2010-03-28: Not Being A Drug Of Choice


Rush_icon.jpg Meck_icon.jpg

Summary: Mike is practicing NOT being addictive to his driver. Cloud is the lucky test subject.

Date: March 28, 2010

Not Being A Drug Of Choice

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Danger Room

A product of Shi'ar technology, the room generates apparently solid, realistic imagery by manipulation high-resolution force fields and holograms. The walls and floor appear as a steel room until a program is turned on. Overhanging the room in the center is a control Room managing the room's mechanisms to oversee the exercise while ensuring the subject's safety.

Mike has gotten permission to practice his "not being a drug of choice" here in the danger room, and may have convinced Cloud to help him. Or maybe not. In either case he's here, his motorcycle is here, and the image of that red-hot red Hayabusa bike is building in his mind. He waits for the teacher in the control booth to finish selecting the "time trials course" on the room configurator.

Cloud has been asked to come here by Mike for some sort of experiment, he's dressed in his sqad uniform, orange boots, orange jean-like pants and a white sleaveless t-shirt white the compusery X on the chest. He's just standing there waiting for order.

"So," Mike explains, "There's this problem I'm working on. I get into a motorcycle and someone drives it, but the feedback gets too strong and they get addicted. I've sorta begun to get a handle on this, but it takes careful work. You want to be my practice driver? If not, I can work on a different thing. Oh, you're not psionic, right?"

Cloud looks at his hands, he's happy to help Mike but he's not sure if he'll hurt him or not, he puts his hands by his sides, clenches his fists and nods, "I'll do it, but if anything happens, from either person we stop, ok?"

Mike nods. "That's the point. Here, I brought gloves. You should wear these."
That's a pair of motorcycle gloves, the kind that completely enwrap the hand. No risk of Cloud touching Mike's metal directly thus not absorbing any of Mike's energy. Which is probably good - Mike's personality is more than a little odd. Once Cloud puts on the gloves, Mike stations him on the left side of the BMW motorcycle, and then himself on the right side, says, "Soon as I vanish, get on the bike," and takes the voice box out of his collar and sticks it to the top of the fuel tank.

The teacher in the booth catches the signal, and the air changes, the lighting changes, the room is suddenly an outdoor race track. Sun shining, cool breezes and a smell of oil and exhaust.

Cloud takes the gloves from Mike and puts them on and steps over to the left side of the bike where Mike tells him to go, then nods to show he understands Mike's instructions.

Mike touches the tank. His internal motor revs (the one you can barely hear most of the time) and he vanishes. A second later, the red BMW "flows" like an animated photo-morph, becoming a shiny red japanese Hayabusa racing bike. The voicebox is integrated into the instruments, and speaks, "OK, hop on now."

Cloud takes a deep breath and then climbs onto Mike the bike when instructed to.

So far so good. It's a bike. Oh yeah. There's a helmet on the handlebars. "Helmet on please," Mike's voice says. "No desire to accidentally turn you into a vegetable."
The bike is comfortable enough as racing bikes go, but that doesn't say a lot.

Cloud puts on the helmet and laughs, "From what a few of my teachers have told me, there wouldn't be much of a difference dude", he doesn't mind if the bike isn't too comfortable, hes here to help.

The voice asks, "OK, you ever ridden a motorcycle before?"
Mike's engine starts by itself, revs twice, then idles.

Cloud errs, "Once, it didn't go very well", Cloud's got a scar on the back of his head to prove it.
"Ah, well, don't worry. I'm not gonna let you fall. Just wanted to know if you knew how the controls work." Mike does something that Cloud can ALMOST feel, in the back of his head, and the bike shifts forward, popping off the stand, which pops up into its proper place. The normal reflex would be to put one foot down on the ground to balance it.

More or less Cloud is normal so does put a foot down, he doesn't even register the almost-feeling.

"OK so far. I think I have you in synch," Mike says, "but I'm not pushing to make it more. You should be able to drive about as well as I do, so give me some gas and lets head out onto the track."

