2012-07-25: Super Ball


Connor_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor runs a danger room session for Nicholas and Shane.

Date: July 25, 2012

Log Title: Super Ball

Rating: PG

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.

It's Wednesday again, and once more the Danger Room has been set aside for some private time for some of the students. Like last time, Connor does not have much of the systems active on the Danger Room floor, just setting up the ball launchers like before. However, this time in addition to the two tennis ball launchers, there is a much larger air cannon for what looks like dodgeballs as well. Next to the device is the rolling cart from the gym that holds the mansion's current cache of the red devils, and they are being fed one by one into the hopper. As he moves, his X-men uniform has weird little TRON-like glows running along the seams and joints, and if anyone comes close enough, they would hear some dubstep playing in the comm earpiece. Above the scenario, a figure sits in the booth, one of the teachers or staff overseeing the event.

Walking into the room, dressed in his usual Xavier's uniform of black hoodie type top with an X pattern in blue on the sleeves and matching blue pants with Xes on bottom of the pant legs. His hands are shoved into his pockets and the hood is down as he walks into the Danger Room. "Hey Connor, what's up?" He says giving a a quick wave. "So, more shields again today?"

"…Maybe for you," Shane murmurs as she leans against the Danger Room doorway. Her training costume has been vastly altered from what it was when Connor attended, now a simple black sleeveless onesie, and a red scarf draped to loosely cover the lower half of her face. "No clue why I got called in, unless I'm playin' th' princess in a rescue. …Don't do princess real well, y'know."

"No." Connor replies, as he picks up one of the red balls and then bounces it a few times before lobbing it up into the top of the hopper, "You're here to help Nick with his training. And maybe to have a little fun, and learn something yourself." Moving around to the controls, he begins to set up the big launcher first, "Today we're going to work on a bit more fine control. For both of you. I am going to shoot a ball at Nick. Nick, you have to use your soft shield to catch the ball like how I showed you before, but this time I want you to then reflect it back out." Coming back around to look at Shane, he then adds with a smile, "Shane… when he does that, I want you to then try and hit the ball back to him, using only your own powers. The key here is learning how to apply the right amount of force to the effort. And don't worry if you burst a few balls on this… that's the point."

There's something that confuses Nick and it shows on his face. "Wait, catch the ball with my soft sheilds? I could just catch it with my telekinesis and throw it to Shane easier. I just don't see how I can catch something with shield, deflect, yeah, but…" It just baffles him. He looks over at Shane and gives her a smile. "I don't think anyone would be able to take you hostage to play a princess, you'd blow them up before they got the chance."

"Damn straight," Shane says, raking a hand through strawberry-candy-colored hair. Moving to stand roughly twenty feet away from Nick, she mulls the challenge over in her head for a moment, then nods. "…'Kay. Think I c'n manage that, 'less I can't use m'hands at all."

The grin from the older, former student spreads a bit at Shane's words, and he nods once to her, "If you think it will make it more interesting. But remember… he's going to be bouncing this off his shield. So it could go any direction. And your concussion blasts will do the same. So the two of you will probably be running around a bit." Focusing back on Nick, Connor approaches him for a moment, palming the remote for the ball launcher, his free hand settling on the young man's shoulder, "Yes, you can… but this is about your shields. Remember when we talked about soft shields… and how they can be flexible, and malleable. It'll also help you learn how to do some of this on the run. Now." He clicks the button and ducks to the side as there's a tinny *WHOOMPH!* from the machine, "Catch!"

Before he has time to say anything, there's a red ball flying towards Nick's face. He feels like he's being thrown into the deep end of the pool and told 'learn to swim!'. He instantly puts a hand up to put up a shield, which by instinct is not a soft sheild. Nick tries to turn himself, and the shield, when the ball hit's it to angle it at Shane but doesn't do so well, and the ball goes flying towards her about three feet wide.

Shane's boots ring out against the blank metal floor as she sprints toward where she thinks the ball might land, two fingertips already beginning to flush and luminesce. As if she was playing handball, her arm loops out wide, the energy releasing with a sharp *CRACK* and a tangible wave of pressurized air. The barr reacts as though it had been punched, flying well wide of Nicholas to slam into the far side wall.

