do you understand /that/ since you're so deathly scared of Bucket Head!? Huh!?"

Zachery's glower at the two younger Morlocks doesn't lessen until... until Chloe speaks up. Then he just briefly shakes his skull, and calls to Chloe, "Calm. Be quiet." He then reaches to snatch the collar back, adding "I've got more experience with the man than either of you could have lived through. Trust me on this one, you do not want to be in the same room with him more than once in a lifetime."

Emmett snaps at Chloe, "I'm not scared of anything! Besides, I've seen Magneto do bad things, but Doc Ock just helped Zach. Maybe you're okay with judging people on the past, but /I/ judge them on what I've seen." Huff and puff. He crosses his arms and sulks.

Calm. Quiet. It would be a lot easier if Emmett would do the quiet part as well. "If you're so brave then why the hell did you steal a friggin' gun to bring back to the Tunnels after the Magneto thing in Harlem, huh!?" Hopper fumes, standing, eyes flashing. "Especially since I barely even trust you with a water gun much less a real one with real bullets! You'd accidentally kill yourself or someone else! I don't care how tough you act or how awesome you think you are or how much 'street cred' you have! You're just a little kid and you need to stop acting like you're all that before it gets you killed!"

Zachery's eyes dart between Emmett and Chloe, his hands flexing absentmindedly at his sides. His jaws don't even part to utter the next six words, though they're plenty distinct and very, very final. "You two. Shut up. Right now." The unspoken 'or else' is very much suggested in his tone.
Emmett glares hard at Chloe but even he isn't stupid enough to keep pushing Zachery. He turns, arms still crossed as he lets out a huff.

Jaw clenching, Hopper swallows her next words. She may know how to push Zach's buttons, but even she knows when to quit.

"Right." Zachery hisses, looking to both the younger Morlocks. Chloe lastly. "I know neither of you really /needs/ this place," how much he himself might regret it, "but if you want this to remain a safe haven-- a potential home, you will /not/ try to test me again." Letting out a short, annoyed hiss, he heads for the entrance to the Tunnels. More likely than not to find a host.

Emmett watches Zachery go, silent until the man is comfortably out of earshot. Then he turns back to Chloe, still angry. "You're being a jerk."

"And you're being a brat." Chloe shoots back, heading for the ladder that leads up to the manhole. "An eye for an eye, street rat!" She mutters, hopping onto the first rung and starting to climb up.

Emmett pulls out a different water gun from the rim of his pants and squirts at the back of Chloe with it as she's leaving and laughs while doing it. Hahaha!

Letting out an annoyed growl, wings fluttering to shake off the water droplets, Hopper shoots him a glare over her shoulder as she moves the manhole cover. "I'm gonna get Vic to slime all your junk to where it doesn't work anymore." And then she's crawling out of the manhole, out onto the streets above. Hello, New York.

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