Cloud nods, "Ok, here goes", he give Mike some gas and drives towards the track, "So far so good, right?"

The bike is very responsive, no sense of struggling with an inanimate object
"Not bad, Rush," Mike's voice says. "You're still pretty well in synch. So tell me about the last time you drove a bike, but just let your body relax and keep in control, like if you were on a training run."

Cloud grins and ups the gas, increasing the speed substantially, "I was fifteen, and one of my brother's friends had a bike and they got me to ride it as a dare, i lost control, the bike slipped, i flew off and cracked my head open", he increases the speed again.

The "crashed at fifteen" makes Mike feel a bit queasy but he doesn't pursue it. There might be a faint sense of discomfort to Cloud, but it might feel more like a twinge of gas. The bike is easily doing 80MPH and the track can handle more than that without trouble. After a while Mike calls out, "OK, I want you to close your eyes for five seconds and tell me what happens. I won't let you crash, and don't let go of the gas. Ready? Go!"

Cloud feels something of Mike discomfort, but dismisses it, not knowing what it is, they are going pretty fast but Mike seems to know what he's doing, so he closes his eyes, next thing he knows he can see the road in full color, rather like looking at a very bright videogame, he gasps and opens his eyes, "I could still see the road!"

"WOAH," Mike says, "That was intense. OK, I see why they said to be careful. You dropped back off but for a few seconds you were as fully synched as I ever took anyone. Did you feel anything? Euphoria, or happiness, or even just very healthy?"

Cloud nods, "Yeah, it felt good, really good", whoa, intense is definatly the word.

"OK, we should stop then," Mike says, and if Cloud doesn't stop him (by revving) he'll slow as they approach the pit stop area. "Is that how your power feels to you when it goes off?"

Cloud slows to a stop when Mike instructs him to, he wants to keep going but Mike says stop, "Kinda, it's the same kinda rush, it's weird".

"Yeah," Mike says, and steps out of the Hayabusa, which immediately reverts to his regular old mid-sixties BMW cruiser-bike. "It felt a little different to me than when I was doing it to others, maybe that's just from you … but take that intensity and drag it out over an hour or so and you see why it got people addicted, huh?"

Cloud climes off the bike when Mike does, "Yeah, i can see what you mean", he pulls off the helmet Mike told him to wear, then takes of the gloves, his palms are leather, he concentrates and it goes away, "Gloves where a good idea then".

Mike nods, and says, "Yeah. Sometime when we've got more time, would be interesting to see what happens if you absorbed off me directly but, not until they know what you do better."

Cloud shakes his head, "Have you seen what happens when I absorb from someone, it hurts them, a lot, it might be even worse for you", he's interested to find out what would happen but it's too risky to find out, "Did you get what you needed to find out from that?"

The question is a good one. Mike considers. "Yeah, I did. I was holding off fine, wasn't anywhere near tapping deeply until you did. I could see and feel what you did for a second or two."
He hasn't decided whether that's something to be wistful about. Then he notices. "Rush? Were you charged up before you went in synch with me?"
Because, that's certainly the case now. Plenty of electricity, easily transduced, when Mike is in a vehicle. And the person in synch with him… it wouldn't be unlike Mike's subconscious to find a different way to give that rush to Rush.
"OK, I was pumping out power there for a few seconds. I think that might've been what you felt. And that means I have to try this with someone else."

Cloud shakes his head, "No, i've been avoiding using my powers resently, but…", he holds his hand out and theres a blast of electricity that burns the ground in front of him, "But we didn't make contact, how did i absorb?", then he nods at Mike, "Yeah, some one else might be a fairer test".

Mike shrugs. "Well, it was fun anyway. Driving at speed. You were really getting into that. I think… we did make contact. I wonder what that looks like."

He would blink and rub his eyes and forehead but that would just be for show. Instead, he says, "Well… So if you want we can do this again in two weeks after I figure out more stuff."
He wheels his bike towards the door to the danger room, calling up to the bored teacher who helped with the test. "Thank you, sir, my testing is done for the day."

The room reverts.

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