Connor is there to catch the ball somehow, the distraction of the two students trying to do the exercise meaning a small 'cheat' on his part. As it lands in his hands, he says, "Nice Shane. It almost looks like your blasts were a ball hitting another ball. Is there a way you could make it so it only shoots forwards, like a cone?" The question not holding any challenge, but more curiousity in it as he then adds, "The first times are always going to be the toughest. That's why it's training. So you can learn from mistake and repitition. No one here is going to judge your efforts, either of you." And again comes the *WHOOMPH!* Of the big machine, and once more Nick sees a red ball flying at his head.

"Maybe give me a bit of time to…damnit!" Nicholas says as the ball starts flying at him again. The problem is he doesn't have time to focus and needs to react fast so he just has to throw up a shield before the ball hits him. He doesn't even have the soft shields down yet so he can't help but feel a bit over his head. This time though instead of putting up a shield with one hand, he uses both of them. As the ball is about to connect, he moves one hand back a bit, trying to change the angle of the shield, which works well enough but when the ball rebounds off the hard sheild, it's flying at a decent speed towards Shane.

"Fuck, if onl—*shit.*" Whatever she was going to say to Connor will have to wait, as the ball launches Nick's way. Her eyes widen as the ball speeds toward her, and instead of playing 'softball' with it, she simply throws up her arms in front of her face, both hands glowing. The explosion is much louder, and the pressure wave can easily be felt from Nick's place… but the ball comes off much the worse for it, flopping across the floor with a deep rent torn along the seam.

The man winces a bit, and then puts a hand up, "Allright, that one was my bad. I wanted to see how you'd both react. Allright… we'll try this again, but this time I'll give you warning." Connor walks back over to the machine, and dials back the pressure just a bit more so that when it launches it's more like a medium-speed toss, "This time, Nick… when it comes, focus on your shield like you'd see a set of reins on a horse. The catch is trying to coax the horse to slow… the release is letting it take off at a gallop." His eyes then flick to Shane, "Next time the ball comes, cup your hands, and try to fire a small blast from each. Energy remains constant in motion unless it intersects another force. So.. they'll bouce off each other, and it might create a funnel that will give you more directional control." This time he waits, "Let me know when you're ready."

Nicholas closes his eyes and takes a few seconds to try to get the feel of the soft sheilds, putting it up with both hands and then trying to adjust the angle and direction using both of his hands, pulling one back and leaving the other forward or moving them up and down, to direct it. After a few moments of getting the feel, he nods. "I think I'm ready, just, had to get used to trying to make the shield more soft, can you do a count down the first couple of times before you release the ball?"

Shane's brow furrows at Connor's request, and she spends the moment Nick needs in figuring out a decent way to cup her hands together to achieve the result the older mutant is after. "Mnh… Dunno. See what happens, I guess." Glancing up at Nick, she nods in agreement with the request for the countdown.

"If you don't mind a recommendation, Shane… Doctor McCoy does summer tutoring. He actually makes physics understandable and fun. It's how I learned to control some aspects of my powers when I had them." The last coming off a little clipped as Connor holds up the control, "Three… Two… One… Firing." Saying it all in that kind of overly pleasant monotone ala Space Balls, and presses the shiny red button in his hand. *WHOOMPH!*

"I don't think…" But Nicholas doesn't get a chance to say what he doesn't think as Connor begins the countdown and he readies himself. This time it's much better, the ball hits the shield, and it almost seems to bend the shield a bit, before it rebounds off. Nick uses his hands to try to guide the direction of the field and where the ball is heading Shane's way at less of a speed, it's also heading a few feet to the right of her. "Sorry Shane!"

"S'fine!" Shane calls, leaping out to the side in heavy, pounding strides, bringing her cupped hands up like a volleyball player. TGhe only difficulty with that is, while her blasts are given a bit of directional control, the direction sends the ball lancing into the ceiling, impacting with a ringing sound loud enough to make the girl wince.

The next half hour is spent in this same manner, as Connor offers advice to help coach the two students to the goal of being able to successfully bounce the ball back and forth between the two of them using only their powers, and doing no damage to the ball. Every time there seems to be a stumbling block, he gives a hint or suggestion formed from seeing one of his friends do something, or from old X-men training files. He's not the most encouraging person during this, seeming more to want to push than to coax along at times, but for those who took courses under him for hand to hand, that's how he works. Tough but fair. By the end of it, he has bottles of water for both students, and lets them rest while collecting up the scattered balls in the large room.

Out of all the tries, Nick only managed to get three defections pretty much perfect. He even managed to somehow pop some balls with his shields, some managed to go through the shield and hit him but for the most part the improvement is there and showing he's getting the hang of it. "Oh thank god, I don't think I could go much longer, my head is killing me." He says going for a bottle of water and sits down and guzzles about half of it before looking at Shane. "How you feeling?"

Shane slumps against the wall, breathing hard. While it's clear she still has some energy left, focusing this tightly this often has been *work* for the slight young mutant, and most of it ending in wildly rogue trajectories, as the ends up having to learn directional blasting almost from scratch, and implementing it on the move is problematic at best. Taking the bottle with a curt nod, she unscrews the cap, tipping her head back and chugging down a good third at a breath.

Connor's voice echoes off the walls as he has one of those net bags with him, fishing a few balls from the far end of the room, "You both put in some great effort today. You both listen well, you've got good reflexes, and you're tenacious. Great qualities to have here." Coming back into view from around a central pillar leading into the ceiling, he scoops up another ball, and drops it in, "The reason why I wanted you to do it with the shields instead of your regular TK Nick… was that there are going to be times when you're going to be dealing with one thing, and something else will happen. You'll have a split second to react. So knowing how to use what you have in place can be just as important as knowing what to do. Also… thank you for coming this time Shane. I know most times Danger Room sessions are a lot more exciting, but I was hoping instead to help you get comfortable with some new ideas and directions for your abilities too."

Nicholas assists from his sitting spot on the ground, using his powers to move a few of the balls to Connor and his net bag. "I know I have to get better with my shields. Just, I'm just trying to still get the feel of soft verses hard shields and sometimes it's hard when I'm learning one thing to try to learn another it's over whelming." He admits to Connor. "I just get the worst headaches after your training." He admits.

Shane snorts quietly, shaking her head. "S'fine. Figure 'f I'm ever gonna rocket-jump 'thout killin' m'self, may's well figure out what other kinda tricks I could pull. S'just, takes a lot outta me, 's all. Like holdin' y'breath 'n makin' y'face go all purple, on command."

With the last of the balls put back together, save for the couple ruined ones from the exercise, Connor comes back over to the two, and looks down at them for a moment, his eyes covered with the tactical shades, but a faint smile on his lips, "It's like a muscle, for both of you. Only a muscle you can't see or feel tangibly. There are easier ways to learn, but you've both also been in some bad situations. Everything I'm showing here can be put to practical use. You remind me a lot of a couple friends I had here who ended up dropping off the map." Said with a minor sigh, before he goes on, "But anyways… if you're both willing, I'll be back Saturday afternoon, and we can do this exercise again. Part of this process is as much for me as it is for the both of you. I have to learn how you think and react… what your limits are. So I can challenge them and push them, but not frustrate you both."

"Saturday? Only if it's early and the morning and you treat us to lunch later." Nicholas says grinning at Connor, obviously joking, as he stands to his feet. "But seriously, for me the earlier the better. I'd rather get going in the morning than later." He walks over to Shane and offers a hand to help her up. "Shall we hit the showers and then go find some food? I'm always hungry after something like that. You're welcome to eat with us Connor if you're sticking around."

"You fucking morning people," Shane grumbles, shaking her head and taking Nicholas' hand, levering herself to her feet. "Saturday's fine, though, sure. Just lemme get my coffee in, first. 'N yeah, shower sounds like a plan." Glancing Connor's way to see if he takes Nicholas up on his offer, Shane seems content to let the boys decide on lunch. Her priority, shower.

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